I think it's time to 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 couple making everything about yourself? You're selfish.
- Are you a mom or mother-in-law looking to show love in a specific way? You're selfish.
Weddings are all selfish in the long run. It's a party, thrown by the hosts (the couple and/or their families) to the benefit of said hosts. It's all selfish!
Now that we can agree that all of it is selfish, let's look at how best to navigate these things.
For the couple getting married: it's okay to be selfish. It's okay to say, “I don't want money spent on me in this way, let's find an alternative.”
For the moms and bridal party members: it's okay to be selfish. It's okay to want to show love the way you know how.
However, for everyone: 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 mom 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 unions 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 mom or bridal party member to help somewhere else, like cake tasting, or rehearsal dinner, or post-wedding brunch planning.
Just like the label of “tacky,” the label of “selfish” can be applied to pretty much any situation in the wedding world. Let's all stop discounting someone not wanting to do something or wanting to do something because “it's selfish.” Let's just call it all selfish and focus on celebrating in a way we feel comfortable celebrating.