What to do about rude bridal shower?

January 12th, 2011

My sister is having an anniversary party pretty soon. Since my sister didn’t have a big wedding, our mother is trying to make this into the big wedding event my sister never had.

The problem is that our mother wants to throw my sister a bridal shower because she never had one. My sister has said over and over it would be inappropriate and that she doesn’t need anything. I agree with my sister. But my mother wants to move forward in secret with planning it, and I don’t know what to do. She won’t listen to either of us. I thought that mother’s weren’t even supposed to throw bridal showers!

Should I tell my sister about the secret? Should we try and stop our mom or just let her do what she wants? Is there a way to communicate to guests politely that this party is against my sister’s will? Her worry was that if people were invited to the shower, they would think it’s so rude they wouldn’t come to the anniversary party. She doesn’t want or need gifts.

It’s not like my mother is never going to get to throw a bridal shower, I myself am getting married in December.
Fin- we have been very clear that it’s wrong and my sister was very forceful with her “I don’t want it.” My mother just think she knows best, and honestly I think she just wants my sister to get gifts. It’s like she is vicariously getting them herself or something.
Suz- I know. That’s why I said ” I thought that mother’s weren’t even supposed to throw bridal showers!” see above.
I think that she just doesn’t see why it’s rude, and wants to see her daughter be the center of attention. So she won’t even listen.
I suspect she thinks that if she goes on in secret, my sister will be happy after she sees all the gifts. But that’s just not what will happen, the whole thing is embarrassing.

9 Responses to “What to do about rude bridal shower?”

  1. Alexa says:

    I don’t think it’s appropriate to have one after she is already married. I would tell your sister so she could put the kabosh on it. Why is your mom so gung-ho about it? You said yourself you’re getting married soon! It should be your bridal shower she’s planning!!

  2. fin says:

    I can’t tell from what you said if your mother is just kind of ‘not getting it’, or if she’s actually some kind of controlling personality who thinks she always knows best, and/or someone who tends to meddle in other people’s affairs.

    I kind of think you should tell your mother that she should call it off or else you will just tell your sister, and tell your mom that you know for a fact that your sister would be very uncomfortable about this and would not be happy, but would be upset about it.

    re additional info: you can do 2 things. either: both you and your sister tell your mom you will both not participate in the plan and will not even look at any gifts from it, and/or: tell your mom that you/your sister will personally contact anyone she invites to a shower and tell them to ignore the invitation, will return each gift, whatever it takes

  3. fizzy stuff says:

    You should still try to talk your mother out of it. And yes, I would let your sister know. Even if you sister WAS getting married and she didnt want a shower, your mother should respect that. So I really think your sister should tell her again that this is against her wishes.

    Perhaps you could suggest your mother that the three of you do a mini girls day, just the three of you. This might be fun for your mother but wont involve anyone else.

  4. New England Babe says:

    You need to stop your mother.

    It is wrong and your sister is the one and only person with the right of veto on this idea. Tell your sister what your mother is planning and then your sister needs to tell your Mom that she does not want it. She needs to make it very clear that she wants an anniversary party because that is what she wants and that is it.

    If you mother foolishly goes ahead with this plan than you owe it to your sister to let her know and do what she needs to do!

    Good luck!

  5. Amy says:

    I’d say to talk to your sister about it and then confront your mother and let your mother go gung ho on yours ….

  6. Jenny Lynne says:

    Talk to your sister, this is extremely rude, not even worth the word etiquette. Mothers nor immediate family members do not host showers for the bride or the anniversary person, anniversary party people do not have showers. Your mother is a force to be reckoned with, but must be stopped.

  7. riversconfluence says:

    Try this: have Mom host a luncheon with all the people she would have invited to a shower. She can decorate and plan food and tea to her hearts content.
    Have the guests wear a hat, she could pick the theme[s]. Any hat. It could be silly like a Ya-Ya Sisterhood priestess hat, themed like a pirate hat, or an Ascot race My fair Lady hat. Give a prize for the best hat.

    Or do like I saw on TV, the bride and Mom gave a custom designed and made by them hat for each guest. It was an ladies who lunch British wedding kind of hat. Even I could see from the couple minutes on TV that the hats fit the women’s favorite colors and personalities.

    Or do a real Ya-Ya Sisterhood hat, complete with funny items of interest on the hat. Even do a similar ceremony, Tell guests to bring items that are suitable to put[glue or sew] on a hat that are a part of themselves or their personalities. Have a make your own hat party. Have everyone pick a theme about themselves, then every one vote on a name for that. Someone who is a Mom with twins and feeds them a healthy diet and likes country music might be “Earth Mother Double Whammy Winona. OK, you get the picture.

    Specify to Mom that she can not give a shower to her daughter, it is rude, and will alienate people forever. And people who are treated rudely and taken advantage of do not return in the future. Baby showers in the future could be very small and without many gifts. And tell her one is just not needed. It’s too late. Save it for the baby shower. and she should not be giving that one, either to her daughters.
    Have Mom do the gift giving, one gift for each guest. It could be something like a candle, or a lace hanky, or a bracelet or earrings, just something that person might like.

    I would think twice about telling on Mom’s secret to your sister. That might really tick Mom off. Save that as a last resort. Is there someone that Mom is close to that you can tell, like her Mom, that would go after her and tell her off?
    And you are right, every bride everywhere has either her Mom or the groom’s Mom that need to live vicariously through her.

    And this just might be some hair brained idea to even up things between you and your sister so your sister does not get jealous of you because she did not get a shower, and you are.
    And, the angry people that your mother makes could be taking it out on you at your shower and wedding. This is not a good time to alienate people.

    And explain to her that she can give a shower, she just can’t take credit for it. Nominate someone to be the token host, and turn Mom loose with the warning that loose lips sink ships, and if she tells that the shower is really by her, the party will be cancelled. this is done all the time.

  8. bells says:

    I would tell your mother that you think it’s completely inappropriate and going against your sister’s wishes. Then tell her you want nothing to do with this party. Let your sister know that she’s planning a secret party, so she can be prepared. She’ll feel like a fool if she unknowingly walks into her bridal shower, she’ll be even more upset if she finds out that you knew about it. Then just stay out of it. What happens from then on is between them. If your mother brings it up again, tell her that if she wants to throw a bridal shower so bad, to focus on putting one together for you, not your sister who is already married.

  9. Kelly says:

    Its against all rules of etiquette and extremely rude.

    Its inappropriate to have a bridal shower if you:

    Already live together
    Have been married before

    She already lives with him and well she’s is married now.

    The concept of a bridal shower to “shower” the honoree with gifts of items they will need to establish their new home. The keyword is establish its not intended to upgrade.

    Since this is an anniversary party and not a pre-wedding event. Your guests to the shower are well aware that she is already married. It will really come off as a greedy gift grab whether or not your guests will admit to that.

    You are also correct that your mom should not be hosting the party. Its typically done by a friend, not a relative.

    I would tell your sister about it. While your mom means well, the whole thing is very tacky and inappropriate. What it will accomplish is making your sister look greedy and possibly having people snicker about it.

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