Hi! I'm a mother of the groom, and I've been so excited to throw my future daughter-in-law a bridal shower! I'm so excited to introduce her to my friends in a quieter environment, and just have some good old fashioned fun. But she says she wants no bridal shower… I think she's being really selfish. What should I do? -FMIL
We've heard this a lot from brides who don't want a bridal shower, it's a new twist to hear from a mother who wants to throw one!
So, let's start off here: can we agree that the word selfish is a lot like the word tacky: it can be applied to pretty much everything.
Are you a bride who doesn't want a big fuss and thus wants to turn down a shower? You're selfish for not letting your family love you the way they want.
Are you a mom or mother-in-law looking to shower the bride with love, but in the way that YOU want to, and not the way the bride is interested in? You're selfish.
It's all selfish in the long run. It's a party, thrown by the hosts (bride and groom) to the benefit of the hosts. It's all selfish.
Now that we can agree that all of it is selfish, let's look at how best to navigate when someone wants no bridal shower
For the brides/grooms/celebrants of union, it's okay to be selfish and decline a bridal shower. It's okay to say, I don't want money spent on me in this way, let's find an alternative.
For the Moms/mother-in-laws/bridal party members, it's okay to be selfish. It's okay to want to show love the way you know how.
However, for all parties, it's even better to meet in the middle… To find something that can make everyone happy, without giving up key things.
Maybe you're a mother who's always dreamed of throwing this awesome shower, only to end up with a child or child's partner who doesn't want a shower…. so maybe throw that awesome party some other time! Or, throw that awesome shower for someone else. Make it a couple's shower, find a friend who needs to have a shower thrown for them, or turn the party into a celebration all its own.
Maybe you're a bride or groom or celebrant of union that hates being the center of attention, maybe you can find a way to share the spotlight, or not be in it. Maybe you do it by making your partner the center of attention, maybe you do it by not opening gifts, or having the gifts brought unwrapped so they don't have to be opened. Maybe you stand your ground and ask your MIL/Mom/Bridal Party Member to help somewhere else, like cake tasting, or rehearsal dinner, or post-wedding brunch planning.
In the long run, everything we do in life is pretty selfish. Insisting that someone love us in one way is selfish. Insisting on loving someone in a certain way is selfish. The best way to beat that is a compromise.