Intimate Wedding Ceremony & Reception... Can I still have a Bridal Shower?
Posted: Aug 22, 2011 2:39 PM
I am in need of some advice: My fiance and I are having an intimate wedding. Because of this I would like to have a pre-wedding party/bridal shower to incorporate all the ladies I do LOVE and have a relationship with but simply cannot AFFORD to invite to the wedding ceremony and reception. We are 24 yrs. old and paying for the entire wedding ourselves with NO assistance... its a lot to tackle! I do not think that we should have to wait to wed simply because we cannot afford to have a HUGE wedding ceremony and reception. My desire to have a bridal shower is centered in wanting these ladies to be apart of this HUGE moment in my life- I am not eager to have a party for the gifts. I feel because we are having such an intimate ceremony people should understand the non-wedding invite but bridal party invite; as well, the bridal party will have food and fun. I intend to send a letter to each person not invited to the wedding stating my desire to celebrate this momentous occassion with them while also sharing our wedding budget restrictions; in this letter I will let them know I would love their presence at the bridal shower. I feel in this economy people can relate to budget restrictions and can/will understand. Although "untradtional", I know I would...your thoughts?
"Although "untradtional", I know I would...your thoughts?"
Bad idea. Really bad.
You have everything backwards.
The main event is the wedding. Your Number One priority should be to host your beloved friends at the wedding. If you can afford a slice of cake and a cup of punch as refreshments at a pre-wedding party, then you can afford a slice of cake and a cup of punch at a post-ceremony reception.
It is really rude to invite people to a pre-wedding party and not invite them to the wedding.
Next issue: Who is hosting this shower? You?
Bridal or baby showers are NEVER hosted by the honoree. A shower is, by definition, a gift-centered event. ("Shower with gifts...")
It is incredibly greedy to invite people to a party where gifts for you is the center event. Added to the fact that you can't invite them to the actual ceremony is a double insult.
Not only should showers not be hosted by the honoree, they should not be hosted by a family member. I'm OK with a sister or cousin hosting a shower, but not a mother, or mother-in-law-to-be. Parents usually continue to help out 20-something adult children, so a shower hosted by a mother is greedy as well. "Come and give presents to my daughter so later I won't have to spend so much money on her when she needs things."
Even if your proposed shower is hosted by a friend, instead of you, it's still poor manners to invite people to a pre-wedding celebration but not the actual wedding. The pre-wedding celebration(s) should be a run-up to the Big Event, not the Big Event Itself.
I am totally not in favor of going into debt to afford a grand wedding beyond your means, just so you can host friends and family at a lavish event.
Here is what you can do, that won't be insulting.
Forget the pre-wedding parties for anyone other than wedding invited guests.
After the wedding is over, you and your new husband can have all the parties you want on into the future. You can invite as many or as few people as you like and can afford to host.
So, make a list of these people to whom you are close and plan on inviting them over for dinner once you are married. As newlyweds, you can ooh and ahhh over your wedding photos with the friends. Serve spaghetti or burgers on the grill and have a nice evening.
Still want the big party? Save your money and have a nice 5-year anniversary party, inviting all these nice people you could not invite to your wedding.
Remember, anyone can give you a wedding present if they are so inclined, whether or not they are invited to the wedding. They do so on their own volition out of affection for you.
Last year the Mister and I went to church wedding and a cake and punch reception in the church hall and it was lovely. We so admired the bride and groom for not going into debt on an extravaganza (that I happened to know they couldn't afford) we gave them a larger gift than our usual wedding present.
Best of all, we could be there and see them wed and see the mothers cry and we could congratulate them minutes after becoming husband and wife. It's a memory I'll always have.
Instead of that shower event, consider a small wedding and reception.
It might seem nice letting people know how much you love them and wish they could celebrate in your big day... but what you are actually doing is letting them know that while you love them you love other people so much more. And a bridal shower is meant to "shower" the bride with gifts to get her settled into her new life. Just have a party of no particular type.
I had a small wedding, too (for a variety of reasons). It was wonderful and while I missed having a number of people there I wouldn't go back and change anything. Trust me, if the people you love but can't invite are in your life and you treat them well they will understand without it being written out and mailed to them. And if they don't then that is their problem. Just as long as you don't plan your wedding in their faces you will be fine.