|Looking for that perfect bridal shower gift? Every
bride needs a commonsense guide to the etiquette that really
matters. Let Wedding Etiquette Hell: A Bride's
Bible for Avoiding Everlasting Damnation by Jeanne
Hamilton be your guide.
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This is a story about a very tacky Bride to be. My co-worker
is the BTB I'll call Buffy. "Buffy" has been engaged to her fiancé
"Jeb" for several months. As I understand it, Buffy and Jeb spent
several months in couples therapy in order to convince Jeb that making the
decision to marry Buffy was the right thing to do. Just what you want,
undergoing therapy to convince you to get married. Right.
This BTB is very eccentric. Lets just say Buffy is in her own
little world. For instance, she farted in front of a group of people, including
her boss and just said "oops!" She was recently caught at work with
her feet up on her desk, reclining in her office chair, her pant legs rolled up.
She was cutting her leg hair with the big black office scissors! Beyond that,
she shows up to work in pants up to her armpits with shirts tucked in, which is
not within our employee dress standards.
Back to the story. Our boss asked that the four people in our
department that work for Buffy throw her a bridal shower at work. As the
assistant to the department, everything gets thrown at me. Those four people
don't like Buffy one bit and I was designated to do all the planning and work.
If I didn't do all the work, nothing would be done, as at every planning
meeting, those nice co workers sat on their hands and did nothing. So with that
in mind, I planned the entire shower. I sent out 90 invitations, making the
mistake of asking one of the four ( I'll call her Brenda) to accept the RSVP's.
Brenda never followed up after she had received only 17 RSVP's. When asked to
assist in paying for the shower, when Brenda was told it would cost her $10.00
total, she asked me how she would be reimbursed from our employer! The four went
on a shopping trip with me to purchase paper goods, gifts for shower games,
party favors and decorations. As we stood in line to pay, my esteemed co workers
somehow disappeared out of the cashier line and I ended up paying for
The day of the shower, Buffy called me at work very early in
the morning, as if she didn't expect me to answer the phone. When she told me
that she wouldn't be in that day, I asked her if we'd be able to reach her by
phone. She hemmed and hawed for several seconds then said that she'd be very
busy all day. When I asked her if she was calling from a cell phone, she hemmed
and hawed again with something lame like well yes it's a cell phone but I don't
know what the number is. As I read her the cell phone number off the called ID,
she still stammered and said well that could be the number but I'm not sure. As
soon as she hung up, I called my boss, who called Buffy to remind her that yes,
we were giving her a shower that day.
Knowing that there was to be a bridal shower in her honor,
Buffy shows up to work dressed in dirty blue jeans, a yellowed dingy T-Shirt (
tucked in) and filthy sneakers.
Fast forward to the shower. 22 people showed up, 5 of which
had never RSVP'd. As I hosted the shower, I planned all of the games and prizes,
favors, cake, etc. I had to leave the room for a moment, and as I returned I
heard one of the women making a snide remark about me when she thought I wasn't
in the room, calling me "teach' among other things. The entire shower goes
on without a hitch, with Buffy opening each gift with a loud " Oh
As the shower ended, Brenda was surrounded by guests telling
her what a fabulous shower it had been! She did nothing except read the RSVP's
and tally how many people attended. And she never bothered to correct them!
Several days have gone by and I still have not heard a word
from Buffy about the shower. Not one word. Not thank you, or that was nice,
NOTHING. And Buffy sits right next to me!
Now for the clincher- as I mentioned my dismay about the
shower, and the lack of any thanks or acknowledgement from Buffy to my boss, I
was told that " Buffy doesn't say thank you, so don't expect anything from
her". That's the last shower I will ever give.
A little over a year ago, my best friend, "Andrea"
offered to host a bridal shower for a new friend of hers, "Christine".
Andrea asked Christine for a guest list so she could send out invitations, and,
after several weeks of delaying, Christine gave Andrea a typewritten sheet of
over 100 people (names only) who she wanted to invite. When Andrea asked her if
she was serious about inviting that many people, Christine told her that she
didn't know all of them (some were the girlfriends and wives of her fiancé's
friends) but that since she'd never lived on her own, she needed lots of
No addresses were provided to Andrea, so she, being a far
nicer person than I would have been in the situation, searched through the phone
book to find out where to send all of these invitations. I was invited to the
shower, even though Christine and I were far from friends (I had been her fiancé's
prom date in high school, which I suppose was grounds enough for asking me to
cough up a gift) and hadn't spoken in months. I decided to attend to help Andrea
out, and to see how badly Christine behaved.
Andrea was hosting the shower at her mother's house, since the
guests wouldn't fit into her 1-bedroom apartment, and proceeded to pay for and
make all of the food, decorations, and party favors for the 75 guests who RSVP'd
that they would be attending. A few of Christine's friend and myself arrived
early that day to help Andrea set up, and things seemed to be going well until
it was time for the party to start. Christine's guests, most of whom none of us
had ever met, were arriving, but Christine herself was nowhere to be found.
Thinking that Christine might have had car problems, Andrea
called her cell phone, and discovered that Christine had stopped off at a local
burger joint for lunch with her fiancé, and would be at the party
"shortly." Meanwhile, people were starting to ask where the guest of
honor was, and no one was eating the food Andrea had prepared (even though it
was lunchtime and more than one person said that they were hungry) because they
wanted to wait for Christine.
30 minutes after the party started, Christine showed up, fiancé
in tow. She said hello to everyone, joked about being late, and immediately
plopped down on the couch to begin opening gifts. Andrea, ever the good hostess,
asked people to please start eating. Christine, however, didn't want to be
parted from her presents any longer than she had to, and demanded that Andrea
come sit next to her and keep track of what everyone had given her.
As expected, Christine got MANY gifts, most of which were more
generous than mine (two cheap wooden spoons from a local cooking store). The
gift giving took around an hour to finish, and then Christine announced that she
had to leave to go to a movie with her fiancé. Andrea pulled her aside and
reminded her that a few of the girls had planned on going out for a "bachelorette
party" after the shower, but Christine brushed her off, saying that she
really didn't feel like going, but before she left, could Andrea help her carry
her gifts out to her car?
So, with Christine gone, most of the other guests quickly
left, and Andrea, two of Christine's friends, and myself were left to clean up.
Andrea never received a thank you note for hosting the party, nor for the lovely
gift she bought for Christine.
I was invited to a bridal shower and on the invitation stated
"money only" no gifts.
As my younger sister's MOH, I was thrilled at the prospect of
throwing her a shower. I had so many ideas in my head and tried to
coordinate early on with the other bridesmaids about what direction we should
take. Unfortunately, none of them were of any help. They never
returned any of my multiple emails or phone calls. They showed up the day
of the shower just before it started and left right when it was done.
To make matters worse, my sister's future mother-in-law and I
had a huge fight when she insisted on inviting people to the shower who were not
going to be invited to the wedding. I tried to very diplomatically explain
to her that this is very poor etiquette and that it was against my sister's
wishes... I ended up getting my way, but not without some very harsh words
being exchanged... The joy of two families joining together!
It's also poor etiquette for a family member
to host a wedding shower for another family member unless the shower is for all
My friend Mary was getting married in March. Now, we are good
friends but she has another girlfriend (Addie) & a sister (Lanie) that she
is closer to than I. Now Mary is pushing 40 and never been married before, and
we (myself, my husband and several of her other friends) were so pleased for
her! She was so happy, we love the guy she is marrying, and we all wanted
everything to be picture perfect for her. So, me & some of the other women
are watching the calendar & wondering when her best friend, or sister are
going to send out a bridal shower invitation, and it is getting closer &
closer to the date with nothing forthcoming.
Finally, a poorly printed commercial postcard arrives in the
mail. Well.... you won't believe this, it was an invitation to a Pampered Chef
sales party being thrown by sister Lanie, that was doubling as a bridal shower.
Pampered Chef does home parties like Tupperware and sells cookware & kitchen
furnishings. We were expected to come to the Pampered Chef party & buy
something for Mary from the list Lanie (sister/salesperson) would provide. I was
appalled! I have never heard of being invited to a shower where the host would
be profiting financially. I knew Mary would never have set this up, and probably
didn't even know what her sister had planned. I couldn't say anything to Mary
about it, so I just called in my excuse for not attending, and then another
girlfriend & I threw her a proper shower.
Ahh, yes! Friends and family riding on
the bride's coat tails (train?) to financially profit from the festivities.
And people wonder why family hosted showers are poor etiquette.
My cousin "Cindy" had her bridal shower about a
month before her wedding. We received shower invitations before wedding
invitations which we don't find odd but is important to this story. We eagerly
attended the shower, played the games, ate food and enjoyed ourselves. The
shower was held at nice restaurant for a Sunday brunch at 9am at a location 1
1/2 hours away from most people invited. That was okay I guess but it meant that
most of us would have to leave our homes about 7am because the invitation said
"do not be late" which meant we had to wake up about 6am to get ready.
We were very punctual, which is hard for my family, and made to wait outside in
the lobby because the room wasn't ready yet. We were let in at 9:30 and the
bride to be didn't show up until 10:30.
Come gift opening time bride to be situated herself at the far
corner of the room away from her guests making it difficult for her guests to
see the gifts. There were about 40 people at this shower and hence there were a
few number of shower gifts to open. If that was not enough, she decided to bring
all the wedding gifts that people had sent/mailed her from out of town. These
were not shower gifts but wedding gifts and those people were not even in
attendance. This contributed approximately 15 additional gifts. After almost 2
hours of opening we were all tired and not too enthusiastic anymore. It was now
Fast forward to 2 weeks later. By now we have received
invitations and have RSVPd. My aunt then receives a letter in the mail saying
that she is no longer invited to the wedding because she has treated her very
poorly all her life and she was yawning at her shower, they even have her on
tape. She said she would be happy if her husband and children could come but she
was not welcome.
Another uncle, concerned because he had not received his
invitation and wanted to know if it had been lost called my cousin up and asked
her about it. Cindy told him that he was not going to receive an invitation
because he was not invited. Keep in mind that his wife and daughters had been
invited to the shower and attended and his daughters had received their
invitation. Though her family had issues with him in the long ago past,
everything was long forgiven and forgotten and they now got along well. He even
went as far as making sure her brother could come home from the Middle East
where he was stationed when our grandfather died. Needless to say that this
ruffled more than a few feathers, especially my poor grandmother. The result was
that many of my family members boycotted the wedding and we have not seen her or
her family since, this was over a year ago.
Hello! I'm really enjoying your site and laughing quite a bit
at the wedding etiquette. It's amazing what people say and do! Anyway, my story
relates to my own bridal shower. My mother's best friends wanted to throw me a
shower, which I appreciated very much. Since they are not the type to accept NO
as an answer, of course I accepted their offer. Unfortunately, in their well
meaning planning, they completely aced out my sister and best friend, my only
two attendants in my wedding. My sister and friend graciously stepped aside and
went on to plan a lovely bachelorette party instead.
The day of the shower was lovely, things were going along very
nicely. We sat down to lunch, and a close friend of mine, Susie, ended up
sitting with my future sister-in-law, Darlene, and future cousins-in-law who I
did not know very well. I saw that they were all talking in quite an animated
manner, so was satisfied that Susie was having a good time sitting with some
ladies she didn't know.
A few days later, Susie, my best friend and I were having
drinks, when Susie related what the topic of conversation had been. Darlene had
been comparing me to my then-fiancé's former girlfriend. She actually had the
audacity 1) to bring up an ex-girlfriend of the groom at the bridal shower, and
2) actually convinced the cousins that the ex-girlfriend was nicer than me!
Susie, to her credit, retained HER aplomb, gently admonished my soon to be
relatives, and changed the subject.
Fortunately, I still don't know those cousins very well as we
don't socialize with them very often, and Darlene has moved 800 miles away!
I had a mutual friend, named "Terri" through my
friend "Penny," but didn't really know each other and never hung out
together without our mutual friend. Imagine my surprise when she invited me (and
Penny) to her sister-in-law to be's bachelorette party. I had never even
met the bride-to-be. But Terri assured me that because she was planning the
party, she had been given carte blanche by the bride to invite whomever she
wanted to. She said, it'll just be a like a girls night out, not really a
The party sounded really fun, we were going to take this
custom-made bus that had plush sofa cushions and chairs, a bar and even a little
dance floor to the different bars downtown. In fact, Terri seemed to go
into a lot of detail about the bus alone when describing the party to me.
The day of the party comes and we are waiting for the bus to
arrive. I make an effort to meet the other girls and women, but most of the
bride's friends and bridal party (about 10 or so) were only talking to each
other and acted a little annoyed we were there. At least the bride was nice to
us. Anyway, in talking to the other people who were not the bride's friends
(which incidentally, were more than the number of the bride's friends), I come
to discover that Terri had asked practically every woman she had ever known,
including a mom from the daycare she ran, her hairdresser and her realtor (she
was not friends with any of these ladies outside of how she knew them).
As we are boarding the bus, Terri is standing next to the bus
driver and collecting money. This was not discussed to me (and I found out later
nor to any of the mutual "friends") when I was invited. Needless
to say, I was a little miffed, but I was ready to pay for it. I knew because the
other bridesmaids had just boarded that it was 10 dollars apiece. But when I
finally came up to Terri, she said, "40 dollars," I said, "why
40?" and she said, well, you can't expect the bridesmaids to pay that much
I'm thinking, well, actually, since it is bachelorette party
and YOU are hostessing it, NONE of us should have to pay, but at the very least,
we should all be charged the same price! But I paid and tried to take it in
stride. Despite what Terri had originally told us, that it was going to be more
like a girls night out, it wasn't at all. It was definitely a bachelorette
party. All the games on the bus were planned by the bridal party and involved a
lot of inside jokes the rest of us didn't know. We mainly sat in silence. They
also passed a t-shirt around that the guests were supposed to sign and the bride
was going to wear once we got downtown. When it was passed to us, Terri took it
and said, oh you guys don't have to sign it since you don't know her.
I don't remember the rest of the night because I have since
blocked it from memory. But I found out months afterwards that we had been
invited because the bride wanted this particular bus for her party, but that it
was too expensive and her bridesmaids didn't want to pay for it. It was then
decided that the only way to afford this bus was for Terri to invite lots of
people and they would offset the price of the bus for the bridesmaids, hence
only being charged 10 dollars versus 40 for us
"non-friends." I don't think I even need to mention that
none of us were invited to the wedding. Once we were hip to Terri's game, she
was very disappointed that none of us attended her candle party!
Years have passed, and time has mercifully drawn a curtain
over the worst wedding shower I ever attended, but the particulars are still
fresh in my mind, like the last few minutes before a car wreck.
My friend, the Bride, worked at a food distribution place with
her fiancé. They had been the "office romance" and a co-worker had
always said "When you get married, I'll be the matron of honor!" So
when they got engaged, she got the job, even though she wasn't a really close
friend of the bride.
The wedding day was fast approaching, and MOH called a bunch
of us to see if we were free on a certain Saturday. We were, but I never heard
back from her to confirm that the shower (bachelorette) was on. Finally I called
a mutual friend who said that, yes indeed, the party was on, and she would drive
me to the venue as it was quite a distance from my home and definitely off the
As we drove and drove I asked if the place was close to the
bride's home. Nope. Was it a favorite place of hers? Nope. In fact, it was a
sports bar, not the sort of place the bride usually liked at all, she being
quite sophisticated. And my friend was confused about the bride's gift, too. The
MOH had phoned to ask her for ideas, and by a coincidence she knew exactly what
the bride wanted. But the MOH never asked her to pick it up. When we finally
arrived at the sports bar, we took our places at the table set aside. There were
about ten ladies there. The MOH arrived -- sans bride. She had never bothered to
get back to the bride with the date/venue, and hadn't been able to get hold of
her as the bride had been out all day. But she'd keep phoning her. She expected
the bride to drive to her own bachelorette! No present of course, since she
hadn't confirmed with the mutual friend to pick it up and hadn't gotten it
herself. Oh, well, we decided to eat. That's when we discovered why she'd chosen
the boisterous venue. It was a client of hers.
During the evening, a draw was made for one lucky
diner/drinker to have their bill voided. Guess who won! What a surprise, it was
the MOH. Did she then offer to pick up a round of drinks for the table? She did
not. And when the ceremonial "burning of the bill" took place, she
quickly retrieved the slightly singed document -- she was going to claim it on
her expense report! And she kept trashing the bride for not coming! It became
obvious that the bride was never going to show up and my friend and I made our
escape for the long drive home. I called the bride the next day, she said that
the MOH had never confirmed the date with her, and the bride had been out all
day, come home exhausted, turned off the ringer on her phone and gone to bed at
8 pm. Luckily for her, the MOH was so "insulted" by the no-show that
she removed herself from the wedding party.
My (at the time) best friend became engaged our senior year of
high school. She planned her wedding for the following September.
During this time she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding (like I said, we
were best friends and had even gone on a cruise together for our graduation
trip). As soon as she announced her engagement she told me that she wanted
me to host a lingerie shower for her. I agreed and began to plan the
Now at this time I was 18 and had never planned a shower
before but did the best that I could. I arranged a date that the bride
approved of, ordered a cake, made the food for the shower, invited all the
bridesmaids and any other friends that she wanted to invite. All in
all the planning went very well. The day of the shower guests arrive at
the scheduled time and we began to wait...and wait...and wait...until finally I
called the bride's home. No answer. So we wait some more...and
wait...and wait. At this time we had waited well over an hour ( I had gone
ahead and let the guests eat but we had not touched the cake yet), finally the
bride shows up about 15 minutes before the shower was to be over. Her
reason for being late? Her fiancé called and wanted to go three wheeler
riding that day so she decided to go with him instead. When she did bother
to show up at her own requested lingerie shower, she was covered with mud and
her fiancé sat in the truck, in the driveway, with the motor running. She
opened her presents, ate a piece of cake and ran out the door back to the truck
saying she would come back later to pick up her presents as she didn't want her
fiancé to see them.
After several days I finally loaded her presents up and carried
them to her mother's house on my own. She never once thanked me for the
shower or my gift. This is the same girl that later in life gave my
daughter a present for her 2nd birthday that had been given to her son on his
2nd birthday 2 weeks before by his grandparents. I knew that it was the
same gift because the inside of the book said: To:
Jacob Love: Nanny and Pop Some people!
Well this isn't too horrible, but still annoying. I attended
the bridal shower of my fiancé's brother's fiancée (confusing, eh?). The
shower was really great. Nice food, cute games, nice little party favors, all
together it was a well put together shower. The only hitch was that some woman
brought her two small children. One was about 3 or 4 and the other one was still
in diapers. The older girl was good, but the little one screamed the whole time.
Now I am sure that my mother never brought me or my siblings to anything bridal
or baby showers. Even when I was 12 she would say to me that bridal showers are
for grown ups. Some people just don't get that bringing your brats to adult
events spoils the fun.
I was asked to be a BM in a good friend's, NB, wedding.
I happily accepted. Since I had heard about no bridal showers
approximately 4 months before the wedding, I offered to throw one for her.
(I was on summer break from school and was working so had both extra money as
well as time to do such a thing) She seemed very pleased that I offered
and said okay. I got all the information for the other bridesmaids
(including MOH) and emailed them the date and time, explaining since I hadn't
heard about anyone offering to host a shower, so I had offered and obviously NB
accepted. (This became shower #1)
I immediately get both an email and a voicemail from MOH
expressing her desire to help (which I thought was great) and also kind of
expressing a disguised disappointment that I had offered. Since she was
MOH, she thought she should do it. I gladly accepted her offer to help and
felt badly that I might have stepped on her toes. We corresponded via
email for all aspects of the shower. Honestly, I did not like the fact
that I agreed to co-host the shower and yet I ended up doing all the work, but I
was trying to maintain peace for NB's sake.
I had this brilliant idea to do a joint gift from all the
bridesmaids--a "friends" scrap book in which each bridesmaid had a
page or two devoted to her history with the bride and we would later supplement
with pages from the shower, bachelorette party, and the wedding. I emailed
this idea to all the bridesmaids, who all thought it was a great idea,
especially the MOH, because NB loves pictures. Well, MOH offered to
help pick out the book. She found one, I approved and she ordered it.
Well, she told me later that she was going to give that to NB for the shower
gift. Since she was MOH, she would take care of it. I was very
irritated because she stole my idea for her own (instead of letting it be a nice
joint gift), but I didn't want to cause problems so I just let it slide.
So, planning for the shower continues. I obtain all
addresses for guests, purchase and mail all invites (saying that myself and MOH
were the hosts). I decide on the menu (no input from MOH), plan games (no
input from MOH), purchase all food and favors, including a corsage for NB.
The shower is at 2pm, so I ask her to come around 10am to help get things ready.
She looks at me like I am crazy, so I just tell her to come when she wants.
(She shows up at 12:45) In total, she spent about $40 on the shower.
I spent over $250 plus the gift I bought for NB.
When she showed up at 12:45, I had been up since 7am,
preparing party favors, finishing up the food, picking up the corsage and the
other food I had ordered and cleaning in preparation. (I had also started
preparing the night before, premaking the cake, chopping vegetables, etc.)
She had all the decorations and proceeded to take an extraordinarily long time
setting them up while the ONE food item she had said she would take care of
(fruit salad) hadn't even been started.
Fortunately, everything turned out beautifully. The food
was excellent, the games were a huge hit, and everyone gave me compliments
(which the MOH graciously accepted as her own).
The scrapbook? Well, after NB had opened all her
presents, MOH runs out with the scrapbook, unwrapped, hastily explaining it's
purpose. (Since she had offered to take care of it, I just stopped with my
ideas of getting things done nicely beforehand, wrapping it, etc) No one
really understood its purpose and unfortunately, the meaning behind it was lost
Post shower #1: --At shower #2, someone else complimented me
on the shower. Of course, MOH was within earshot and told this person
"Yeah, we weren't sure how it was going to turn out."
--At shower #3, MOH remarks to me, "This shower is a
little bit more professional than ours." She also notes that she
hadn't given a single gift to the bride with the exception of the scrapbook, but
it was okay because she spent soooo much money on the first shower. (She
had been bragging to me since I had met her about how much money her husband
makes and how she can work only 2 days and make so much money. Keep in
mind I am in graduate school and only had a job for the summer)
I was going to leave the bachelorette party planning up to
her, but she coincidently will be unable to attend. So I get stuck
planning that as well. I guess all-in-all, it works out because I will be
able to take the credit for this. I haven't informed the MOH of any
bachelorette party plans because I don't want anyone to get the impression she
helped (like she convinced everyone for the first shower!)
Hopefully the wedding goes smoothly and NB realizes this girl
is not a true friend.
There are so many things wrong with this shower right now, it
is hard to know were to begin. I received the invitation to the shower of my
brother in-law's fiancé. Now, I know the internet has become all the rage and
now, more than ever, people are emailing and internet surfing, but when I got
the evite for the shower, I knew that this would just be the beginning.
The evite arrived and in order to R.S.V.P, I had to register
on the evite website. Gee thanks, just what I need, more junk e-mail! Is it that
hard to make/buy invitations, address an envelop and put a stamp on it? Further,
choosing a Friday night for a shower at a time when most people are not even
home from work yet is horribly inconvenient for your guests. The shower is being
hosted by her mother. (Don't even get me started on that!) Front and center on
the evite invitation is the registry information, with hyperlinks right to the
stores, again, thanks for making it so easy for me.
But what takes the cake is when my husband and I viewed the
registries! At one of the major department stores, that also sells tools, they
have registered for a lovely Plasma TV, and at just under $3500.00, you can
imagine my shock that it has not been purchased yet! If someone has already
purchased the TV, you could also purchase the couple a 7 person spa for
$5000.00. I don't know how you would carry the spa into the shower! Since the
price range at the department store was a LITTLE out of our budget, we decided
to check the registry at a home store chain. Here again, the items they
registered for are ridiculously pricey. Out of 40 items on the list, over half
are $200.00 or more. Can't wait to see what goes on at the shower!
This is not so much a story of a faux pas, but more for the
prevention of one. I married the oldest of seven children (5 girls, two
boys). My dear husband was blessed with a sweet and loving mother.
My dear, now departed, mother-in-law was very very
"country". She did not have any real social graces, or manners
and knew it and was uncomfortable around strangers because of it. Several
times at my wedding shower she embarrassed herself, and although my friends,
family and church family were gracious and giving and tried to make her
feel more comfortable, it was no use. She was miserable!
We decided, my sisters-in-law and I, that we would not put her
through that anymore. We came up with the idea of a "family"
shower. This was for members of my husband's family only... no outsiders.
For weddings, babies, new homes, etc., we would have only family members at the
parties. We girls threw these showers for each other, and I know that
family is not supposed to throw showers for other family members, but in this
situation this is more appropriate.
My mother-in-law would happily attend and be very comfortable
and therefore the rest of the family could relax and have a good time. I
was so glad this is the way we did it! For those showers we were given outside
of the family we would happily tell people who inquired about her that she had
already attended one shower and she was unfortunately unable to attend that
Later in life, my dear MIL developed severe health problems
and as a result had developed some social phobias that did not allow her to even
leave her home. We have happy memories and lovely pictures of her being at
showers and birthday parties and I love the fact that I know she had a wonderful
time at all of them!
You are confused! It is acceptable for
family to host family only showers. It becomes an etiquette faux pas when
NON-family members are invited to family hosted showers.
When I began planning my wedding, my best friend of ten years,
'Sherry', the maid of honor, immediately offered to host a bridal shower. She
was living with her mother at the time (her mother worked but relied on Sherry
to pay the bills and take care of her - we were 21, this had been going on since
we were 16). There wasn't really any room in their apartment, so my mom offered
to have it at my parents' house, and Sherry could be the hostess.
It all sounded lovely to me. I gave a few names to Sherry, and
she was off. On the appointed date, we arrived at my mom's house, the
decorations were lovely and the food looked delicious, and we waited. And
waited. A few of my girlfriends showed up, as did my grandmother. My mom called
a couple good friends who were neighbors of hers.
Finally, Sherry excused herself to use the phone and came back
in tears. It seemed that her mother had insisted that she would drop the
invitations at the Post Office next to her job. She had put it off for a while,
but said they had been mailed. After Sherry's grilling, she broke down and
admitted that they were still in her purse, that she just hadn't had time to
drop them in the mailbox in the last five weeks that she'd had them.
So none of my cousins, my mom's cousins, family friends, or my
other friends received invitations. No wonder we were waiting around. Sherry's
mom didn't understand why we didn't just call people up and tell them to come
over! What an afternoon. Sherry felt like a failure, although no one blamed her
for her mom's so-typical-of-her passive aggressive actions, and we all felt
pretty embarrassed by the whole thing.
Page Last Updated May 15, 2007