(Closed) NEED HELP ASAP! Is a regular shower inappropriate?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Hostess
18637 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I don’t think I would have a big shower since most people aren’t going to the wedding.  It might seem sort of gift grabby.

Post # 4
Member
1559 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I would think of your wedding more as a destination wedding than as an elopement. You’re just not inviting many people to go away to the destination of your choice. 

It’s hard to say with the regular shower though. I haven’t ever been in the situation of a guest like this before, but I can see myself having mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, you are inviting them to your reception, so they are still your guests. However, you’re not inviting them to your wedding, so it might seem like a gift grab. 

I think you might talk to your families, and maybe find some brides who had destination weddings and see how they handled it. 

Post # 6
Member
1696 posts
Bumble bee

If you are planning on hosting the shower yourself, then you do indeed risk being judged for the especial inappropriateness of an “elopement shower”. Because showers are obligatory gift-giving events (the whole point of anyone’s going is to “shower” the bride with gifts) it looks self-serving for the bride to be inviting people herself or even involved in the arrangements. You’d be in better taste if you host a “pre-nuptial tea” or luncheon, which doesn’t have the expectation of gifts, but still allows you to have the fun of giggling with your girlies.

If an unrelated friend wants to host a shower in your honour, though, that’s a different matter. Because it can be embarrassing to be made the object of a “charity household-goods raiser (which is in essence what a “shower” is — as opposed to a charity fund-raiser) such a friend is responsible for taking the extra care to make sure that she limits her guest list to the people who actually want to honour you in that way. She should exercise great tact and sensitivity in approaching people with an invitation: she should sound them out first about how well they know the bride and listen for conversational indicators that they are eager to participate in helping the bride prepare for her new home. Only then should she proffer the invitation. If she does her job well, no-one will be passing judgement and no-one will have hurt feelings.

Post # 7
Member
714 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@LNT:  Its rude to invite people to a shower who are not invited to the wedding.  If your Maid/Matron of Honor wants to host a shower for you, then she should stick to guests that are invited to the wedding.

 

Post # 8
Member
1696 posts
Bumble bee

@lisa105: That’s a simple rule, and certainly one that is well-published by The Wedding Industry (who like to make brides think that they have to invite everyone to everything, thus increasing the overall size of the guestlist to the benefit of their bottom line.)

But think about it for a minute: in order to get the guest list, the hostess must engage the cooperation of the bride-to-be in planning her own fund-raiser I mean shower, which has to come across as self-serving. If you actually read what Miss Post and Mr Routledge have to say about showers and gift-giving (and read between the lines because older etiquette books actually deal relatively little with gift-giving) you will see they emphasize that it should NEVER come across as materialistic. The important characteristic of a shower is that it be restricted to people with an intimate relationship with the bride.

In an old-world home-town church wedding, those folk would naturally all get an invitation to the wedding, so the rule follows naturally. But in a modern show-case wedding, with restricted venues and destinations and hundred-dollar-a-plate meals and you name it, guest lists are less predictable and sometimes intimate friends do not get a wedding invitation. A very typical example is the child-hood Sunday-school teacher or the distant great-aunt who has fondly watched you grow from a distance. Or the parent of a best friend. Or the neighbour lady down the block.Those people may not have any expectation of a wedding invitation but DO want to be involved in some small way, and a token gift at a shower is a pleasure for them. Sometimes they even ASK to be invited to the shower, only to be told that it would be “bad manners” to agree to their request because they aren’t going to the wedding. I hope you can see how the simplistic rule breaks down in these situations.

The real bottom line is its rude to invite people to a shower who are not actively eager to help give the shower.

Post # 9
Member
987 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

If you are eloping you shouldn’t be bothering with a shower at all.. sounds like gift-grabbing. 

Post # 10
Member
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2006

Regardless of what the rule books say, people who get invited to one thing and not another get really witchy about it.  I had a small wedding (65 people).  My aunt and her friend threw me a tea party. Instead of consulting with my mom on the guest list, they invited “close family” only. 

This means part of my bridal party didn’t even get invited, and a cousin of my fathers did get get invited who wasn’t invited to the wedding because I hardly know her (even if she is good friends with the rest of the family)!  From her I recieved a card with a $100 bill and note that said, “We’d have given you three times this much if you’d thought we were good enough to come to the wedding. Have a nice life!”

I suppose, in your situation, it matters if you are announcing that you will be getting married on the vacation ahead of time to persons not attending OR if you will be getting married on vacation and then announcing it after the fact?  Because I’d consider the first a destination wedding and the second an elopement.

Post # 11
Member
714 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@aspasia475:  But in a modern show-case wedding, with restricted venues and destinations and hundred-dollar-a-plate meals and you name it, guest lists are less predictable and sometimes intimate friends do not get a wedding invitation.

Well, I think the problem with that argument is the “showcase” wedding in which $100 plates and venues and destinations are given a higher priority than intimate friends and others who have a reasonable expectation of receiving an invitation.

If you (collective you) think having an expensive meal or a restrictive or destination venue is more important than inviting the people you are ostensibly close too, then  it would be a stretch to think these same people would be enthused about being “included” by being asked to give a gift for a wedding for which they didn’t merit an invitation.

Post # 12
Member
1696 posts
Bumble bee

@lisa105: I have to admit, I am a little jaundiced myself, about the excuse that “we’re paying so much to have all our other guests there, that we can’t afford to have you.” But outside of these message boards, I try to remain aloof from money discussions in social context. But, remembering that old-fashioned shower presents are of merely nominal value (dishclothes, potato peelers — my niece got a paper of pins and needles from one guest) — there really ARE people out their who look forward to the fun of socializing with a bride and playing all those silly games. There are also ladies who may well be invited to the wedding but can’t stand the silly games and really don’t want to feel obligated to give yet another present.

The point is, that you can only know which people are which, by treating them as individuals and getting to know how they feel about the whole shower idea. That kind of personal attention to social duties would have solved puppymom2006’s problem, as well. But I’d also take the approach of erring on the side of not-inviting, if there were any chance that the guest might resent the shower obligation. And not having been invited to the wedding certainly does increase the probability of resentment.

Post # 14
Member
6015 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

What about an engagement party.  Since your not really in need of anything it could be afun way to see everyone before your trip. 

 

Post # 16
Member
837 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Only those invited to the wedding (not at home reception) should be invited to the showers.

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