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You couldn't say "yes" fast enough when your fiancé proposed, perhaps without fully realizing in the moment that a mother-in-law came as part of the package deal. Your in-laws will inevitably want to be involved in every part of the engagement, but what happens when your mother-in-law plans a bridal shower without the guest of honor? Our etiquette experts weigh in on handling an out-of-town bridal shower planned by a well-intentioned mother-in-law.
Your frustration is well founded, but remember that your mother-in-law likely just wants to be included in your engagement festivities despite living far away. Her decision to plan a shower for out-of-town guests and friends may be her own way of celebrating your engagement.
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Your mother-in-law likely enjoys retaining creative control over family events, in which case it's important to let your her have her moment in the sun so you can maintain command of your wedding plans. If it is truly her party and not yours, you can politely decline due to the required travel time and distance.
If you feel comfortable chatting with her about the party, you might suggest moving the event to a date within several days of the wedding so you and your mother-in-law can be present for the festivities. Just make sure to understand why your mother-in-law is throwing the party and find out if your presence is essential before making any snap decisions about shifting the time and location, or flat-out refusing to attend.