Inviting people to a bridal shower who aren't invited to the wedding

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 5
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Maybe you or your mom could host a luncheon or something instead of a shower?  That way everyone is able to get together and celebrate, but there is no expectation of gifts.

Post # 6
6969 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

What DaneLady said.^^

There is no correct or polite way to do this other than to not call it a shower IMO.

Post # 7
1244 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@jenscijen9:  So you’re wanting to invite these extra guests so that you won’t have a small crowd at your shower? Sorry, not a good reason. It’s rude to invite people to a shower, basically to get gifts from them, and not invite them to the wedding. Either have a small shower with people who are invited to the wedding or don’t do one at all.

Post # 8
3667 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

You really need to invite everyone to the wedding if you’re inviting them to the shower. If they won’t come anyway, you’re only out the cost of invitations.

Post # 9
2642 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Unfortunately, you cannot invite people to the shower and not the wedding.  It’s very gift grabby and rude.

But since it’s not about the gifts, you could just do an afternoon tea instead.  Or perhaps do a recipe shower where the guests just bring an index card with their favorite recipe on it.

If not, then a small shower with just your family sounds lovely.  I personally think small showers are better because then you have a chance to visit with everyone.  

Also, if you are having a traditional shower, then you need to register or have some sort of themed shower (honeymoon, recipe, stock the bar) since the whole point of a shower is to shower the bride with gifts.

Post # 10
568 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

@DaneLady:  I agree that a “bridal luncheon’ is a better way to approach it. A shower implies gifts, thats why its a shower, you get showered with gifts. If you do a luncheon it seems more like a celebration than a party for gifts, those who want to bring gfts will bring them no matter what you call it. 

Do you want to celebrate with these people? Or are you having the shower just because your mother wants one? Is your bridesmaid throwing a shower just because you threw her one? People don’t always have to have showers, if you don’t want it and you feel strange because they are people you aren’t close with and they weren’t going yo the wedding then just request to not have one. It seems to me as though your mother wants a reason to celebratre with people who can’t and wont make it to the wedding, and you and your mom know these people better than us on the forums. Maybe this is normal for your moms circle of friends and maybe they won’t be insulted, but I would say you are still better off calling it a luncheon, its a celebration you want after all not just the gifts. 

Post # 11
953 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

You can’t invite ppl to your shower and not the wedding. If you’re positive they won’t come to the wedding then what’s the harm in sending them an invite?

Post # 12
11614 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’m sorry, but to do what you’re suggesting is rude.  Anyone invited to a bridal should be getting an invitation to the wedding.  To not invite them to the wedding basically tells them that they were good enough to give you presents, but they aren’t good enough to come actually witness the wedding.

You have a few options:

(1) Like PPs suggested, have a bridal luncheon that indicates ‘no gifts’ on the invitation.  Have it hosted by your mom, not a member of the bridal party, so it is even more clear that this is not a bridal shower.

(2) Invite them to your wedding.  You know most of them won’t come, so I don’t see too much harm in this. 

Post # 13
8498 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I still wouldn’t invite people to a shower who aren’t invited to a wedding. 

You can still invite people to the wedding even if they probably won’t come…is there a reason they aren’t invited other than “they probably can’t travel?”  I invited all of my aunts/uncles to my wedding even though I knew that almost half of them wouldn’t come.

Out of curiosity, what are people supposed to bring for the shower if you’re not registering?  Gifts are really the point of showers.  I’d probably be a little bewildered if I was invited to a shower where there was no registry, what do you get them? 

Maybe you should just have a luncheon or party and not call it a shower. That way you can invite whoever you want to celebrate and there will be no gifts.

Post # 14
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

You’ll find lots of Bees here are sticklers for etiquette! I do agree that it’s most correct to only invite wedding guests to your shower. No question about that.

BUT, you’re getting married in a different state, most of these guests are from your church (ie. you almost have to invite all of them or none of them), and your mother is probably good friends with them.  I think it’ll be ok as long as you don’t mention a gift registry, and don’t call it a “shower”.  At a shower-type invite, usually the gifts are opened one by one in front of everyone.  It could be very embarassing for a guest not to bring a gift.  

Can your FI attend? If you make it an engagement party or a Jack and Jill party, I think people would be less pressured to bring gifts.  Some Bees are totally against any mention of gifts on an invite, but I think it would also be appropriate to write “In lieu of a gift, please bring a recipe card/dessert to share”.      

Post # 15
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Inviting people to a shower that aren’t invited to the wedding is a big No-No to me.

Post # 16
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@DaneLady:  +1

Shower implies gifts whereas a bridal luncheon would sound a litlte more like just a get together. There is no polite way to invite people to a bridal shower and not send them a wedding invite.

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