Shower Guests

tarponDecember 29, 2008

My daughters fiance's parents live in Tampa and her bridal shower will be in Chicago, her bridesmaids are asking me if they should send invitations to his family in Tampa knowing full well that they won't come. Also, no one on our side of the family has ever met any of his family. I really dont know what to tell the girls. My daughter thinks they should me sent invites. Has anyone had this problem?

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Your situation raises etiquette issues. On one hand, you want the groom's family to feel included, but on the other hand you don't want them to feel as if they are being pressured just for a gift, particularly if they don't know anyone other than your daughter, and may have only met her, not really know her. If it were me, I would send only the mother an invitation, with a note saying they hope she can attend. That allows her to decline or to make plans for a trip to Chicago to meet your family.

There is also the possibility that someone in the groom's family will choose to host a shower in Tampa for his family or that his parents will have a reception there after the wedding, at which time his family can celebrate with the couple.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 11:55AM
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I would do exactly as Sweet Pea suggests -- invite her future mother-in-law, and maybe any sisters or grandmas. It is always a guess, but in this case your daughter knows them, and she thinks they would prefer to receive an invitation.

I think people understand that they aren't obligated to send a shower gift to a shower they can't attend, and certainly immediate relatives would know they aren't being included just to get a gift.

As sweet pea suggests, maybe this will be a catalyst for a trip to come meet you.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 4:44PM
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If communication with the MIL is impossible then I would do as the others suggested, send invitations to the women in the immediate family (mother, sisters, grandmothers). However, is it possible to have the maid of honor contact the MIL and ask her how she would like to proceed? In some families people will be expecting an invitation and may view it as a slight if they don't receive one.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 6:05PM
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Send the invitation to the mother, grandmother and sisters of the groom. Let them know that you understand that they may not be planning a trip at such a time but that the bridesmaids did want to include them.

They may want to send a gift. Grandma may even want to use her needlework skills to make something special for the bride such as embroidered pillowcases or an afghan or something like that.

It is considered proper to invite both mothers to the showers.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 1:27PM
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I know you've never met the groom's family, but have you spoken by phone? Whether you have or not, why not call the groom's mother and tell her about the planned shower and ask her how she'd like to handle the invitations? I think this might be friendlier than having the maid of honor contact her.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:28PM
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If it was my son getting married I'd like to have an invitation, better yet, a phone call from the brides mother to discuss any showers, and the future wedding.

With the internet these days, our kids are meeting potential spouses in ways we didn't have. It's easy to forget there are other people involved, people that have feelings. If I couldn't go due to finances, I'd rather turn the invitation down myself then for someone to think I can't afford to go.

Does your daughter know her future in laws? Has she met them? What makes everyone think they won't come? Will they go to the wedding?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 8:55AM
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