So then it’d just be an engagement party? I guess if I were invited to anything with the word “shower” in it, I’d assume it’s a gift-giving party. I’ve only been to one engagement party, and gifts didn’t seem as central there (though some people did bring gifts). Most of my friends and family who have gotten married have not had showers, so I may just be totally out of the loop.
Yeah, so if it’s a get-together with “no expectations for gifts,” are you still calling it a shower? The whole point of a shower is to shower gifts on the honoree so it might confuse ppl to say “no gifts.” Or maybe you just want an engagement party? I don’t understand engagement parties like at all (even less than showers) but if you call it an engagement party, that probably reduces the likelihood of getting unwanted gifts.AngeJuly 29, 2019 at 5:49 pm #849085
In Australia showers are a lot less common than hen and bucks nights (or engagement parties) but we didn’t really do either. We had a gathering just before the wedding at a restaurant then went to a pub. These aren’t gift giving occasions here anyway but I find if you’re making the event a bit more mobile people are unlikely to bring gifts. Personally I’d just call any pre-wedding event a celebration or whatever to drive home it’s not a shower. Or just outright tell people you don’t need anything and please don’t spend any more money.
We also didn’t register for anything and passed the word out through family we didn’t need anything. We got a few gifts but definitely got way more money.TheHizzyJuly 31, 2019 at 12:49 pm #849241
As someone who literally just went through this – we had 1 shower and 1 couples shower. I’m kind of old school and I enjoyed celebrating with a shower, mostly to get those I love in one room together.
The bridal shower was back home and MH and I registered for small items that were upgrades to our current items. I also used a honeymoon fund. We got quite a few gifts at the shower (which most JUST got to me since we had to drive them back and are still unopened). At the wedding we literally got 95% cash.
I say make a registry for the items you want to upgrade because there are people who are completely traditional and MUST give a gift. This will make sure it’s something you WANT and LIKE.
Example: I complained to my cousin about my aunt buying something not on the registry. It wasn’t anything I wanted or needed but my aunt insisted I NEEDED. I wrote a very nice thank you card and then she mocked me to my mother for my card. Same cousin I complained to also bought me something really dumb not on my registry that is currently just an annoyance. Moral of the story: people will sometimes go rogue even if you ask them not to, but you can control some of it by having a registry.
You know what got maxed out? Our honeymoon fund. That was the best gift all around.
I agree that a registry helps maximize getting gifts you’d actually like, but omg, you complained!? I’m sorry but I think that’s in poor form. :-/
So I went off-registry for the most recent wedding I went to. Something small, and also gave cash. It was something I saw and immediately thought of my friend and the groom. I’d be pretty annoyed if it got back to me that my friend was complaining over a gift I actually put thought into. Idk, if she doesn’t want, like, or need it, she can quietly donate or even re-gift it, she doesn’t have to complain in a way where it’d get back to me. That’s what I’d do if I got something I didn’t like or want.TheHizzyJuly 31, 2019 at 2:31 pm #849245
I wrote a very nice, and very specific, thank you card for the gift my Aunt gave because it did take time and thought. In that card I also thanked her for taking the time to come to my shower. I was frustrated because it was items that neither MH and I want/need AFTER my Aunt made a big stink that we needed a registry so she knew what to get us. Her reply to my thank you was to make fun of me to my mother for “spelling a word wrong.” So speaking to my cousin started with how my Aunt mocked me, and turned into my frustration on her stink about wanting a registry and then not even using it.
That cousin doesn’t speak to that Aunt so I have no worries about it getting back to her. I did NOT complain to my cousin about her gift, I also wrote a very nice thank you card to her.
So, to everyone effected I have been gracious to thank them for their gifts and to thank them for attending my shower. I have also sent additional thank yous after the wedding for attending the wedding and if they gave a gift at the wedding.
So – there’s that.
Oh yeah. That makes more sense when explained in the correct order, haha. That said, I still stand by my “just donate” stance.
I can’t imagine anyone in my family ever making a big stink over my needing a registry (or anything else traditional to weddings, for that matter), so all the comments I see on this site about family members getting bent out of shape over weddings that aren’t even their weddings are very foreign to me.
ETA: I know Christmas gifts are of a different nature, but I received a couple gifts this year that I could not return or exchange, and they immediately went into my donation pile. No regrets on my end.
@Copa I’m fortunate to have family like that too. Like, I know 100% my aunts that live in Montana and Florida will not come to my wedding but they’ll send a gift and one will follow the registry religiously and the other one will do whatever she wants. If that’s what they want to do and we don’t need or want it, we’ll find it another home.
My boss and I actually had a long talk today about showers in your 30s/40s/50s for first time brides. Her sister got married the first time at 50 years old and she was thrilled to throw her a shower and a bachelorette party and said she really enjoys when older people find their person and get married after their already established. I’m still torn on what to do but I do like everyone’s feedback and opinions. I enjoy the get togethers before weddings because I love having my friends and family together to visit and celebrate but also don’t want anyone to be put out of time or money any more than they have to be.
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