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chupacabra's avatar

Is it now customary to invite strangers to a bridal shower?

Asked by chupacabra (796points) November 5th, 2009

We have a neighbor whom we only see once a year at a block party. He is a nice fellow and we talk a lot at the party. Every year he is either newly married or newly divorced and we just got an invitation for wedding number 3— a woman we have never met.

I think it is nice that we are invited to his wedding. But what really surprised me was that I got an invitation to attend his new bride-to-bes bridal shower which included information on where she is registered. (Tiffany’s)

I have never before gotten an invite to a strangers bridal shower. Even if I knew her I would not be able to attend due to financial limitations.

Is this a normal thing now? To invite the spouses you have never met of very casual friends to the wedding shower?

Has this happened to you? Have you done it? What is your opinion?

I was just curious.

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18 Answers

bagelface's avatar

Maybe they think it would be a good way for you to meet your new neighbor?

Maybe they are trying to get as many gifts as possible?

aprilsimnel's avatar

It’s never happened to me and I’ve never been engaged so I’ve never made such requests, either.

Also, with a 3rd marriage? Unless the woman has never been married before, registering for gifts like this seems, dare I say it? Avaricious. YMMV. If I’m not mistaken, the point of having a bridal registry was for the community of family and friends of a couple to help them get needed items for their new home, not to load up on expensive jewelry. Tiffany, indeed. This is tacky. And they don’t really know you? Tackier still.

eponymoushipster's avatar

just the chippendales dancers…~

faye's avatar

i agree-tacky. sounds like a present pull to me or she has no friends!

trailsillustrated's avatar

gah that’s embarrassing- parties and showers should only be for a first marriage- send em a nice card. Tiffany? ridicoulous

ubersiren's avatar

For my and my sister-in-law’s showers, my mother-in-law invited a whole slew of people we didn’t know. Mostly her friends and family that I’d never met. Perhaps it is a way to make sure she has a good showing, but I don’t think it’s uncommon. However, since this is his 3rd marriage, I think a shower is a bit unnecessary. Showers, in my opinion, should be for couples just starting out who need household items. Maybe you could send a card or if you want to actually attend, bring some food or something, but I wouldn’t “shower” her with anything.

galileogirl's avatar

I don’t know if it is tacky or lazy. The bride probably doesn’t know the groom’s family very well so if you are on his guest list you might be a favorite cousin not just a once a year acquaintance. She probably invited all his female wedding guests.

Traditionally a first time bride has a party with her closest friends and her new female relatives to make sure the bride has some of the lesser necessaries to begin her married life. In recent years that has transformed into the bridezilla productions where everyone the bride has ever known must present her with tribute. It never was the custom for “showers” for subsequent marriages because a previously married woman should have a household in place. Etiquette has never required that because one has been invited to an event, one must attend. The only thing an invitation requires is an RSVP, so drop her a note or respond via email. “I am unable to attend, thank you for thinking of me. Best wishes on your marriage, Your name” With the obvious lack of communication between the bride and groom, expect to be hearing from bride #4

avvooooooo's avatar

Is it a third for him and a first for her?

If its a first for her, I could understand wanting all the hoopla.

chupacabra's avatar

@avvooooooo I honestly have no idea if it is her first marriage or not. I did not even know the groom was dating again and the invitation was my first indication that she existed in his life.

avvooooooo's avatar

@chupacabra Something to think about. :)

I think that strangers that are friends of parents or strangers that are family members of the partner or strangers that have some connection with the other person are ok to invite, but that this is weird. If its her first marriage and she’s never had that kind of attention before, I can understand trying to drum up as many people as possible (as well as registering at Tiffany’s)... But its still weird.

I think they’re trying to get a good gift haul. I’d send regrets to the whole thing.

galileogirl's avatar

Oooh I forgot the registration at Tiffany’s. Unless we are talking about a Getty or Hilton level wedding, registering for fine silver is a wedding gift, not a shower gift. It is way too presumptuous to assume that young women who are supporting themselves or are starting a family will spend $$hundreds so you can have the best in table “jewelry” Another reason to send your regrets.

Darwin's avatar

Maybe she doesn’t have any friends. Or maybe the two of them are just greedy.

Registered at Tiffany’s?! Most newlyweds I know are more in need of stuff like towels from Target, or a set of pots and pans from WalMart.

I would send my regrets, but do it nicely so if you get to know her later she won’t hold a grudge. After all, she is going to be your neighbor at least until her husband-to-be’s next divorce.

JLeslie's avatar

Ugh. Unfortunately, if it is a bridal shower they might open gifts there in front of everyone, and if you will feel awkward, since it is a Tiffany registry, then I can see why you might be uncomfortable. I am going to assume that if they registered at Tiffany’s they have a certain amount of money, and probably could care less if you get them a gift or not, and would be happy with anything you gave them.

Meanwhile, sounds like an engagement party would have been more appropriate for inviting people who may not be very close friends or family.

Just RSVP you can’t make it if you are uncomfortable, don’t give it a second thought.

augustlan's avatar

I once held a baby shower for a teenager I barely knew. We met in night school. She was young, poor, friendless, hugely pregnant and miserable. A few of us in the class decided she needed a baby shower, but there were only three of us. We each invited some of our friends (who’d never heard of this person), but we explained the whole situation to them. Some came, some were too weirded out by the whole thing. I know that girl had at least one night of happiness. :)

This certainly doesn’t seem to be the case in your situation. It’s pretty damn odd, all the way around.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s not exactly what I would call customary, but maybe the level of friendship is different for him than it is for you. I wouldn’t call someone who knows your name and address and has spoken to you in person a stranger, but simply not a close friend.

marinelife's avatar

It is very odd. I think they have used up all of their friends at earlier weddings.

Seelix's avatar

I was invited to the shower of Mr. Fiance’s (then Mr. Boyfriend’s) cousin’s bride-to-be. I thought it was weird – I was going to the wedding as Mr. Boyfriend’s plus-one, but had never met the cousin or his fiancee. I didn’t go.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not that I’ve ever run into. It smacks of gift mongering to me.

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