Backwards bridal shower conundrum - what to do?

Okay, not sure what I need from you guys. Doesn’t have to be advice per say, I just need to vent and maybe get some feedback/ insight.

So I have a friend who has been engaged for about 3 years. She and her fiancé live together. They have never set a date. They have almost set a date dozens of times and then started to plan their wedding only to change their mind and push it up and then not set a new date. Very strange. They do not plan on having a Church wedding. At first they did, but they changed their minds and now are having a justice of peace. At first I was happy and enthusiastic about this wedding, as any friend would be. I pretty much lost interest in being excited for her after all this (sorry if that sounds terrible but it is the truth).
Now, my friend is having a bridal shower. Even though she does not have a date set. But it is a weird bridal shower. The initial e-vite came from her friend who is supposedly throwing it for her…but the 10 or so reminders I have gotten in the past week and half (will get into that in a second) all came from my friend herself. I think it is bizarre to be having a bridal shower when you haven’t even set a date yet - never mind to basically throw it for yourself and be pushy about it. Also, the shower is at night at a restaurant and we each have to pay for our own plate, etc. Her family isn’t really involved in this shower (her mom isn’t really crazy about the guy she is marrying even though he is okay, and I think she has an issue with them living together).
So call me out for being uncharitable if you must, but I feel like this is totally backwards and yes, stupid. Every single shower I have been to (including my own) took place just before the wedding and was thrown by family and the bridal party (she hasn’t even picked a bridal party yet). Also, it was usually something that you were invited to not something you had to pay for - and if there was a budget issue than a simple at home potluck style shower. I just feel like she wants all the fanfare of getting married and to be celebrated – but she doesn’t understand that it only comes when you actually get married.
Oh and the kicker is that she sent out an email telling us all where she was registered and provided a link. I really don’t feel like I should be obligated to buy someone a shower gift when they do not have a date set. I joked to my husband that I should send her back a registry to my baby shower - I am not pregnant now, but heck I will have a baby one day so why not randomly ask for gifts in advance.
She is also a bit of a controlling person when it comes to these types of things…she has sent out a reminder about every day and a half telling us to RSVP (even though the RSVP date is a couple weeks away)
I am really turned off by her even putting her friends in such a strange spot. Out of 30 people on the list, only 6 have said they were coming. Well actually, her friend sent out the e-vite, then after a day 1 person had responded – so after only 1 day my friend usurped the whole thing and posted on the e-vite page that she was concerned by the lack of rsvps and she thought something was wrong with the e-vite site so she was creating a face book event page instead. So now I am bombarded with face book reminders. Gah! She even sent a text message to us all which was a picture snap shot of the face book event page. It is almost funny. But I am irritated and not really sure how to handle the situation. I will most likely attend…but I really do not feel I should purchase something off of her registry because that is legitimizing her situation. I was thinking of just making a basket of soaps and hand towels instead. I am just annoyed when people do things so backwards but still want all the trappings of a being a “bride.” I don’t know, what do you guys think?

in the spirit of Miss Manners, and I am sure she would agree, yes your instinct is right everything about this is backward. There is no bridal shower because by definition a bridal shower is a party given by a friend of the bride for the purpose of gathering her friends together just before her wedding to wish her joy. Often they are so happy for her that they are moved to bring small personal gifts for her, but that is not the reason for the party.

What you have encountered is simply blackmail and extortion, someone piggy backing on cultural traditions surrounding marriage to stage a gift-demanding event. Since there is no wedding planned–and in fact the young lady in question has rejected all social, cultural and religious notions of marriage long ago–there can be by definition no bridal shower. Regard it as you would any of those annoying direct mail appeals for donations and tear it up or report it as spam.

get new friends.

I’m the blunt type. I would speak with her privately and discuss exactly what you have posted. She’s playing a “game” with marriage and wants all the fun and exciting things associated with it, but won’t actually commit to getting married.

I would state very calmly but bluntly that it is inappropriate to host a bridal party, when there is no wedding set.

Oh Annie - I love it.
For the record, she really isn’t a close friend of mine. She is a childhood friend of my husband’s that he always kept in touch with who I happened to find out I shared a lot of friends with so we became friends. I have actually been trying to kindly de-tach from her for a long time because we just aren’t compatible but she is one of those people who can’t really take a hint.

zz - You are saying what I know is the right thing to do in my heart. I am such a coward sometimes though…

Actually it is funny because on the facebook event page - one of the other girls who is invited posted something to the effect of oh I didn’t know you set a date, congratualtions! (clearly thinking that the shower was a result of a close wedding date to follow) and my friend replied back, no date yet, nothing is “set in stone.”

Big question, is this a wedding that is presumed valid?

well shut my mouf, not even a close friend, and we are still pretending this is a shower? looks like the opportunity to do what you have been planning has been dropped in your lap. just be creative, but kind if possible, in your response.

Miss Mercy Mia regrets she will be unable to join Greedy Rita on March 1 is the Miss Manners form but if you want to say, “send me one more demand notice on this event and I will report you to the feds for extortion”, be my guest.

Kage - Aside from some miracle, she will not be having it in a Church - she is Catholic, he is not. At first, they were planning a Church wedding and I was very excited for her. She has since changed her mind over the course of the 3 year engagement. They have no reasons to keep post-poning the wedding that are finanical or logistical (they already live together).

Her problem is that she needs stuff for the house, but isn’t really getting married yet. So the “bridal shower” is the way to get people to buy you things without actually getting married. More of a belated housewarming. I wouldn’t go near this party with a 10 foot pole. While it might be honorable to tell her exactly why (if it can be done in love), you are not obligated to do so, especially since she’s not a close friend. I would RSVP right away, out of consideration. All you have to say is, “I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to attend.” You are sorry - sorry that she’s doing it backwards - but you don’t have to be so specific. I have a feeling you’re not the only person who feels this way, and maybe that’s why there are so few replies to her invitation. She’ll probably figure it out eventually, if she hasn’t already.

What hint? Do you mean hints like attending (and paying for your own meal) at her gift-getting party? This so-called bridal shower is a good situation to start really detaching from her. I suggest you send a polite RSVP telling her you do not plan to attend. You don’t need to explain why you won’t attend–perhaps the less you say is better.

gardenswithkids - By “detaching” I meant like when she sends an email or writes on my fb wall and says “I haven’t seen you in a long time, We need to hang out, etc” and I usually write back something like “it has been hectic around here, very busy etc.” I declined an invitation to her New Year’s party, etc. Don’t people usually catch on after a while?

I really don’t feel like I should be obligated to buy someone a shower gift when they do not have a date set. I joked to my husband that I should send her back a registry to my baby shower - I am not pregnant now, but heck I will have a baby one day so why not randomly ask for gifts in advance.

Funniest line in the whole thread. :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

For the record, she really isn’t a close friend of mine… I have actually been trying to kindly de-tach from her for a long time…

Well, here is your chance. :thumbsup:

Yeah, it is just so weird that someone would have the gumption to present us with a registry when there was no date. They have a lot of stuff in their house already…so I don’t know if it is about the actual getting of stuff or if it is a need she feels to be “celebrated” as a bride, if that makes sense. I am curious if others will actually purchase gifts off the registry for her. It just seems so wrong.

Either you can have a chat with her and tell her what you think… or you can continue with the detachment and just make up a convenient excuse for not coming to the shower. I agree with you 100% about the whole thing.

Does her fiance want to marry her? Is it one of those issues where she wants to get married but he isn’t as committed?

We have no idea about why they aren’t married. My husband and I have wondered. Her fiance is a pretty nice guy - friendly and quiet. Pretty much without any religion or belief in God, so he doesn’t think twice about living together, marriage is just a formailty I guess.
The issue might stem from my friend more, her parents aren’t crazy about this guy and so they have never said that they dissapproved but they also have never said they would pay for the wedding or help organize it. I think my friend wants to have a “nice” wedding with all the bells and whistles but doesn’t have the money for that so she has been holding off waiting for her parents to step in and offer to pay. It is has kind of been a passive-aggressive stand off for 3 years. At certain points she has said she is just going to do it on her own and have a cheap wedding in the backyard, then a week later she looking at expensive halls again. I told her to have a Church wedding and then just use the church hall for the reception. Too much trouble to have a Catholic wedding for her though :confused:
At one point they were going to have a justice of the peace wedding and then rent a hall in a Greek Orthodox church for the reception. Neither of them are Greek Orthodox but the hall was very cheap… how weird is a non-religious reception in a church hall that neither are affiliated with after a justice of the peace wedding!? I mean really.


I am curious- did they put a “dummy date” when they registered for gifts? I know at Macy’s and Bed Bath and Beyond you can’t (or atleast this was so in the past) without the date…

Anyway, being the chickenpoo girl that I am, I would (via Facebook private message or e-mail) send her a note that says, “I am really looking forward to your wedding. I do want to get you and _______ something special to celebrate your important day. But until the day is on the calendar, out of concern for being able to afford to get you a true wedding gift when the time comes, I must politely decline your invitation.”

See? Because I am chickenpoo, and don’t want to tally hurt feelings.

Though she is a total lout.

And for the record, I have often mused about how fun it would be to run through the department store, tagging goodies I would love to have :smiley: But it just isn’t reasonable.

I have more respect for the New Yorker who thew herself a “not getting married” shower; had a big catered to-do for friends and family, rather than this silliness.

Yes, they did use a “dummy date” on the registry. Ughhh really you would think that the fact that the store wants you to have a real wedding date would set off a light bulb in her head that maybe she needs to rethink the whole thing.

Wow! All I can think is how rude can one person be? I’m getting married soon and I tried to be so careful about manners and the ‘right’ thing to do and making sure that no ones feelings were hurt. I would be aghast at having someone invite me to a pretend bridal shower for a pretend wedding just because they wanted stuff. I agree that politely declining is the way to go. A simple thank you for the invite but due to previous committments I’ll be unable to attend. Short, simple, and to the point.

Perhaps no reply to the Facebook wall comments would help. It might be giving her some hope that you are interested.

You are more than ok to rsvp regrets to the “shower”. I wouldn’t send a gift either since a) the whole “shower” seems rude and weird and b) you aren’t trying to maintain a close friendship or family relationship. I loved your baby shower comment. People come up with some crazy ideas - why on earth do they have to act on them.

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