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Invited to a shower but not to a wedding


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I was raised that you only invite someone to a shower if you are planning to invite them to you wedding.  I received a shower invitation but no save the date or wedding invitation has arrived, so I'm inclined to believe I am not invited to the wedding.  (I really don't care to go anyway.)

In your circle, is it considered rude to invite to the shower but not to the wedding?

The bride's mother absolutely knows better, so I'm not sure what to think.

ETA: the wedding is in 29 days; the bride-to-be posted 30 days yesterday.

 

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3 minutes ago, Halftime Hope said:

I was raised that you only invite someone to a shower if you are planning to invite them to you wedding.  I received a shower invitation but no save the date or wedding invitation has arrived, so I'm inclined to believe I am not invited to the wedding.  (I really don't care to go anyway.)

In your circle, is it considered rude to invite to the shower but not to the wedding?

The bride's mother absolutely knows better, so I'm not sure what to think.

 

Yes, that is very rude.

Unless the bride's mother is hosting the shower, I would not blame this on her.

Historically it was the practice not to send out save the date cards and to send out wedding invitations 3-6 weeks before the event.  I'm glad that save the date communications have been added to the mix as it helps a great deal; however, I would not assume, unless the wedding is within the next month or so, that you're not invited.

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I'm no longer part of the church family of the young lady, and I don't know the hostess of the shower (she was not from the church family), so it's not that I was among "all the church ladies" invited to the shower.  The shower invitation was mailed to my house, so it's clear that my address is not the limiting factor.  LOL!

 

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4 minutes ago, Katy said:

Very rude. So unusually rude I might ask the mother if your invitation got lost in the mail.

I have zero desire to do that.

I like the bride, but really have no desire to go to the wedding or engage the mother. 

I asked the Hive because I wanted to know if customs were changing or relaxing.

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1 minute ago, Halftime Hope said:

I have zero desire to do that.

I like the bride, but really have no desire to go to the wedding or engage the mother. 

I asked the Hive because I wanted to know if customs were changing or relaxing.

Not on that.

On who hosts showers, definitely, although I'm still appalled when someone throws a shower for herself.

On asking for presents in an invitation, yup.  People are doing this more and more.  I like the side step of putting a registry on an overall wedding website.

On thank you notes, OMGosh.  That is all.

But not on, sure, come to the shower, but you are not invited to the wedding.  Just, no.

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I can think of a few scenarios that would make this a possibility: an extremely small and intimate wedding due to family circumstances such as a dying parent or due to extreme financial constraints. Growing up Mormon, the possibility of a religious exclusion of wedding attendance was always in the mix, but this doesn’t seem to apply here. 

Barring these few possibilities, I would consider it extremely rude, like a gift grab. 

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DD had an "immediate families" wedding. The people in hers and her fiance's church gave them a church shower, to which she also invited extended family members. Perhaps it was in bad taste to send those invitations--I don't know. But I knew the extended family wanted to give to them, and we thought they would want to come if they could.

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Well I th8nk it’s somewhat rude unless it’s something like a work or church shower.   I’d decline. I tend to decline shower invites anyway unless I’m really close to the couple.  

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Any chance the wedding is a destination wedding  or being preformed in a small venue?

Or that the invitation was to all the church and put in the church bulletin so they don't realize that you don't know about it?

I have seen both as very valid reasons why someone may not get an invititation to a wedding but are invited to a shower or reception. 

It doesn't sound like the case here, but I also know that Mormon Temple weddings have exclusive guest lists.

My daughter just go married and only had one set of grandparents as guests.  She easily could have invited 20 family members but only invited those 2.  That being said....we didn't throw her a shower even though we know family would have been happy to attend. LOL

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Because the shower invitation and the wedding invitation come from two different people, I could see this happening in a few instances.  One could be that the shower hostess did not consult the bride with a final guest list.  Also, I have been invited to a shower in the groom's hometown hosted by friends of the groom's family and not been invited to the wedding that was held in the bride's town miles away; in situations like that, I wouldn't find it odd because I would think of it as a way for those in the groom's hometown to be able to meet the bride-to-be and celebrate.  

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That sounds weird and rather rude to me. It's not uncommon to be invited to the wedding but not the reception, and most people understand that. But to be invited to the shower and not any part of the wedding seems like "I want a gift from you but you aren't important enough for me to invite you to my wedding". 

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1 hour ago, jdahlquist said:

Because the shower invitation and the wedding invitation come from two different people, I could see this happening in a few instances.  One could be that the shower hostess did not consult the bride with a final guest list.  Also, I have been invited to a shower in the groom's hometown hosted by friends of the groom's family and not been invited to the wedding that was held in the bride's town miles away; in situations like that, I wouldn't find it odd because I would think of it as a way for those in the groom's hometown to be able to meet the bride-to-be and celebrate.  

But see, properly that shouldn't be a shower.  It should be an engagement party, at which presents are optional.

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It's generally rude but I would give the hostess benefit of the doubt and assume either she thought you were invited to the wedding or given you've left the group she might have been unaware of your non invitee status and not wanted you to feel excluded.

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My first thought was that it was kind of rude, but after thinking about it, I can see some circumstances where I'd feel okay about it.  For example, if the church was throwing together a shower, or co-workers.  Then I think it's fine.  Another example would be if the wedding itself is very small and intimate.  I guess the more I think about it, I can think of other times too.  My aunt threw together a shower for me before I got married.  She wanted to have all of the women/girls who were related in some way.  It was really fun!  I met second and third and probably fourth cousins that I didn't even know I had.  ?  But my wedding was quite small and the "third" and "fourth" (or whatever they were!) cousins weren't invited, nor did they expect to be, I'm sure!  (For the record, the invitations were already sent by the time my aunt held the shower, but even then, at least in those days, I'm sure those distant relatives had no expectations of being at the wedding!)

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9 hours ago, mellifera33 said:

I think that it’s unfair to pin a label of rude on this since different people are hosting the two events. I’ve been invited to a shower but not a wedding, and I was happy to share in the joy in any way I could. ?

 

I thought it was rude until I read this post.  This was something I hadn't considered.  

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Sounds like you are a friend of the bride.  I had a friend who was mother of the groom.  She had already had some friends offer to HOST showers for the couple BEFORE she got the head count that she was going to be allowed to invite to the wedding. It was restricted because of the size of the venue.  

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The only time I've seen that intentionally done is with Mormons having a temple wedding because you're not allowed into the temple if you're not Mormon.  So if you're friends/family with a Mormon getting married in a temple wedding your choices are to attend nothing or attend the shower.  I've attended the shower and didn't let it bother me because those are the rules of their religion, not a gift grab.

Outside of Mormon temple weddings I haven't seen that done unless it's work deciding to throw a little something for the bride with the employees or church ladies who aren't necessarily invited to the wedding.

Anyone can throw the bride a shower, even her mother, but remember that the person throwing the shower isn't usually the person in charge of sending wedding invitations. 

There are lots of life happens moments where between all the social circles a bride can have relationship from over the years (various places of employment, places of worship, close relatives, distant relatives, hobby/interest groups, childhood friends, college friends, neighbors, acquaintances, etc.) the shower hostess or the person sending wedding invitations might have missed a few people here and there because everyone feeding her information from the groups might have left a person or two out or didn't have an updated physical address (I know they had yours, but this is speaking generally.)Oh, and if you had ever been at the local post office where I lived 2 houses ago, you would be surprised if anyone ever got their invitation in the mail because they were that bad at their jobs.

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I don't think it is considered rude in my circle, though I'm no expert on that.  I've generally seen fewer people at weddings - usually the people closest to the bride or groom - and more at the reception, which is more fun and social and inclusive of people less close to the couple.

I also always thought most people would not want to go to the wedding ceremony itself if they weren't really close to the couple - it's kinda long and boring, right?  It is likely to go against friends' religious or ethical morals or values in some way or other, and they'd rather not give up the whole day every time someone gets married.  But maybe you're still supposed to invite people and let them decide?  I'm pretty sure I've been invited to more than one reception without the wedding in the package, and I was happy for it.

ETA oops, you were talking about the shower, not the reception.  I need more coffee!  I agree with the others - different hosts, different guest lists.  No problem.

My sister's maid of honor hosted her shower and my sister was kinda ticked that there was so little space.  Not because of the gift grab aspect, but because it meant many of her friends / relatives had to be excluded from an event she thought they would want to attend.  But it wasn't up to her.

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It’s outside the rules of etiquette and so is the morher’s hosting the shower. 

There may be a legit reason for doing it this way, and I have tried all my life to extend the benefit of the doubt, even while I also think etiquette is there to make people more comfortable in knowing what us to be expected in social interaction.  

My 2cents. 

My extended opinion is that things are changing but not in a unifying way and so it’s hard to know what to expect from anyone anymore.  (Short version:  the world is going to hell in a hand-basket—and git offa my lawn.). So all I can do is to set a standard for what I expect of myself. Send a gift with regrets for attendance.  

B-)

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On 6/8/2018 at 7:40 PM, Halftime Hope said:

I was raised that you only invite someone to a shower if you are planning to invite them to you wedding.  I received a shower invitation but no save the date or wedding invitation has arrived, so I'm inclined to believe I am not invited to the wedding.  (I really don't care to go anyway.)

In your circle, is it considered rude to invite to the shower but not to the wedding?

The bride's mother absolutely knows better, so I'm not sure what to think.

ETA: the wedding is in 29 days; the bride-to-be posted 30 days yesterday.

 

I was not raised going to showers and weddings.The first wedding I attended was when I was 18. I don't even know if there was a shower. :-) I did not hear that it was rude to invite someone to a shower but not to the wedding until I started posting on this forum.

I don't see a problem with it myself. Sometimes the wedding might be very small, with only immediate family attending, because the happy couple is very frugal, but sure the bride's friends might still want to give her a shower. 

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This just happened to me! I was invited to the shower (given by my friend, the groom's mom), but not to the wedding. The young couple invited friends and family they feel close to, but the groom's mom invited friends *she* feels close to to the shower. The wedding is several hours away, and will be a relatively small event.

I was a bit surprised at first, not that I wasn't invited to the wedding, but that I was invited to the shower w/o an invite to the wedding. That's not how I was raised. But, I was happy to celebrate my friend's happiness and to bring a gift for the young couple.

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It's not rude to me, but I don't usually follow traditional etiquette anyway. We pretty much eloped, so no shower and no huge wedding. Large formal weddings aren't our thing. 

With the cost of weddings today, it wouldn't surprise me if the bride and groom are being frugal with a small intimate wedding and the person holding the shower is someone who wants to include family and friends that there might not be room for at the wedding.

Personally, I think being fiscally responsible is a positive trend. Unless there is significant savings or the parents are paying for it, starting out in debt isn't the greatest way to begin a marriage. 

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I don't think it's necessarily rude. I've known a bunch of people who had really small or destination weddings or weddings that were really specific somehow - like I've now known two good friends who specifically did not allow family at their weddings - and people threw them showers that were sort of casual celebrations that were larger and more local. Seeing as you're not required to go and you could easily bring a very small gift, I don't think it's a big deal.

If the wedding is huge and you're all in the same community and it's being held nearby, then it's maybe a bit rude then.

Overall, I hate the way people put the label of rude on absolutely everything. I never knew people were so offended by every little thing or think that etiquette is so universal, which it's just demonstrably NOT, until I started reading this board. 

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3 hours ago, GinaPagnato said:

This just happened to me! I was invited to the shower (given by my friend, the groom's mom), but not to the wedding. The young couple invited friends and family they feel close to, but the groom's mom invited friends *she* feels close to to the shower. The wedding is several hours away, and will be a relatively small event.

I was a bit surprised at first, not that I wasn't invited to the wedding, but that I was invited to the shower w/o an invite to the wedding. That's not how I was raised. But, I was happy to celebrate my friend's happiness and to bring a gift for the young couple.

I know what is customary varies by locale, but to me, the improper part of this is the groom's mom hosting a  shower, more so than a lack of a wedding invitation.  In my locale, the proper thing would have been for the groom's mother to host either an engagement party or a bridal tea, brunch, or some other festive event to celebrate and introduce her future daughter-in-law to her friends.  If a large number of people would not be invited to the wedding, wedding announcements would be put in the mail the day after the wedding (rather than a wedding invitation) to those who were from out of town.  A wedding announcement is not a "request" for a gift, but often the recipient would send a celebratory gift.

That said, if I got an invitation like this to a shower, I wouldn't say anything and would just go with the flow.  

 

 

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On 6/8/2018 at 11:41 PM, Lady Florida. said:

That sounds weird and rather rude to me. It's not uncommon to be invited to the wedding but not the reception, and most people understand that. But to be invited to the shower and not any part of the wedding seems like "I want a gift from you but you aren't important enough for me to invite you to my wedding". 

The bolded would annoy me. If you invite me to the boring part of the day, I'd better be invited to the party ?

Kelly

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I think it's totally fair game to have something like an engagement party, bridal tea,  or an after celebration and invite those not invited to a wedding.  People COULD bring a gift to these if they wanted, but it would be rude to include registry info.   A shower is a "gift required" occasion.  I do think it's rude for MOB or MOG to throw it and I do think it's rude not to line up a shower guest list with people actually invited to the wedding.   The only exception I can think of is if there is a work or church culture thing that would independently throw a shower for that group without consideration to the wedding.  In that case, I wouldn't expect family to be invited either.  It would be a co-worker event for example.  

I have also not heard of being invited to a wedding without invitation to the reception.  I know that can be a norm in some churches.  But I can't imagine actually mailing someone an invitation for JUST the ceremony and then get out while we party?  Weird.  And yes, I'd go with rude on that front too!   I think having a small ceremony and larger reception is not out of the ordinary.

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Not rude here. It would be indicative (again, here) of a small wedding. 

Well, to clarify, I've not heard of a wedding shower. I assume you mean bridal shower? It's pretty common here to be invited to the reception, even if you weren't invited to the wedding. 

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This was extremely common in the small, Midwest town where I grew up. Friends of the bride’s Mom would host a shower and the guests would be friends of the mother of the bride who also knew the daughter. Those to whom the bride was also close would then be invited to the wedding. My mom still frequently attends showers like these, and really enjoys it. At her age, it’s far easier for her to attend a local shower than an often out of town wedding and reception. Also common there is advertising and opening up the dance portion of the reception to everyone. I have very fond memeories of these community dances.

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Here a wedding shower and a bridal shower are used interchangeably.  I had 2 showers when I got married.  1 thrown by my FSIL and 1 thrown by a friend of my mom's with a bunch of her friends (that I knew growing up).  All were invited to the wedding.   

Anyway, the one my mom's friend threw was a couple's shower which was more of an mixed couple evening event with cocktails and appetizers.  We called that a wedding or couple's shower.  I'm not a huge fan of the shower variety where women sit around and make wedding dresses out of tp and guess the kitchen gadget and this was really fun and relaxed.

I can even see with a group of moms who had raised their kids together this becoming a norm in their group.  But the understanding would be you might not see a wedding invite.  If someone gets a shower invite and is puzzled because they haven't received a wedding invite, someone went wrong somewhere.   

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3 hours ago, Farrar said:

Overall, I hate the way people put the label of rude on absolutely everything. I never knew people were so offended by every little thing or think that etiquette is so universal, which it's just demonstrably NOT, until I started reading this board. 

Anyone online and over the age of 21 should have figured out on their own by now that America is not a culturally monolithic country and that there are not and never have been universal rules of etiquette. It's called "paying attention."

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In general, I would feel irritated to be invited to one, and not the other.  Like...it's ok for me to give you a gift, but not important enough to celebrate such a joyous occasion with you.  I would feel slighted.

 

Having said that, there ARE exceptions.  For example, if I am part of a group of people who want to throw a small shower at work for a co-worker, I would happily do so without a thought for the wedding.  There might be particular circumstances where wedding plans have to change, like perhaps someone is being deployed or someone gets sick, job change, etc etc.  

But generally speaking, in typical situations, either I am important enough to celebrate with you or not.  

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In my grandmother's day, church weddings were public church services.  You could not exclude someone from a church service, and so people would come whether they were invited or not, sometimes.  I found this surprising, but she told me that a lot of her father's business associates that were not invited came to the church wedding out of respect for him.  

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I think church weddings are generally public here too, but most people would not "crash the party" so to speak.  If someone did sneak into the back, nobody would care.  It's not like they take names at the door.

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9 minutes ago, SKL said:

I think church weddings are generally public here too, but most people would not "crash the party" so to speak.  If someone did sneak into the back, nobody would care.  It's not like they take names at the door.

It's just that it never would have occurred to me to do that, and I was surprised when my grandmother told me about it.

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This is not uncommon where I grew up. The church would always host a shower without any expectation of invites to the wedding. It was the same for my workplace. They surprised me with a small shower. They didn’t expect wedding invites. I didn’t even know a couple of them very well. 

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8 hours ago, Farrar said:

 

Overall, I hate the way people put the label of rude on absolutely everything. I never knew people were so offended by every little thing or think that etiquette is so universal, which it's just demonstrably NOT, until I started reading this board. 

 

Well,I do think when we're talking about it on a board like this we are just talking about people's honest perceptions.  Some might think it's rude, some might not..  I don't think it's weird there is a huge range of thoughts.  At the end of the day, that's just what someone thinks.  If I got a shower invite, and not a wedding invite I would think it was odd (barring an office party/church group or something like that).  I may or may not go depending on my relationship with the couple.  But it's not like I'd ever share my opinion or confront them on it.  Or spend more than 30 seconds thinking on it unless it was someone I was really close to and the invite was a complete surprise.  If you're really close to someone, you would probably hear about their wedding plans one way or another and an oddity from your norms then wouldn't come as a surprise.   I still think it's best not to call it a shower, most would probably show up with gifts anyway.  But hey, different strokes for different folks.  

We're just talking about people's own norms and their honest opinions.  I hope no one is thinking too hard about what random people online perceive as rude or not rude if they have a different norm that's working well for them.   

In the case of the OP getting a shower invite out of the blue as a surprise, I'm not surprised she feels a bit slighted about no wedding invitation when it's coming up so quickly.  It doesn't seem like she's dwelling on it or anything.  I think offended is a pretty strong word to describe what I'm saying.  It's really not that big of a deal.

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Thank you all for sharing your varied experiences and insight. 

I don't feel slighted or offended by the way this occurred, but in general, I am having to work and intentionally stay abreast of cultural norms that seem to be changing around me.  When its an everyday thing that I can observe often enough to piece together myself, I have no worries, but when it is something I don't participate in very often, I'm kind of left scratching my head.  That's the context for my question.

I knew this young lady, a peer of my youngest son's, from our church. She stayed in my home multiple times as part of group activities.  I am no longer at that church, and have not been for about three years, so I was not sent the customary, all-church, ladies bridal shower invitation. 

The invitation was from someone I don't know, and it was being held in a home, so I'm reasonably sure the bride or her mother gave my name to the hostess. I called immediately to decline with regrets because the shower was on the day before my son's rehearsal dinner (hostess = me) and I knew I'd be knee deep in houseguests and floral arrangements.

That said, I've not received a subsequent wedding announcement , and I have no idea what they have planned for the wedding. (If they had sent me a wedding invitation, it is likely I'd have received it, since they clearly have my address.)

I do appreciate the young lady and wish them well, so I'll probably find the shower invitation, find out where they are registered from the hostess, and then mail the couple a gift. 

 

 

 

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On 6/9/2018 at 7:25 PM, SKL said:

I also always thought most people would not want to go to the wedding ceremony itself if they weren't really close to the couple - it's kinda long and boring, right?  It is likely to go against friends' religious or ethical morals or values in some way or other, and they'd rather not give up the whole day every time someone gets married.  

 

 

The whole day? What the heck kind of weddings do they have in your neck of the woods, lol? 

Where I live, the wedding is an hour, max. The reception is four hours or longer. 

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1 hour ago, katilac said:

 

The whole day? What the heck kind of weddings do they have in your neck of the woods, lol? 

Where I live, the wedding is an hour, max. The reception is four hours or longer. 

Between getting ready and going to the wedding, then finding something to do between the wedding and the reception (while the wedding party takes photos), and hanging out at the wedding reception for hours, the whole day is pretty well shot.  Which is fine if you're really close to the bride or groom.

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7 hours ago, SKL said:

Between getting ready and going to the wedding, then finding something to do between the wedding and the reception (while the wedding party takes photos), and hanging out at the wedding reception for hours, the whole day is pretty well shot.  Which is fine if you're really close to the bride or groom.

 

 

 A lot of people no take most of the photos before the wedding, so let's hope that trend continues! 

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I've been thinking about this - I've only seen it here in settings like work, or church or a club.  Or, where the wedding is far from the home of one of the people.

I'm interested in the idea that a small wedding might have shower(s) to allow celebrating with others.  I find myself kind of thinking - isn't that the main point of the social element of the wedding, if it isn't actually private?  Why not ixne the shower, and have a more low-key, shower like reception?  If they are so close you really want to celebrate with them, invite them - if they aren't, should they really be invited to a shower where they have to bring you a gift?

Along similar lines, I wonder if the idea of actually just having a celebratory party might be underused.  I think if I had a private or destination wedding, and i really wanted a chance to celebrate, I'd throw a part of some kind afterwards, or maybe before if it was a matter of two hometowns or something.  Of course people could bring gifts, but there wouldn't be that sense of it being expected that you cough up while not being enough of an intimate to get invited to the actual wedding.

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