Post # 1
I am an encore bride who is getting married next month to a man that just so happens to be a coworker. We are having a small “destination” wedding that is closer to his family because we were trying to minimize travel costs for as many guests as we could. We then plan to have a celebration at a local restaurant when we return for our friends and family here and specify no gifts.
This situation gets tricky because another coworker (who is my boss’s boss and the highest executive in my region of my organization) has been insistent on throwing me shower at her home before the big day. I provided a list of coworkers (strategically developed given the political nature of this whole thing now) and other family/friends who will be invited to the later celebration. About half of the guest list has responded that they will attend, some said no, and some haven’t responded. The hostess is now asking ME to follow up to see if the people who haven’t responded plan to go – eek! I tried to stall because I am appreciative of what she’s doing, but I’m horrified to ask even my closest friends about this. I finally had to tell her this made me uncomfortable and she backed off, but it still gives me the worst feeling in my stomach.
An added layer is that my FMIL is saying that is completely inappropriate to invite people to the shower that aren’t going to the wedding, even though they will be invited to the later local party. (We plan to send the invitations for that party out next week.) I’m concerned that some people may not realize there is going to be a later party.
So my questions are: Is my FMIL correct? Is this shower considered an office shower or something different? What can I do to smooth things over with anyone who might be offended?
Post # 2
FutureMrsAgain: It’s not strictly an office shower if you included friends/family. Some of them may in fact be wondering why they were invited when they have not received an invitation to the wedding.
Have you kept your plans a secret? Would most of them not know that you are planning a local celebration to which they will likely be invited? Is it possible to get the invitations to the local celebration in the mail before the hostess needs the rsvp’s for the shower?
Post # 3
FutureMrsAgain: I agree with your FMIL, I wouldn’t invite people to my shower unless they were also invited to the wedding. It seems gift-grabby, even if they are invited to an after-party. If you will be inviting people who aren’t invited to the wedding, I think it needs to be explicitly expressed by the host that no gifts are to be given, although I’m sure most people will do it anyway.
I’m glad you were honest with your boss and told her that doing the follow-up made you uncomfortable. As the host of the shower, that’s her job.
Post # 4
FutureMrsAgain: Normally you don’t invite people to a shower if they aren’t invited to the wedding, but if this is a shower will ALL people from your office I think that’s a different situation. It’ll probably be a lot less gift oriented (probably one big group gift) and it’s a bit more like an office social event than anything else.
Post # 5
I agree with your FMIL – it’s rude to invite people to a shower and then not to the wedding. Basically, it’s an invitation to a party where they are basically obligated to bring you a gift, and then you don’t allow them the opportunity to witness the wedding ceremony.
As for the follow-up — if your boss opted to host the shower, then it’s her responsibility as the host to follow up with non-responding invitees. It’s deifnitely not something that should have fallen to you. I’m glad you told her it made you uncomfortable.
Post # 6
I think it’s ok if it’s expressed that you’re having an intimate destination wedding then a big party when you get back. At least it’s common here. Most wouldn’t be able to go to the destination anyways. I think it would be inappropriate to invite someone to your shower who isn’t invited to either.
I also agree it’s the hostess’ job to follow up with guests to see if they are coming or not. I would be uncomfortable asking people as well.
Post # 7
I would say try to invite all of the shower guests to the post-wedding party. Agree that it’s bad form to only invite some of them to the post-destination bash.
She meant well and sounds caring, but I nevertheless think it was pushy and uncouth of your coworker to insist on throwing you a shower when you didn’t want one. Props for sharing your feelings with her about following up with the invitees. I wish I had been more firm with my well-meaning friends when they insisted on throwing me a shower in spite of my wishes.