According to etiquette, you are not supposed to invite guests to your bachelorette party/bridal shower who are not on your guest list to attend your wedding. In my opinion, that really stinks!! I don’t think it’s fair that people aren’t considered at all just because they aren’t on your guest list. There are so many events leading up to that one* BIG day, but if your budget or your venue does not allow you to have everyone attend, why should they be left in the dark all together? Personally, I think that would hurt my feelings more if I had a friend who I considered to be a good friend who didn’t allow me to join in on her excitement.
With all that being said, I sent a message to all of the friends who I could not invite explaining that my FH and I are paying for our own wedding and that we wish we could have everyone there, but we just can’t. I also mentioned that of course I would never expect any type of gift from them if they chose to come to the bachelorette party/bridal shower, that just having them there would make me so happy. Every single person that I sent the message to was so sweet and understanding and thanked me for letting them know ahead of time. They’ve all been in my shoes planning weddings, baby showers....etc. They know what all is involved cost-wise as well as having to choose your guests, and said that they would love to still be a part of anything that they could. That was such a huge relief because I truly love all of my friends and I wish I could have them all there, it caused me physical pain and anxiety having to tell them this, but I am glad that I sent this message because it cleared the air and hopefully prevented any hurt feelings or drama. If you would like to see the message I sent word-for-word I would be willing to share if you find yourself in this position as well.