Post # 1
I’m at the age (27) where EVERYONE I know is either getting married or having a baby. Because of all the engagement parties, weddings, and showers plus my own wedding, I’m going broke! I’ve missed a few of these parties because I literally can’t even come up with $30 for a gift. It makes me feel like crap missing these big moments, but I’m not made of money. I know a few of my friends feel the same way. So, I decided I wanted a gift free shower. I asked my maid and matron of honor to write something along the lines of “Your presence is the present.” I thought it was a really neat idea and just felt then my friends would know I want them there no matter what. But, when I told a few friends they all got kind of upset and said there was no point in having a shower if there won’t be gifts. I even got the impressions my maid and matron of honor thought it was kind of a waste of their time to throw me a shower if I didn’t want presents. I wanted to do this to take the pressure off of people, but now it seems like I’m just offending everyone. Is there a way to say presents optional? Or should I just stick with my original wording?
Post # 3
I kind of agree with them. The point of a shower is to “shower the bride with gifts”
I think even if you tell them not to, some people will bring gifts anyway.
Post # 3
Personally I think your original wording is cute! It’s YOUR shower, and if you have everything you need and are ok with not getting gifts, then that is perfectly fine! I think it is really kind of you to think about finances of other people when there are so many parties like this going on around you. And I definately don’t think having a shower is pointless without gifts! The point of the shower should NOT be to get gifts in the first place! It should be a time for your family and friends to eat some lunch, chat, and shower you with love and support, not just gifts! I think it’s a great idea, and you’re friends should be happy to oblige!
Some people may still bring gifts and that is fine. Just be sure to send EVERYONE who attends a nice thank you note, gift or not!
Post # 4
Call it something other than a shower then, as you’re missing the point. Or don’t have anything except maybe a luncheon or something with your bridal party.
Post # 5
I think you can do that, but I would never go to a shower without a present so many people will still bring them so I would be prepared to open them.
If you really want a “shower” without the obligation of gifts throw an “afternoon tea” instead and do not call it a shower in the invite maybe call it “An AFternoon Tea in honor of Your Name”
Post # 6
I think you should ask them to bring something in lieu of a gift, like a recipe or advice or something you could use that isn’t of monitary value.
Post # 7
To me, a shower is about the presents. I wouldn’t want to plan/pay for a “shower” if it was just going to be mingling. If you just want to spend time with everyone I would invite them out to lunch/dinner.
Post # 8
As a guest I would be totally confused to receive a shower invitation that indicated “no gifts, please”. The express purpose of a bridal shower is to shower the bride with gifts for married life. Some people will bring gifts anyway (I’d be one of them), and those guests who didn’t might feel awkward.
I agree with PP that hosting an afternoon tea, brunch, or luncheon would be a better way to gather your friends and family to celebrate with you.
Post # 9
I agree with the idea of calling it something other than a shower. Showers = gifts and there’s really no way around that. It will be much less awkward if you just call it something else.
Post # 10
I agree to call it a ladies tea or ladies lunch. Because showers usually involve the gift opening in front of everyone, if you call it a shower then 1) people will feel like they should bring a gift, 2) people will expect you to open them in front of the group, 3) if you don’t open the gifts, gift-bringers may be upset, 4) if you do open the gifts, non-gift-bringers will feel crappy.
Post # 11
@klb5882: As cheesey and Hallmark as it sounds, I consider love to be the greatest gift anyone can give me. I am blessed to have tons of people who love and care about me and the important thing to me is having them be there. I was unable to be there for some of my best friends because I just couldn’t afford the financial costs. I REALLY don’t want anyone not to come because they can’t afford to. I am aware some people will bring gifts even if I say it isn’t needed, and I would be happy if they did. Who doesn’t like presents? I just don’t want anyone to feel obligated.
@lmc183: I also think the point of a shower is to be with the people who will love and support you during this special time. I figured “showering with love” was just as good (if not better) then being showered with gifts. My fiance and I have lived together for a year and we both had our own places before that so we have almost all the things that we need. I would be REALLY uncomfortable with my friends/family buying my anything sexy so a lingerie shower would be totally out of the question.
@smyley: I like your idea of calling it something else. However, I wouldn’t want it to include just my bridesmaids. I have already done a few things with just them and really want the whole “shower” experience with all my lovely ladies there. And, I already told my bridesmaids I am not accepting ANY gifts from them as it is soooo expensive to be in a wedding party and I consider that their gift to me.
Post # 12
I think your reasoning behind it is very thoughtful but I have to agree that the purpose of a shower is to “shower the bride with gifts” otherwise it’s not needed. So maybe a luncheon with your bridal party would be better.
Post # 13
@MaiFuture: I LOVE your idea of having people bring gifts without monetary value! Maybe even make it a pot luck, so my maid and matron of honor won’t need to spend very much to host the event.
@KitKatNYC: I never even thought about the fact that the ladies who didn’t bring presents might feel weird seeing me open my gifts and the ladies who brought gifts might be offended if I didn’t open them in front of everyone. Thanks for pointing that out. I was trying to spare people’s feelings, not hurt them!
I think an afternoon potluck would be a nice idea. Then I still get the party and quality time with my loved ones. Maybe I will make a scrapbook and have everyone there write in advice/words of wisdom for me and my FI?
Post # 14
Just my 2 cents 🙂
I had my bridal shower the same week as my wedding (I flew across the Atlantic ‘back home’ to get married). I did not want any gifts as there was no way we could take anything back with us to the UK and because it was so close to the wedding. My sneaky ‘shower committee’ threw me an Envelope Shower – where if anyone wanted to bring a gift it had to fit in an envelope.
Although most people are used to watching the bride-to-be open gifts at her shower (the whole thought of this makes me uneasy! I hate opening presents in front of people!), everyone who came to my shower was totally okay missing out on that tradition. We had lots of great food, played some hilarious shower games, and everyone helped make a scrapbook for me which included a recipe and a favourite memory from each one of my guests. It really meant a heck of a lot to me – way more than the money I received from the shower.
I say go for it! Call it whatever you want! Perhaps even call it a “shower me with love” shower, and let them know they can only bring love to the party – not a gift.
Post # 15
I understand your logic and reasoning but still must disagree. The point of a “shower” is to shower the bride with gifts so a shower without gifts is a bit pointless.
Why not just plan a luncheon or tea as the PPs have suggested? That can include more people than just your bridal party if you want more family/friends to be there.