Thoughts on Showers

I’ve attended many showers in my life and have been asked about the planning of countless others. Here are some of the more common answers to questions I receive about wedding showers.

Display or acknowledgment of gifts of money: I realize that at showers, the bride-to-be opens the gifts of those attending, but to open each envelope that might contain a check or cash and to announce to those gathered how much someone gave is quite gauche, in my opinion. To announce that someone gave you a modest amount after someone gave you a large amount can cause undue embarrassment. It is better to avoid public discussion of money at all costs.

Multiple showers or engagement parties: I caution against having too many parties. Should you have an extravagant party announcing your engagement, any showers given by friends should be small affairs. The financial strain placed on those who feel obligated to give multiple gifts is too great.

Work gifts: In many places a group gift is generally what is given by the coworkers of the engaged. Usually, not everyone in the department is invited to the wedding, but is it necessary to give an individual gift if you have already contributed to the group gift? I say no.

Family as hosts for showers: In the past it was frowned upon for the family of the bride to host a shower due to the appearance of the family asking for gifts for the bride. I realize that times have changed. A better suggestion would be for the host to be a friend of the bride and for the family to perhaps contribute ‘behind the scenes’ by supplying the food or decorations.

Cover charge to attend a shower: Believe it or not, I was once issued an invitation asking for a contribution to pay for the buffet supper served at a shower. This is completely improper. You do not charge your guests for the privilege of attending your shower and giving you a gift! (The HORROR!!!)

Best Shower Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

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