Dear Uncommon Courtesy,
My husband and I eloped about 2 weeks ago. It was a lovely, perfect day together! We are planning a small reception for family and close friends in the spring.
Two close friends of my husband’s family have just offered to throw me a shower. I’ve known these ladies for several years as well and they also hosted a shower for my husband’s sister a few years ago.
I would like to take them up on this offer, but I’m wondering if it’s gauche since we’re already married. I’ll add that my husband and I have been together nearly 6 years and lived together for just over 2, so we don’t necessarily need a lot of gifts but the thought of spending a morning with the important women in my life is quite appealing.
Thanks very much!
Sorta Wants A Shower
A lot of the bastions of etiquette don’t really mention how to have a shower after the wedding, presumably because it was Just Not Done. The point of a wedding shower is to provide the bride with token gifts for her new life and household, according to Amy Vanderbilt, so holding it after the wedding, and after they’ve already presumably received wedding gifts, doesn’t make much sense.
Jaya: I think this question gets to the heart of hour our ideas of what a shower is and means have completely changed.
Victoria: Oh yeah?
Jaya: Just from being something done to help set up the future wife’s life, and only held by certain people, to now another excuse for a party. Because if we’re going off the traditional idea of what a shower is, then this is totally gauche. But luckily we’re not doing that.
Victoria: Yeah, it’s definitely not a done thing, technically. I think the problem with shower etiquette is it’s a party being thrown for you, so you have very little control over it.
Jaya: Which is a weird thing in itself. Because if the person of honor doesn’t want the party, you’d think people would back down, but so often that leads to hurt feelings.
Victoria: I definitely think that when you offer to throw a shower, you should definitely be prepared to hear a no. This is how we get 3-4 showers happening, it’s nuts.
Jaya: Here, it sounds like LW is totally reasonable. She wants to hang out with these women in her life, and is not wanting/expecting a registry’s worth of gifts. That’s great! She just seems worried about how it’d look.
Victoria: Yeah, I think if someone is wanting to throw it, and you want it to happen, then, go ahead.
Jaya: And you can give input on what you’re comfortable with, so it doesn’t turn into a huge thing.
Victoria: Presumably only relatively close friends and family will be invited, so it’s not like you are giving the vapors to your mom’s garden club.
Jaya: That is a fantastic image. But yeah, if the thought of spending the morning with these women sounds nice, say that! You can be like “since we’re already married and living together, a traditional shower doesn’t make sense, but a ladies brunch sounds just lovely.”
Victoria: Yeah if you feel uncomfortable with a shower, call it like, a meet the bride luncheon or something. Jinx!
Jaya: And the great part is if someone does happen to think it’s gauche, it’s not your fault! You didn’t plan it!
Victoria: Exactly! And hopefully people who think it’s inappropriate, won’t come.