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K
Just Said Yes October 2023

Bridal Shower for Older Bride?

Katherine, on June 4, 2023 at 7:42 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 1 8
Is it appropriate for a bridal shower to be hosted for an older couple?


I am in the 2nd half of my 30s and my fiancé is in the first half of his 40s. This is the first marriage for both of us, we only met 15 months ago and we don’t live together now. He will be moving in after we get married.
I have lived on my own for 13 years. I have had a stable career for the last 11 years and I have accumulated typical registry things out of necessity when I was first starting out - most of it I bought from the thrift/dollar store or cheap on Amazon but the items are still functional. While we might want new sparkly things, we don’t “need” them like younger couples do. Being that we are older, we both have stable careers and can pay for new sparkly things if we need them. Needless to say, our position as an older couple is not as dire as it is for younger couples (gosh it would have been helpful to have these items gifted to me when I was 24 instead of having to buy them on my own…but it’s not a burden now).
Between the two of us we have three cousin weddings in our family the month before our wedding- all of these cousins are younger than us (only one of the couples might be on par with us financially…that’s a big “might”).
My MoH really wants to host a bridal shower for me and my mom wants me to have one too. I know my MoH wants to host one because I gave her one 6 years ago (she about 30/31 then so still within the typical age range for first marriages unlike me now). I think my mom (being one of 8 kids and me being one of 32 first cousins on her side alone) just wants to get/give attention that she sees her family give younger brides.
I’m kinda at loss at how to feel about all this- I appreciate that people want to honor us but at the same time I really don’t think we should have a shower and ask for things we already have- especially during times of high inflation and peak wedding season. Even the idea that people might give cash (without us hinting or asking) makes my stomach churn because I know we don’t need it as much as younger couples.
What is the appropriate and most respectful stance to have on this issue? “Appropriate” in terms of our age and “respectful” in terms of (1) being gracious to those who do want to honor us, (2) recognizing that things are expensive and (3) we are not the couple getting married in the coming months that has the greatest need of household items.

8 Comments

Latest activity by Katherine, on June 5, 2023 at 4:19 PM
  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Yes it is appropriate and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Age is irrelevant.


    Generally couples donate existing items to Goodwill or a local shelter and replace them with new matching items.
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  • Michael
    Rockstar October 2023
    Michael ·
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    You can enjoy whatever is being celebrated. If you prefer, you can ask that the bridal shower be just a time of celebrating or that a different name be used instead of bridal shower. Whichever way the shower may go, just be gracious that they are glad to share in your wedding events.

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  • Cece
    Rockstar October 2023
    Cece ·
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    It is definitely not inappropriate for you to have a shower. I think the real question is, do you want one? If so, then I say have it and enjoy it! Or, if you would like the shower but not the gifts, you can do a recipe shower, where everyone brings their favorite recipe instead of traditional shower gifts. Or you can do a “stock the bar” shower, where everyone brings a bottle of their favorite liquor to help stock your new home bar together.
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  • Jacks
    Rockstar November 2054
    Jacks ·
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    It's totally fine to have a shower, but I do get your reluctance, if you have all the things you need. You could think about upgrading a few things though?

    If not, I would request that they host something like a bridal lunch or something like that instead. In that case, it wouldn't be a gift giving event, but more of a celebratory gathering.

    Congrats!

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  • H
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
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    Age has nothing to do with it! You are definitely not too old to be having a shower. Honestly, nowadays, people are getting married later and later, and many of them have started their lives together. Actually, I personally don’t know anyone who was not already living with their partner prior to marriage, so the shower gifts were all upgrades since the couple had already started their home together with at least the basics.
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  • LM
    Expert December 2022
    LM ·
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    Younger couples or other couples have nothing to do with you. It's not your business who can afford this and who deserves to be gifted that. Have your bridal shower if you want one. You can select modest priced items on the registry keeping the shower in mind. You two haven't lived together yet so you are indeed starting a new home. Who knows how safe is your partner's old toaster oven. Also, do get over the idea of wedding gifts. If you have been generous to your loved ones in the past with all their weddings and baby showers, they will want to celebrate you generously in return.

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  • Mcskipper
    Rockstar July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
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    Stop being ridiculous! You deserve gifts as much as the next bride! Loved ones aren’t giving gifts to be charitable for neediness— they give gifts because they want to CELEBRATE you. It’s perfectly lovely and normal to allow this to happen. No one is ever obligated to gift— if they don’t want to, they don’t have to! But if they want to, let them. My husband and I lived together before marriage and had a perfectly functional kitchen set up. But we had a miss match of stuff from our respective adult homes we kept before moving in together— it was nice to register for a cohesive set of dish-ware! And feels nice to host with stuff that is “ours”. We didn’t register for everything top to bottom, just things that could use a refresh or pieces that were missing— we kept it simple and small. We donated our old stuff, so it also didn’t go to waste. You’re really not even old! This is very common these days. I’d encourage you not to overthink and just enjoy the celebration Smiley smile
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  • K
    Just Said Yes October 2023
    Katherine ·
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    Thank you to everyone who responded. There were a few things that were mentioned that got me thinking (and admittedly crying) and I realized that there is some trauma that I need to work through before getting married and certainly before any shower is thrown. Thank you all for shining a light on these things for the betterment of my marriage and future family!

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