(Closed) Grandma at Shower

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
4524 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@ITBride:  To my understanding, this all falls on the person hosting the shower:


If someone like mom or Mother-In-Law is hosting, then let them do the inviting. If they offend someone by either not inviting them OR inviting someone to the shower that isnt invited to the wedding, it’s not your problem. If YOU are hosting, however, I read yesterday that you should not invite anyone you don’t plan on having at the wedding.

Post # 4
1696 posts
Bumble bee

If you are hosting, do not call it a shower. Invite the various ladies for “tea”. You can have the same games if you like games, eat the same dainty foods, enjoy all the same wedding-related chatter — but you do not imply that you are directing people to come and give you gifts. Giving gifts is mandatory at a “shower”, the only social event at which that is true. For that reason, you should never host your own shower.

Forty-two ladies, let alone eighty(!) is almost too many for a single shower/tea. I have been at one shower that had fifty-four plus the bride and her maid-of-honour, and it was a tremendous sweltering squeeze that took two hours for the poor girl to open all the gifts (she was charming the whole time, and even remembered all the ladies’ names, which was amazing since they were relatives of the groom and she had never met most of them before.) If you are hosting these yourself, consider dividing the list into three or four groups and hosting three or four teas. Then just select each list based on the people who get along well together. Your paternal grandmother must surely have met your closest maternal relatives some time in the years that your parents have been married. If they get along well, then by all means include her in that group.

Post # 6
11234 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@ITBride:  I don’t know that there’s really any rule for this. I think your stepgrandma should just be invited to the shower that’s being thrown for that side (so your mother’s side?). I guess I’m confused, since in your first post you say father’s side, but then in your update you say stepfather.

Post # 7
1022 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@ITBride:  it’s up the host.


and just because there are that many women doesn’t mean they will all come.


personally I am having one shower for MY side, and one for my Future Husbands side. and the hosts are each renting a community hall to host the event in

Post # 8
607 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

For my 2 showers (one for my family and one for my FH’s family), I was the one who provided the guest list to the host. They had told me their size preferences, and I made the guest list from there.

Since you’d be having a shower on both your mom’s side and your dad’s side, I’d just invite your grandmas to their respective side. But to be fair, I’d invite both grandmas to the shower your FH’s side is throwing.  Plus that way, they don’t feel pressured to get you a total of three shower gifts.

42 and 38 are fine numbers to invite (mine were very similar!), especially because not everyone will be able to attend.

Post # 9
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Hi @ITBride:, first and foremost I see you are new here… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”

I am a bit of an Etiquette Snob (comes with my career)

And I have to say I agree with aspasia475 …  as always she has given excellent advice

Each Hostess needs to figure out how many she can accommodate and go from there.  The largest Shower I’ve been to was about 30 people.. and that was HUGE.  Too big IMO.  A shower is supposed to be an intimate gathering of women… so no more than 20 in attendance (less is even better)

Your UPDATE refers to your Mother’s Side and your Father’s Side… that is a lot of people.  What of those from the Groom’s Family ??  Where do they figure in ?

As for repeats… honestly people only need to come to one shower (more than one and that is asking a lot… as a Shower is an occasion when a gift is given).

The only repeats that I’ve ever known of, were for Bridesmaids (as they get courtesy invites to ALL Wedding Events)… and in some cases the MOB is invited to all Showers as well.

Hope this helps,


Post # 10
11234 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@This Time Round:  Oh my god, if ths 20 or less rule is true, I’d have to have 5 showers.

Post # 13
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

TO @vorpalette: lol, true enough… and probably WHY back in the 1980s when I got married the first time I didn’t have just the regular old 1 or 2 showers myself.  Too many people in my family circle / small hometown wanting to celebrate my good news.

I’m guessing this is also WHY bigger showers are now becoming a trend… in that with the busy lives that Brides-2B lead these days (in that many are going to Grad School, Working a different City or State, etc) that when the time comes to have the Showers “the window” to do so is short, and the time to get the Bride anywhere is quite limited… so better to have one or two giant Showers (over 25) than 3 smaller ones.

I am sure these Mega Showers can be great events, but I have to wonder how much fun they actually are for the Bride who opens all these gifts, the Guests who sit thru that… or the fact that there isn’t a lot of time spent for socializing.

(No wonder some Brides can’t fathom having one)

A lot of what was traditionally “the best bits” has been lost.  In that Traditional Showers, the gift opening altho the main event… was actually a short amount of time vs the silly game, socializing, spiked punch… tea & sandwiches… and amazing desserts… and a whole lot more laughter and chit-chatting.

And that makes me sad for Brides today… because I have WONDERFUL memories of my First Wedding Showers… they were sooo filled with love from many great people.  Lol, not to mention that they were all Surprise Parties, and the time & effort that went into them were fantastic.  And the gifts… well a lot of them are items I still have today… things made or chosen with true care (including a nice set of some of the best Cookbooks of the time… complimented by a Recipe Box filled with a favourite recipe from each attendee… many of these ladies now gone)

I realize that we can’t turn back the clock… but when I read posts from Brides who see these events as either a bother, pain, or a gift grab (the kind that is all about a boxed gift with no personality to set it apart from the next… or the demand for a Cash Shower).  I shudder.  The whole apsect “oh my God she didn’t get me something off the Registry”… or “How can I exchange this ?” posts make me angry… to think how ungrateful some gals seem to have become.

Maybe a lot of things from the past appear “old fashioned”… but they certainly were far more gentile in their overall regard for one another… so that a Bride was actually touched that the Church Ladies thru her a Shower… or that her Piano Teacher from when she was a child was a guest at one thrown by the Ladies of the Neighbourhood (people who didn’t expect to be invited, just wanted to be part of the “celebration”). 


Post # 14
374 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@This Time Round:  Loved reading your response. It made me thinking of flipping through my mom’s wedding and shower pictures and just how amazing it used to be.

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