(Closed) HELP!!! etiquette for showers, receptions, and next day brunch

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Maybe instead of trying to figure out what to invite work friends to, you could do smoething special just for/with them? Do you have a buddy at work who you could voice your concerns to and ask to ‘hostess’ a shower or luncheon or something for you? Then just have her stress stress stress no gifts. It’ll give your friends a chance to celebrate iwth you without adding to your guestlist. And as long as it’s a shower that someone is hosting FOR you (instead of you hosting), I think it’s okay not to invite everyone who was at a shower to the wedding. 🙂

Post # 4
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

ps – Welcome to Weddingbee!

Post # 5
282 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Welcome! So, I found the best thing to do with my invites was to have pretty clear groups of people we treated the same way when it comes to invites. For example, we invited all first cousins, but no second cousins. We invited only the three people at work who started the same year I did (but we invited all of them, not some of them). We made very, very few exceptions based on personal relationships. For example, I invited the one distant cousin of my dad’s who lived near me when I was in grad school and who took care of me for a week when I broke my ankle.

On the showers: I feel like no one should get an invite to a shower who is not invited to the official reception, because truthfully inviting someone to a shower virtually mandates a gift. But, you could have other girly-type celebrations that are not showers that you could include those not invited to the wedding. I had a “ladies lunch” with a few women from my office.

On gifts: I haven’t checked my etiquette books on this (BTW, love the Anti-Bride’s etiquette book) but I feel like for a casual event, you could have in small print in a corner “No gifts please” or could have whomever the RSVPs are going to inform guests of that when they RSVP.

Post # 6
1699 posts
Bumble bee

Spending $130 a plate does not give you the right to dictate etiquette, for a couple of reasons:

First, because money can’t by you love, or respect, or compensate for hurt feelings.

Second, because you want a “classy” reception and it’s good manners and attention to the niceties of proper conduct that give an event the characteristics of social elegance that are considered “classy”.

That being said, etiquette is more on your side than you might realize. For one thing, formal niceties evolve over time, and several different standards coexist at any different time. Older protocol usually has more authority than newer protocol, partly because it’s stood the test of time, and partly because the people who are pushing the newer standards are (obviously) more adaptable than us old fogies and hence more able to compromise. What doesn’t change are the basic values, like “don’t be selfish”, “don’t be unkind”, “don’t be greedy”, “don’t annoy other people unnecessarily”, “don’t insult your friends”, “be generous and hospitable” — the protocols are just ways of expressing basic values. So measure your behaviour by your values, not by the etiquette column of a wedding magazine whose main motivation is selling their advertiser’s often-unnecessary stuff.

Traditional etiquette says that “don’t be selfish” means you don’t expect presents from *anyone* — so that concern needn’t affect whether you invite people or not. If anyone suggests that’s why you’re doing anything, *they* are being insulting to you, so ignore them. That means, it’s fine to go ahead and invite your friends to brunch.

Traditional etiquette also says that no-one is entitled to someone else’s hospitality. It strikes me as so silly that OFFERING a nice brunch for people would offend them, because they feel entitled to even more. What’s that about? Your motives are generous, not mean, so go fer it!

Traditional etiquette says that a *shower* is an embarrassment to the bride, since it’s held to make up for the household goods she needs but cannot necessarily provide for herself — it’s all about presents. So “don’t be selfish” means that your proper role regarding a shower is to go around saying “I really don’t need a shower: why don’t we just get together for a fun afternoon.”  You can invite your office girlfriends, or all your girlfriends for that matter, over for tea (or whatever) and give them a sneak-a-peek at your wedding dress and fancy undies. Then it doesn’t matter whether they’re invited to the formal reception, bcause they’re getting a special intimate time with you with no expectation of prezzies.

In the meantime, if THEY decide they really want to shower you with prezzies, THEY plan it, and THEY come up with the invitation list. Normally the office girls will have a shower for you that just involves the office crowd — IF and only if, they want to. You don’t have to, or get to, police their generosity. 


Post # 7
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

@aspasia- I love how you said what you said!  My sister got married a few months ago and invited my best friend, my best friend which is my Maid/Matron of Honor now showed up without a gift or money for my sister, she is a single mom and is going through a really tough time right now.  My sister called me soon after the wedding and demanded my friends number so she can call her and say something to her about not giving a gift, I was like ‘um, honestly I wouldnt do something like that and I would appreciate it if you didnt do this’.  She was so upset and said my friend needed to be put in her place and be taught, im ashamed to have a sister like that.  You dont get married and expect gifts! period! All she did was complain about how much money she didnt MAKE, ridiculous

Post # 8
178 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I’m an all or nothing girl when it comes to wedding guests.  I didn’t want to invite people from work unless I could invite them all.  Same with extended family, college friends, and such.  I’ve been nixed off a wedding list and found out other people that arent’ as close went.  Not a fun feeling.  I think your idea of a post-reception get together is a great idea.  My sister did this as well but after her wedding.  Just make sure people know they won’t be at the wedding.  They had some extended family that didn’t know and were upset they didn’t get to go to the wedding. 

Post # 9
837 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

classy = proper etiquette.

It’s rude to invite people to the ceremony and not the reception even if your inviting them to a brunch (it says hey watch me get married but you aren’t good enough for me to buy you dinner, like the rest of my guests).  And if you can afford to host a brunch why not nix the brunch and invite them to the reception?  $130/person is ridiculous btw. 

As for the co-worker issue, just don’t invite any of them, then you don’t have to deal with hurt feelings as to why some were invited and some were not.

Post # 10
2641 posts
Sugar bee

I think you should leave off the coworkers from the shower guest list.  If they aren’t comingto the formal reception, I think they should not be invited to the shower.  Also they might just throw you one themselves.  I also wouldn’t bring anything up, asking them to host something, presents or not.  Even if you say no presents, they might still feel obligated to buy things or pay for things.  (And then it would be awkward because it would feel like you were asking ppl to do this, even if you weren’t.)

There shouldn’t be anything wrong with having an informal reception the next day.  (I do have to admit, however, if I knew someone was having a wedding, and I only made second string, I think I’d probably decline.  But I’m sensitive.)

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