Post # 1
This is a half-rant, half legitimate question – is it appropriate to have a “post-bridal shower”?
My stepsister (with whom I am not close) recently eloped – the only people there were her, her husband, a JP, my stepmother, and my father. She has been in a relationship with her new husband for a little less than 2 months, but apparently they had dated for a few months in the past. I’m not sure I am super surprised about her getting married, honestly – she is fairly impulsive and it’s her life. I’m not baffled by this part – like I said, I’m not close to her, and what she did is very different from how I have always dreamed about getting married. I am happy and fulfilled in my domestic partnership with my significant other, and I have no desire to elope. We are planning on getting engaged within the next year (I’ll be a bit surprised if it doesn’t happen before Christmas, based on timelines we’ve discussed), and we know that we want our wedding to be a large celebration of life and love with our family and friends.
The part that baffles me is the “post-bridal shower” that is being thrown in her honor in September, for two reasons – one, our parents always swore that they would contribute no money toward any of our wedding celebrations (between them, they have 4 girls and a boy, the youngest of whom is turning 18 this fall) and two, isn’t that gift-grabby? I am not close to my stepmother at all, but it seems like the purpose of having a shower is for gifts (maybe this is just my own perspective, based on experience and what I’ve read). I have had relatively recent conversations with my dad, who has suggested that my SO and I should just go to the courthouse if we want to get married, and he has repeated that he is not paying for any part of my wedding. This is fine – SO and I are planning to pay for everying ourselves when we do tie the knot – but this seems unfair (yes, I know…so is life).
Admittedly, I’m partially trying to push aside my own opinions of the situation, but it completely rubs me the wrong way. Am I a hypocrite for hoping that my girls will throw me a bridal shower? Maybe. But it’s not a requirement, and I certainly wouldn’t expect people to give me gifts if I ran away to get married.
Post # 2
i think that when you have a last minute wedding, be it an elopement or just running to the courthouse, you sort of forfeit the privilege of having a bridal shower, bachelorette party, etc. i think it’s like saying, “you weren’t important enough to come to the wedding, but buy me a present anyway.” if they wanted to have a party to celebrate their marriage that would be fine, but a post-wedding shower seems inappropriate.
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2014 - Church
hike_katahdin87: Whether it is appropriate or not seems like a moot point at this time – she is going to have one no matter what anyone else thinks. I personally think that it is in bad taste to have a bridal shower after. Perhaps if they were moving in together they should have had a housewarming instead … I don’t think that has any bearing on your own. I would just send a congratulatory card and not pay anymore attention to it. I think that your issue may be more that your father wants you to elope and they (I am assuming your father and step-mother) have decided to throw a bridal shower for your step-sister.
Post # 4
Eh, my husband and I got married through the courthouse, but are throwing our own reception for everyone and paying for their meal and good time and we don’t expect gifts…we have received a few, but still. We don’t expect it. Having a bridal shower does sound gift grabby. One of our friends had an engagement pary, a bachelorette party and a bridal shower and got gifts at all three. But that’s how her family is and I don’t begrudge them. they were just starting out. My husband and I don’t need the gifts. So I see it both ways. Do you need the gifts? What about having a bridal shower with the expectation of no gifts?
Post # 5
To be honest, I find bridal showers gift grabby in general (wedding or not)! I realize there are many reasons for throwing a shower, but as someone who has attended 10 weddings in the last year, it really is quite taxing on the bank account after a while.
Anyway, I agree that this seems a little bit much but as someone said earlier, unfortunately it is kind of a moot point now. Some people are just rude.
Post # 6
mrs.joiner: But the point of a bridal shower (or any “shower”) is to get gifts- thats how it got its name. They shower you with gifts. So you can’t have a bridal shower with the expectation of no gifts because then its just….a party. Which is fine! But its not a bridal shower.
Honestly, I feel like if you elope like your step sister did, you kind of have to accept that you won’t get all the trappings of a traditional wedding.
Post # 7
hike_katahdin87: I’d think that’s weird if one of my friends did it, and I would be upset too if my parents chipped in after publicly announcing several times they would not help financially. I think you’re completely justified in feeling hurt and suspecious of their intentions with a shower, and also agree there’s nothing you can do about it.
Agree with PPs, no weddings- no showers. It’s weird. If they were having a reception afterwards I can see gifts being acceptable, but it does not seem like that’s what it is happening.
Post # 8
hike_katahdin87: I too think that if you elect to have a quick, intimate wedding, you forefeit those things that come only with time and planning like showers. Too bad, so sad.
Post # 9
Thanks for the validation, ladies. Even SO, who usually just smiles blankly and nods when I talk wedding etiquette, brought up what you all have said. I wrote my post last night in frustration, and have mostly moved past it. Thanks for making me feel less irritated about it!
Post # 10
Aaaand I just received an invitation via Facebook. It is being held about 10 mins from where I live…am I obligated to go as family, however loosely we use that term?
Post # 11
hike_katahdin87: I think it depends on the family, which is really nothing that we can determine. But I would put it down to this; If you don’t go, would it cause a problem in your family? Would you care if your step-mom and step-sister were angry at you for a very long period of time, and possibly your father as well?
We had our shower cancled due to the hostess’s MIL passing away. They offered to throw us a party after the wedding and I said no thank you. It’s very nice, but we had our lovely wedding. Having a shower after the wedding felt so awkward.
Post # 12
i don’t think you’re obligated to go if you’re not really that close to her. you could say you have a prior commitment to get out of going or make an appearance if it will appease your dad & stepmom and make up an excuse to leave early.
Post # 13
Usually when in the correct order, shower then wedding, the list of guests are ladies close to the bride who are also invited to the wedding.
As none of these guests were invited to the wedding, and this is in after post-wedding, it is very odd.
As it’s your step-sister it may be hard to decline. But if you’re not comfortable with the gift grabbyness, why not get her something sentimental to honor their wedding instead of some registry item?
Post # 14
hike_katahdin87: If you don’t want to go, and you aren’t that close, just decline and say you have plans already.
Post # 15
I don’t think it’s gift grabby unless she’s planning it herself. People have baby showers after a baby is born, so I don’t see the big deal having one after a wedding. If it bugs you, don’t go.