Post # 1
A work friend is getting married next year. I’m one of her bridesmaids. Since she and her fiance are from outside the area and all their pre-wedding celebrations will probably be in their hometown across the country, I wanted to throw them something local, so I though a work shower + their local friends would be a good accomodation. From what I’ve read, work showers are the exception to the “guests at the shower must be guests at the wedding” rule. I was thinking I could host it at my house outside of work hours, invited everyone (and make it co ed) and do a cocktail party/”stock the bar” shower rather than traditional shower. Our work environment is pretty small (about 50 people/probably half would come) and very chill. I’m not sure who she’s actually inviting from work, which is the only potential trip up I can foresee (don’t worry, I would definitely clear this all with her beforehand.) Is this plan okay or am I unknownly breaking some etiquette issues I’m missing?
Post # 2
I think you are correct with your rule. Guests at work showers do not need to be invited to the wedding. I think your idea sounds fine!! People often see it as “gift grabby” to invite people to a shower but not the wedding. In my opinion, you are doing them something nice in asking them to celebrate in the shower, and paying for them to drink and eat for the party.
They host work showers for every single person who gets engaged at my company. But they do it at work, over the lunch hour. I am not close with anyone at work so there is no way I would invite most of them, but them coming to a luncheon for me would mean a lot.
Post # 3
My only concern is this – at stock the bar parties, most people bring a bottle of wine or liquor As a gift. If they live across the country, how are they going to get booze back home?
Post # 4
I’ve only attended these when they’re held at the office, after work, or during lunch breaks. Do they cease to become office parties if they’re held after hours, in someone’s home? Aren’t they then a private event?
P.S. Church showers are an exception, too, but they ones I’ve attended are covered dish luncheons, held after the Sunday church service. They requested the guest’s favorite recipe, on a 3×5 card, and a non-perishable ingredient used in making it. No gifts off the registry, etc.
Post # 5
A “work shower” generally implies that it is held at the office. Between that and your intention to include local friends, it is really not a work shower at all. Sorry, I think anyone invited to the kind of shower you are describing should be invited to the wedding. I don’t think you can have it both ways.
Post # 6
odelay: Also, a “stock the bar party” is just a fancy way to ask potential guests, and in this case, even those you don’t intend to invite, to pay for part of the tab for this person’s wedding. That’s totally unacceptable. The couple needs to host the party they can afford.
Post # 7
weddingmaven: I think a stock the bar shower is usually to stock a bar for home use not for the wedding itself. The ones I’ve seen the couple usually receives glassware, shakers, plus fancy bottles of alcohol for their private use or for when they start hosting dinner parties.
Post # 8
SeaRhapsody: OK, that would be different, though traditional etiquette would still maintain it’s inappropriate to dictate what people should bring. Gifts are supposed to be voluntary and all that.
Post # 9
It’s not a “work shower” if it’s being held outside of work with additional, non-work friends invited. I also agree with previous posters that you shouldn’t be dictating what the guests are supposed to bring, especially if the gifts are intended to stock the bar for the wedding that the shower guests aren’t invited to.
Post # 10
You might be better off throwing a mixer or a generic party where there’s no expectation of gift-giving.
Post # 11
weddingmaven: in my area a stock the bar is extremely common and it’s simply to stock the persons house… ive never heard of it being referred to as stcoking the wedding.
odelay: I don’t think that is ok because you are having it at your home. A work shower should occur at the office in my opinion.
Post # 12
weddingmaven: I’ve been invited to a ton of ‘theme’ showers (the time of day theme – everyone is given a different time so you might get 8am (towels, bathroom accessories, etc.) or 10 am (anything brunch related) 3 pm (tea related stuff, or a pic nic basket, etc.) No one is told what to get, but the idea is it’s a little twist on the typical buy off the registry shower (and you can still totally buy directly from the registry.) It’s fun and people put their stamp on it. The ‘stock the bar’ party is similar. People bring a bottle of booze, wine, a wine rack, beer accessories, a decanter, wine stoppers, cheese trays and platters, glasses, steins, etc. There’s still a lot of leeway, its just a focussed event (and it’s popular for co-ed showers/parties.)
I, personally, don’t see an issue with hosting a party to celebrate their upcoming wedding as long as the guests know what’s going on. But some people will get their panties in a twist about it, so I’d make sure everyone knows this is something you’re choosing to do for them and gifts are not at all required – if anyone asks, let them know you were thinking of a ‘stock the bar’ idea.
Post # 13
Having something in the workplace as a mini-celebration sounds fine to me. The out of work with local friends element makes it sound more like a non-work shower and as a result I think that the only people who should be invited are those invited to the wedding.