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Your bridal shower should be an intimate gathering of your closest friends and family. But what if your mother and future mother-in-law want to add some of their friends to the guest list? Is it OK to have them at your shower, but not invite them to the wedding? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your showers and parties questions in our daily post.
My bridesmaids are planning a bridal shower for me and have asked my mother and future mother-in-law for a list of who they would like to invite. But we're having a very small wedding—is it OK to invite their friends to the bridal shower, but not the wedding?
No, it's not OK. You can't invite someone to your shower and expect them to give you a gift if you are not planning to invite them to the wedding. It would seem like they were good enough to give you a shower gift but not good enough to celebrate with you on your wedding day. The bridal shower is intended to be a celebration with the bride's nearest and dearest, so every shower guest must already be on the wedding guest list.
In general, bridal showers are thrown after you've already compiled your guest list, so talk to your mother and future mother-in-law and provide them with the official guest list. They probably already know that you're planning to keep the wedding very small and have likely whittled down their shower guest list accordingly. Also, since your bridesmaids are hosting the shower, give them a copy of the wedding guest list, too, and ask them to double-check with you before adding anyone else.
The only exception to this rule is a workplace bridal shower, in which a large number of coworkers pitch in and contribute to an office celebration. (If an office shower involves only a few coworkers, thoughtful couples will probably include these colleagues in the wedding guest list.)