help!!! small wedding…..can you invite friends to shower and not wedding??

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
87 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I invited a good friend to the shower and not the wedding. It was understood before that it was a very small wedding. She didn’t mind at all!

 I have also been invited to bachelorette weekends in vegas (2 actually) in which I was not invited to the wedding. No offense was taken at all. It really depends on your friends and how well you communicate with them. You dont want someone to expect and invitation and not get one. Also, the ettiquete on the wiki here says that is a no no. But really its all in how you handle it. 

Post # 4
Member
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I dont think it is bad taste, as you did say you were having a small wedding..

I had my shower and did invite friends / family that were not invited to the wedding.. I did have 1 friend ask if the wedding invitations already went out.. which was hard to swallow bc that meant I had to tell her she was not invited to the wedding ( I hate hurting peoples feelings) but when I explained that we were having a smaller wedding she totally understood and all was well…

Post # 5
Member
330 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

Etiquette usually states that those invited to the shower are also invited to the wedding. But as long as your sister (since she’s hosting the shower) makes it clear that those girlfriends are not invited to the wedding due to guest list constraints, then it should be fine. People are usually very understanding about such circumstances as trying to keep the wedding small and intimate and they’ll enjoy the opportunity to celebrate this occasion with you at the shower even if they can’t go to the wedding.

Post # 6
Member
113 posts
Blushing bee

I’ve always heard that it is an etiquette no-no to invite guests to the shower and not to the wedding. I am in the same boat as you. I am having a 50 person guest list and my family takes up over 1/2 of that. My bridal shower is this weekend and unfortunately I had to not invite a lot of my girlfriends because they are not getting invited to our wedding. It is one of the few down sides to a small wedding.

Post # 7
Member
112 posts
Blushing bee

Etiquette says no, but I think as long as you know your friends won’t mind it’s ok. My sister had a small 40ish person wedding and I threw a shower for her. A lot of her work friends "insisted" on being invited. It was a lovely time.

Post # 8
Member
233 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2018 - Hotel Vitale

I invited folks to the engagement party and not the wedding. Our wedding is only 60 people. I asked an ediquette guru beforehand and she said that it is a fantastic way to get more folks to celebrate. Just make sure that they know they aren’t invited to the wedding.

Post # 9
Member
2344 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Everyone else is right – its an ettiquette no-no, but your friends will understand that you are having a small wedding. I would just A) be especially gracious about it and B) make it very clear that you are having a small wedding. A comment at the shower along the lines of, "Thank you so much, (sister), for hosting this! Since we are having such a small wedding, this was the perfect opportunity to celebrate with all of you great friends!" would be perfect.

Post # 10
Member
302 posts
Helper bee

i was actually pretty offended when this happened to me… my guy had the same thing happen not so long ago and he was cool with it… so maybe it’s a girl guy thing.

it felt like this person was trying to extract a gift out of me without inviting me to her wedding which i didn’t feel good about.  *nods*

Post # 11
Member
87 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Raindrops- I understand that feeling, the whole shower thing when you have a small wedding is complicated. If you look at the glass being half full you could think of it as at least she wanted me to be at the shower. I think most people aren’t having these things for gifts its more for the company and celebration. At least that is how I see it, I didn’t want a shower simply because I did not want gifts/money. My mom wanted to throw me one and I could not say no, but I am glad we did have one now since many people weren’t coming to the wedding but WANTED to celebrate the wedding.

Post # 12
Member
113 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I’m in the same boat.  I’ve asked my friends throwing the shower to include the following on the invite:

a) That we are having a small, private ceremony on September 18th (so people will understand why they don’t receive an invitation), and

b) That gifts are not expected / requested (that way people have an out if they don’t want to bring a gift without a wedding invitation).

I feel comfortable with this.  Otherwise I was going to have to tell them not to throw me one…which is tough, because these friends really did just want to celebrate our engagement and marriage and have fun time with other ladies.  I think it works and if you’d like my specific invitation text, I’m happy to share!

Post # 13
Member
302 posts
Helper bee

well for me i guess… the girl that had the wedding had a huge wedding… and just decided not to invite some people, i guess it was getting too huge.

but i think what bothered me was she didn’t say "hey i’m sorry i can’t invite you to the wedding, but i would love to have you at my bridal shower so that i can share this with you"

it was more like… didn’t hear anything about the wedding and get an e-mail mass invite to her bridal shower and where the registerys where at.

so i guess it’s all in the way you do it.  ^_^

Post # 14
Member
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Everyone’s advice above has been really great.  I totally agree that if the group is reasonable and understanding, you will have a great shower with more people there – the more the merrier!

 If you feel uncomfortable with the "taboo" of inviting non-wedding guests to a shower, you might talk to your sister and request that she might host a post-wedding celebration rather than a bridal shower for you.  That way, she could invite as many people as she likes without any expectation from them, since the wedding would already be over.  It would allow people to bring gifts if they wish, but doesn’t suggest that they need to.

 Either way, enjoy the party!  It sounds like your sister is very thoughtful to host a big event for you!  🙂

Post # 15
Member
2344 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think what missmck and Piaffette said is right on – try to shift the event so its more of a celebration than a gift-giving thing. A lot of that can be achieved with the tone of the invitations, the order of events at the shower (don’t sit around opening presents, do something else fun like games or just visit with everyone), but I think a simple mention of "The gift of your presence is the only present we request!" could ease any tensions that this is just about getting stuff out of people.

Post # 16
Member
7 posts
Newbee

I had a very small wedding – 30 people in total.  I opted not to have a bridal shower because most of the attendees would be people that were not invited to the wedding or could not attend the wedding (as it was destination). 

 Personally, I would have felt selfish having a shower with the ladies that I was not sharing my wedding day with.

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