Post # 1
I have a question for you, and I even opened a new account because I wouldn’t want to hurt any of my family’s feelings if they visited weddingbee.
Here it is:
My male family member is getting married for the third time next year. His bride to be is a first time bride. Of course, I am very happy for them. They are having a destination wedding so 98 percent of our family will be unable to attend (this is his second DW- the first one we all went to). None of us have received invitations to attend- I think they assume with the current economic climate and the fact that it’s the third wedding for our side we’re not coming. No big deal- I would do the same.
Last week, I received an invitation to the bridal shower with all the registries listed. My Aunt called me yesterday for my RSVP and push me into attending.
IMHO, I dislike that I’m expected to attend and bring a gift for the bride. I realize this is her first time, but I feel like it would be considerate to skip the shower for our side and only do one for her side. I would feel a little differently if they both weren’t well over 35 years old, and pretty established with a home. My husband and I are not established, struggling to pay down our undergraduate loans.
What are your thoughts?
Post # 3
Gently let your aunt know that you can’t go. There is no reason to buy a gift you can’t afford and attend a party for (it seems) someone you don’t know very well. You shouldn’t feel bad about this, especially if you are not invited to the wedding.
Post # 4
I believe it is rude to be invited to a bridal shower the a wedding invitation hasn’t been issued. If you feel bad, you may want to get together with a few of your other family members and buy one joint gift off the registry (each contributing little bits of money) so that you can show that you as a whole your family supports the wedding. But still say no to the shower invite.
Post # 5
Might the invitation still be on its way? I know for my wedding, bridal shower invites are in the mail right now, but wedding invites won’t go out for another month! My schedule is wacky and my shower is pretty early. Though all the people at the shower will get wedding invites, and already got save the date cards, so I don’t know!
Post # 6
For me personally, I would not attend a bridal shower if I was not invited to the wedding…that would basically make it a request for gifts.
Post # 7
To be honest, at this point, I would kindly decline, even if you get a wedding invite. You are strapped for cash. And I think you have a point about them being over 35 and already in a home. They don’t sound like they really need a shower. (Of course since it’s her first wedding, I can’t blame her friends/family for throwing one. I just agree with your point about not really involving the groom’s side.)
Post # 8
To answer your questions, we have not and will not receive an invite. The Aunt’s and Uncle’s of the couple were verbally invited to attend- I am a cousin (and we don’t really speak, because we are not close. A "hello" or "how are you?" at holiday get togethers is customary, but nothing more).
I would understand if this shower was being thrown by one of her family members, but it’s being thrown by my Aunt (MOG). I know she just wants to make the new bride feel accepted.
I asked my parents what they thought and they think it’s nice to have a shower for her and I should get a gift- so I suppose that’s what I’ll do though I think it’s a little ridiculous. I suppose I’m a little jealous of my cousin, this is his third wedding. I know for a fact all of our family members (about 20) have given him 150-250 dollars per wedding and will likely be gifting the same for this one… I feel like I should consider divorcing and working the family system a few more times! just kidding!
Thanks for your input, I appreciate it!
Post # 9
My thought is that you should not hold this girl accountable for your aunt’s invitation indescretions. Since it’s your aunt and the groom’s mother, presumably the bride did not ask for this party; the aunt has taken it upon herself to do it. Your aunt commited something of a faux pas in inviting you since you’re not invited to the wedding, and since virtually no one from your side is going I agree with your suprise that she’s having a shower on your side at all.
So I think you’re well within your rights in being annoyed at the aunt, but I don’t think it’s worth it to take it out on the bride. The party is a sweet gesture to make her feel included, and so I think your behavior toward the bride should be in the same spirit. If she were throwing a third "groom shower" (not that we have those, but if we did) then I would balk at attending. But it’s not this girl’s fault that the guy she’s marrying has been married twice before! And it’s too late now to uncreate this bridal shower. Whether you go at all is up to you, but if you do go I think it would be nice to bring a gift, nothing extravagant. Maybe a framed picture of the two of them together?
p.s. I would be jealous too at your cousin getting all that money and gifts and weddings! But remember too that he’s also had the "fun" and cost of being divorced twice. I’d say you’re coming out ahead :).
Post # 10
MN, you sound just like me, feeling jealous. It is so easy to develop feelings like that. Whether it’s about the cousin making out like a bandit, or feeling like hte pseron getting married has a bunch more money…why do I have to keep gifting to them, etc. Chelsea has a point about you coming out ahead for not going through divorce. Although I’m sure you know that. It’s probably helpful to remind (or force) yourself, how much you have to be thankful for. I have trouble with that at times.
Post # 11
Chelsea, I totally agree with you- but I know the bride has a hand in this, and I tend to think it would be her responsibility to say, "hey, your son’s been married twice already – both times the divorce was due to his infidelity… maybe we should just have a shower for my half that you can attend." But yes, I am upset, but not entirely surprised by my Aunt. The branch of my family in question all have a certain sense of entitlement. My attitude isn’t helped by the bride hinting around Christmas that for her showers instead of gifting her objects, because they already own everything they need- she registered at the hotel they are being married at and would accept donations to pay for that.
The more i think about it, the more irritated I become because it brings up other issues within my extended family. I’m just glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks a shower for a third time groom side is a little much. Thanks!
Post # 12
Oh, and the framed picture would be a great idea- but their house is FILLED with pictures of themselves, none of their family. My sister’s son is five and asked his mom why there were so many pictures of the couple around the house.
Post # 13
Technically it’s not proper to be invited to a shower if you’re not invited to the wedding. But why not give these people the benifit of the doubt? Maybe they didn’t bother sending you a wedding invite because they knew you wouldn’t want to come and didn’t want you to feel obligated and they just wanted you to feel included on some level.
Anyway, I think you have two simple options here:
1) If you don’t particularly care to be close to this part of your family just politely decline and send them a card with your congratulations and best wishes.
2) If you are/would like to be close to this part of your family I would attend and bring a small gift. Honestly, do you think this 35 year old woman really cares about the gifts or how expensive they are? I doubt it.
One of my mom’s bridesmaids gave her a small gift for her shower (because she attended 2 showers). It was one of those blank cookbooks that you fill in youreslf (do you know what I mean? You can find them at bookstores). She filled in one favorite recipe in each section and left the rest blank. My mom still has that cookbook and uses it all the time. Both my sister and I have started our own books inspired by our mom’s.
There are lots of inexpensive yet heartfelt things that you could offer as a gift if you’d like.
Post # 14
mn890: It is very, very bad etiquette to invite someone to a shower when they’re not invited to the wedding. It seems like a gift/money grab. Sorry that you’re dealing with this situation.
You mentioned that their house is filled with photos of them. Now, maybe I’m being immature, but doesn’t that make it an even better gift? Clearly they *love* to look at photos of themselves. You’ll get away with giving a relatively inexpensive gift, and they might think that it is a really sweet gesture because you’re giving them something that they obviously love to fill their home with. Just a thought.
Post # 15
Maybe you could solve the dilemma by going and making something as a gift that’s fairly inexpensive, but a nice thought? Can you make her some cute thank you cards or stationery, or something else? Just a thought…
Post # 16
Woah, there are already some pretty strong opinions on this, but I’d like to share another perspective. I am also in my 30’s and got married for the first time to a man who had been previously married. I owned a house long before I met my husband so I already owned, well, lots of things. I didn’t need gifts but I had always put off buying nicer things in hopes that I might receive them as wedding gifts.
His family showed no interest in our wedding because they had already "been there, done that". They didn’t throw an engagement party or a bridal shower. I moved 1000 miles away from my family and friends to be with my husband, so it wasn’t feasible to have shower for my side. We live close to his entire family. I never mentioned it, but their lack of enthusiasm really hurt my feelings. For me, a bridal shower (or any party) isn’t about the gifts but more about the celebration. I just wish they would have cared enough about me to allow me to experience all of the rites of passage that come with a wedding. I think it’s very kind of your aunt to extend a warm welcome to her future daughter-in-law. Don’t feel obligated to bring a gift, but do consider what it would mean to your aunt and a first time bride to have you at the party.