Post # 1
I have been engaged for more than two years now. For the full two years I have said I do not want a bridal shower. My side of the family is fine with that, they know me and understand that I do not like being the center of attention. My Future Mother-In-Law and Future Sister-In-Law don’t seem to hear me when I tell them I do not want one. I feel like it is all about them. I have never had a ‘bridezilla’ moment but I’m on the verge of one here. Fiance and I wanted to do a small wedding two years ago, just close friends and family. They vetoed that saying we would regret not having a big wedding. So far the only thing I regret is letting them have a say. Again I get the ‘you’ll regret not having a shower’. No I won’t, I promise.
I do not have many female friends and all my female relatives live out of town. I do not feel it’s right to ask them to travel here for a shower I do not wish to have to give me gifts I do not want. They will be travelling and paying for a hotel for my wedding and then again for my brothers wedding a month later. The only people who will be at this shower are my mom, sister, my FI’s female relatives, and FMIL’s friends who I do not know. I suggested having a co-ed party since my FI’s birthday is the day before. Apparently that doesn’t work for Future Mother-In-Law.
I feel like this shows a total lack of respect for me. I am the bride, isn’t it supposed to be about me? I really feel like I’m just not going to show up.
Am I wrong feeling this way?
Post # 2
SaraKD: In this case, the Future Mother-In-Law and her family and friends are honoring you because of your Fiance. If they could have a shower for him, they probably would.
Feelings are never wrong. So go ahead and feel however you want. Then for the sake of your future relationship with the Future Mother-In-Law, be gracious and enjoy the shower. It would be incredibly rude of you to just not show up.
Post # 3
Showers aren’t for everyone, and you do not have to endure one just for the sake of making anyone happy. If you’ve said you do not one want, it’s time to be more forceful. I told my mother, if you throw me a shower, and trick me to get me there (since if I knew about it I would not go), then I will walk out. I will not stay. I said it forcefully enough and enough times she got the message.
Sometimes when you say No to parties, people seem to think you’re being gracious as in “Oh, No I would never expect you to do that” in the same way that if you put a slice of cake in front me me I might say, Oh I couldn’t (and then eat it in one bite).
It just never occurs to them that you might actually mean No. I find it condescending that they assume you might later regret not having one as if you do not know your own feelings. It’s the same people who tell childless by choice women that they’ll regret not having children one day. You couldn’t possibly make a choice not to do something and then not regret it.
And no, you don’t have to be put in a situation you’re uncomfortable with because they can’t do it for their son, of course they could! They could throw him a shower, but they won’t because “it’s just not done”.
Post # 4
@stephee Thank you. I have been saying it since December 2011 you’d think they would understand by now.
@julies1949 They could throw him a shower and I suggested we just do a group one. FI’s birthday is the day before and we will be having a party the day before. So instead of just throwing one joint party she is insisting on doing two back to back.
Post # 5
SaraKD: I think that while their intentions are probably very good and it’s very sweet of them to want you to experience that part of being a bride, I really do think they need to listen to you.
You don’t have to have a bridal shower and if it’s not your thing, that’s totally fine! Is it possible they think you’re just saying no so you don’t inconvenience them? I think you need to just be really clear (but gracious) about why you don’t want one and perhaps get your Fiance to back you up. I wouldn’t go so far as to not show up if they do go ahead with it, but as the bride you do get a say!
Post # 6
How annoying. Their hearts are probably in the right place though. If they do throw one though, you have to turn up or you’ll ruin that relationship. You’d embarrass them in front of their family and friends. Good way to make enemies of your future family. But hopefully you can stop it now? I’d try again to tell them you really don’t want one. They probably think you’re being gracious.
Post # 7
I don’t know why anyone would regret not getting a bridal shower — after all, the people dying to give you gifts could just give you to them at the wedding.
If these ladies are really just wanting some quality time with you, you ought to come up with an alternative, but I kind of think it won’t work!
You said in your original post that you don’t like attention, your family understands that, and your Future Mother-In-Law and Future Sister-In-Law are ignoring your wishes, inviting mostly their own friends, and ultimately making it all about them. I think they are seeing your wedding as an excuse to have a fun party with their friends, and are excited about your upcoming wedding. Perhaps you will not get as much attention as you think you might at this party… it will probably just be a chance for your future family to get together and play silly games. You would be the guest of honor, but there would be many other guests too. I think your feelings are dead on — no one cares that you don’t want this party or this theme or that you’d rather have your Fiance and guy friends there too, this is all about them, and therefore … you don’t have to worry about being the center of attention except for when you open gifts. And when you open the gifts, the attention will REALLY be on the gift-givers! Just say, “Thank you! I love it!” over and over again.
I think you should go ahead and do it, but not give out the guest list of your long-distance friends and family (since you don’t want to bother them). Ultimately, you could graciously put bows on your head or clothespins on your shirt (among other goofy things), eat sandwiches for one afternoon and buy a lot of goodwill from your future family.
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Since they have nixed the full on co-ed idea, would they at least be okay with your Fiance attending with you? That may help you feel more comfortable with the whole thing. And while your wedding day is about you and you can do with it as you please (provided you are funding it and your are a considerate host), the whole construct surrounding a wedding is about much more than the bride and groom. When it comes to battles with the ILs, them wanting to throw a party in your honor is not the battle to fight. Go with the flow, be gracious, and try to be in the moment so that you can enjoy the moment.
Post # 9
SaraKD: I agree with you – it shows a lack of respect and frankly I think your Future Mother-In-Law is basically making this about herself for attention. I definitely understand what the other bees are saying about picking your battles. I personally straight up told everyone around me that I did not want a shower, and if they held one anyway, I would not be attending nor would I accept any gifts. Everyone will be very disappointed if they decide to disrespect my wishes – as your Future Mother-In-Law is doing to you – because I really will not show up and I will not feel bad about it at all. I’ve been guilted by a Jewish mother all my life and as a result I’m pretty much immune to guilting by everyone else. 🙂
I am not suggesting you follow my lead or anything, because I am kind of an aggressive/stubborn person. 🙂 But I have seen what happens if you don’t stand up for yourself with in laws – they think that since they got away with it this time, they can just force you into doing what they want going forward.
Post # 10
That sucks they aren’t listening to you, but they probably just want to have everyone get together and have a nice party. They probably think you are just being polite and don’t understand that you really don’t want one.
I think, for the sake of your relationships, you should let them host one for you. But maybe you could propose a compromise. I’d suggest just having an afternoon tea or recipe shower (where everyone brings a copy of their favorite recipe) or a stock the bar shower. That way you can still have a lovely party, but have to not spend an hour or so where everyone is staring at you watching you open presents and being the constant center of attention.
Post # 11
I didn’t want a shower either, but my mom’s church friends threw one for me. No close friends nearby, don’t even live in the same state as my mom. I don’t like to be the center of attention and I didn’t want to sit there and have everyone stare at me while I opened a mountain of gifts. I was dead-set against it. But I went and I don’t regret it. I didn’t even have to open the gifts. The shower hostesses opened and displayed them, so all I had to do was talk to people and thank them for their generosity.
It was not what I wanted, but the way my mom put it is this: they care enough to want to throw a party for you. Spend time and money on the party and the gifts to show you love and support. The intentions are good. Granted, I don’t know your in-laws or their intentions.
I understand this isn’t something you want. But a shower is a gift in itself and you may risk hurting feelings in this situation. Outright rejecting a gift from someone is offensive sometimes. On the other hand though, if someone gifted me with a skydiving experience, I would thank them and NOT DO IT.
Long story short, just be careful how you handle this with your in-laws. They are going to remain a huge part of your life. Good luck!
Post # 12
Thank you everyone. So far my mom, sister, Bridesmaid or Best Man, Fiance and I have had no luck convincing Future Mother-In-Law and Future Sister-In-Law. To me it’s no longer about the bridal shower and just about the fact they don’t seem to care about me and my feelings. After 6 years of being ‘part of the family’ I thought they knew me, guess not.
Post # 13
You’ve known them for 6 years & they’re still bulldozing you? Yeah, that’s pretty depressing. I was assuming they didn’t know you all that well.
Post # 14
SaraKD: Your feelings are very valid! Some people (myself included) simply aren’t interested in showers for the reasons you listed and more. Have you explained the reasons why you don’t want a shower to Future Mother-In-Law and FSIL? Unfortunately, I’m guessing that you have and it is likely that they care more about their own feelings (or their reputation).
Perhaps you could offer an alternative that worked well for me… I was relieved that I could avoid a shower as I live on the opposite coast from my friends, family, and wedding venue. But, to my *almost* surprise (FI’s dad revealed it to me by accident), my Maid/Matron of Honor threw a “bridal card shower” where a number of friends and family mailed me all kinds of beautiful wedding cards with sweet, meaningful messages and well wishes. A few people added in a nominal gift card here or there.
For me, a card shower was perfect because it took the pressure off of being the center of attention, I could appreciate the cards on my own time, the cards streamed in over the course of two weeks which got me excited for the wedding, my Maid/Matron of Honor and Jr. Bridesmaid’s mother felt good about themselves for putting it all together, and the well wishers had no obligation to spend more than a few dollars on the card and postage.
It pains me to know that you’ve already compromised on the kind of wedding you want, and I hope that won’t happen again in respect to your shower. I’m crossing my fingers that your Future Mother-In-Law and Future Sister-In-Law will respect your wishes or at least consider some kind of alternative.
Post # 15
- Wedding: A very pretty church.
SaraKD: You have every right to feel how you do, but it may be difficult to assert how you feel without causing a lot of offence, which is so difficult. You have my sympathies! I too am a woman without many female friends (and even fewer female friends who are, er, ‘pro-wedding’), the idea of a shower makes me want a sudden hole in the ground to appear and to swallow me up!