Question: My sister-in-laws, with the help of my maid of honor (maid of honor is out of town so she would like to host it but cannot so my sisterinlaws are doing it with her help), want to host a Bridal Shower for me. This is a second wedding for both my fiance and myself.
My fiance and I presently live together so we are not registering for gifts because we just want people to come enjoy our wedding, gifts are not required. Yes, I do know that people are going to probably want to bring something anyway, both to the wedding and to my shower. My one sister-in-law wants to make the shower into a theme type of shower, like “Honeymoon Bliss” which tells everyone if they want to bring a gift, which is not a requirement, they could bring something to help us enjoy the honeymoon. I had suggested to her that my fiance and I want to purchase a video camera right before the wedding so that we can videotape some of our honeymoon. So, if people ask what they can get for my shower, then they can get giftcards at BestBuy to go towards the video camera. Is this wrong?
My mom’s friends are saying that I should not have a shower because it is my second wedding. My mom just told them that the shower is not for them anyway, it is for my friends/co workers to wish me well. If this right to do?
Again, I have told both my mom and sister-in-laws to make sure to tell everyone that gifts are not a requirement but if my guests want to bring a gift, they can contribute to the “Honeymoon Bliss” theme by getting giftcards for the videocamera or get something else that can help us enjoy our honeymoon. Is this wrong to do? Please advise.
Jill Curtis, Psychotherapist, Family Onwards, Author of How to Get Married … Again (A Guide to Second Weddings)
There is absolutely no reason why you should not have a shower – and have a celebration with your friends. I think your sister in law has a great idea with her theme and it should be a lot of fun. Check with her, though, if she is happy about your suggestion of directing people to gift tokens. It is important that she is comfortable with this.
Rebecca Black, Etiquette Consultant, Etiquette Now
Dear Bridal Shower,
From an etiquette point of view you can definitely have a shower–no problem, no stigma. The one problem I see here is your sister-in-law hosting the shower. This is an etiquette no-no. It is viewed as self serving, as if your groom’s sister is trying to get gifts for her brother. So, it would be better if someone else hosts and she could help from the side-lines (a silent helper).
I love the theme; it is great. You mentioned a few times about, “if the guests ask what they may give.” You really are not focused on gifts, which is wonderful. But, the idea of a shower is to give gifts. You might be doing your guests a favor of registering at Best Buy for the gift cards. You can register for the camera and state that everyone can give toward it if they wish. This way no one has to say anything.
It is now appropriate to list the registry on the shower invitation. (just not on the wedding invitation).
Enjoy your shower!
Why not try a Honeymoon Registry?
Let’s face it, the last thing you probably need is another crock-pot, toaster or blender, but you are going to have friends and family that want to give you something to celebrate your marriage together. Consider using a honeymoon registry service, like the free one at thehoneymoon.com. Friends and family can help you purchase special honeymoon packages and create the honeymoon memories that will last forever and you won’t have to make a trip to the mall to return presents. It’s perfect for the couple that’s trying to consolidate two homes and doesn’t need more “stuff.”
I just wanted to respond back to your advice about my sister-in-law hosting my bridal shower. This sister-in-law is on my side of the family….she is the wife to my brother, not my fiance’s. Plus they are just hosting the shower because my bestfriend and maid of honor lives out of town and does not know many of my local friends. When I spoke to my mom about this predicament, my sister-in-laws (both married to my brothers) expressed that they could give me the shower with my maid of honor assisting because we know that my family should not be giving the shower. I guess I should ask, however, should the bridal shower actually be hosted by my maid of honor with my sister in laws assisting instead of the other way around? The invitations have not gone out as yet but any advice you give is appreciated.
Also, that is a great idea about registering for gift cards at BestBuy. I will mention this to my fiance to see what he thinks. Thank you again.
Rebecca Black, Etiquette Consultant, Etiquette Now
Great thinking, Ashley. Your Maid of Honor could be hosting with your sister-in-law helping. It might still appear self serving with your brother’s wife hosting. It doesn’t really change anything, just the ‘look’ of it. We just want everyone to feel comfortable.
It will be great and don’t worry about a thing. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.