(Closed) Bridal Shower Questions

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
840 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

People invited to the shower should also be invited to the wedding. It is their decision to make on how far they are willing to travel. It comes off as a bit gift grabby if you invite them only to the shower but not the wedding.

Post # 4
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Do not let her invite people only to the shower. Etiquette requires that only people invited to the wedding can be invited to wedding-related parties.

Post # 5
1019 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Anyone who is invited to the shower, should be invited to the wedding. I know I’ve gotten my feelings hurt because of this situation before. 

Post # 6
2865 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Rules say it is rude. However, I’ve been to many showers where I wasn’t invited to the wedding. So has my mom. In some areas, it is acceptable

Post # 7
3625 posts
Sugar bee

In this instance, I think it is perfectly fine that your Mom have those people that have known you your whole life,even tho they aren’t invited to the wedding. Its up to them whether or not they’d attend anyway, but I’d assume if they’re good friends, they already know about it and are happy to come.

All situations aren’t covered in the books anyway, and this is one of them!

Post # 8
3584 posts
Sugar bee

@shortkaik:  I’m curious about this etiquette also as my mom wants to invite some people to the shower she is throwing, who are not invited to the wedding as we are having a smaller destination wedding. Some people say it is ok and some people dont. Now I’m so confused cause I dont want to look rude  

Post # 9
341 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013 - Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

I think it would be more acceptable if your mom’s friends wanted to host the shower even if they knew they weren’t invited. It seems a little rude for your mom to invite people to an event that is solely for giving the couple gifts when they aren’t invited to the actual wedding.

Post # 10
3765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Technically, it is considered rude to invite someone to any pre-wedding event and not to the actual wedding.

However, it is ultimately up to the host of the event who is on the final guest list.  For bridal showers and bach parties, the host will often ask the bride to provide a guest list, but the final decision rests with the person/people hosting the event.  The bride should not have much input into an event thrown in her honor.

That said, my dear girlfriends threw a fantastic bach party for me, and there were two people there who were not invited to the wedding, one of whom I had never even met!  I was a little dismayed at first, but lukcily the Gods of Etiquette did not strike me down with a bolt of lightning 🙂  Whew!

Post # 12
8373 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

To be honest, strictly from an etiquette perspective, this idea presents two problems:  inviting guests to a pre-wedding party when they are not also invited to the wedding, and having the mother of the bride host a shower.

Both of these things will raise some eyebrows among those who are aware of the prohibitions against each.  However, from a strictly practical standpoint, it seems to have become quite popular these days not only for mothers to host their out-of-town daughters’ bridal showers but also to invite guests who cannot be accommodated at the wedding but who are close to either the bride or the bride’s family.

This is a very difficult situation, because, as the bride, you likely do not want to do anything that is against etiquette or that will offend anyone.  However, as a daughter, you also likely do not want to offend or upset your mother, who has graciously offered to host a shower on your behalf.  Finally, I’m sure that you do not want to be viewed as “rejecting” the love and kindness of friends of the family whose desire is to bless you by sharing some special time with you and giving you gifts even though they have not been included among your wedding guests and, due to distance, likely could not attend even if they were invited.

There are some possible solutions to this situation:

1) Instead of throwing you a bridal shower, your mother could host a tea in your honor.  A tea is different from a shower in that gifts traditionally are not associated with a tea.  (In truth, however, no matter WHAT an event honoring you will be called, people likely will bring you gifts.)

2) If these ladies whom your mother wishes to invite are already on-board with your mother’s ideas, one or more of THEM could choose to host the event instead.  If a particular group of people (your co-workers, for example; or members of your sports league or book club, etc.) chooses to host a shower in your honor, even though the members of the group are aware that they have not been or likely will not be invited to your wedding, that is perfectly fine.

Finally, whatever happens, you don’t want to inadvertently end up violating etiquette (refusing to attend the shower, for example) in the name of trying to follow etiquette, and you, as the guest of honor, cannot be held responsible for the terms of an event for which you are neither the host nor the initiator.

I recently had some experience with a challenging situation of this nature, and I sought out and received some excellent advice from our most knowledgeable etiquette bee.  She may see your post and provide her wise counsel.  


Post # 14
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I would personally be pretty offended if I was invited to the shower, but not the wedding.

Post # 15
1875 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

From a strictly etiquette standpoint, it is very rude to invite someone to a bridal shower but not the wedding.  It basically says to the guest that they are good enough to get you a present but not good enough to actually see you get married.

Realistically though, some people are more flexible than others and wouldn’t care.  I’m pretty sure my mom wouldn’t mind attending a shower for one of my good childhood friends even though she wouldn’t be invited to the wedding.  The questions I know have for your are:

How many friends does your mom want to invite? 

How many people are invited to your wedding? 

If you are having a small wedding and only invite 1 or 2 of your mom’s friends, they might not mind.  But if you’re having a big, 200+ person wedding, it might get insulting – like why weren’t they invited to the wedding too?  Or if you’re inviting 5+ of your mom’s friends it gets awkward and inappropriate to receive/ask for gifts from so many people who aren’t invited to the wedding.

What might be the best approach is to not send invites to your mom’s friends but have your mom mention it to her friends in person.  She can tell them she’s throwing you a shower and they are welcome to drop by for food and drinks and that they don’t have to bring a gift – just come to hang out.  It should also be clear that they aren’t being invited to the wedding.  It would be really bad if they are invited to the shower, show up with a gift, then find out later they aren’t invited to the wedding.  They’d probably be at least a little offended.


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