Invited to Bridal Shower but not the wedding?

July 6th, 2011

My soon to be mother in-law was thoughtful and planned a bridal shower for me. It was going to be a good way for me to meet people on my fiance’s side of the family that I hadn’t met yet, as well as me bring some people of my own. She asked for a list of my friends & family of who I wanted to invite, which I gave her but I never gave her a whole wedding list and now that I see the list of invitations she sent out for the shower, I see that she has invited 11 of her friends to the shower that were not on our wedding list. Half of them replied in only a few days that yes, they will attend the shower. That is 11 friends, plus their husbands is 22 extra people that we are not related to and are, not my fiance’s or my personal friends that we have to invite to the wedding. What is terrible is that we are CAPPED at 150 people to our wedding venue. It has nothing to do with cost, only to do with the maximum amount of people that our venue will hold. I have had to eliminate all of my co-workers and some of my newer friends from the list to keep my count down which was really difficult and with these 22 extra spots that we now have to hold, I’m really getting nervous. I don’t have any more people that I can or want to eliminate from my list.

Is there anyway that etiquette allows a mother in-law to invite a friend (or many friends) to a bridal shower and the bride/groom do not have to invite those people to the wedding? My fiance says we don’t have to invite them to the wedding, but I’ve always known that proper etiquette is if you invite them to a shower, you must invite them to the wedding. This is a sticky situation because I don’t know my new mother in-law to be well yet, so don’t want to start any relationship off on a wrong start by telling her that she shouldn’t have sent these people bridal shower invitations, because I am happy that she is excited about the wedding, but I need help moving forward. Help. How do I remedy this situation?? Invite the guests or have a way to not invite them to the wedding?

20 Responses to “Invited to Bridal Shower but not the wedding?”

  1. 5thDIMENSION says:

    No…You don’t have to invite them to the wedding, at all. Do not worry!

  2. Dannygirl says:

    First of all, why the heck would husbands be invited to, or even want to come to bridal shower? that’s not absurd, but not really traditional. If she’s throwing a shower, sure she can invite whomever she wants, but it would have been more considerate to invite your firends first.

    When it comes to weddings though, usually only the closest friends of the bride and groom come, because traditionally, it’s the family and friends of the parents who get invited first.

    There are not rules that say if you come to the shower you are invited to the wedding. Generally people know if they are wedding worthy, and understand that weddings aren’t cheap and operate on a budget- but I do wonder how your mother-in-law is in control of this all to begin with.

  3. SugarCat says:

    You’re doing the right thing by inviting those folks to the wedding. You’re absolutely correct that it is tacky in the extreme to ask people to come to a shower but not invite them to the wedding. Your future MIL should have known better!

    There isn’t much you can do at this point but suck it up and invite them. Your inclination not to take your future MIL to task for her etiquette faux pas is on point.

    It’s too bad you have to have strangers at your wedding, but there’s not much else you can do.

    EDIT: Wow, I’m really, really surprised by the number of people on here that think it is OK to hit up people for shower gifts that you haven’t invited to the wedding! It isn’t.

  4. MumofTwins says:

    She invited them, NOT you, SHE sent out the invites without even asking you.

    You are in no way oblligated to invite people that she invited that you do not know to your wedding.

    Keep your coworkers and people you want there, and dont invite the other people.

    Who cares if you offend a few people really… I know it sounds harsh, but I have been yelled at every which way till sunday about doing things improperly while planning my wedding. It is my fiance and my day, and we are doing it simple and the way we want it.

    We TRY not to step on others toes openly, but sometimes it happens.

    She probably doesn’t expect these people at the wedding either hun.

    πŸ™‚ Good luck

  5. bainaashanti says:

    The shower and the wedding are 2 different things, you don’t have to invite them just because she invited them to the shower. It’s kind of weird that they said they’d come, but maybe they just wanted to get to know you or give you a gift. Don’t worry about it.

  6. James says:

    This is YOUR DAY. Two choices. 1, open your mouth and say how it is GOING TO BE @ YOUR wedding or 2, keep it closed and be miserable about it. Remember to be nice but firm, after all she will be your maw in law AND still his mom. If someone there is going to be an issue, talk to your man about it and you two work it out without outside influence.

  7. Janice 10 says:

    You are not obligated to invite your mother-in-law to be, friends to your wedding they are choosing to attend you wedding shower and that is there decision. Relax and Have a Wonderful Wedding Day and a Happy Honeymoon.

  8. MJD says:

    πŸ™ sorry for your situation. Yes, you should invite them to the wedding…think of if you were in their shoes. πŸ™ Your future MOL probably should not have done that (should not have) but at this point it will look somewhat tacky if you don’t invite them. Is your total gues list 150 people? If so, not everyone will show…so chances are you will still be ok with space..

    fyi – future MOL friend’s were some of the most generous at my bridal shower. πŸ™‚

    Good luck with everything!

  9. Perse says:

    You should not have to change your wedding plans. Your mother-in-law made a big mistake, that is her fault, she should suffer the fall out. Unfortunately, this will look bad on you too, but you’re helpless here.

  10. Liz says:

    The people who are invited to the shower MUST be invited to the wedding, there is no getting around that. To do otherwise would be very rude, and it would make YOU look rude, not your future mother-in-law. You have to either invite these extra people to your wedding or tell your mother-in-law to fix the problem she created by uninviting her friends.

  11. Sara says:

    Yes etiquette states that only people invited to the wedding are to be invited to the shower, please note which way round that goes. Your mother in law has crossed the line in inviting people that she should not have done and I hate to say it but it is entirely possible that she did this on purpose so she can now say they have to be invited to the wedding. However this is your wedding and they are her friends, it would be rude to not invite them but does it really matter what a bunch of strangers think of you. Your fiance is right in this no one is going to force you to invite them if you decide not to the etiquette police will not be there holding a gun to your head. You are not the ones who are going to have to deal with the fall out for this that will be your MIL so I would say stand your ground and have the people important to you around you on your day.

  12. MrsB2b says:

    I’m sorry if I sound a bit rude but if you gave your mother a list of people to invite and she invited people not on that list then that is her problem. Just send your invites out as normal and if any of these people ask where their invite is then get your mother in law to explain seeing as she got you into the mess. Its her mistake, she can put it right. For God sake don’t un-invite people you genuinely want at the wedding because of your MIL! I would maybe get your hubby to be to sort it out with his mum though so as not to rock the boat with your future in laws! xx

  13. Abi Gail says:

    Girl you have enough to worry about planning your wedding! don’t let your future mother in laws mistake stress you out. Just don’t think about it, it’s not your fault she invited them without telling you, you should not have to remove some of your friends from the wedding list because she screwed up. Just act like nothing don’t worry about it, don’t let it stress you out. Your mother in law should really be a lot smarter than that.

  14. Rose says:

    You need to put your foot down and make how you want, cut her off from the wedding and plan it how you want.

  15. Sazzy says:

    Yes it is rude and yes manners would dictate that you invite them but I think there can exceptions to the rules .

    I asked my mother who would be about the age of your mil and she said she wouldn’t be offend she and most people around that age would see it as a way of her(FMil) in sharing with her friends the joy of her son getting married and would understand its the couples day and would not be offend in the slightest.

    Bottom line you didn’t in invite them to the shower I think your in your rights to keep you guest list the way you want!


    I would think about both have a talk to your mil thank her for throwing the shower but that you had some concerns due to the size of your venue that you wont be able to invite her friends.

  16. BloopieBlooper says:

    Well my understanding is that etiquette was thrown out the window once the Mother in Law hosted the shower. I have read that family does not throw the shower because it looks like a gift grab.

    I think you are right that you shouldn’t invite people to the shower unless they are invited to the wedding as well. I was invited to a bachelorette party by a friend who did not invite me to her wedding. I thought it was terribly tacky. However, YOU are not the one hosting the bridal shower, so you are off the hook. I think it’s best to leave your wedding invite list where it is and ask your fiance to remind his mother that these people are not invited to the wedding and you simply won’t be able to. He can suggest to her that she explain this to friends. But this was her mistake, not yours. You cannot control everything. Therefore, when someone offers to host a party in your honor, and you accept, you may also be accepting that they may breech etiquette. I think this is precisely why people say only friends of the bride should host the sower, because it’s presumed they will invite the bride’s FRIENDS and invitees of the wedding. Your Mother in Law is being completely innapropriate about this shower, which is why accepting her offer was a bad idea. Sorry to say, but this entire shower is pretty innapropriate, especially with her inviting HER friends to give you and her son gifts. Tsk tsk!

  17. Chelsea says:

    I’m sure you don’t want to start things off on the wrong foot with your MIL but you should definitely be straight forward about it. I have found that my future MIL has learned who I am and what to expect from me because I gave up being overly polite about everything and starting putting my foot down and telling her the way my fiance and I wanted them to be, were going to be the only way. I tried at first to walk on egg shells, but you’re going to also be spending the rest of your life getting to know your fiance’s family better so if you start off as a people pleaser, this will always be expected of you. I’d say keep her friends off your guest list! Explain that it’s your wedding and the venue constrictions will not allow for additional people and that you were not able to invite the people closest to YOU at YOUR wedding. As long as you invited her immediate family, she’s going to have to deal with it. Good luck!

  18. November Rain says:

    Here is my take on things:

    Somehow the invitation for bridal shower got send and they said YES to attend the shower. So they are taking their time from their personal lives and are spending money for gifts to attend your shower.
    If you don’t invite them to the wedding it will look as if you were only needing them for the gifts they were getting for you.

  19. Because I Said So says:

    It’s a shame this woman doesn’t know the etiquette but just because she invites people to the shower doesn’t mean you have to invite them to the wedding. It reflects badly on HER, not on you. All her friends will be expecting wedding invitations and won’t get them, and they’ll think ‘she never should have invited me to the shower if I’m not invited to the wedding!’ But that’s not your problem. My wedding guest list was set and done 5 mos before my shower and NO one was getting added or subtracted from that list.

  20. iloveweddings says:

    Sorry, but Sugar Cat is 100% correct.

    You must suck it up and invite these 22 people! There is no way around it. Yes, you can second guess this and say “well, she didn’t ask me.” Yes, that is true, but it is water under the bridge so to speak. She made a mistake in not running this by you, but you must still follow proper etiquette.

    If you are inviting exactly 150 people, I wouldn’t worry about it. As most wedding go, there are going to be some, for various reasons, that cannot attend.

    Again, what’s done is done. You can’t go back. You must still follow the proper etiquette and invite them.

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