bridal shower etiquette

confuzed_gwJanuary 2, 2012

You all have such good insight here and, trying to not compound a SIL's breech of etiquette, how do I convey to said SIL that, as the MOB, she is not to give the bridal shower? She thinks she is the epitome of all that is proper. I assure you that she is not; however, she seems to have convinced others in the family that she is always correct (or they refuse to stand up to her). I had been talking with some of the other aunts to put together the bridal shower when I received an email from the MOB that indicates the shower planning is well under way (the date has been set). I have no desire to fund an elaborate shower at the direction of a pompous MOB (knowing that the direction is coming from the bride who I consider to be a rude and ungrateful child). Your suggestions? Thanks.

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You might give her a copy of Amy Vanderbilt or another book on wedding etiquette.....with the proper page marked with a sticky note!
Or you could say..."Oh Really!!!??? YOU are planning on giving a bridal shower for your DAUGHTER?? REALLY??...Your own daughter who is the bride? That's just not done you know....very poor taste.....but if you don't care what people say....go right ahead."

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 10:35AM
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You are both right (I ALWAYS agree with Lindac!) that as a matter of etiquette, she, as the bride's mother, should not be giving the shower. I wouldn't do it.

But -- in your place, I wouldn't do or say anything about it, to her or to anyone else.

1) Knowing better doesn't make us the etiquette police. If she were your child, or possibly even your sister, maybe it would not be out of place to say something. But a SIL? Nope. It's her mistake to make.

2) I bet she already knows or has by know heard of the etiquette rule. So what would you be accomplishing? She would take it only as criticism and perhaps even showing off your superior manners. Others might, too.

3) It won't stop her. She'll do it anyway. So, again, there is nothing to be accomplished.

4) In many places in the US, it is becoming very common for the MOB to give a shower. It does violate the rule, which hasn't changed (not that there is any single authority who gets to change rules of etiquette, but I'm not aware of any accepted authority that sanctions this). But it's hardly the end of the world, and it really doesn't hurt anyone. My DIL's mother gave her a lovely shower. For me to have spoken up about that -- to ANYONE -- would have been not only unkind and rude, it would have been very foolish and an embarrassment for my son and DIL.

If you and the others are disappointed that you don't get to host the shower, I can understand that. Maybe host some other kind of party. But I wouldn't turn this into any kind of battle, and if you do so, etiquette is a very weak weapon, even when you are right about the rules.

If she had asked you whether it is okay for the MOB to give a bridal shower, then I think it would have been fine to answer that, no, it's not sanctioned by etiquette. But once it's done, then speaking up about it critically is actually very rude itself; polite guests do not correct their hosts or criticize their manners.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 2:40PM
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Thank you so much. Just writing it out helped me calm myself and your responses were wonderful. When this child was born, Grandpa dictated where the shower would be held which meant $$$ and difficulty for the aunts. I just have no desire to repeat the experience. I have decided to not spend more on this shower than I spent on a wedding shower for my nephew a few years ago. I know that nothing I do will meet the expectations of SIL and niece - SIL has pushed gifts back at me (books for a birthday gift). I have twice been at family events with niece and her fiance without her introducing him to any aunt or uncle. At the second event I did introduce myself to him and he just walked away. Perhaps I can rescue my SIL from the burden of doing this shower (she is already complaining about all the work she has to do for the wedding). Sigh - families.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 9:56PM
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Showers for the most part cost the hostess quite a bit of money. Most bridesmaids couldn't even think about throwing a shower for the bride, nor will every aunt have enough money to foot the bill. What if there are no aunts? Different areas of the country have different traditions when it comes to showers and weddings. If I had a daughter who wanted to get married, there is only one aunt on our side of the family. That aunt could be designated as the person organizing the shower - the invites could come from her as well as her handling the RSVP's - but I certainly would have no shame in contributing to the shower whether it be renting the hall or restaurant, paying for catering or preparing food, etc. Etiquette does not have to be thrown out the window, but if it means the bride wouldn't have a shower because others are not interested or financially able to pay for one, I don't see a problem with a MOB at least providing some of the funds for one if somebody wanted to host it.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 8:26PM
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