Hi all OP here. I went to the bridal shower this past Sunday, oh man. I received a formal invite for this shower with a rsvp card/envelope involved so I knew this was going to be a pretty formal affair. My DF was invited as it was a couples shower, he didn't go as he had to work, but even if not he wouldn't have gone just because we find this trend of couples showers annoying.
The shower was at the venue where they are having the wedding, so think traditional banquet hall. The couple were standing at the door greeting everyone as they walked in. That was nice. Inside everything was set up as if it was a wedding. There was a head table with the bride and groom seated up top in between 8 of the bridesmaids. The remaining bridesmaids were on the lower tier of tables right below them, standard head table style for a wedding. There were round table with place setting, loads of cups, silverware, favors scattered about the tables. We sat down and around noon they started serving food. There were many many course. 7-8 I believe. After the 3rd course we were full at our table. It took about 3 hours to get all the food out. The service was quite slow I felt.
In between course, the MOG, who basically threw the party got up and talked with the mic and thanked everyone and their mother for coming and then handed out gifts to pretty much the entire immediate family, the bridal party, etc. It was clear that the MOG was the one is charge of making this a huge affair and it appeared that this was the norm for their large Italian family. To each their own I guess.
After we were done eating, the bridesmaid unwrapped each present and place the opened card on top of the coordinating present and pushed them down a long table so the bride/groom could read the card and say who it was from and announce what the gift was. This part made me quite upset as I had taken time to nicely wrap her gift. I gave her a few things from her registry as well as a homemade wreath. It was quickly passed down the line, with the brides response to it being, " oh, this is something you hang on your front door right?" Gifts were over in about 30 mins and then we were allowed to leave.
I left the party angry. I am not used to this sort of affair, but it appeared to not bother anyone else. I guess I am just traditional in that the party is females only and the bride opens her own gifts and tries not to break a ribbon. Also, the last thing that bothered me was that underneath the favor was a thank you card. Mass printed with a generic thank you on it.... My DF's mother suggested I do this for our wedding as well..... I told her absolutely not..
Well anyways, after that party, I thought that I would not go to either of her remaining parties. This was until I received the wedding invite the next day. Something about it made me so happy. It was a very classy invite and just made me excited about the wedding. I decided then that I would suck it up and go to her personal shower and her bach. party. I know its not her ideas for all these parties but rather the MOG. I will get her a very small/cheap gift for the personal shower and I think I will pass on the present for the bach party. I dont need to be buying my Df's cousin lingere hehe.
Thank you all for your responses. Its nice to hear I am not alone in thinking all these parties are crazy. I now know what not to do for my own wedding