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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.

Order it now!

Bridal Showers

Spring 2000 Archive
Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jul - Dec 2000 Archive
Jan-Dec 2001 Archive

Before the gentle readers delve into these tales of Bridal Shower woe, Miss Jeanne has a few words to say.  There has been an astonishing increase in number of bridal shower stories submitted in 2002 in which the contributors see absolutely nothing wrong with family members hosting their bridal showers.  If nothing else, Etiquette Hell exists to stomp out the fires of societal decay whereever we see them flaring up and Etiquette Hellions everywhere should resist the urge to play with the fire of famiial shower hosting.   If you send me a story of your mother, future mother-in-law , sister or future sister-in-law hosting your shower, simply pick yourself up by the seat of your own pants and boot yourself into Etiquette Hell for an undetermined amount of time.

I only found your site today and just spent the whole afternoon reading all the stories. Some of them really sent shivers down my spine! It was also very interesting reading about the different traditions. I'm South African and we only get one Bridal shower / kitchen tea / bachelorette party.  It also sounds like our wedding etiquette rules are far more relaxed than yours, i.e. it's acceptable here to hand deliver wedding invites and thank you cards. We also rarely use gift registries.

May more Americans emulate South African wedding etiquette.

My story is about the bridal shower that was thrown for me. I (naturally) felt like the injured party, but some people might think that I was the bad guy in the whole fiasco. I'll leave it to you to judge! My two dearest friends live in another city and I knew that coming to my wedding was going to be enough of an expense for them, so I couldn't possibly expect them to also make a special trip down for a shower. So, I told my mom: no friends, NO SHOWER. Guess what, she and my SIL planned a shower anyway. I found out about this and told my mom and sisters that I knew and that they had just better get any ideas of dressing me up or making me do stupid things right out of their heads.

We duly drove to my SIL's place on the day and I was in a foul mood. To top it all off, there was only 1 of MY friends there (who I myself had invited), the rest were all my hubby's female relatives and, besides my sisters who are all younger than I am, only one of them was under 23 years of age! My SIL expressed her dissatisfaction that I was still dressed "nicely" but I gave her a look and she left me alone. They then proceeded sit in a circle around me (like vultures) and make me guess what each present was. Now I had no problem with that part of affairs, it was kinda fun, but if I guessed wrong I was forced to do a forfeit. This is where I will admit I could be to blame because I was really reluctant to make a fool out of myself in front of all these people I hardly knew! If I refused to do their silly forfeit i.e. dance by myself in front of them, or try to catch pieces of chocolate floating in booze out of a plate using only my mouth WHILE blind-folded, etc. they forced me to drink a shot of vodka (or something equally vile). I don't drink, so this made me even more upset.

I went along with it for as long as I could, but when they tried once more to force a forfeit on me I simply burst into tears (and hid behind my mom, who was feeling very bad about the whole thing). I still cannot think of that moment without feeling angry and humiliated. They still tried to make me do a few more forfeits (can you believe it?) but my mom snarled at them to leave me alone. I forgave her for her part in the whole thing then and there! I was mortified by my inability to control my emotions and the party atmosphere disintegrated very quickly. "Luckily" (I'm trying to convey my sarcasm here) for them, one of my husband's more obnoxious relatives was there and she proceeded to do all the forfeits "to show me how" and drink all the booze. We left and I found out two years later that they had a roaring party once we left, thanks to "Missy" filling in for me. I have to admit that I felt a faint quiver of satisfaction when her husband divorced her earlier this year for a very demure younger woman. My only friend who was there told her husband about the whole thing and he told me that they both felt that it was my fault it was a flop because I didn't try to make it better! I think that comment was what hurt the most about the whole stinking fiasco. So what do you think? Was it my fault? I am now pregnant with my first child and was overcome with dread when my mom has informed me that she is planning a baby shower for me. Once bitten, twice shy! Etiquette be damned, I am taking matters into my own hands this time and organizing as much of the darn thing myself as possible! Wish me luck...    Showers0110-02

A pox on friends and family who put a guest of honor in the awkward position of either acting like a buffoon or being the bad guy for declining the "fun".  Double pox on anyone planning their own shower. 

In high school, a very good friend of mine, "Rachel," (who is an extremely sweet and generous person) decided to throw a surprise bridal shower for her best friend, "Lila." Lila was going to marry her high school boyfriend at the end of her junior year. The boyfriend, who was in the army, and older than Lila, had been in another state, far away, for some time. So, they had been doing the long distance relationship thing. Anyway, I was invited to the shower, along with several other friends. I pitched in for a nice gift with another friend, and the shower went off without a hitch. Lila seemed very surprised and happy to receive all the nice presents and well wishes.

Well, a few weeks later, we all got a shocker. Rachel and her family had gone away for a weekend, and since she and Lila were such good friends, Lila had been asked to house-sit (this is Rachel's parent's house) for the weekend. Rachel ended up coming home a few hours before she was due back to find Lila in her parent's bed with her own boyfriend (of more than a year).

They had apparently been having a secret affair for several months, which included the time when the shower was given. Needless to say, the wedding was off, and Rachel was left heartbroken. Those who attended the shower never received their gifts back or even so much as a thank-you.     Showers0218-02

Though my wedding has a few bad stories wrapped into it, my Bridal Shower wasn't that bad. However, we waited to have it until my sister came into town. We also waited to have the Bachelorette Party the night before this Bridal Shower, just so she could feel a part of it all and attend. So, you can imagine how hung over everyone was at the Bridal Shower. I should also add that I had already had a "regular" Bridal Shower, but this one was a Lingerie Bridal Shower that my closest friends, sisters and mother wanted to throw.

Anyway, we invited a friend that is known for being very "cheap"....buys gifts at the dollar store, etc. Many had made snide comments about what she would probably bring - or not bring, as she had also shown up empty handed many times. You know the type, expects you to buy her gifts, or pay for her share of lunch and drinks - but never pays for you, pays you back or brings a gift. No matter, to me - it was about having friends there, with or without gift. Well, I am shocked when she walks in with this beautifully wrapped package. We place it on the table and we all move to games, eating and drinking. We finally get to the opening of the gifts and hers is handed to me. Her face lights up...she is soooo excited about me opening it. She blurts out "this is the one thing I know your man wants to see you in more than ever". I open it up and the box is empty. We all bust out laughing...what a cute "gag" gift. However, it was her only gift. The room fell silent. She did it again!    Showers0411-02

Isn't laughter one of the best gifts we can give and receive?

When my brother and his fiancée planned their wedding, several family members (aunts, etc) asked me about hosting a bridal shower for our side of the family. I said I would check with my future sister-in-law's bridesmaids and see what they thought, as I didn't want to step on any toes. I emailed the 4 bridesmaids and said that family members had inquired about planning a shower, what were their thoughts. I received a scathing email reply from the MOH. I was told how I had belittled her position as MOH and it was completely inappropriate of me to plan a shower (like I had sent out invitations instead of asking about the idea.) OK, so I said it's all yours, let me know if you need any help.

Flash forward a month or so, I get an email from the MOH, upset that the bride has informed her that her grandmother is hosting the shower, and it is already being planned. So, now the MOH is furious at the bride and expecting me to back her up. I simply told the bride to let her grandmother know that I can be of help if needed. I hear back from the bride a week or so later, and they are having planning problems. The venue her grandmother really wants to use is too small to accommodate both sides of the family, and she doesn't know what to do. She wants to know if it's proper to have two separate showers, one for each side of the family, to make each a smaller gathering. I told her I saw no problem with that, and that I would be happy to coordinate with our side of the family to set up the other shower. In the spirit of being nice, I decided to pass this info along to the MOH and tell her that since I know she wanted to plan a shower, she was welcome to take whatever role she wanted in planning this one (she'd been complaining that the grandmother was not returning her calls or responding to her offers of help.) She seemed pleased and said she wanted to brainstorm on different ideas.

Well, I never heard from her for about a month, and then it was to tell me she doesn't think she can make the shower after all, she is planning on visiting an out of town friend that weekend! So I said, well then, don't worry about it, there are plenty of aunts and cousins offering to help out, it shouldn't be a problem. She responds that she wants to help with the planning still, and to just tell her what to do. I gave her a list of things that we needed taken care of: favors, gifts, decorations, etc. and asked her what of those, she would like to help out with. We had not decided on a decorating scheme, so she said she would give it some thought. A week later, she told me about these fabulous decorations she had found, and that she picked them up and would get them to me prior to the shower. OK, one item down. She also volunteered to make a Mexican dip that she says goes over very well, and she would drop it off for me before she leaves town. Great. So, I get the decorations from her about a week before the shower. She also says "I don't think I can make that dish, I'll send you the recipe, because you really should have it there." So, I get the recipe along with a note telling me that she has been waiting for the check to reimburse her for the decorations!

So, we've gone from "I am the one who's supposed to throw the shower!!" to her not showing up and not paying for any costs. All the while telling people how "we're" throwing a shower for the bride! Also - she told the grandmother that I said I would provide the food for the other shower (for the bride's side of the family)! I never mentioned one word to her about the other shower or helping out with it, but I get a call from the grandmother telling me the MOH told her I'd be happy to prepare the food for the shower and what menu was I planning? I was floored! I said MOH must have been mistaken, as I was planning on doing food for the shower I was planning, but if she needed me to bring a dish or two for theirs, I could certainly do so.

To top it all off, the MOH did not plan the bachelorette party until 3 days before hand, and she ignored the bride's one request. The bride had asked that the party be done in bars nearby instead of the downtown area. She was worried about everyone trying to get home from downtown late at night, after a night of drinking. She said if we did it nearby, we could have a member of her family come out to pick us up and deposit us at her house to sleep it off. Well, MOH plans it for downtown, anyway, telling the bride that she will remain sober and drive everyone back to the bride's house. When she invited everyone, she informed us that someone must remain sober and drive everyone home, as she did not feel it was appropriate for the MOH to not drink and share in the festivities. Oh, and everyone would pay an equal share of the bar bill (yes, even the designated sober driver who would be downing cheap cokes and water all night).

Needless to say, not one of the bridesmaids or other close friends and family even spoke to the MOH at the wedding. I don't think the bride even talks to her anymore!     Showers0419-02

I was a bridesmaid for my friend "Stacy" many years ago and I was the bridesmaid deemed worthy enough to plan her shower and bachelorette party since her MOH lived out of town.

About 6 months before the shower Stacy's mother came to town to help with the wedding plans. I suggested that we go out to lunch with our mothers as a nice get to know you kind of thing. I never dreamed that when the check came Stacy and her mother would sit there on their hands, never offering to split the bill. They just assumed it was my mother's treat!

Finally, the day of the shower arrives. Mind you, I was quite ill at the time but I still managed to make all the gourmet food and provide all the drinks. I arrived early at the shower, thankfully held at the groom's mother's home, with the food loaded in the car. I proceeded to unload the food with a friend who was not a bridesmaid but who was sweet enough to help me. Stacy's family arrived and refused to acknowledge me or speak to me. The groom's family began to squirm when they realized that I was being so ostentatiously ostracized; then the rest of the bridesmaids began to squirm. Still, the family simply would not speak to me. I served them food, I smiled, I played perfect hostess. Needless to say, they never warmed up. I spent the entire shower and wedding and reception away from the rest of the wedding party where I was clearly not wanted. I still have no idea why I was ostracized. Of course, I never received a thank you note.

Still, it didn't end. Years later when Stacy was pregnant, her husband called me and asked me to host a baby shower! Being a southern woman, I agreed. A few months before the shower was to happen I called Stacy and told her I had cancer and just couldn't do it. That was the end of our friendship as far as she was concerned. Showers0426-02

Let me start by saying I feel bad even telling this story, because no one was obligated to give me a shower, and I am truly grateful for every guest who attended and the gifts they gave to myself and my husband.

My mother-in-law is a wee bit bossy. Luckily, my husband and I live on the west coast, and both of our families are on the east coast. This makes run-ins few and far between. However, with the wedding, she kept doing things without asking us first - like hand-making wedding programs for us, when I had already picked out and gotten price quotes on the ones I wanted.

I had originally said I wasn't sure I wanted a shower, because I didn't know when I could fly over there, plus my husband and I each had our own apartments and had for years, so we didn't really need anything. Well, both my mother and mother-in-law insisted. So I arranged for some vacation time and bought a ticket, and both mothers had the showers the same weekend. (My MOH had a shower for me here in CA).

So a week before the shower my MOH calls me, and says she just got a phone call from my MIL saying that MOH needs to get there early, help get the house ready and cook food for the shower, serve guests drinks during the shower, and stay to clean up afterwards. To this, I informed my MOH that she, too, was a guest, because she isn't throwing this shower, and she will arrive and leave with me. Now she did help, as any guest at a party helps out. I was just upset that she was "informed" that she would be helping.

Well, MIL didn't call anyone else to ask what I liked or didn't like for this shower, she again just did things without asking. So we get to the shower. She has made a huge pork roast - I do not eat meat, and my MOH is Jewish. I put some salad on my plate, and since there are no non-meat sides, that's all I get to eat. We did not play shower games because she doesn't like them. Keep in mind I have meet all these people maybe 4 times in my life, so some shower games could have helped me learn about this new side of the family. I spoke to MIL for maybe 5 min. the whole shower because she was in the kitchen the entire time, and every time I went in to say hello she kicked me out, because it was "my party" and I needed to be out with "my guests." The guests, all MIL's family, kept talking about how amazing she is to do a party like this, with great food, the house all decorated. This was hardly "my party," I was simply an excuse.

So when my SIL got engaged, and we started planning her shower, I insisted to the other bridesmaids that we get a caterer, and explained MIL was in the kitchen the entire time during my shower, and I wanted her to get to be Mother of the Bride for her daughter's wedding. Well, MIL INSISTED she have the shower at her house, and she's cooking. I felt bad for my SIL as she had her whole shower with her mom yelling, "Honey, what is it?" from the kitchen every time a present was opened.       Showers0509-02

This is a bridal shower story of horrible, horrible manners. I was asked to be a bridesmaid in K's wedding. We went to college together and became very good friends. She was to be married in her parent's hometown and I traveled over 3 hours to be there on Saturday afternoon. When K and I met at her mother's house, we drove together to the shower. It was held by her godmothers, a cluster of middle-aged Southern ladies who had really gone all out for the shower. The house was beautifully decorated. The dining room table was laid with the house china and lovely smells were coming from the kitchen. A small flowered canopy could be seen on the patio beyond the living room's sliding glass doors. I thought, how lovely! When the rest of the guests arrived, I did some mental calculation and determined that there were not enough seats around the table, but shrugged it off. I mean, how could someone who sets such a nice table miss something so crucial? Well, they didn't miss it. One look at the table showed placecards and none of the bridesmaids names were on the table.

'Oh, we thought you'd be more comfortable outside while K's family spent some time with her today', and we were shown the table on the patio under the canopy. In 95 degree heat. With the patio door shut. We could SEE the rest of the party inside, but were stuck outside with the flower girl and paper plates. Disgusting! We were just shocked. I mean, we were all successful career women, the known best friends of the bride! To this day, I wonder what they were thinking and wonder how this was justified. We of course kept it to ourselves, and I've just been dying to share this for years. Thanks for your forum!     Showers0617-02

I was widowed at a young age about 5 years ago, and was surprised and thrilled when I fell in love again. About a year after we began dating, "David" asked me to marry him and I happily accepted--it was time to have a future worth living for! Our families and friends were thrilled for us, and the planning began in earnest. My girlfriends from work, many of whom had been at my first husband's funeral, wanted to throw me a bridal shower. I was hesitant at first, it seemed greedy and I requested an afternoon of fun sans gifts. Their response was "NOPE! You can't invite all of us to your wedding, so this is our chance to do it up right." When they found out I'd never had a bridal shower before (that's another long story) they stepped it up--time to register. One good friend noted that it was time to toss all the old stuff I'd had since college and get some nice things. Her words, "you deserve it" made me feel less guilty about having a shower when I had already been married.

Invites went out, and on the list were the spouses of male colleagues that I often see socially. One, a very young woman I have only known a couple of years, declined the invitation the afternoon of the shower. No problem, I had mainly invited her to be polite. My intended was actually going out with her husband for a guy's night out of drinks. The shower was perfect! I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends, and they spoiled me! There was lots of laughter, and a few tears as we recalled how wonderful my life had become since meeting David.

When David came home that night we commented that the declining-spouse (DS) had actually met up with the guys after a movie with a girlfriend. Not a big deal, bridal showers are not always that exciting, I've passed politely on a few. The kicker was when she and her husband came over the next morning when we were working in the yard with some friends who had come over to help with some major renovations. "I'm going inside to see what you guys have done to the house," she commented, marching in before I could say much (I guess she had actually asked David, but we were both elbows deep in compost and not in any position to drop everything for a cook's tour). Our house, a fixer upper I'd owned for years and had never had the time or energy to work on, is now becoming a wonderful home under David's handy-hands. I am proud of his hard work, and normally would not mind showing anyone around. This though, seemed odd and gave me a BAD vibe. David, feeling the same way, cleaned up and quickly followed DS into the house. All the shower gifts were in the family room, waiting for thank-you notes & to be unpacked. DS took one look and said "You guys got a lot of stuff--she really cleaned up.....but you don't really need it though, do you?" David, ever quick and kind, replied with "It was very thoughtful though."

David told me later what she said, and of course I cried and felt guilty for having the shower (and poor David wished he had not told me). It was my mom who pointed out that DS was immature, and probably a bit jealous. I began to wonder what I could do to rectify the situation, but have realized that it's not worth it. It's worth repeating the story here though, so that others can understand that even those of us who have been married before still really appreciate the rites of passage first time brides had!      Showers0602-02

While it is a tearjerking story of newfound second love, Miss Jeanne is a tough cookie who draws the line at showers for the sake of replacing the "old" or that they are a required "rite of passage" for all brides.   Second time brides are presumed to have all the basic needs to set up house already and therefore have no need to be "showered".   Repeat brides should decline the offer of such a shower and trust that one's friends and family will be generous in their wedding gifts.

This may not be bad enough to earn a spot on your site, but at the time it seemed very rude to me. About 4 years ago one of my friends was getting married (we will call her Jill). I was very excited because this was one of the first of my friends to get married. One of Jill's good friends (we will call her Betty) decided to throw the wedding shower. So on the day of the shower I arrived at Betty's house, and honestly everything looked very nice. The house is clean, the decorations were simple but nice, and the food was basic but good.

My problem with the event was that Betty had recently gotten back from a trip from Europe and was telling all of the guests all her stories about her trip, during the entire party. This is suppose to be Jill's wedding shower, but the focus was definitely on Betty and her stories. I think most, if not all, the guests would have preferred to hear more from Jill, how her wedding plans were going, more details about her fiancée, and her plans after her wedding, but none of us got a chance. Betty really didn't give the rest of us any chance to change the subject, and Jill is such a sweet girl, she is much too shy and timid to stand up to her friend.

Well, finally we get to the point that Jill is unwrapping her presents (Betty continues to tell her Europe stories any chance she gets as Jill is unwrapping). Finally Jill gets to Betty's gift, she opens it, and they are pink towels, which would be fine, except for the fact that wasn't what was on her registry, Jill asked for green towels. Jill once again is too sweet to do anything other than nicely thank Betty for her gift and which point Betty said something to the effect of "Oh and I know you wanted green, but I couldn't find them and I thought pink would be fine for you." None of the guests said a word including me, but I was livid. Who was she to offer to host a shower but instead be so stuck on herself that she would use it basically as her own welcome home party from Europe and then have so little consideration for the bride that she just gets whatever gift suits her own tastes!   Showers0510-02

After reading some of these stories, I have to say I don't feel nearly so bad about my own experience. Nonetheless, it was an awful introduction to married life! When I became engaged, my parents had recently moved, coincidentally, to the state where my fiancé and his family lived. The decision was made to have the wedding and reception there, since I'd been living there for the past several years and that's where most of my close friends were. My fiancé has a large (very large!) extended family and I had not met any of them, but one of his relatives wished to throw me a family shower so that I could meet his female cousins, aunts, etc. I thought it sounded like fun, although I was quite busy, and agreed. The shower was to be two weeks before the wedding.

The day before the shower, I woke up in terrible pain. An emergency visit to the dentist revealed that my wisdom teeth had to come out. Immediately. Keep in mind that this is two weeks before the wedding. Fortunately, the oral surgeon took pity on me and agreed to squeeze me in on a day that he didn't regularly do surgery, since the next available surgery date was only three days before the wedding. The only day he could do it though, was the next day - the day of the shower. Feeling awful, but also having not much of a choice, I called the shower hostess to apologize profusely. She was quite gracious about it and offered to change the date. Everything seemed to be working out, until I got a call from another relative who was helping with food, etc for the shower. She proceeded to tear into me, yelling that the food wouldn't keep, and several people had taken off work, and how it was incredibly selfish of me to cancel on such short notice. Since I had no choice, I proceeded to have my wisdom teeth out anyway, and the shower was held a few days later, where two different people took it upon themselves to mention one or two women who would have been there if I'd had it at the earlier date because they'd taken off work, but who simply couldn't make it on such short notice to the rescheduled shower. I, of course, felt progressively worse and worse - and to top it all off, they'd told me that the shower was casual, so I wore simple slacks and a shirt, as did my mother and sister. Everyone else was dressed quite formally and I felt horribly out of place at my own shower!     Showers0610-02

My MIL is an etiquette freak, but in a tacky way. I'll try to explain: She feels that everyone should follow outdated, ridiculous rules of etiquette, and that if they don't she has license to trash them to anyone who will listen.

When her son and I became engaged, her family wanted to give us a shower. They are a big family, and the shower was a reason to get everyone together.

When my now-hubby and I arrived at the relative's home for the shower, I was ordered to stand in the doorway to greet guests while everyone else gathered in the living room to eat and mingle. I felt awkward because I didn't know anyone, and I was uncomfortable standing for over an hour. (I think this may be a Southern tradition- I love the South, but this is a bad one, IMO.) My darling then-fiancé stayed with me and tried to help. Even he had never met some of these relatives, who were kind to come even if the set-up was weird.

Well, it was time to open gifts and a young female relative opened them for us. This was not unusual; we had several showers and at larger ones a hostess opened the gifts and made a list of what was received from whom. Those lists were all I had to write thank you notes. As the young woman opened gifts, an eleven year-old child kept the list for thank you's. Now, I teach children this age and I can safely say that this particular child was not up to the task! My MIL even said something about finding another person to keep up with the information, but nobody did and I thought it would be ride of me to speak up. There were too many gifts to memorize- I tried! In the end, I was handed a scrawled list of gibberish that I managed to de-code (hubs and I stuck cards to the gifts, which helped.)    Showers1018-02

I loved reading all the horrible stories on the site -- and felt compelled to share a bridal shower story. A close friend from college was getting married and asked me to be a bridesmaid. I was thrilled because the groom was not that crazy about me and I didn't think I would be in the wedding at all. The bridesmaids (5 of us) and the MOH begin planning the shower right away. Thankfully, we all agree on just about everything and the planning goes smoothly.

Then, the families get involved. Women on the bride's side insist on helping us -- and destroy all of our plans. They don't like the date, the location, the food and the colors (they were the bride's colors!). The groom's family, despite numerous phone calls, emails and cards from the bridal party, flatly refuse to give even an opinion on anything. I was surprised because the groom's family seemed very supportive of the wedding. The invitations were sent out and the bride's family RSVPs immediately, but we heard nothing from the groom's side. We call, we write -- still no RSVPs. The week before the shower, we were finally told that they were upset that we didn't consult them about the location or the date! The MOH was in tears because the entire groom's family was not coming! We approached the bride and told her of the situation, and she was pretty calm about the whole thing. The MOH had been asking her advice on how to get the groom's family involved the entire time, so the bride knew of our efforts.

Our shower went off fine -- no major disasters. The day after the shower, the MOH called me in hysterics -- she had just received an invitation to a bridal shower, being thrown by the groom's family! Additionally, it was also an adult toys party -- the invite included a catalog of raunchy adult toys, clothing and lotions and an order form. I received my invitation the next day, complete with catalog and order form. That shower was as horrible as could be imagined. The groom's family refused to talk to the bridal party and the bridal party was sat in horror as samples of adult toys and creams were passed around before the gifts. Luckily, the wedding itself was okay, but the groom's family was still a little cold to the bridal party! Showers1010-02

My husband and I had let our families know our planned wedding date more than 8 months in advance. Four months before our wedding, his youngest sister (YS) and her fiancé announced that they would be getting married in two months (not quite 2 months before our planned date). I decided to assume that she was not intentionally taking away from our wedding, and that this schedule just happened to be best for them.

Several weeks later my husband's middle sister (MS) was visiting us at my apartment. She wanted to throw the bridal shower for YS but her place wasn't large enough. (She hadn't wanted to be in any involved with our wedding, but she and YS are close.) I offered her my apartment; MS accepted with many thanks. She would serve as hostess and put together the party, but it would be at my apartment.

Several days later she let me know the date. I canceled my other plans to make sure that things would go well on that day. MS suggested a pot-luck, and asked me to cook one or two dishes, which I agreed to do. I never received an invitation, which bothered me, but I decided to assume that she figured since it was at my place I would not need one.

The day of the shower, I scrubbed, decorated and cooked. And waited. No one showed up. I finally got a call from my then-fiancé that no one would be coming (he'd only just found out). It turns out that they had decided they'd rather have a bachelorette party, and had done that the night before. Now, I'm 10 years older than MS and 12 years older than YS. I understand that they might not want me to tag along while they're looking at a stripper. But how hard would it have been to say that they'd decided to do something different and I shouldn't go to any trouble on their account?

I suppose I should have known better. A week before the shower, I sat next to MS at a birthday party. She didn't mention the shower; when we parted I said "I'll see you next week" and she didn't say anything. I tried calling her several times that week to talk about details, but she never called me back. I went to the trouble just in case there were actually people coming to my apartment that day.

By the way, none of my husband's three sisters RSVP'd for or attended my shower, though they all received invitations.    Showers0924-02

I didn't actually see it but my aunt told me about it. This lady she works with was asking her all about my wedding and of course every time my aunt told her the plans, the lady had to one up her. Well I did this for my daughter's wedding and I did that for her wedding...etc.

One day she asked my aunt what gift she was giving me for my shower so she told her. (I got some really nice bakeware). This lady says "Well, I gave my daughter a beautiful nightie and I got her husband a..." wait it comes... A GOLD THONG!!! EWWWW!!! If my mother gave my fiancé a gold thong, I think I would pass out or puke, not sure which. Not to mention this poor girl opened it at her shower!     Showers0910-02

I was a bridesmaid in my best friend "Kelly's" wedding a few years back. I had just moved from New York to Los Angeles, and was living in my own apartment for the first time. Kelly's wedding was to take place in New York. Needless to say, I was broke. When she asked me to be in her wedding, I told her upfront "There is nothing more that I'd like to do for you than to be there for your wedding...however, given the fact that I am living on my own for the first time in my life, and living on the other side of the country, I can barely afford the dress and shoes, much less a plane ticket home". She begged me to be in the wedding and said "Don't get me any gifts! Just come to the wedding and buy the dress. But, could you possibly pitch in for my shower to help the girls out?" Being that I wasn't going to attend the shower, again, because I lived on the other side of the country, I agreed to pitch in, but I was thinking of pitching in about 50 bucks or so...remember, I already told her I was completely broke!

Anyway, Kelly tells me that she is going to explain my predicament to her maid of honor, so that her MOH does not put me in an uncomfortable position and ask me for a large sum of money. I am so grateful that Kelly understands that I am completely broke. Eventually, her maid of honor contacts me by e-mail and informs me that my share of the shower costs are 300 bucks! Well, I am really upset...but I somehow manage to scrape this together. After all, it's my best friend's wedding...I don't want to complain to her that her MOH is asking me for 300 bucks for a shower I won't be attending, but I dish it out anyway because I love Kelly. Her MOH tells me how thankful she is that I am pitching in and says she will take tons of pictures for me and send them to me, since I can't be there. Well, the shower comes and goes. Apparently it is wonderful. I e-mail the MOH and ask her if she has pics for me...she says "No, I gave them all away, including the negatives...SORRY!" How rude. Next time, I will put my foot down and not dish out money that I don't have! I am not a cheap person and my friends who know me know this, so will not dish out 1000 dollars that I don't have for a wedding!  Showers0904-02

I'm not sure where to put this, so I'll just relay it and let you decide.  For my first wedding, my fiancé and I decided on a small family wedding, since my parents were both deceased and we would be paying for a lot of it ourselves. I had asked my best friend from childhood, Lynn, to be my MOH, and the fiancée of the Best Man, Hannah, was my only bridesmaid. Hannah and the BM were co-workers of my fiancé’s at the time. Because Lynn was living rather a long way from the rest of the family, it was decided that Hannah would host the bridal shower. This was where things started to go awry.

Another girl, Linda, who was another co-worker of the bridesmaid and whom I knew slightly, begged and pleaded with Hannah to be allowed to help with the shower. Linda was a nice girl, but rather dithery, so it was with some reluctance that Hannah agreed. I drew up a list of about 15 people, two of whom were personal friends, and the rest members of my fiancé’s family. Hannah then gave the list to Linda, and asked her to send out the invitations. I had given a list of those addresses to Hannah, who then gave them to Linda. Since the shower was still a few weeks away, I happened to have a chance to talk to both of my friends who had been invited, and gave them the shower information myself via telephone.

The day before the shower, Hannah calls me in a bit of a panic to tell me she hasn't received a SINGLE RSVP for the shower, and wanted to know if I had heard anything from any of the other women who were invited. I told her no, I had not. This is when I found out that Linda had actually been the one who was sending out the invitations. So I called Linda myself and asked her what was going on. It turned out that Linda had LOST the address list weeks before, but (get this!), was TOO EMBARASSED to ask for another one! So instead, she just didn't say anything, apparently hoping it would go unnoticed that no one showed up for the shower!! I tried very hard to remain calm. I gave her a list of phone numbers for the people I had had on the list, and told her very politely that she needed to call each and every one of them right NOW and explain to them what happened, and invite them to the shower. I probably should have done it myself, but I didn't want to have to clean up her mistake, and I also wanted people to know that what had really happened. Of course, by then most people had already made plans (the shower was on a Saturday evening and the calling took place on Friday afternoon), and I have a feeling that more than a few of them were offended, thinking that they were being invited at the last minute as an afterthought.

Suffice it to say, the only people who actually made it to my shower (that poor Hannah had been slaving away to make wonderful) were the two friends I had personally invited, Hannah, myself, and Linda. Not one of my fiancé’s family was able to attend. I was horribly embarrassed, and never spoke to Linda again after that. Fortunately, the wedding itself went off without too much of a hitch.    Showers0730-02

The MOH and a bridesmaid had offered to host the bridal shower. My wife and I considered it to be their wedding gift to us and we were incredibly grateful. They put the whole thing together, very nice restaurant, it went off without a hitch. The manager brought the bill, in response to which my wife's friends looked to my mother and asked if she could afford to pay!

They had no money, no credit card, no plan to cover the cost, and had never mentioned it to anyone up till then!!!

Needless to say, I learned of this four years after, I was sworn to secrecy before I was told and my mother still wonders what they would have done if she had said no. My wife still does not know.    Showers0813-02

A family member was getting married this summer. My mother had recently been divorced and had moved to her home state after being away for many years. She is also physically handicapped and on a limited budget after paying all of the cross-country moving expenses along with all of the expenses of setting up a new home. My boyfriend and I live on our own and have all of those expenses. We also are planning our own wedding this fall (we are paying for it all ourselves) and to top it all off, I am a full time student and so we don't even have two incomes coming into our home.

All of the females invited to the wedding were sent invitations to the bridal shower no matter where they lived. My mother offered to help with the decorations and flowers because she didn't have a lot of money and had a lot of experience with these things. She was politely told her ideas were too 'common' or 'not what they wanted'.... and she had some great ideas. Not a big deal... we have used most of her great ideas for my upcoming wedding and reception without us looking like 'copy-cats'.

The problem I have had was my mother, my boyfriend, and I all went in together on a nice gift from the bride's registry. It was easier on us to do this so they could have one of the nicer things from their registry. The MOB knew the day I went shopping and looked on the online registry for the bride and preceded to yell at my mother 'how dare we buy them a gift that was ONLY $30 when she KNEW my mother had gotten a decent divorce settlement and another family member had bought the couple $150 present'... (did I mention the other family members were both doctors and their children were going to college on full scholarships?)

The shower was held in a place not big enough for all of the invited guests, we were expected to come in, drop off our presents, eat a piece of cake, and leave. I live an hour a way from the site and my mother was in too bad shape to handle the ride in the car to go there just to turn around and leave. So my mother wrapped the present beautifully with all these fancy ribbons to make it extra special since we would not be able to be there. The poor bride did not get to open her own presents.

All three of us signed the card but when I got my thank you (yes, I got one but it was very late), it was addressed to only me. They completely left out my boyfriend and not even bothered to learn his name.

Later, my mother and I were told there was another shower (this time, a 'Kitchen Shower') but since it was at the MOB house, we weren’t invited since there was no room but we could feel free to drop off our presents. How rude!!

I have no attendants, have had no showers with my wedding less than a month away. We have made sure to tell our friends who ask where we are registered, that we are registered but we don't want them to buy anything if they can't. We would rather have a fun reception with the friends we don't get to see anymore than be sweating what's on the gift table.    Showers0829-02