Bridal Shower Etiquette

by Mother-In-Law

My future daughter in law recently had a lingerie shower given to her by her attendants. (She gave them a guest list on the approval of her mother) Only half of the grooms family, my husbands & mine, were invited. I explained to the bride & attendants that some were going to be offended by their actions and if money were the issue I would help. (That was what my son had told me was part of the issue). They were excluded anyway. Am I out of line in my being upset with her and her family?

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Looking Forward
by: Miss P. Manners

Dear Mom in CA

Welcome to the uncontrollable world of in-laws. You are not alone in this struggle to know what to do, how to do it and how to react when it all goes crazy. Of course the actions of the bride's family were rude, or at least insensitive. Your feelings are hurt so you are resentful of their actions. How normal!

Fortunately, your reaction to them is under your control and now is a good time to take a deep breath and repeat to yourself, "I can't change them, I can't change them......." Now that you feel more centered try to concentrate on your son's happiness. Since you do not really know the actual instigator of the snub, you might as well give up the anger and focus on how to keep your son in your life after he marries. Her family may want them for holiday's and special occasions that will require negotiations for you to get your fair share. Pick your battles, remember that the behavior of others is not personal and let it go.

The shower is over but the marriage is just beginning. I say let's look forward and try to expect good things to come of this.

Good luck!
Miss Practical Manners

by: Anonymous

Thanks for the advice. The sad truth is that the brides family are our friends and have been for years. As for our reaction to their behavior.. I'm slightly cordial. My husband acts normal but he is livid.

That is a different twist
by: Miss P Manners

Dear Mom in CA,

Your follow up comments are very interesting. From your first letter, I would never have guessed that you even knew the family of the bride very well!

If you are friends, perhaps you can speak with them directly, suggesting better communication between the families involved during this time of mutual joy! The tone you set now will carry over into your life long relationship as in laws! And I cannot imagine the size of the ulcer your husband will have holding in all that anger for the next 20 plus years.

Unless there is some reason you do not trust your friends to join in a discussion, I strongly suggest you and your husband step up and ask for help from them. It is the polite and practical thing to do. If they are your friends, you may find they are relieved to have an opportunity to talk with you about this in a civilized manner without judgement or blame.

Ask yourself: Do I want to be right or do I want all of us to be happy, including the kids? Only you know the answer.

Good luck!

Miss Practical Manners

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