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DearSugar Needs Your Help: Do I Have a Say in My Bridal Shower?

Dear Sugar and Bride-to-Be Betty need your help. Should she tell her fiance's mother to travel to the bridal shower her mother is planning or should she let her future mother-in-law plan her own?

Dear Sugar--

I am getting married next August and have been diligently planning the wedding. I have to say I'm pleased that everything has been going pretty smoothly and nobody has been too opinionated.

The other day I was talking to my mom about the bridal shower she is planning in the Spring. It's going to be in New Jersey where my parents live, and she wanted to know if my fiance's family would come from Connecticut. I called my future mother-in-law to extend a verbal invitation and she told me that she's not too into traveling and was just planning on throwing her own bridal shower for her side of the family.

I was fine with it at first, but when I told my mother, she was a little turned off and hurt and then I realized that I was too. It's only about a 2 1/2 hour drive, so what's the big deal? I thought the point of bridal showers was to get all the women together before the wedding to celebrate?

Do I have a right to say something to my fiance's mother about this? Is it normal to have two different bridal showers, one from each side of the family, or do you traditionally just have one with everyone? I don't want to seem like an ungrateful or bitchy Bridezilla, so I'd appreciate any advice from former brides.


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bbkf bbkf 9 years
First, according to etiquette, your mom (or any member of your family, actually) should not be throwing you a shower. Second, multiple showers are the norm these days-- it shouldn't be an inconvenience for anyone to attend, so why not have one in each state to better accomodate?
onesong onesong 9 years
you know, i answered this already but i have to say - 2.5 hours is a LOT. my best friend lives in NJ, and I'm the one in CT, and I had to drive almost that far for her shower and I was exhausted. It took me longer to get there and home htan it did to celebrate with her.
barjar1122 barjar1122 9 years
your mother-inlaw probably has a bunch of friends she wants to introduce you to therefore they should not all have to travel. enjoy both!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I had two bridal showers, one by my best friend and maid of honor and she drove 3 hours to my place and arranged everything but asked me on details and preferences it was awesome and fun. My mother in law decided to throw me a “linen and lingerie” party, to my surprise, didn’t invite any of my family just her personal friends. So I was getting lingerie and towels from people I have NEVER MET! Not one of them looked onto my registry to see that I had towels there, they just bought me these ungodly colored monstrosities one even bought me a set of what I thought were kitchen towels with evil kittens on them and than she tells me that those are “to keep by the bedside, they are C*m towels” seriously I am not making this up. I also received lots of lingerie from sears that I wouldn’t wear if you paid me. I used most of the towels to pack things in to move, and than for rags for working on the car, and the lingerie was tossed into the dumpster when I got home.
sofi sofi 9 years
Yes, your mom may feel hurt because this is her thing that she's planning for her daughter, but it isn't unreasonable for your fmil not to want to travel such a long way. Even if she could come, what about all her close friends or family who can't come but want to share in the celebrations. It's completely normal to have more than one shower- you've got two families from at least two different regions coming together. Enjoy it. Your mom had her plan about how she wanted everything, but that can't work for everyone. I wouldn't argue with either one- they are just trying to do something nice for you. This stuff is minor- you worry about the wedding and let them handle the showers- good luck!
cubadog cubadog 9 years
A lot of people have more than one shower right or wrong that is normal. I think you should ask your FMIL to still join your mothers party that way she can get to know your side of the family before the wedding.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Have two showers. A 2 1/2 hour drive can be a HUGE deal for a lot of attendees. If it's not a big deal to you, then you should be the one to drive it back and forth. Personally, I wouldn't attend a bridal shower 2 1/2 hours away unless it was my own. Five hours (at least) of traveling time plus the shower time is a huge thing to ask of attendees.
htiduj htiduj 9 years
you know, every shower is different. some people have three showers - one with just friends, one with one side of the family and one with the other side. especially if the two sides dont live near each other. i think you should be thankful that your future mother in law wants to throw this shower for you, it means she really likes you. she probably wants a way to celebrate and to make a party with her friends. and not to be crude, but think of all the extra presents!! i know that sometimes when planning a wedding it gets to be all about the bride. and the brides wants. but this is a big deal for the other people in both families as well. let your future mother in law have this, its obviously important to her - and it will only be good for your relationship in the future.
nlw nlw 9 years
So many people have multiple wedding showers. I did and my mom and mother-in-law invited each other to the one that they each had for me.
PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 9 years
I think your mother is being a little bit silly & so are you. Have you thought that 2 1/2 hours might be a long drive/ride for some of the elderly relatives that might want to come to your shower? You should be flattered that your MIL wants to throw a shower for you at all, really. Also, it's perfectly acceptable to have multiple wedding showers. One of my girlfriends had five planned for her (family, work, church, couples shower, & neighborhood shower)and they were all in the same town. Good luck!
mrspiven mrspiven 9 years
i'm with kelleylocke. explain to your mother in law how much it would mean to have everyone together for one shower. if she still refuses, you can tell her YOU don't feel like traveling to her shower! well, maybe not, but she should respect your wishes if the only thing she doesn't want to do is travel.
kelleylocke kelleylocke 9 years
I think it's odd that people are saying "You'll get new stuff! Be grateful" as reasoning behind why you should be OK with 2 showers. It seems to me like you wanted one shower to bring the two families together and bond a little bit over it. If that's the case I would kindly, and carefully point that out to your Future-Mother-In-Law. Tell her what it would mean and maybe host it somewhere in between your home and hers. Only after that would I say, yes, you should just go along with the plan.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
Just accept! I know people who have had up to four different showers-- friends, each side of the family, a family friend. Everyone wants to treat you, so let them.
lemuse20 lemuse20 9 years
I drove a 7 hr trip last weekend to go to my brothers fiance's wedding shower. 2 1/2 sounds way better, and it sounds like your mother-in-law is only thinking of herself. Or there could be some other reason why she wants to throw her own, who knows. I could understand your being hurt, but try not to think about it that way, think glass half full - more gifts. As a bridesmaid of the bride, and sister of the groom, I have already seen much family drama, my advice is: try not to hold a grudge against your mother-in-law.
controlledspin controlledspin 9 years
My husband's family all lives two states away as well, with a little longer traveling time. We had a very small wedding, so I had no shower at all. All this stuff feels like a big deal, but TRUST ME, it is not afterwards :) My MIL didn't even come to our wedding. She said that the traveling would "kill" her. My FIL came and his wife, and almost all his brothers and sisters. I was hurt, but you know what? We had a wonderful time, and we are just as married whether she came or not. And you know what else? SHE missed out - not us!! :rotfl: I would say that the two showers would be a lot of fun, and reiterate to your Mom that now she doesn't have to travel either! That actually takes some pressure off her shoulders as far as trying to make the shower in a pleasing way for the FMIL.
SexyNeverLeft78 SexyNeverLeft78 9 years
I hate these stupid questions. Is this really such a big deal? Just have TWO showers and get double the gifts. Nowadays its even harder with families in two states (I'm from RI and my husband's familiy is in NY). I had ZERO showers, 1 weddings, and still have more than 200+ family members mad that they were not invited to the small wedding my parents paid for. At least TWO ppl care enough to throw u a shower and technically u shouldn't have a say in something that is being thrown for you IMO. I'm sorry, but your mother feels that she should be the one to throw a shower for her daughter and I can understand that. But your MIL has every right to throw u a shower as well. Cmon girl snap out of it and register in two different stores in two different states and suck it up! PS- My cousin relocated from Mass to Atlanta and her inlaws had a shower there and her mother threw her a shower in Mass. It's life. PPS- My parents drove the 2-3 hours from RI to NY just to bring us the wedding proofs and to go thru them with his family as well. I don't mean to be mean, but just snap out of it already and realize ppl deal with this everyday and u need to deal with it NOW before it leads to problems after the wedding. Once u get pregnant, will u ask the same question about a baby shower too? What about holidays? You are going to have to deal with the families trying to pull u in two directions, but take it as a compliment and be proactive. HAHAHA the wedding is just the tip of the iceberg when you are from two different states girl LMAO. I have to alternate holidays to keep my parents happy AND keep my sanity and u are complaining about multiple wedding showers, gtfo
hmdumas hmdumas 9 years
It's not uncommon to have more than one shower in different cities or states. Since your FMIL lives somewhere else, she may be thinking about inviting people that she knows may not be able to travel (due to money or physically unable) but still would be interested in celebrating. Perhaps there is an elderly aunt or friend that just cannot handle a long car ride but loves your future husband and wants to share that love with you. Besides, sometimes the really large showers are not as much fun as the smaller ones. Have you ever been to a shower where it takes over an hour to unwrap all the presents. Not fun! Smaller showers give you a chance to really talk to everyone.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 9 years
As a wedding planner, there is no set rule on how many bridal showers one bride can have. However, I don't understand why you are upset. You are getting TWO showers. I think it was perfectly lovely that your mom invited your future mother in law to the party she is throwing, however, I understand how the distance can be hard. A 2 1/2 hour drive for a shower that is only two maybe three hours long? That is a bit much. You are asking them to make a 5 hour drive for a party. I think your mom took the second party as an insult instead of looking at all the facts. She probably thought your mother in law doesn't WANT to be at her party or be apart of the new family. But you both need to realize that it is not about insult at all. I would attend your mother in laws party and take your mom and enjoy yourself.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
that's soooo pety. get over it. you get to be swooned over twice, and you get to get more things that you want/need. Your mom is probably just being a territorial mom (like most moms in this case) . . . she probably doesn't want anyone else doing this for you but her. and I doubt she "hurt"; she just used that because it's obvious that you're easy to persuade with feelings . . . just go to both parties and be happy.
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
You can have more than one shower. Don't take it too personal. Don't go into it thinking she's against you or your mom. Unless they are friends, your mom shouldn't be "offended". If they're not friends and the families don't know each other too well is understandable the mom-in-law maybe is a little too shy. finally, YOU WON'T LIVE WITH THEM so make everybody happy once...and is not like she's planning something important like the whole wedding...Don't let something like this bother you. Think about the fun. When people your wedding, do whatever you want...i believe they forget that it might not be your in-laws place to choose but they're still family so starting a marriage with fights over a not worth it.
remedios remedios 9 years
My first reaction was to wonder why you called your FMIL and not your mom. If your mom thought it something important enough that she would get upset at your FMIL not going, I would think that she really wanted them there. And if that's the case, it would seem she should have called herself. By you calling, it makes it seem not a priority. I'm not saying it isn't one, just that little things can be interpreted in a number of different ways. I wouldn't worry at all about them not coming. Hey, at least they're throwing you another one. I didn't even get that! (Of course, the travel distance was more than 2 1/2 hours.)
omilawd omilawd 9 years
It's your wedding; do what YOU want to do, and don't let your mother or future-mother-in-law influence you. Whether it be having one shower, two showers, or ten showers, it's up to YOU. You're the one that's getting married after all. To answer your question though, yes, having more than one shower is acceptable and very common, especially if your family lives far away from your fiance's family. And --again, it's up to you whether you want two separate parties-- it would be easier to have two parties so that people can choose which one is closer to them to go to, and so they won't have to travel far either.
facin8me facin8me 9 years
I actually had three wedding showers- one in the city where I live (and where all my family is), one where my husband parents, sister, and his mother's side of the family lives, and a third one in the part of the country where his father's family lives. I think it's very common to have multiple showers and I don't think you should be upset that your future mother-in-law is planning to throw you one in her town. I think what you may be upset about is that your future mother in law is not planning on attending all of your showers. I know that when I had the two additional showers out-of-state, my parents traveled to both of them because they wanted to be part of everything surrounding my wedding because they were so excited. My future in-laws, on the other hand, only attended the shower thrown in their city. Perhaps you are reading your future MILs declined invitation as evidence that she's not really into the wedding process? I think you should just take her at her word that she doesn't like to travel (or maybe she can't afford gas and hotel and she's just trying to save face). amybdk- etiquette says that you're not supposed to have your immediate family (like your mom) throw your shower because then it looks like the family is fishing for gifts. I think these days it's becoming more common because a lot of people (like your bridesmaids) simply don't have the disposable cash to be throwing a shower...often it's the older, more established people in your life (like a mom or aunt) that have the cash to throw a shower.
onesong onesong 9 years
i agree with everyone--especially when you think of it in terms of all the people your FMIL wanted to invite. besides, how often in the future are you going to be able to have a party where your new family won't be included? enjoy it all and don't let your mom guilt you into feeling badly!
amybdk amybdk 9 years
Is it common for immediate family to throw bridal showers? Go along with having two showers!
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