Not invited to bridal shower- Etiquette?

posted 5 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
8154 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

cq123 :  in my circle it isn’t common to invite all the female wedding guests to the shower. That could end up being a massive party! Usually it is reserved for closest family and friends. 

Post # 3
1905 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

For my group, the bridal shower is pretty intimate. Mostly family and close friends. Maybe 20ish women? If I had one, I probably wouldn’t invite fiancés friends. 

Post # 4
2892 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

The bridal showers I’ve been to have all just been close family and friends of the bride, not every woman invited to the wedding. Depending on the size of your wedding that could be a ridiculous amount of people that someone else would be hosting for you. 

Maybe since you don’t live in the same city she didn’t think to invite you since you’d have to travel? Or maybe they’re just inviting close family and women from the bridal party?

cq123 :  

Post # 5
6636 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

Definitely closest friends/family. Maybe it was an oversight, maybe she didn’t want you to feel obligated when you don’t live locally, maybe you’re right and the friendship isn’t as close as you thought. But ultimately you don’t have to be invited to the shower and perhaps she’s got a large enough family that she had to cut other guests. Try not to take it too personally… if you are still regularly talking, I doubt she dislikes you or something.

sidenote: I get annoyed by people who say someone will be a bridesmaid and don’t follow through… no one forced them to say that, they should just keep their traps shut until they are certain. 

Post # 6
1515 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

That’s the formal etiquette, yes.  You’re supposed to invite all the women from the wedding guest list.

But I’ll be honest, my shower was a shit show thanks to my inlaws.  They insisted that they would only throw a shower for their side of the family and if I wanted any of my own guests I could “have my own shower” (lol wut).  There was no discussion allowed, and I was quickly thrown out of any planning talk.  It was awkward and horrible, and I never wanted multiple showers to begin with.  My fiance put his foot down and made them allow me at least a few of my own guests, but I did not end up having a whole extra shower just for the sake of etiquette and inviting all the other women (many of whom where out of state).

My point in telling you that is that there can be all kinds of reasons why people break from etiquette or aren’t able to invite a large group of people to a function.  I get why it’s hurtful, but this one might be best to just try and understand and go with the flow.

Post # 7
4583 posts
Honey bee

I’ve never heard of inviting every woman on the guest list to a shower. And despite the assertion that formal etiquette mandate that, the first 12 links that come up on a Google search indicates the exact opposite – that you only invite close friends and family members from in town.

And honestly I’ve never heard of having a shower of more than 15 maybe 20 people total before coming here. By the time you include both moms , the bridal party, maybe a favorite aunt or two and cousin or two, and two or three friends you see daily, you’re at that number.

I’ve always considered it poor etiquette to invite people who don’t live within the immediate area to a party where the sole purpose is to give a gift. So given that you don’t even live in the same town anymore, I’m going to take that to mean the same metropolitan area and there would be some travel involved, it’s understandable why you wouldn’t be invited. You also have to understand that showers are thrown for people not thrown by people. Whoever throws the shower puts limitations on who or how many people can be hosted. You probably are more than a plus one to her, but it also sounds like you’re also primarily a couple friend to her and you met in college but you didn’t say that you were best friends in college. I hate to break it to you but yes she has other friends of varying degrees of closeness. That doesn’t mean you aren’t her friend also, so I would stop with the pity party and defining your friendship by whether or not you get invited to her bridal shower before it hurts your friendship

Post # 8
551 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I definitley did not invite all of the women to my shower who were also attending the wedding, that guest list would have been huge. 

General rule of thumb for me, Darling Husband and I’s families, and our demographic is that showers are a small affair and are limited to close family and friends, maybe the occasional cousin or two. Also give or take some close girlfriends from college or childhood. 

I wouldn’t be hurt or offended in your situation if you weren’t invited, nothing to stress about. There could’ve been many reasons why she didn’t invite you that aren’t personal (the biggest reason to me being it was an exclusive and/or limited guest list or her venue had a max. capacity). 

I’ve had a lot of friends I talk to on the daily that I’m not invited to their showers and it didn’t upset me. Opposite situation but I actually was just invited to a shower from a girl I had only knew via FB and a mutual hobby and we only recently got friendly because she works with me and I thought it was weird she invited me to her shower when we aren’t that close nor have been “friends” for very long. 

Post # 9
1218 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

In addition to never having heard that the etiquette rule is to invite all women, consider that there likely would be limitations placed on the bride by the shower hosts. A host has the right to offer to throw a shower “for x number of people” accprding to her financial and logistical willingness and ability to host. If I’d been held to inviting every single woman that I invited to my wedding, that would have been close to 200 people (big family on my side) which would have been completely absurd to ask anyone to host for a shower. So it may not have been the bride’s desire to specifically exclude you, she just may have had a limitation on invitations. Typically I’ve always seen the shower invites just go to the bride’s nearest and dearest. 

Post # 10
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

There was just a post on here last week about a bridezilla that demanded every woman on her guest list be invited. and it amounted to 115 people! The Maid/Matron of Honor was expected to pay for a restaurant to feed all of these women… what madness. 

I have personally never heard of this until these boards, that is often just too many guests!! A bridal shower should be intimate with the closest family and friends of the bride – think of it this way, she may be opening lingerie or even vibrators as some bridal shower gifts can be a bit risque – you don’t want to do that in front of people you barely know. 

I would just brush it off and try not to be offended. You don’t know the financial situation of the bridesmaids planning and paying for it, and have not mentioned if you know the details of the location and type of shower. Maybe they needed a cut off point as to not spend thousands of dollars, or there is a limit on space in the venue, etc. 

Post # 11
1975 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

cq123 :  The bridal shower is definitely not for all females invited to the wedding. 

Post # 12
8154 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

annabananabee :  I’ve always considered it poor etiquette to invite people who don’t live within the immediate area to a party where the sole purpose is to give a gift.

THIS! It was a big thing when I got married and then had a baby that I didn’t ask the shower hosts to send an invitation to my husband’s aunt that lives half way across the country. In my family it’s SO tacky to send invitations to people you know can’t/won’t attend a shower or minor/casual event. 

Post # 14
2798 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I agree with PPs that I have never seen every female invited to the wedding also be invited to the shower. But I think it’s odd that you weren’t invited if you are almost close enough to this person to be a bridesmaid. I would be confused and hurt too if it were me.

Post # 15
12233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

It absolutely is not “proper” etiquette to invite every woman on the wedding guest list. Nothing could be further from the tradition of a close friend or friend of the family hosting an intimate and low key event in honor of the bride. It’s generally an event attended by immediate family and very close friends. There can be more than one if people are not local, as long as the guest lists don’t overlap. I’d never expect people to travel long distances for an event like this or impose upon them. 

It is strange that the bride mentioned that you would be a bridesmaid and changed her mind. Either something happened between you or she’s superficial enough to care about matching numbers and you were the one cut. 

If she’s such a good friend just ask her if something is wrong, not about the shower but her apparent change of heart regarding the honor. That’s rude and hurtful. 

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