I want NO BRIDAL SHOWER, but my future mother in law won’t let it go

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How to plan an engagement party as seen on @offbeatbride
Engagement ring balloon from XoAS

My future mother-in-law has decided that she is throwing me a bridal shower. My wording there is intentional — she did not ask if I wanted one, she did not ask if my bridespeeps were throwing me one (they’re not, because they know I don’t want one), she Just Decided.

For many reasons, I’ve tried to be polite and just say “no thanks,” but she’s insisting.

I have no interest in this event, although I realize that it is very nice of her to offer to throw me one. How do I get out of this? -Kimm

Oh man, there can be all kinds of pre-wedding party activities that people will offer to throw you. That’s great… if those are the kinds of things you’re interested in. But what if someone is throwing you a party against your will!? How can you be gracious and grateful, while also standing your ground?

When is it worth just taking a deep breath and reminding yourself that different people have different ways of expressing their love for you, and putting on your best game face?

Here are a few different perspectives:

Is some other event she might throw you that you are interested in having?

Offbeat Bride Pollard explained, “My father and my fiance’s mother (the breadwinners so to speak) both wanted to give us money for stuffs, aka bridal showers/engagement parties/reception…basically if money was involved they wanted to pay. My fiance and I knew we weren’t interested in the things and made that all too clear, but both kept insisting to a point where we worried we’d wind up in a situation like yours or worse. So we put our heads together and decided that his mother could pay for our wedding brunch food, and my dad could pay for the family dinner we were planning to throw the night before in lieu of a rehearsal dinner. This way, the parents feel involved and like they are helping, but without us being in a situation we don’t want. So long tip short, I think your mother-in-law to be is just wanting to feel involved, and thus perhaps you could find something else she could be involved with, fund, or host?”

As yourself why you don’t want a shower

If you don’t want a shower because you aren’t comfortable receiving so much attention and gifts, perhaps you could ask guests to give donations to a charity you support in place of presents from a registry.

If it’s the dumb games and dainty sandwiches and all that stuff that makes you want to run for the hills, maybe you can suggest locations that make those things unneeded.

If your reason is something like, “I really don’t like my fiance’s mom and aunts,” maybe you may need to suck it up, smile, and just be glad they’re doing something nice for you.

Can you make it more fun for you?

If you wanted to make it feel more like YOUR party, could you suggest some delicious, theme-y, strong cocktails you could offer to make? As Offbeat Bride reader Cleo joked, “Because you just wouldn’t feel right if didn’t bring SOMETHING. Please, it’s the least you can do? You’re so overwhelmed by people doing so much for you. You just want to help too…”

Offer an alternative

Instead of saying no thanks, maybe offer an alternative. Explain to why you really don’t want a shower and maybe instead you can get a group together for a spa day, or go to a winery or bowling. Something fun that brings people together to celebrate your impending nuptials, as the purpose of a shower should be, but is not so much about gifts and games.

Instead of saying no, you should try to work out an agreeable compromise with her, especially since it sounds like her heart is in the right place.

Make it a couples shower

Is there any way you could suggest it being a couple’s shower? That might lessen the amount of attention placed on you and the amount of possibly embarrassing games or gifts you would otherwise “traditionally” endure…

There are LOTS of opinions on this one… check the comments for more!

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