Bridal "Shower" with NO GIFTS

posted 1 year ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

I would just let it slide especially if you have known the women for many many years. And especially if your mom has already implied that they know they aren’t going to the wedding. 

If she wants to bring more than the 5 you have mentioned, then I would definitely put my foot down.

At the end of the day, you have to pick your battles and this doesnt seem like a huge deal to me but maybe other bees feel differently. 


Post # 3
2527 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I honestly think it’s fine that your mom wants to invite them. I think a bridal brunch or bridal tea are acceptable phrases. I would assume some will still get you some gifts either way. 

Post # 4
8833 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

ElectroFish :  I think you  have good intentions, but you’re letting your idea of “etiquette” get in the way of the actual purpose of etiquette, which is to ensure a comfortable pleasant environment for as many people as possible. If your mom and her friends go to each others’ kids showers even though they’re not invited to the wedding, it’s ungracious of you to try to micromanage this and make your mom feel bad or make her friends feel unwelcome. Technically, according to etiquette, your mom shouldn’t be throwing you a shower at all, so if you’re ok with that part, you should be open to her inviting some friends. I recommend telling her you’re sorry you misunderstood the ettiquette and now that you know it won’t reflect badly on her, you would be honored to have her friends at the shower. Then butt out and let the poor women throw you a party.

Post # 6
3393 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

Honestly? I’d let her just invite her friends and throw the party she wants to throw. She is aware of your concerns and has told you that she has attended their daughters’ bridal functions regardless of not going to the wedding. It sounds  to me like it’s just a thing her group of ladies enjoys, so let them have it. If they do end up offended that they attended your shower and gave you a gift only to find they’re not invited to the wedding, that’s Moms fire to put out ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 7
8833 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

ElectroFish :  Let some ladies spoil you for a couple hours. It’s ok!   ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Post # 8
2811 posts
Sugar bee

If it’s normal in her social circle I wouldn’t worry about it too much. My mum did that for my shower as well. At first I tried to nix it (in fact i didn’t want to have a shower at all), but her argument was that I don’t have to invite them to the wedding, but she wants to be able to celebrate her daughter getting married with her friends.

I had a ‘books n bottles’ shower so people could just bring a book or a bottle of wine. But if you don’t want any gifts at all you can just call it a luncheon and add a line “no gifts please.” There are other more creative ways to say it if you google it, but I prefer brief and to the point personally. 

Post # 10
154 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I think it’s fine for your mom to invite these friends, since it sounds like that’s what they do as a group and they want to celebrate you…

When we were engaged, one of my mom’s best friends told me that when they all got married they were all young and broke and couldn’t really give each other much in the way of presents, and that now that all their kids were getting married they loved to use the excuse to give the daughter’s of friends the gifts they wish they could have given each other in their 20s, which totally makes sense to me.

I also love to give gifts whenever I can, so I’m pretty much always pro-gift experience haha. If I got to see all my long time best friends, one of their daughters having a ball, and a lovely tea out of it, you can bet I’d be thrilled to bring a gift, wedding invite or not ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 11
415 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

Initially I expected this thread to be an entitled bride complaining about not receiving gifts at the bridal shower!

Since your mother is more or less returning the favour to her friends, if you’re not very very upset with the idea, I would entertain her. I agree with what PPs and you said: pick your battles. I hope it turns out more pleasant than expected if that’s what ends up happening!

Post # 12
3560 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

ElectroFish :  it’s a bridal brunch if it’s brunch, and a bridal tea if it’s tea (I’ve seen invitations using both wording before). If the people that your mom is inviting have invited her to showers before (but not the corresponding wedding), then just let her. Is it a faux pas? Sure. But who cares if the people she’s doing it to think it’s all right? Like, does it matter if you’re “being rude” when the people you’re being rude to don’t think so? 

Post # 13
1965 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I called mine a bridal high tea.  I’m not from usa and loved the idea of a classy afternoon thing without the presents 

Post # 14
12118 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

Personally, I would not be comfortable calling it a shower. By definition a shower is about gifts. Without gifts it’s not a shower. And no matter what is on the invitation, it is the prerogative of guests to give you a gift, as some will regardless. 

Also, just as you say, it’s improper to invite people not invited to the wedding to a pre-wedding event. The argument that they do it in her circles would not convince me. For one, I don’t care what anyone else does and secondly, I guarantee that not “all” the would be guests would be as unaware as you think. 

The solution in my mind is either to include only those invited to the wedding and call it a bridal tea or lunch, not a shower or not to make this event about your wedding at all. If your mother loves entertaining, and this is not about gifts, why can’t she just call it a party and invite people over to see you? 

Post # 15
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I would call it a bridal tea or a bridal luncheon.  Nothing should go out about gifts on the invite anyway so word of mouth is the best option here.


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