Savvy March 2018

Advice: Bridal shower given by and with strangers

Kristen, on January 9, 2018 at 4:01 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 12

Need some advice. An acquaintance of my FILs and a woman I did a Bible study with 16 years ago asked in June if she could throw me a bridal shower. I was perplexed by her offer given that I don't really know her nor do I go to her church. I thanked her for her very kind offer, but told her she didn't need to throw me a shower, though it was a generous offer. Apparently, she approached my FMIL about a shower in November. My FMIL gave her the names of people who to be invited....only 1 of them is invited to the wedding. I didn't know this happened until the other day and invitations are ready to go out and this woman has been planning the shower. There are 9 women invited to the shower and all are married. So, that would be an additional 18 people to add to the head count for the wedding. Here's the deal: I'm already just about at my limit as far as people go; I don't really know this woman; I don't know any of the women invited to the shower except for the one that's invited to the wedding already; and my FH doesn't have any contact with these ladies now that he's no longer working for the church. I know that etiquette dictates (and believe me when I say that I usually adhere to etiquette quite strictly given my personality and such) that I invite the women who will be at the shower to the wedding, but....I just don't have the budget for them and I don't know any of them. Thoughts?

ETA: Please know that I recognize that this woman's offer is kind, thoughtful, and generous. I do and am really humbled by her offer. It's just that I can't justify spending over budget (which I would have to do because we're toeing the line as it is) to invite 18 people that I don't know and that don't have a personal connection to my FH or his family outside of the fact that they attend the same church.


Latest activity by MommaKeysMOG, on January 9, 2018 at 11:00 PM
  • Prisonmike
    Dedicated May 2019
    Prisonmike ·
    • Flag

    Actually there are cases in which you wouldn't invite the attendees of your shower to your wedding. Like if your co-workers throw you one. This is one of those situations.

    Me personally, i'd tell FMIL that I don't want to be rude, but I really do not have time for another shower, and let her tell the host that you're not interested since she is the one who accepted.

    That is seriously awkward.

    • Reply
  • COWS
    Devoted January 2016
    COWS ·
    • Flag

    I would reach out to your FMIL and ask what in the french toast happened? She should know better than to invite extra people to the shower who aren't on the wedding invite list, unless this other church lady totally disregarded your FMIL and did her own thing.

    I would sit down and talk with your FMIL and explain that you don't want a shower where people are invited that you can't accommodate or invite to the wedding. You have hit your guest list limit and it would be rude to have an event hosted where they then can't attend the wedding.

    Maybe it's just a bunch of local church ladies who want to do something nice for a local bride? But who knows for sure? If it's something you don't want, then speak up! Graciously thank them for willing to host, but you're not interested in having another shower, site time constraints, budget constraints, whatever.

    • Reply
  • Miaaa
    Super January 2018
    Miaaa ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I agree with this except that it's probably too late to back out on the shower (figure out what's been paid for etc.). I agree that I wouldn't invite everyone if you don't now them. This is a random shower thrown for you by a stranger and you don't have to invite the people you don't know especially since you got zero input into the guest list.

    • Reply
  • caitlin
    Super May 2017
    caitlin ·
    • Flag

    You definitely don't need to invite them all to the wedding. my coworkers surprised me with a lovely shower a few weeks before our wedding and none of them were invited to the actual wedding--it was totally fine. definitely talk to FMIL though and tell her this was inappropriate to do without telling you.

    • Reply
  • C
    Super August 2017
    C ·
    • Flag
    This lady asked you, you said no, and she planned a shower anyway. I think you’re off the hook and don’t need to invite these people.
    • Reply
  • muriel
    Champion June 2018
    muriel ·
    • Flag

    I agree that you aren't obligated to invite these women to the wedding, but I would not be comfortable letting her go ahead with the shower. I would reach out to the hostess and tell her that as much as I appreciated her offer, I would be declining the shower. I would apologize if I didn't make myself clear when she first offered.

    • Reply
  • Stephanie
    Super March 2018
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag

    I think because this is all beyond your control, you're off the hook from the proper etiquette that would dictate for you to invite these extra people to your wedding.

    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Super May 2018
    Amanda ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Totally agree with @SDC. You graciously declined and this woman continued planning. Let yourself off the hook in feeling bad. Enjoy the shower and graciously thank everyone for coming. No need to worry about inviting them to the wedding. But seriously, what was your FMIL thinking?
    • Reply
  • Kristen
    Savvy March 2018
    Kristen ·
    • Flag

    Thanks everyone! I so appreciate the advice...and the validation. Smiley winking Called my mom to discuss, so she and I are gonna strategize this evening about how to handle this. I will share your thoughts.

    And while I love my FMIL, we're going to have a serious conversation about boundaries before the wedding and why this has put me in a very awkward position.

    • Reply
  • A
    Savvy June 2018
    Ariana ·
    • Flag
    As kind as her offer was, it’s really not even her place to throw you a shower that you previously declined. I would not add people I don’t even know to my guest list because someone thought they were doing me a favor. I don’t think it’s rude of you at all, you should invite only who you want to be there. As you mentioned, you’re going to be paying for these people to eat and buying them favors, etc. If they are offended, oh well.
    • Reply
  • M
    Devoted December 2018
    MissDec1 ·
    • Flag
    So my cousin had a super small wedding. Our grandmothers church asked to throw her a shower, knowing they wouldn’t be invited to the wedding. Some people just want to be nice. BUT I’d also talk to FMIL
    • Reply
  • MommaKeysMOG
    May 2019
    MommaKeysMOG ·
    • Flag

    The one thing I picked up on your OP was that your FH use to work for the church this maybe why they wanted to do it if this is one of the elders of the church, Things have changed a lot over the years but in church groups with elders they still think and want to do things for any member of the church and or their families. don't be surprised if down the road you become pregnant and they want to throw you a baby shower it happened to my FDIL. at her grandmothers church she attended a few times as a child. You are under no obligation to invite them to the wedding. Best of Luck with the talk with your FMIL.

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