Hi, I am looking for some advice related to a bridal shower. I was skimming through the discussion/forum and noticed that brides were inquiring about a bridal shower with a lot of responses saying it is inappropriate to host your own; why is this? Unfortunately, myself and my fiancé do not have parents (moms/grandmas)... and so our wedding is close friends and some extended family. What is the proper etiquette for hosting a bridal shower? TIA
It's rude to host any gift giving event for yourself. There's really not any time in life, wedding related or not, where it's appropriate to blatantly ask for gifts. Showers don't have to be hosted by family. Literally anyone besides the couple could offer to host. They aren't a necessity, so if no one offers, you just wouldn't have one.
Typically, you don't host a gift giving event for yourself. However, I couldn't care less who hosts a bridal shower if I'm invited. My mom hosted mine but I'm lucky enough to have a mom with the means to do so. If someone didn't have parents or anyone to host it, I wouldn't care if they hosted their own.
If you plan on not asking for gifts I don't think it's rude at all. I think it's sad that some people don't get to experience all the fun parts of being engaged simply because other people aren't wanting to or can't be involved. No one is throwing me one, but I don't plan on throwing myself one either. I live in a 420 Sq ft home. Like I CAN'T accept gifts even if I did host one. Lol. I think it's like baby showers. Etiquette says you don't throw yourself one, but if no one offers and you do host your own very few people judge you for it. Personally if I decided to host my own it would be a mimosas, wine, snacks, swimming type deal. Have them bring a bottle of wine, that way no one feels obligated to bring a gift.
If I was in your situation, and wanted to have a shower, not for the gifts but to celebrate, I would definitely say something to someone who you thinks would take the hint and throw you one. Like explain to them how special it would be for you, not for the gifts but to see everyone special to you before the wedding. If I knew someone close to me didn't have anyone to throw them a bridal shower, and they brought it up to me, I would try to arrange to have one.
If someone in your position held their own shower, I would be more than happy to go. There’s a difference between being greedy and having to bend the very old fashioned etiquette rules for reasonable reasons.
I agree with others that it's generally not well thought of to host a gift giving party for yourself. However, it is also REALLY early to be concerned about your shower, if your wedding isn't until May. I'd just wait and see if some of those close friends and/or extended family don't offer to host a shower for you. Typically a shower is 1-3 months before the wedding, and we planned daughter's in less than 6 weeks (we planned around when the MOH was able to travel cross country to be here for the shower and that was kind of a last minute decision). So even if no one mentions one until well after the beginning of next year, they might still plan one for you. Planning one for yourself -- especially so far in advance -- might be perceived as "gift grabby." And, if a friend is thinking about planning one for you next spring, if you start talking now about planning one for yourself that might make them decide to skip their plans. I'd just let this go until February, and see if anyone else mentions it. Even then, if no one does, I'd probably start by talking with your closest friends about you wanting to host a pre-bridal luncheon to celebrate with your friends & family. That's not likely to raise the "gift-grabby" issue, and a friend might then say, "we want to host a shower for you!" Good luck to you!
It is not polite to hold any party to get gifts for yourself. If you simply want a gathering with friends, not a shower ( no gifts) that is fine. Usually when the bride or bride and family host a celebration with friends, mo gifts, it is called a bridal luncheon or bridal tea. ( Not necessarily tea at all, this means an afternoon or early evening light supper, or little sandwiches, appetizers, quickbreads or desserts. In other words, not a main meal like a reception.). When you are NOT directly asking people, get me gifts and bring them to the party I am having in my own honor, which is a shower, then you have a type of celebration that has always been common. . . . Other than the bride ( or groom) , traditionally any any female friend or family member can throw a shower. Often bridal party, simply because you choose your bridal party from your closest friends and family. But even if you have a bridal party, it is not their job. Some other people may do one . . . The bridal shower gift is in addition to a main wedding gift. And only women ( usually) invited to the wedding, and close to the bride personally, not groom's friends, is invited. . With destination weddings this is a very small group , and with small wedding is, this may be a small group when you include only the closest friends and family if the bride, closest enough to want to give a big shower gift, and a smaller bridal shower gift. If none of your extended family women, or friends, want to host even a desserts and coffee or drinks, which can be inexpensively hosted in a home, yard, or other free place, for a couple hours, a bride really looks pushy / desperate for gifts, having a shower. Just have a celebration party, fine to host where bride pays all the costs, no presents. And whatever people want to spend ( or make) people will give you as one large wedding gift . Most "wedding etiquette" is not specific to weddings. It is considered rude to throw a birthday , graduation, or other party that comes with an expectation of gifts for yourself, or any baby, adopted child, or bridal shower for yourself or you and your child. Or anniversaries, anything else. And a lot of people who will come to a bridal luncheon, tea, or social, given by the bride ( no gifts) will think a bride holding a shower for herself rude. The majority, on a y general etiquette or wedding site I have ever seen. Why have people think badly of you, asking them to give you presents?
Instead of calling it a bridal shower just throw an engagement celebration. Your invites can just be like "help us celebrate!". Especially if you want the social excitement and celebration of getting married. I wouldn't include a registry or anything on the invites and if people feel inclined to then they will bring a gift. I had a friend do that and everyone pretty much just brought champagne and a card for the happy couple to celebrate the engagement.
Thank you all for your advice! Since I have never been a bride before I honestly wasn't sure what the "protocol" was lol. And though it may be really early for me to be inquiring about this, my reason for inquiring is because I already have people asking me if I am having a bridal shower/when will I be having a bridal shower lol. Anyways, thanks for your advice; I appreciate it!
Depending on who's doing the asking, I might respond a couple different ways. If the person asking is just a more casual friend, who would be highly unlikely to offer to host anything, I'd just say, "Oh, it's so early for that, I don't yet know of any plans." If someone closer to you (who may likely be asking because they are thinking of offering to host one, like a member of the wedding party or a close female relative), then I might say, "Well, it will depend on whether someone wants to organize/host one. I'd definitely love that, but I haven't heard about anything yet." Good luck! And, don't worry about asking questions when you want to better understand "protocol" -- people on this forum are definitely open to sharing! LOL! Sometimes their opinions might not be worded in the softest/most tactful way, but I've found the advice and suggestions almost always eye-opening and helpful, as long as the receiver takes it for what it's worth (and not too personally)!
This makes me so sad to see peoples reactions to this... I too do not have a mother or grandmother to do such things for me, but I also do not think it's fair to not participate in wedding traditions like this simply because one might be "unfortunate." I say do your best to host your own. No one who knows you will think you are greedy - That seems just awful to even think that..
I personally don't care who hosts it and would come regardless. I have no idea why so many say it is rude when people host their own birthday parties and have for many years which is a gift giving event and no one cares.
I wouldn't worry about it if you need to throw your own. A lot of wedding "traditions" and "etiquette" are becoming more and and more outdated with each passing year. Furthermore, showers have changed a lot in their purpose in the past few decades. While they were originally meant to "shower" a bride with gifts to start a new home, with more and more couples establishing a home before the wedding, the shower has shifted more to a celebration of the wedding and an opportunity for a group of friends to get together and have fun. I guess, you could almost think of it as a G-rated bachelorette party.
My mom hosted mine, but if you don’t have that option, I see nothing wrong with hosting it yourself. Judging someone for hosting their own bridal shower because they don’t have parents I feel is very insensitive and callous.