Author Topic: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers  (Read 4488 times)

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Yvaine

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2013, 11:13:22 AM »
I've been to showers that were both pretty informal and had tables. Think big extended family and friends in a church basement. Nothing fancy at all, no plated five-star dinners or anything, but tables. There were also kids running around.

Sharnita

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2013, 11:17:07 AM »
Yeah, the tables don't particularly make it formal.

Yvaine

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2013, 11:18:20 AM »
Not when the fine linens come out of a plastic package from Wally World.  ;D

Surianne

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2013, 11:25:56 AM »
I think the showers that I'm used to and the showers that the OP is decribing is just a different party all together.  I'm accustomed to showers being gatherings in someone house where a bunch of women, and sometimes men, eat some food, have some cake, and watch someone open presents.  I have never been to one where young children were invited (and I think the tendancy for them to want to participate with the gifts is a good reason why) or where there has been tables that we all sit around.

Showers with tables, set meals, etc, seem a bit too formal for what I'm used to...and that is obviously contributing to my confusion.

Ditto.  I don't think I've ever been to a shower that wasn't either at someone's house, or outdoors.

Sharnita

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2013, 11:33:42 AM »
Honestly, the most formal shower I wasa ever at was at somebody's house.  I have also been at casual home showers.  Probably most showers I have been at are at church halls and are pretty casual.

NyaChan

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2013, 01:15:22 PM »
I've seen both.  When I was younger, small showers were held at the hosts home and children were often, but not always invited.  There weren't tables simply because the numbers and space did not require or allow for it.  When showers grew in size, I saw people renting venues and setting up tables to accommodate the number of guests attending.  It didn't necessarily get more or less formal, but it was easier than setting up rows upon rows of chairs around the guest of honor as they opened presents.

lowspark

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2013, 01:52:31 PM »
Regarding the children issue, to me, a shower is pretty much an adult party. Now, sometimes it's ok for kids to be there, mostly if they are related to the GOH, or I've often seen infants at baby showers as the Mom-to-be has friends who are at about the same stage of life as she is.

But, just as in any other situation, if the child is unable or unwilling to behave properly, they don't belong. This business of opening the gifts for the GOH or making a fuss of any kind about the gifts, or about anything, is inappropriate and the parent(s) should immediately remove the child, even if it means leaving the party early. If I were the host, I'd see to it that the child was removed. Period.

When parents allow their children to display inappropriate behavior and make no effort to control them, they should suffer the consequences of being asked to leave.

As far as the hubbub of the crowd, my experience is that so much depends on how the host is running the gift opening and how the GOH is doing it. I've been to showers where it can actually be (at least somewhat) entertaining and engaging, and some where, frankly, the conversation with someone sitting next to me, no matter how mundane, is more interesting.

I think it's possible to hold the attention of the guests, but it takes some effort on the part of the gift opener and her helpers.

cattlekid

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2013, 05:51:20 PM »
Wedding showers in DH's family rival most wedding receptions in size and formality.  Most wedding showers that I have been to average about 125-175 guests (most of the female guests invited to the wedding, obviously in this situation, the bigger the wedding, the bigger the shower). 

The bad part is that they DON'T do assigned seating other than the head table and maybe two tables for immediate family.  Everyone else is left to fend for themselves.  I am not of the same ethnic group and do not speak much of the language, other than the pleasantries (hello, please, thank you etc.)  I went to one shower where I wandered from table to table like it was a high school cafeteria, getting shunned by each table because I only knew the people at the head table/reserved tables and I wasn't one of them.  I was literally about to drop my gift and run when a  table full of women saw my plight, took pity on me and let me sit with them.   :-[

To keep this post on topic, gift openings are done assembly line fashion.   Half the BM's open the gifts, put the cards with the gifts and hand each gift to the bride.  The bride (using a microphone, usually) tells the crowd what the gift is and who it is from.  Then the other half of the BM's record the gift and stack it in an out of the way place.   The GM's and groom arrive near the end to start packing up the gifts.  I literally had a wall of boxes in my basement that I couldn't open for six weeks prior to our wedding because it's "bad luck" to use a shower gift prior to the wedding.   :o 

I really missed opening my own gifts.   :(

Surianne

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2013, 06:17:34 PM »
It's really neat reading everyone's experiences because it just goes to show there *are* no rules for showers and they can vary tremendously.  I've never been to a shower with more than 40 people, and I don't think I've ever been to one without a significant number of child guests  :)


Figgie

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2013, 06:45:10 PM »
The last shower I attended (about 75 people) was held at a pizza place in the party room.  Everyone arrived, went through the pizza buffet and ate.  Then we all settled in (sitting at tables) to watch the bride open her gifts. 

One bridesmaid would loosen the paper and bow and hand the bride the card.  Bride would read card out loud, bridesmaid would hand her the gift, she would then open the present and thank the person who gave it to her.  Then everyone would ooh and aah and another bridesmaid would take it to open tables to be displayed, while a third bridesmaid wrote down who it was from and what it was.

It took several hours to open 60 plus presents.  There were no children present and after the presents had been opened, everyone walked around the tables where they were displayed to get a closer look at what had been given.

Since I don't attend showers for people that I am not emotionally close to, I didn't find it all boring.  :)  The very few showers that I've been to where children have been encouraged to open presents are also the only showers I've never received a thank you note from the bride.  Fortunately, those types of showers have been few and far between!

gellchom

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2013, 08:48:28 AM »
I've seen both.  When I was younger, small showers were held at the hosts home and children were often, but not always invited.  There weren't tables simply because the numbers and space did not require or allow for it.  When showers grew in size, I saw people renting venues and setting up tables to accommodate the number of guests attending.  It didn't necessarily get more or less formal, but it was easier than setting up rows upon rows of chairs around the guest of honor as they opened presents.
This is my experience exactly.

Thipu1

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2013, 10:47:52 AM »
With one exception, all the showers I've attended have been small affairs in someone's home.  The largest was about 40 people and this was a co-ed baby shower so there were only about 20 gifts to open since all the guests were married couples. 

The children of the host couple were present but the kids were good and mostly busied themselves helping get out the snack food and delivering pieces of cake. 

The only exception was a Bridsl shower for the cousin who lived downstairs from us for a while and married the Bum.  This was a huge affair about the size of my Grandparents' 50th Anniversary party and took up a whole restaurant.  Of course, anything this branch of the family did had to be the biggest, though rarely the best.