|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.
Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jul - Dec 2000 Archive
My sister really valued her friendship with "Judy." Judy in
turn ignored my sister when she had a boyfriend, often calling only for a ride or some
other favor. We all bit our tongues as Sis would vehemently defend her, citing her trashy
background and lower intelligence as excuses. Judy didn't have any other girlfriends, so
when she became engaged my mother bit the bullet and agreed to help host the shower. My
mother doesn't have much money, but went out of her way to put together a nice shower with
favors, silly games, and ordered a cake. She also hired a caterer friend to provide food
for the 50 guests. Not only was Judy visibly disappointed that the affair wasn't
"posh" enough, she never thanked anyone for the shower or gifts. My sister was
then left to provide showers for the 2 offspring, doing so also without a thank you.
When my sister became engaged, my mother put the word out that she would be hosting the
shower. Judy called to say that she already had it all planned, and my mother happily let
her take over, thinking that perhaps Judy had turned over a new leaf. The first thing on
the new agenda was that no one was to bring gifts, only cash donations of $25.00 or more.
When we asked why, we were told that it would be a "surprise." We dressed up
nice on the big day and showed up at Judy's house. The house was a shambles, with the 2
children still in PJ's and unkempt. Judy was wearing sweats. There was no food,
decorations, games, or favors. Only a cake that would be brought out after the surprise.
The donations were counted up and another woman entered the room, also wearing sweats. She
was a Tupperware lady. After her little demonstration, she informed us in awed tones that
my sister was to use the donations to pick out any Tupperware merchandise from the
catalogue that she so desired. For some reason my sister agreed to this and ordered over
$250.00 worth of merchandise.
Then Judy brought out the cake which said (and I'm not making this up) "Happy 40th
Birthday Frank." Must have gotten quite a discount on that one. After eating the dry
cake with no beverages, we were all hustled out the door. One of the friends who attended
was so upset that she planned a surprise shower on the spot the following week, which
(thank God) more than made up for this tacky and tasteless display of bad manners.
My fiancé's sister is getting married in August, only three months after our wedding.
There are six of us in the bridal party -- the bride's best friend, her sister, myself,
and three other "friends." Everyone in the bridal party is either recently
married or will be married within a year. The bride's sister called the other day to
update me on the shower details. We were in hysterics! Mind you, the wedding is over five
months away -- and I have not even had my own shower yet -- but the groom and two of the
bridesmaids (of the aforementioned "friends") had decided that time was running
short, and took it upon themselves to finalize the shower details without telling the MOH!
The groom and one of the maids had called a few reception halls and had been told that
everything was fully booked in June and July. This is hardly surprising, considering that
the type of places they were looking at are usually reserved for WEDDINGS, not bridal
showers. They did not bother to call small restaurants, inns, or the like, or ask about a
brunch or lunchtime party. Rather, they decided that this was a desperate situation, and
settled for the first reception hall that was available...at a cost of about $30 per
guest. The groom signed the contract, and left it to the bridesmaids to inform the rest of
us. They called the MOH to let her know that, not only had they chosen the site, but also
bought the invitations and planned the favors! They also informed her that they would pay
for the invitations and some of the favors, but not the reception hall. You see, they
could not afford it since they were getting married themselves, the first one in November!
Needless to say, the rest of us were shocked.
The MOH and the bride's sister confronted the other maids, and they finally agreed to
make a few minor changes to the invitations and consider other options for the favors.
However, a nonrefundable deposit had been placed on the reception hall, so we could not
change the location. We are now going to split the cost six ways, though this will still
be much more expensive than most of us had anticipated. With our wedding only two months
away, my fiancé and I can hardly afford to pay a few hundred dollars for the shower! It
turns out that this was actually the groom's decision -- he wanted the bride to have a
certain "caliber" wedding, and would not settle for less than a four-course
meal. This means that the shower should be comparable to the wedding itself, which will
cost them nearly $200 a plate. If he were paying for it, this would be fine, but this is a
girls-only affair, so we are left with the bill ... and a whole lot of frustration.
This is a copy of an email sent company wide. We are still floored that someone had the
nerve to send such an 'invitation' to an office bridal shower. Not only was a shopping
list provided, but we were to put our name next to the gift we planned to buy!
Subject: Surprise Bridal Shower for "X"
> Attached is a list of things needed for "X's" new home. As everyone
goes over the list, can you please update the following file (items
next to the item you will purchase so we can eliminate duplicates. I will email
everyone @ a later date the time this will take place as we're still verifying
occupancy, once confirmed I'll let you know. > > Items Needed: Living Room -
Hunter Green Bathroom - Hunter Green & Mauve Kitchen - Light Blue & White Master
Bedroom - Navy Blue 1) Silverware 2) Stainless Steel Cooking Spoons 3) Food Processor 4)
Air Bake Pans 5) Knife Set 6) Glasses 7) Dinnerware Set 8) Pots & Frying Pans 9)
Electric Mixer 10) Mixing Bowls 11) Coffee Pot 12) Measuring Cups 13) Muffin Pans 14) Fry
Daddy 15) Rice Pot 16) Blender 17) Pot Holders 18) Cook Books 19) Paper Towel Holder 20)
Towels 21) Wash Clothes 22) Garbage Can for Bathroom 23) Toothbrush Holder / Soap Holder
24) Sheets (Queen Size) 25) Pillows 26) Pillow Cases 27) Blankets 28) Ice Chest 29) Water
Hoses - 2 30) Rake 31) Telephones - 2 32) Barbecue Pit / Grill 33) Iron / Iron Board 34)
Wind Chimes 35) Lawn Chairs 36) Door Mats 37) Pictures 38) vacuum Cleaner 39) Gift
Certificates (Registered @ Wal-Mart)
I just love the stories I have read here! They are hysterical. My shower was not as bad
as I felt like it was after reading all of these. When I announced my engagement my aunt
immediately started planning my shower, without even asking if she could give it for me.
Being that I don't like to step on anyone's toes, I let her go ahead with her little plan.
She asked me for a guest list and told me not to leave ANYONE out. I gave her a list of
25 people. She said, oh I know you know more people than that. That being said she
had me revise my list and I then gave her a list of about 60 people.
When the time came for the shower only 10 people showed up! It was very embarrassing!
When it was time to open presents, two of my youngest cousins stood right up front, in
front of everyone, and tried to help me open presents. I told them to go and sit down so
many times. Not one time did their mothers come and get them to sit down. It was plainly
obvious that they were in the way! About the time we finished up with the presents, my
grandmother walks in and says, "Sorry I'm late, the gift registry had everything
duplicated!" We ate and it was over. She didn't want to play any games because
she didn't like to play them. I wanted them, that should have been reason enough. Needless
to say I was very disappointed! To top it off - my gift registry was very very messed up.
I sat and wrote a 3 page letter to this major department store that is now going out of
business and ended up with a large gift certificate! I let someone else plan my baby
shower and it was a much much much larger turn out and a much happier experience.
I had my shower this past Saturday. I thought it was fun and going fine until my sis
started acting strange. She and I are twins so I was excited to have her there. She is
also walking me down the aisle, toasting me at the reception and MCing the reception. Her
8 yr old daughter is my flower girl.
My shower was fine until we started opening gifts. My cousins were taking pics and
making a silly hat for me out of bows and ribbon. My sis gave them the finger when she was
asked to help or have her pic taken...OK that was weird but I thought it was a momentary
thing. After the gift opening we played a game. Part of the games required everyone to
write a note to the couple to be opened at our tenth anniversary. She refused to do that
and instead got up and handed out fortune cookies she had made herself. I thought that was
sweet. NOPE. The fortune cookies were all filled with messages about how to get a speedy
divorce, men beating their wives and generally bashing marriage and men. OK, that's
enough, I was getting mad...
Oh but she wasn't done... She then stood up and decided she didn't feel welcome and was
leaving. She was not interested in participating in a whore's wedding. She called several
guests various vulgar names and told my friends and family that hanging out with me and
them was like being raped over and over...(No she has never been raped).This was all in
front of my friends, family, in laws (including his 80 yr old granny), and both our co
-workers. She then picked up her plate and tossed the food on it against the wall! She
then left. She called about 30 minutes later to scream obscenities over the phone.
She has decided to not participate in the wedding at all. Guess how long I had to replace
her???12 days! All this was 12 days till my wedding. It is now 10 days till my wedding and
I have no idea what I am supposed to do....she's not invited anymore, needless to say.
Wish me luck! Bridals1005-01
A good friend of mine was getting married to the man my husband and I
had introduced to her. I offered to host a couple's shower for them. She
said that would be lovely, and I began to make plans.
A few days later she called and said that another friend (whom I did not
know) wanted to host a shower also and would I mind co-hosting. I agreed and
called the other friend to make plans. She informed me that she was very
busy and would call me back in a few days. A week later I still had not
heard from her. I called several times trying to get in contact with her.
Finally, after another week had gone by I called the bride to inform
her that I was having a hard time getting in touch with her friend. The next
day I received an invitation to a couple shower hosted by the other friend.
Feeling slightly hurt I decided to attend and put my best face forward.
The night of the shower my husband and I show up at the fancy
restaurant indicated in the invitation. When we arrive I'm accosted by the
friend who informs me of my half of the shower. I graciously write a check
and try to have a good time the rest of the evening. The bride sent a very
nice thank you for "co-hosting," the shower. I never told her any
different. Ah well . bridals0317-01
I'm just finishing a graduate school, and a close friend of mine is getting married out
of town later this summer. I am to be a bridesmaid. One of my classmates, let's call
her "Susie," is getting married two weeks after graduation. She, too, is getting
married out of town. After a couple of years of graduate school, I don't have a lot of
extra money sitting around, and my friend's wedding is taking up a chunk of it. Susie told
me that I was on her guest list, and it was obvious from her tone that I was expected to
Later on, she gave me the bridal shower date. After receiving the invitation, I RSVP'd
that I would go, since it was getting close to finals, I bought both the shower gift and
the wedding gift. A week later, Susie had a tantrum and told me I was a bad bridesmaid
because I had a conflict with a postgraduate course I am enrolled in and the rehearsal
dinner. I am a few years older than Susie, and I have been a bridesmaid before. Maybe
that's the problem. Susie reamed me out because I was not sure I would be attending a
rehearsal for my friends wedding. My friend understands that this class is very important
to my future and that there might be a conflict. She didn't think it was a big deal
Susie thought I had an obligation to cancel as a bridesmaid two months before the
wedding, after the dresses had been ordered, since I was unable to fulfill all of my
bridesmaids obligations. I thought Susie was awful, telling me how to run my friendship
with someone else, but that was only the beginning. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to go
to her shower, and one day I received e-mail from Susie, saying that I should let her know
whether or not I was attending the shower, because she would "hate for the hostess to
plan for someone who wasn't going to be there." I was puzzled about this, and
wondered whether it was a hint for me not to show, since my understanding is that it is
proper to notify the hostess if I was canceling. A few days before the shower, I got a
card from Susie, and I opened it up, thinking she realized how rude she had been to me.
No. It was my official disinvitation to her shower. She didn't comment about the wedding,
and by then I had received the wedding invitation.
Susie knew I had bought her gifts and in her message told me to return them. I was
astonished at this, and later told her I assumed it was an oversight that she had failed
to disinvite me to the wedding. She left me a message apologizing for her tantrum and
hoping we could still be friends. Not likely! I don't know anyone who has ever been
disinvited to a shower! Isn't it supposed to be MY choice whether to go or not, once the
invitation has been extended? And don't most people cancel if they're mad? I think she
realized what a total wench she was, at least to a point! I don't' think she caught on yet
how incredibly rude the disinvitation itself was. I thought it was worse than her tantrum
since it was premeditated! In the end, she did me a huge favor. I feel much better off
financially, and I ended up selling her gift to a friend who had forgotten to buy a
wedding gift. I had the complete package, card, wrapping paper and bow, to sell along with
the gift! Since then, my friend's bridal shower has been scheduled for the weekend Susie
is getting married. I guess I would have had to cancel in favor of fulfilling my
bridesmaid duties!!!! Bridals 0530-01
I truly enjoy this website! I could spend days reading everything! My story is still in
the process actually. When I got engaged I knew I wasn't going to be having a shower. All
my closest friends and family lived several in other states. I was just happy that they
were coming to the wedding. I live near several cousins and aunts that I'm not very close
to. One of my cousins (who I've always looked up to a great deal) invited me to her
daughter's birthday party. At the party she asked if she could throw me a bridal shower. I
was so excited! I had not planned on a shower and felt so honored that she was throwing me
one. I was practically in tears (of joy of course) on the way home talking to my fiancé
After the birthday party I didn't hear from her for several months. She had agreed to
sing in my wedding so I gave her a call to ask her about that. Two months later she
finally called me back. She apologized for not getting back to me sooner and I was very
forgiving. She then asked me to get together a list of people to invite to the shower. I
explained to her that I didn't have alot of close friends in the area anymore but there
were still a few friends I would like to invite, the rest would have to be family members.
She told me she'd call me the next day to get the list. The next day came and I didn't get
a phone call. She then called me several weeks later and said she was going to call me
that evening with a fax number and I was to fax the list to her. She was out of town but
wanted to get the invitations out right away. I asked her when the shower was scheduled
for and she said July 7 and she told me where it was going to be. She had planned it at a
church 2 hours away. That was okay with me and was very excited since it was only a couple
Well, once again, she doesn't call. I would've called her but she was out of town. So
July 7th began to creep up. I never got an invitation or a phone call so I didn't know if
it was still planned. On July 5th (two days before the shower was scheduled) I get a call
from one of my aunts. She asked me if I was still having a shower. I told her I didn't
know either. She was very frustrated because it was supposed to be at her house (something
I didn't know about) and didn't have a clue if it was still going to happen. She told me
she assumed the shower wasn't going to be on that date. Instead they will have it a couple
days before my wedding. This is when I got fed up. I told them to not worry about it. I
was going to be way to busy with getting things together for the wedding to attend a
shower 2 hours away. To top it off, my cousin won't return my calls or the pianist's calls
about singing in the wedding. The last time I talked to her she INSISTED on singing. Well,
it's 3 weeks until the wedding and she hasn't even rehearsed. The moral of the story,
don't insist on throwing a bridal shower or singing at a wedding unless you actually
intend to. I am still waiting to see how this turns out. Probably just how I assume it
will. The hurt feelings have healed but I will never rely on my cousin for ANYTHING!!!!
Love your site. Here's a story about my shower, which took place in 1988. It could have
been worse, but it was bad enough. My dad was terminally ill with cancer and
unfortunately, died a week before my shower. We decided to go ahead with it anyway--he
would have wanted us to, mom said.
I had a roommate at the time, I'll call her Sally. Sally calls me in the middle of the
shower at the hall we were holding it at, and tells me she's at a friend's house and got a
flat tire and can't come to the shower. I asked, "Couldn't your friend drive you to
the shower? She's welcome to stay for it, too." She agreed, and they arrived--drunk!
Remember my father had been buried only one week before.
At the shower, my mother had asked the caterers to provide a "whiskey sour
fountain", one of those plastic affairs with unlimited booze. Sally decided she
didn't like it, and started ordering more drinks from the bar. My friend Jerry was
videotaping the whole event, in lieu of his wife, Diane, my best friend. Diane was home
with sickness from her pregnancy. In the middle of the shower, Sally starts flirting with
Jerry, and then asks me quietly if he's single. I was happy to inform her that he was
married to my best friend and they were having a child. Sally really embarrassed me
greatly in front of my family and friends. Bridals 0810-01B
I just can't believe the guts people have to do things like this!!! After reading all
these stories mine doesn't seem so bad. But I still consider it pretty tacky. A friend of
mine had a bridal shower a while back. I was very financially strapped at the time but
still got her a nice small 25 dollar gift. She had informed me that I didn't have to feel
like I had to bring a gift but who could go to a bridal shower without a gift and feel
Anyhow, a few days after the shower she informed me that she had gotten 3 of the same
gift as I gotten her and all the other stuff that they got doubles of they returned and
took the store credit and bought themselves clothes!!! I mean first of all they had very
nice stuff and had been living together already so everything they got from the shower
just "upgraded" everything they had to brand new stuff. See my thinking is, if
you already live together and have been for a while you should skip the "wedding
shower" part of marriage since wedding showers are for new couples who are trying to
set up a new home together. If you already have a home together and you just look greedy.