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20-40-60 Etiquette: Have things changed?
BY CALLIE GORDON, LILLIE-BETH BRINKMAN, HELEN FORD WALLCE | Published: June 8, 2012 | Modified: June 8, 2012 at 5:46 pm
QUESTION: Have things changed since I got married? The daughter of a good friend is getting married and wants none of her parents' friends invited, although there will be more than 100 guests there. The parents are paying for the entire wedding.
I feel I should give a wedding shower, but if none of the parents' friends are to be invited, then I will not do it.
When I got married, the shower invitation list came from the wedding and reception list. I would feel very neglectful if none of the shower invitees were invited to any the wedding-day festivities. How do you feel? (I would want to invite the friends of the bride's mother since she is in many bridge clubs). We all have watched this child grow up.
CALLIE'S ANSWER: Well, it is her wedding but I understand your point. If you want to throw her a shower, then that's great, although you should make sure who is on the invitation list. In the end, it is her choice.
LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: You are not alone or outdated in thinking that the shower guest list comes from the wedding and reception list. Even the latest revised edition of “Emily Post's Etiquette,” which came out in 2011, notes that “anyone invited to a shower must be invited to the wedding,” except for in a situation like a workplace shower involving a large number of co-workers.
If you decide to host a shower, however, then the guest list will come from the bride. In offering to host such a party, you could tell the bride that you'd like to do something that includes some of her mom's friends who have watched her grow up. That way, the bride is aware of your interest in having a shower. However, it's still her call who to invite. Perhaps the bride, groom and families are restricting the guest list for budget reasons. Whatever the case, discuss the theme of the shower with the bride before she determines who will come to yours; or, you can initiate the discussion with your closer friend, her mother, about your ideas. The bride's mother might have some insight that will help you decide what to do, even if it's organizing your bridge club for some type of gift apart from the wedding. If you throw a shower, stay gracious, no matter whom the bride invites, or if you decide the idea isn't what you had in mind, then perhaps you could offer your talents to celebrate the wedding in another way — calligraphy for the invitations, for example.
HELEN'S ANSWER: There are many reasons to limit a guest list for a wedding. The bride and the mother of the bride can tell you what you need to know and then you can go from there. The bride may only want to invite people who are very close friends so she can introduce them to her new husband. If they decided to keep it small because they are paying for some of the costs themselves, then maybe it would be lovely of you to have a shower with a few close friends who understand. Yes, usually the shower list comes from the reception list, but it is not your problem whether they are invited or not.
You just need to decide whether to have the party because of your friendship with the family and because you would enjoy doing something nice for the bride, or if you want to just give a special wedding gift.
GUEST'S ANSWER: Christina Nihira, local community volunteer and newspaper writer: First of all, your question does not mention whether or not you are invited to the wedding as a friend of the bride's parents.
This bit of information might play into how you want to handle the situation. Assuming you are not invited, there is no formal obligation to step forward and host a shower. You may consider that the bride wants a smaller affair, therefore explaining the limited number of guests. This may be the time to set aside personal, etiquette feelings and embrace a celebratory moment. Extend a friendly gesture to the bride by offering to host a party in her honor and more importantly, shower your friend with kindness. Having her bridge pals commemorate this big moment may mean more to her than anything else during the bridal madness.
Best wishes to the bride and cheers to friends who are always there for life's special moments.