Bridal Shower etiquette or "Who the hell is this person?" - opinions wanted

Some background…

My husband’s “best friend” is getting married. I use the quotes because really, he is my husband’s oldest friend but they are not very close.

Anyway, The BF and The Fiancee have been together for about four years, engaged for two - I have never met the woman.

I used to know the BF quite well, but haven’t spent time with him in many years.

We have invited them over a few times as a couple, they have always declined.

My husband actually thinks that maybe she doesn’t like him and therefore snubs us.

Anyway, I received an invitation for her bridal shower last night. I, as a rule, don’t like showers.

I did not even want to go to my own.

When I mentioned it to my husband, his response was, “Yeah, I knew you were going to get an invite, BF told me. His mom is throwing it.”

Great, so potentially the only person I would know there is the BF’s mom, who I have met maybe five times in my life.

It stinks of total present grab to invite people that the bride doesn’t even know. Doesn’t it?

When I said I did not want to go, hubby seemed irate. He says “You wanted to meet her…?”

Yes, I did, but it’s not like a shower is the place to have quality time with the bride - she will be sitting on her throne while people bequeath her with gifts.

I don’t even want to go to the wedding, I won’t know anyone and since he is in the wedding party, I will be sitting alone.

What say you, Dopers?

Am I being unreasonable?

Should I just suck it up and go to the shower?

What about the wedding?

I would believe it if it turns out that they are unpleasant, gift-grubbing people.

However, I think there’s also a decent chance that the invite was well-intentioned, to give you the opportunity to get to meet the bride and other people who you will be spending time with at the wedding (especially since your husband is in the wedding party, and you will most likely be seated with other spouses). In my personal circle of friends, this would be considered inclusive and thoughtful.

What is with your weird formatting? It makes it hard to read. But yes, definitely go to the shower and buy an appropriate gift. Especially since he is in the wedding party. Make nice.

Suck it up and do the shower/wedding without complaint. It’s the polite thing to do.

I’d go, and take a I-don’t-know-you-gift, like a picture frame. I think delphica’s right in that you’ll have a better time at the wedding if you meet some of the other women first.

I have some sympathy for your situation. Sitting through a bridal shower is one level of hell. At least it’s hell with cake.

The bride probably doesn’t want someone she doesn’t know there either but it’s polite for you to be invited because your husband is in the wedding party.

This isn’t a big deal. It’s not like you have to make idle conversation while a wedding ceremony is in progress.

Yes. your husband is part of the wedding party. It’s polite for you to attend both. Not to mention, it’s only a few hours out of your life and you might just have fun if you let yourself.

I would not go to the shower, but I would go to the wedding.

It would be one thing if you typically enjoyed wedding showers and knew other attendees. As it is, you likely wouldn’t enjoy the party. Moreover, you are under absolutely NO obligation of any kind to go. You are only tenuously connected to the bride. It sounds to me as though the invitation was likely an inclusive gesture, but wedding showers are not the time to get to know the bride (and she’s obviously had other opportunities to get to know you, which she declined).

You ought to go to the wedding, though. You’ll be able to hang out with your husband a lot more at the reception, and it’s not like people will be doing a ton of socializing at the ceremony portion. Go to the wedding to support your husband and his friend.

This is the best description of a bridal shower I’ve ever seen. Even better, it applies to baby showers, too.

I agree - just go. Buy a reasonably-priced gift (for people I don’t know, I usually limit it at $40-$50, but that’s just me), meet some new people, eat lots of cake, hopefully get a mimosa or two if they have them and grease the social wheels.

Gift-giving showers stink, especially when you don’t know the person, but you don’t have to stay long - get there on time, try to stick around for 20-30 mins after the gifts are opened and cake is served, then make your excuses and get outta Dodge.

Sorry - it didn’t look weird at first, but then I cut some stuff out and got distracted - my fault.

Not necessarily. A lot of couples just have a sweetheart table for two instead of a wedding party table.

That’s what we did, for that very reason - most of our wedding party had dates who wouldn’t know anyone, so they just sat with their dates at other tables.

Honestly, I’d probably not go to the shower, since you don’t know anyone at all, and while you’d get to meet the bride, it’s not like you’ll spend any time with her, since there will be a lot of other people there.

I’d go to the wedding, though. Wedding parties don’t really have all that much to do after the ceremony, so your husband won’t be busy all night, mostly he’ll just be hanging out with the rest of the guests.

Another vote for go to the wedding but not the shower. Your invitation to the bridal shower does sound like a present grab to me, so I would give them what they want (to avoid an awkward situation) while doing what I want (not going to a shower with a room full of strangers to honor and gift a woman I had never met). I would send a lower end present from the registry if there is one or a generic “this is a wedding shower present” type of gift with a card and express my sincerest regrets for not being able to attend.

I would go to the actual wedding though, if possible (and the gift would be another low-end registry item or an even more generic and inexpensive “wedding gift” gift) and not worry about not knowing any one; it’s not like you’ll be mingling at the ceremony. If you go to the reception, I assume you’ll be with your husband and not totally alone, and that will give you an opportunity to meet the bride long enough to say that you have met her and your social obligations to your husband’s friend will have been well met. I do think though, that it would be equally appropriate to go to the wedding but skip the reception on the grounds that you won’t know anyone as long as you are appropriately apologetic and polite about it.

If you’re anti-shower, then don’t go to the shower. I went through an anti-shower phase and didn’t lose any friends out of it (not saying that not liking showers is a “phase”).

You should buy something affordable off the registry and send it to BF’s mom, along with a note that says you regret you can’t come. They’ll open it at the shower along with all the other gifts.

And do go to the wedding. You never know, you and hubby might make some new friends!

Wedding, not the shower.

I wouldn’t buy a gift for the shower either. Just send your regrets with a note that you cannot make it (without mentioning because you’d rather drive bamboo under your nails) and that you are looking forward to meeting the bride at the wedding (without mentioning that 'because that is the only time in FOUR YEARS she’s made time to be anywhere you were at).

I don’t think it’s a gift-grab so much as the mog not really understanding the dynamics involved. Because the groom and your husband are “best friends”, Mom has reasonably but erroneously assumed that after 4 years you are at least peripherally friends with both the groom and his fiancee. So she invited you. It’s pretty typical to invite the long-term partners of the wedding party to the various pre-wedding festivities for precisely that reason. Besides, not inviting you would smack of involving only one member of a married couple to a social function, and that is simply Not Done.

As to whether to go or not…I don’t know. I can’t imagine going to the wedding shower of someone I’d never met without some pretty extenuating circumstances, like living a long way apart and them having the shower right before the wedding when everyone was in town. Someone who lives near enough that I invited them over multiple times and they couldn’t be arsed to come even once in 4 years and has never suggested going out for dinner or any other sort of interaction in all that time, that’s a whole other kettle of fish. I personally wouldn’t go, but I’m an anti-social old crab that way.

The wedding I would attend if it were right there in town and I could drive separately so as to make an early escape. If it were out of town, I’d stay home and rearrange my sock drawer but send a nice gift.

I suspect that you’ve been invited because you’re the wife of someone in the bridal party.

Whilst it does seem like a good opportunity to at least get to say ‘Hi’ to the bride, if you really don’t want to go, don’t go. It’s an invitation, not an obligation.

It would be polite to go to the shower, but if you choose not to, there’s always the old standby “retroactive previous engagement.” I don’t think it’s a gift-grab for them to invite you; the wife of a groomsman shouldn’t be left out. Personally I would say I have something else I have to do later “but I’d love to stop by and drop off your gift and meet you and congratulate you!” and give her a little something from her registry and get a cocktail.

I think it’s perfectly fine to decline the shower invite, but I think it’s somewhat ungenerous to assume she invited you just to get a gift, just based on what you said in the OP. If all the other groomsmen’s wives are invited then I could see the bride thinking “Well if it gets back to Poysyn that she was the only one left out, then maybe she’ll feel slighted. She can always make up an excuse if she doesn’t want to come.”

I don’t see any reason not to go to the wedding, but really that’s between you and your husband whether you do or don’t. If he’s fine with you not going, and is willing to pass along some polite excuse, then you’re in the clear, just write some nice note in the card about how you’re sorry you can’t be there. They probably won’t bother to come to any of your parties in the future, but it sounds like that’s what they’re doing already and you’re fine with that.

I wouldn’t go to the shower either. I was going to say that I hate wedding showers, but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been to one. If you’re uncomfortable with large groups of people (large for me being defined as more than 4) and large groups of women in particular, it really is hard to go and suck it up without looking like Eeyore and bringing down the mood of everyone else there.

I think you’re kind of stuck going to the wedding though. I’ve been to weddings where I only knew my husband and it’s not that bad.

I would politely decline the shower and go to the wedding (with an iPhone, so you can hang out in the bathroom and play video games if it gets unbearably tedious sitting by yourself. Ask me how I know this. :slight_smile: ) I wouldn’t assume gift grab, either, but it would be moot to me, because she ain’t getting one.

When we got married, we had a small wedding party, so we had all the spouses sitting with the wedding party members. I don’t really know why all weddings can’t do this.