My Bridesmaid is Hijacking Our Wedding Weekend for Her Baby Shower


Why does she have to steal my sunshine?

by Liz Moorhead, Editor, Ask APW

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Q: I am in the final stages of preparing for my upcoming wedding. We have a large number of guests who are returning to our hometown after living here during grad school and professional programs when we were all in our twenties.

Now in our thirties, people are having babies left and right, like you do. One of our close friends who is a part of our wedding party is also pregnant. On a recent visit to town, she announced to me that she would be asking someone to host a baby shower for her the weekend of our wedding, so she could take advantage of the people who are also in town that weekend. She made a comment about how I was “exempt” from hosting, of course, because I was having a wedding (um, duh).

I received an email invite from her sister-in-law to the shower, which she is hosting the day after our wedding, two hours after our post-wedding brunch, to which all our guests are invited. I also got a text from my pregnant friend/wedding party member saying she understands if I can’t attend, cause I will likely have a lot on my plate (um, double duh).

My feelings are really hurt by this, because I feel that she is ultimately trying to capitalize on people coming to town for our wedding so she can get baby gifts. (She is also having several other baby showers in other locations, for the record, and has a very supportive family who can help her out quite a bit with anything the baby needs). I understand that she wants to be celebrated, and that this may seem to her (selfishly, I think) like an opportune time for her to gather people to celebrate her soon-arriving baby. However, not to mince words, it just seems like a selfish gift grab to me, infringing upon the events that I have spent more than a year preparing for our wedding. I would be less annoyed if the shower were later in the afternoon, not so close to the events we have already planned, or even if she asked me how I felt about it. It would hurt less if she wasn’t one of the people we asked to be in our wedding. I feel like the weekend should be about us, and now she’s tagged on yet another event, asking more of our guests.

Should I respond at all? Is it worth it to say anything, or just let it be and enjoy our wedding weekend, ignoring the baby shower? At this point I have just ignored it, but am still stewing and simmering. Am I crazy, or is this totally unnecessary gift grabby behavior?

—Baby Mama Drama

 

A: Dear BMD,

One of my least favorite wedding-related things (other than those cake toppers where the groom is being dragged by his shirt) has gotta be when someone accuses a couple of being “gift grabby.” Oy. No matter what specific choices you’re making about date, time, guest list, meal, napkin color, somehow folks find a reason to insinuate that you’re having a wedding not so you can celebrate a marriage with your loved ones. Nope, it’s about the toasters.

Please don’t pull that same crap on your friend here.

What sounds to you like “taking advantage” or “capitalizing” or being “gift grabby,” sounds to me like a friend who is trying really hard to not make all her loved ones travel to the same town twice in short order. What’s coming across as self-centered to you, is sounding (okay yes maybe a little oblivious to your feelings, but) mostly well intended and guest-conscious.

As you’re probably well aware after this wedding planning stuff, planning an event isn’t just about you, or about what you want, but is also about guest politics. Your friend may not be thinking about how many more diapers she can squeeze out of her friends, but instead, “Ooof, I have to invite so and so, or she’ll be offended, but I also don’t want her to feel obligated to come all that way.” After that year plus of planning, you’ve got to be able to relate to that weird tension.

Give your friend a pass on this. It’s asking an awful lot to expect your entire friend group to dedicate two whole days to you guys (let’s be real, I often poke fun at the idea of “our day,” let alone a whole frigging weekend).

Instead of seeing this shower as taking away from your events, try to frame it as adding to them. Your whole group of friends is coming to town for a nonstop celebration of this crazy phase of life. You get a party! And… you get a party! Presents and celebrations and mimosas for everyone!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ASK APW A QUESTION, PLEASE DON’T BE SHY! IF YOU WOULD PREFER NOT TO BE NAMED, ANONYMOUS QUESTIONS ARE ALSO ACCEPTED. (THOUGH IT REALLY MAKES OUR DAY WHEN YOU COME UP WITH A CLEVER SIGN-OFF!)

Liz Moorhead

Liz is an illustrator and writer who paints custom stationery and types up impassioned opinions about weddings, etiquette, feminism and motherhood (usually while shaking a fist and mumbling expletives around mouthfuls of cheese fries). Her spare time is spent sipping bourbon with her husband and playing Don’t Throw That in the Toilet with her sons.

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  • k

    Except showers are fundamentally gift grabs in ways weddings aren’t. The purpose of a wedding is to join people in marriage. The purpose of a shower is to get showered in gifts. It’s not a fair comparison.

    • raccooncity

      Baby showers can be about celebrating a coming baby – lots of my friends and relatives have opted for no-gift showers (like, bringing a frozen meal was one of the requests).

      FWIW, as a person whose friends are scattered everywhere across Canada, I would appreciate the opportunity to celebrate with my pregnant friends AND my marrying friends without taking more vacation time. And as someone 10 days away from being a bride, I can’t imagine being anything but excited to have extended the friendship fun times BEYOND the wedding into a time when I had nothing planned for them anyway.

      • Cassidy

        100% agree! As a guest I would see this as a win win. If one of my college friends wanted to have a shower the Sunday after my wedding, I would love the idea since it’s so rare for us all to be in one place at one time and traveling 6+ hours for a baby shower…sorry, that’s not happening.
        Also, on the post wedding brunch, have brides found that they had big attendance at theirs? I’ve actually only gone to the ones that are in the hotel I’m staying at. I have never ventured to another location for the brunch. Typically I’m hung over and looking for greasy diner food. I think it’s super nice to do for your guests, but I guess I just don’t see it as a big enough event to worry about another event 2 hours after. Also, I’m thinking that friends are less likely to attend the brunch than family, so if they aren’t there, I wouldn’t think it’s necessarily because of the shower.

        • Amy March

          Yeah, I’m not on team brunch at all. I don’t think they are a bad thing to do, but I have no interest in getting myself up and dressed and social again and nearly always decline, or I need to hit the road. To me its a fun little extra thing for people who want it, not an important event at all.

          • At all the family weddings we’ve always been invited to brunch and always dutifully gone. But lord, wouldn’t I rather sleep in an extra hour or two and then put on my sweat pants instead!

        • MC

          We had probably half of our 130ish guest list join us for brunch, which was a surprise (but an awesome one!) it was at a pretty big restaurant walking distance from the hotel where most people stayed. But ours was VERY informal with pretty cheap food and I think a good number of friends were hungover :)

        • z

          I think it depends. If the wedding is in a place where there aren’t good breakfast options nearby, you may have a high attendance. I felt obligated to provide something because options in my small town were so lacking.

          But that doesn’t mean it has to be a formal event. We just set out a buffet of pastries, coffee, and scrambled eggs, and people came and went as they chose. I was really glad we did it, because it got me extra time with the guests. But nobody had to get dressed up!

        • macrain

          I LOVED my post wedding brunch. It was close to the hotel, but not at it, and we had a good turn out. It was so fun to rehash all the fun from the night before and hug my friends goodbye. Everyone’s different, but- I’d recommend it!

        • Sara

          Outside of the random ‘everyone shows up at the hotel breakfast at the same time’ type of brunch, I’ve never been to a post wedding brunch. But I did have a friend tell everyone “we’re going to panera for breakfast tomorrow, come say bye before you leave”. A lot of people showed up for that one.

          • Lisa

            We did a combination of this for our wedding. Our hotel had a continental breakfast, and we told people, “We’ll be down in the lobby between 9-10 to eat breakfast. Feel free to swing by before you leave!”

            I will say I went to my first official wedding brunch this past summer as part of the bridal party, and it was really nice. It was in the hotel and had much nicer food than the typical continental breakfast, and it was great to have the chance to rehash the wedding details with everyone over a bagel and lox.

        • I didn’t go to our post-wedding brunch but my parents threw one. (We slept in. Also, we didn’t have a car or way to transport ourself because that was a detail we forgot in the planning.) But, probably 80% of the 130 wedding guests were close family so I think there was a decent attendance, because my family usually has brunch get togethers after any big event. (Like we usually have one the day after Christmas and the day after Thanksgiving and basically any time we visit our grandparents. There were just more people.) My parents stocked up on costco pastries and muffins and I think people made a lot of eggs and that was what happened. But our wedding was mostly a (awesome) family reunion weekend with a sprinkling of close friends, so that also played into the dynamics, I’m sure. (And also a large portion of this family is made of non-drinking adults or children, so hangovers were probably not a big worry for most people after my wedding.)

      • joanna b.n.

        Yes, except – the bride now has to choose between missing the friend’s baby shower or giving up that blissful post wedding time with the new hubby. That’s not making me excited to even imagine dealing with…

        • raccooncity

          I honestly never considered having blissful alone time with my future husband after the wedding. I am reading about this concept on a few comments on this page and genuinely wondering if it’s something I should aim for?

          I understand the concept of being exhausted after the wedding – I’m there already – but it just never occurred to me that I’d want alone time with the person I’ve been alone with for 75% of my waking hours for the past 6 years when my friends are in town for the first time ever. But I get the concept and am seriously considering it now.

          • Eenie

            I struggled with this one because we live in different states. I want to spend 100% of my wedding with my spouse. But I’m going to have all of these friends and family in town – I guess I should want to see them too (I do, but if I haven’t seen my fiance in two months, he’s getting preference). This is a moot point now because I’m moving down there before the wedding. I still think we’ll get ready together, but we’re definitely planning a little bit more family and friends time because our focus has shifted.

          • Lisa

            I had a similar line of thinking as you do – our guests traveled very long distances to come and celebrate with us so we wanted to spend as much time with them as possible! The day after the wedding, we spent quite a bit of time with husband’s family and then friends who we don’t see too often. I will say by about 5:00 p.m. that Sunday I was so TIRED and HANGRY and DONE WITH PEOPLE, but I don’t regret the extra time we spent with everyone at all. On Monday morning, we put his parents in a cab to the airport and spent a great day and evening just the two of us before driving home on Tuesday.

          • K.

            Yeah, we took a 4 hour nap/rest together after our brunch (because we had gone to bed at 4am and woke up at 7am to see friends) and then we immediately visited with family the rest of the night, all of whom traveled at least 4 hours by car and some by 5-12 hours on a planeg & through US customs. We also knew we had a 10 day honeymoon coming up and, like you said, we already spend the vast majority of our time together, alone. It was a no-brainer for us, honestly.

            But our wedding mission statement was all about the joining together of family and respecting/honoring our communities, so that played a role in our decision-making too. If someone’s process behind a wedding is more about celebrating your new baby family or something along those lines, it might NOT be a no-brainer. Likewise if everyone is local, for more practical reasons.

          • RoseTyler

            Also, whether or not you as a couple lived together and such before the wedding will play a role in this. Among some of the more *ahem* religious folks, I can see where we might not be much interested in venturing out immediately after our weddings.

          • Amy March

            But she’s already not planning on blissful alone time. She’s planning on brunch.

          • RoseTyler

            I agree! I have basically no opinion on the question in this post.

            I am just sharing with Raccooncity that view, completely independent of the baby shower issue at hand.

          • joanna b.n.

            YMMV! (Your Mileage May Vary)
            My husband felt the opposite – the day after our wedding he just wanted more time with our friends and family, and I was ready to get out of dodge. SO. Who knows?

          • joanna b.n.

            Also, you mean other than the honeymoon, right? I mean – that’s the concept of the honeymoon – get away and enjoy being married in those first few days/weeks.

          • Danielle

            Hubby and I planned for (and had!) alone time after wedding – we flew out for our honeymoon just a few hours after the party ended.

            Why? Hubby knew we would be exhausted and overwhelmed with entertaining people all that day (and the night before at the rehearsal dinner, and greeting family at the airport, hanging out at the hotel) as well as setting up for the wedding beforehand.

          • We planned to NOT have that quiet alone time. We had about 80% of our guests from out of town. Sunday we did hotel breakfast (my parents reserved the hotel’s conference room and brought some extra goodies to supplement the free breakfast) then hung around in the lobby and said goodbye to people. Eventually we had to go clean up our room for checkout, load all our crap into our cars, then got lunch with some relatives, then hung out some more in the lobby. Finally, around 7pm, we drove to our house across town. Got back just in time for the super bowl halftime show which my parents and grandfather were there watching, because they were staying in our house that night before flying out the next morning.
            Monday we got up, saw my parents off, then met some more relatives for some tourist stuff in town before they left. Then my husband’s parents, who spent the previous night at the hotel came to stay in our guest room (recently vacated by my parents) before their flight the next morning. So we were finally really alone together Tuesday night after our Saturday wedding.
            We didn’t go on our honeymoon for 2 weeks post-wedding, and we planned to do all this post-wedding stuff with our guests to take advantage of really the only time all our people would be in the same place probably ever. I wouldn’t trade that for a relaxing Sunday– we have our whole lives to snuggle!

    • S

      I mean, sure, technically it’s true that showers are for getting gifts, but I feel like in actuality maybe that’s too simplistic and maybe unfair. Disclaimer: I haven’t had a wedding, and I haven’t had a baby. But I imagine when you decide to get married, it’s exciting, and you want to share that excitement with people, right? So, yay, you have an engagement party! And do fun things with your friends like a hens night and a bridal shower and it’s the best because all your people love you, and then you get to see everyone you love all at once who is there to celebrate this big beautiful thing you’re doing, and you want to capitalise on that so you have a dinner, and a brunch, and maybe a whole weekend of activities and it’s the best. But if you get pregnant, it’s kind of like…the shower is ~it~, right? You’re doing this equally amazing, crazy, beautiful thing – probably even bigger, right? Because hello your body is an alien vessel/life making machine and that’s C R A Z Y! And you don’t have any real way to celebrate this with your people except this one avenue that people have decided is gift grabby. Because after that you have the baby, and sure, there might be a christening, or a naming day, but that’s bub’s turn. That’s a completely different thing, I imagine, than the feeling of wanting to be celebrated and supported in this big massive thing you’re about to undertake that you don’t know how to do and is beautiful but also really scary. Sometimes maybe it’s okay to want that support and love for YOU, you know? Not just the baby? So…where does that leave you, then? Not asking for that support because people are going to call you gift grabby? I don’t know, but I don’t love that. I have a home town, and the town that I live in, which are in separate states, and if I’m in both around my birthday damn straight I’m organising a birthday dinner for myself in both cities because I want to celebrate with ALL my people. Do people bring gifts to these dinner? Some do, most don’t, and honestly? Not the point. Maybe a shower’s purpose is to get gifts, but can’t it have another purpose to? And with that in mind…is it really this big weird awful thing that someone might plan multiple ones so they get to have this special time with all these people? My vote is that it is not awful or weird at all.

      • k

        I mean, would say a bridal shower is gift grabby too, unless you specify that it’s no-gifts. In which case it’s a pre-wedding get together, not a shower. If the BM is just looking to get together to all celebrate incoming baby, I would consider that less toe-stepping than if she’s expecting presents (now everyone from out of town has to buy two expensive presents for the same weekend of festivities?)
        I will totally admit that my distaste of showers as a way of dictating people get you presents is probably skewing my views here.

        • Amy March

          They don’t have to buy expensive presents. They can but affordable presents within their budget spread out over months in advance if they want.

          • Violet

            Right. The wedding’s been on the books for a while. The baby’s been cooking for at least a few months. For people who need to plan ahead in their budget, they’ve been aware of these two gift expenditures. It doesn’t make a budgetary difference when the actual events are happening, just when they’re making their purchases. If they can’t afford these two gifts, how would they have been able to afford them plus an additional trip to travel if they’d been on separate weekends? That sounds automatically more expensive.

    • Sparkles

      I think it can be quite a bit more nuanced than that. Yes showers on the surface might seem like an excuse for people to give you stuff, but I think a lot of times it’s someone else who’s offered to host a party for you and it would hurt their feelings to turn them down.

    • Liz

      There are a ton of the same social dynamics at play in both.

      • k

        sure and I really agree that LW should probably let this one go, but not on the basis that it’s not fair to call weddings gift grabs, so let’s not call gifting-centric parties gift grabs either.

    • Jess

      I guess historically, yes, showers are literally about gifts. But there’s a lot more to it. Showers in my family involve gifts but are really just used as my family’s way to express support and excitement. They signal family inclusion for in-laws when those can be very tenuous.

      It was a Big Deal to have a baby shower for my cousin’s out-of-wedlock child (yes, there are some problematic social politics in my family). It was a demonstration by my mother, my aunt, my grandmother that this child would be accepted without continued judgement.

      It was a Big Deal for my mother to throw our family friend’s wedding shower, which was her demonstration that they were like family and she was providing a way for their far flung relatives to come together in her house.

      It was a Big Deal for R’s aunt to not be invited to a wedding shower for his sister – she felt like it showed a favoring of in-laws over family.

      In context of the OP, yes, this may just be about gifts and a fun time, but in my family showers aren’t just a fun party for punch and gifts. They are about social politics and feeling loved.

  • Kara

    Pregnant friend wants to celebrate her baby in much the same way as I’m sure the writer celebrated her pending marriage -with a shower! Thank your dear friend for not only participating in your wedding, but doing so while pregnant AND scheduling her shower after all your wedding celebrations are over.

  • Maddy

    This is not helpful or insightful, but it’s 12:38am and so I got a bit of a giggle from this smackdown. This lady just needs to have a biscuit and a cup of tea and just deal with it, it’s not like this bridesmaid has tied her up and is threatening to rip out her fingernails if she doesn’t join her in celebrating. Don’t create drama for yourself is a pretty handy golden rule.

    • Mary Jo TC

      Let’s be kind and gentle to the letter writer now. It is sooo easy to lose perspective when you’re in the thick of wedding planning. The advice is spot on, but I think it’s also somewhat understandable that the bridesmaid’s choice took her aback.

      • Amy March

        Suggesting she have a cup of tea and a biscuit is just about the kindest possible suggestion the internet has to offer! And not creating drama for yourself is really solid advice.

    • Poeticplatypus

      I want to yaass this 500 times, and remember this advice for other situations. Because at the end of the day it’s not like the bridesmaid is causing issues for the wedding day. Now that would be reason to be ready to have a serious conversation.

    • Not Sarah

      Yeah. I think the weirdest part to me would be that the bridesmaid didn’t tell her directly. I understand the sister-in-law hosting it means that the sister-in-law sends out the invites, but personally it would have come across better if the bridesmaid had told me directly before the invite came out.

      • Liz

        I got the impression that she had?

        • chrissyc

          Liz, I’m with you. I’m not sure if the friend asked or told the LW about her plans, but to me it sounded like it was brought up in some way before the invites were sent.

  • Totally agree with Liz’s advice here!

  • Eenie

    It’s always good to remember that there’s not a finite amount of joy to go around in the world. The shower won’t be taking any joy away from everyone celebrating your marriage. As always, Liz’s advice is spot on.

    • ShelbyandtheJets

      Agreed! (LW here) Liz had good advice. But still…friends should maybe be a little more sensitive to other friends (speaking about my friend, I would have liked a little more from her in her approach), however my choice was to be the “bigger person” and just let it all be and give them a nice gift and bless and release, because yes, you are right, there’s enough joy and love and celebration for everyone. My main concern was just first, that she was pretty tactless in the way she approached me about it (or lack thereof), and then about our out of town guests being overextended, but it turned out that they all made their own decisions about what they could handle and if they could attend both things on Sunday (as adults do), and all was well. :)

      • Eenie

        Oh yes! I’m also a big fan of the fact that you can make a decision to be the bigger person and still be majorly pissed about it. Just eventually majorly pissed turns into pissed turns into I-can’t-give-this-any-more-energy over time. Glad all was well in the end!

  • Violet

    LW, I’m not sure you’re “crazy,” as you ask, but maybe you can take this time to reflect on your overall relationship with this friend. Your response to her choice is a pretty big one. It might be an indication that there’s something else going on in the relationship that’s upsetting you that hasn’t been addressed. Is it possible your hurt over her logistically sound decision is a symptom of a larger hurt somewhere else?

    • emmers

      Or, it could just be this: “I am in the final stages of preparing for my upcoming wedding.” Wedding planning is unreasonably stressful. I’ve been there, and I can totally see myself in this letter, obsessing over things that in other times I never would.

      • Violet

        Totally! My suggestion could be overthinking it. I just wanted to throw it out there.

    • Mary Jo TC

      I had this same thought. I can imagine this bridesmaid’s choice being more upsetting than it merits if it’s part of a larger pattern of the friend making everything about her or hogging attention.

      • rg223

        Especially since a lot of the (published) letter is focused on the shower being a gift-grab. That to me signals a possible underlying issue that the LW feels the bridesmaid is selfish/materialistic/something else.

      • Amanda L

        To me, what stuck out was that the pregnant friend was looking for someone to host. I mean, if someone wants to throw you a shower, great! But the fact that she was actively looking to find someone to host a shower for her, that DID look gift-grabby.

        But I’m 100% on-board with Liz’s advice. If the shower doesn’t conflict with any wedding activities, it’s really out of LW’s hands.

  • Amy March

    I so get this feeling, completely. You just want one weekend all about you! Is that so much to ask!!

    Here’s what I think you should do about it. First, RSVP no to the shower. You’re not excited about it, and you’re going to be tired/overwhelmed from your own festivities. Second, go for a long walk/get a massage/light a candle/have a large glass of wine. Whatever it is that usually calms you down. Because what she is doing is completely fine. It’s 2 hours after your brunch. It doesn’t interfere with your plans at all.

  • julianneclamcake

    I don’t see it as gift grabby, necessarily (because I don’t know the person) but I do personally see it as inappropriate. I think the writer is justified in feeling like her thunder is taken away a little, and I definitely, definitely feel like the friend should have asked her how she felt about it before making set plans. It’s plain inconsiderate not to communicate about something like this beforehand, and when there is already a big event planned for the weekend, to assume that sticking yours in there somewhere is automatically okay. There is also something presumptuous and catty about the “OBVIOUSLY you don’t have to host!”, as if she were somehow the default host? I have so little patience for that kind of attitude.

    I would suggest talking to your friend about some kind of compromise, such as, like you said, having the shower later in the afternoon. I would think that many of the guests from your wedding will be pooped out and need some downtime before moving on to another celebration, anyway. You can’t control what she does, but you can communicate your feelings with her.

    • Amy March

      It’s already 2 hours after her post-wedding brunch though. Since it sounds like a lot of the guests are from out of town, I doubt they want a lot of downtime in between preventing them from travelling home.

      As someone who travels to a lot of weddings, I love this plan! And I really dislike it when I get an attitude that someone’s wedding is an entire weekend-long commitment from me. I am so down to show up at your wedding with bells on, but it’s okay if I make plans to go out with mutual friends on Friday night at an awesome new restaurant downtown instead of your welcome happy hour at 8 in a suburban hotel bar. It’s fine if I go to the spa instead of your brunch. And it’s fantastic if I can celebrate multiple things in a weekend.

      • julianneclamcake

        I realize, from reading this comment thread, that I am in the minority on this one. That’s fine. I just advocate for open communication and consideration, which I see very little of here.

        • Amy March

          I hear that. I see the consideration though- its making it 2 hours later and being considerate of the guests. And the open communication was telling her about the shower plans. I don’t think anyone needs approval from a bride for events that don’t conflict with her wedding though, and I don’t think communicating that you’re feeling hurt by something that’s actually not mean is necessarily worthwhile.

          • julianneclamcake

            Your evaluation is fair, and I am thinking on it.

        • macrain

          I agree with you in that it is insensitive. Does the friend have to ask permission from the bride? No. Would it be nice if she at least ran it by her before making plans? Certainly it would. I think in this case the LW would not feel as hurt if she felt that her friend was at least taking her feelings into consideration when making these plans.

      • Eenie

        I was just typing the exact same thing. On a Sunday after a wedding, I don’t want downtime. I want to get as much time with people I haven’t seen and then get the hell home. I think this is one of those situations where the pregnant bridesmaid made some assumptions about what the LW was thinking and feeling while trying to be a good friend. LW assumed: hey wedding brunch is done AKA wedding is over, I’ll schedule something not too late in the day that hopefully some of the mutual guests can attend. I’ll let LW off the hook for having to be involved at all because I remember how stressful wedding planning is – I’m sure she’ll appreciate that.

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        I’m someone who would use a wedding weekend probably to see other people while I’m in town at non wedding related events to take advantage of the time there. I personally would never attend everything at a wedding weekend and would resent being expected to attend anything other than the wedding itself.

      • Nell

        Yes!

        Lots of people didn’t go to our brunch because they had other things they wanted to do, and they were very open with us about that (samples include: I’m seeing my sister! I have baseball tickets! My kids are cranky and we’re going to nap in the hotel!)

        My only caveat here is that if Future-Mom is close enough to Bride to be in her wedding. . . wouldn’t she want to prioritize having Bride present at the shower? I would have been so frustrated if I had to make a choice between chilling out post-wedding with my new spouse and celebrating one of my best friends.

        • Eenie

          I get your point, but Future-Mom is really making the choice between celebrating with lots of other close but faraway friends knowing LW prob won’t make it or having a shower where most of the people can’t make it. The chance LW would have had the time/money/head space to travel for a baby shower at a different time is probably low.

          • Nell

            That’s a good point. I just think if it were me, I would feel hurt for different reasons than the LW. Our families dragged us out to dinner the night after our brunch – and we felt obligated to go, but we were utterly and completely exhausted, and I really wish we had had some time alone.

            I don’t think that the LW is in the right, I just think that the LW should sort through her feelings about why this feels like a “hijacking,” as opposed to just a thing that is happening after her wedding brunch.

            I also think that, realistically, Future-Mom kinda has an impending deadline for this whole shower thing. Post-baby it might be even harder for her to get together with friends and family at all – so wanting to have a last blast of friend and family support seems totally reasonable to me.

          • Eenie

            Future-Mom specifically mentioned that there was no expectation the LW would attend! She should not feel obligated to go, but can choose to attend (prob even show up last minute with no RSVP) and the world would go on. Totally different than going out to dinner with your family after the wedding – that was a crappy position to put you in.

        • Amy March

          Because she presumably has lots of close friends, and she is reasonably prioritizing them not having to travel twice instead of the bride just wanting to chill. The bride can easily go if she wants.

          • Jenny

            Yeah, and it sounds like there are multiple showers, so the bride could attend one of the others (presumably).

    • chrissyc

      I get it, the comments about the LW not having to host or attend do seem a little pointed. But I wonder if it was the friend’s (perhaps poor) attempt to address any hurt feelings by saying that she understands it’s not great timing for the LW but it is great timing for basically everybody else. I’m speculating though, since clearly I don’t know the LW or the friend.

    • Sarah

      Well, showers are thrown for the mama/bride to be by other folks. The friend asking someone to host is tacky and letter writer should feel totally fine saying “no thanks” to attending. But as this is someone in your wedding, while pregnant, I would still get one gift–even if she’s invited to multiple showers.

      • Noelle

        I was thinking that too. It’s just kind of…awkward…to ask someone to host any kind of party for you.

  • I like Liz’s advice…but I so sympathize with the OP here. I’d feel some type of way about this situation, just as I’d feel some type of way if someone got engaged at my wedding. It sounds selfish to want to have the spotlight to yourself, but sometimes you really feel that way.

    • Carolyn S

      I also feel like when you are one of the later people in your friend group to get married, your wedding already gets a lot less attention than you feel like you gave to your friends that got married when you were all young and single. I can definitely imagine a feeling of “oh my god I gave your wedding all my attention and excitement and now you can’t do the same for me and that kind of sucks.” I’m not saying that’s a GOOD attitude, but I definitely would feel irritated. I still think Liz’s advice is sound and wise but I admit I’d probably need to hear it too if I were in LW shoes.

      • MABie

        Yeah, that’s a really good observation. I experienced some of those feelings towards my MOH myself, so I can definitely see how that would play into the LW’s feelings about her BM’s behavior.

      • j.

        Yes! Not to generalize, but sometimes what can happen in certain circles is that weddings are considered a “20s thing” and babies are the “30s thing.” And if you’re a woman getting married in her 30s, a lot of the already-married-maybe-now-pregnant friends sometimes have a slightly detached, slightly “there are more important things” attitude about all of the festivities. And yes, it’s true that parents and parents-to-be DO have shifted priorities. But it can still really suck and I can sympathize with how a baby shower the same weekend could possibly feel like an extra knife twist.

        • Staria

          THANK YOU so much for articulating this! I have troubles with this surrounding 30s guest list (what’s the ettiquette in when your friends all invited you as a single person to their weddings, and you’d like to invite them BUT with husband-and-kids each it is five people not one???). I’d be upset even though technically it doesn’t affect things, because I know I would be exhausted after my own wedding and post-wedding-day event, and just wouldn’t be able to make it to a shower in the afternoon. It would have been nicer if it was even later in the day – give people a chance to rest, travel between events, etc. Amy March is right though – just RSVP your regrets and say hope you have a lovely shower.

          • emmeline

            I get the feeling the shower is being held because people are travelling, so it makes sense to have to close after the brunch so that people have time to leave afterwards. Assuming people are away for the weekend, and all this is happening on the Sunday

          • tr

            Yeah, as a guest, I wouldn’t want to hang around for four or five hours after the brunch, and THEN have to go to a shower. Frankly, I’d probably want to get both over with as quickly as possible.
            Often, what “feels special” for the person being celebrated and what’s practical for guests are two wildly different things.

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    • Alice

      I totally agree. And I also acknowledge that a (sometimes super lame) part of adulting is not always expressing how I feel about things. But I totally get how she feels that way!

    • Meg

      My friends and I had a giant discussion about the someone getting engaged at your wedding thing. Almost all agreed it is a shitty thing to do on a couple of levels. One guy however was the holdout. He felt like the people holding the wedding would be selfish to not be willing to “share the moment” :I

      • Eenie

        Let’s really distinguish between getting engaged AT someone’s wedding vs. holding an event that the same guests will be attending that everyone knows about and does not conflict at all with the guests attending the event. Those two things are in now way similar.

        • Meg

          ok…I was just commenting on it because she brought it up :I “in no way similar” isn’t quite true…there are some similarities.

          • Eenie

            Yeah, sorry I wasn’t trying to single you out. I may have been exaggerating a bit with that comment (you can find similarities between any two thing if you look hard enough).

      • K.

        I don’t even get why someone would *want* to get engaged at someone else’s wedding, beyond whether it’s shitty to do to the newlyweds. I mean, wouldn’t it feel awkward (at best) to get engaged in an environment dedicated to another couple’s specific display of love? I think it’s weird all around, for all parties.

        • Laura

          Right? You’re proposing in front of the family and extended family of the couple getting married, and friends of theirs from college or high school and stuff too, whom you probably don’t know all that well.

    • chrissyc

      I get it. It’s hard to talk about it without accusations of being a “bridezilla” (ugh I hate that word so. much.), and there are definitely aspects of your wedding that are about others (like providing chairs for elderly guests! And thanking your guests for coming! And–from one Minnesotan to the next–not having an outdoor wedding during a blizzard! Etc etc.) But I also think it’s completely reasonable to want YOUR–plural “your” here, meaning both you and your partner–wedding day to be (mostly) about YOU.

      • Wedding day mostly about you, ok. But that’s still only *mostly* and a day rather than an entire weekend. By Sunday afternoon after a Saturday wedding, I think you are past the limitations on “this is my day!”

        • chrissyc

          Right, I agree that the LW isn’t really in a position to tell her friend what to do the day after her wedding. But I do understand that feeling of wanting the spotlight, and also feeling selfish for wanting the spotlight. I guess the trick is to know when the spotlight is warranted (wedding day!) and when it’s time to pass the spotlight (the next day!). Sometimes you can’t help how you feel–but you can choose how you will react, and in this case I think the LW needs to let it go.

          • ShelbyandtheJets

            LW here….so it wasn’t so much about wanting to be “in the spotlight” the whole weekend, but more about not wanting to over extend our guests…and also just that my friend was a little insensitive in her approach to me. And so I just let it go and let her have her moment, and sent her a gift, and all was just fine. I totally didn’t need to be center of attention for three days straight or anything, it was just kind of about the principle of how she went about it. Regardless, my choice in the end was to let her be, and let it go, and everything was just fine.

        • Exactly. I wonder how long the pregnant friend would have to wait for the bride to not be hurt.

    • Sosuli

      My initial reaction to this letter was, “okay, bridesmaid could have been more sympathetic in her communication, but seriously what is the big deal” and then thought about how I would feel if something similar happened to me without said friend at least asking me if it would be okay… and yeah… I don’t think I’d be thrilled either. I wonder if LW still feels the same about this situation – it can take a little time to process those initial emotions, and time can sometimes lead to realizing that something is actually not that big a deal.

      • Violet

        I totally agree. My aunt planned a bridal shower for her daughter the day after our wedding (same logistical reason of family traveling). But you know, she gave me a phone call and asked me if I was okay with it first, and gave me space to say no. I thanked her for asking, asked if I could mull it over and call her back, hung up, talked to my partner for all of five minutes before realizing it was fine, and called her back to say go ahead. I didn’t get to go to the shower, but no hard feelings at all.

        • ShelbyandtheJets

          YES. I am the LW and the bride who had this problem, and a simple phone call and a “hey, I realize you have a lot going on, but here’s why we are doing this….” would have gone a LONG way. It was totally just the approach. I never would have said no, don’t have your shower. I just would have appreciated a little more sensitivity and tact, it was just handled in a really tactless way. But you know, c’est la vie. It wasn’t about me, and I let it gooo, let it gooo…. :) And everything was just fine. This is a great mantra for wedding planning and handling wedding “problems” as they arise in general. have your moment, try to not freak out and spew out your feelings on people, count to 10, and move right along. Chances are, those feelings will pass. And they did, and we all had our moments and celebrations, and there was plenty to go around. But I still would have appreciated a little more tact.

      • Mooza

        Agreed. I feel like some of the hurt feelings here could have been spared with just a liiiitttle bit of communication on the part of the pregnant friend. Honestly, having it two hours later is probably her way of trying to be considerate of both the bride and the guests (not before the wedding, not at the same time, but close enough so people don’t have to wait for hours…). She would probably have managed to communicate this if she just consulted the LW first rather than laying down facts on the ground. But people are not perfect, and depending on the quality of the friendship, I would advise the LW to let go, or express her hurt feelings… and then let go. At the end of the day, there is more than enough happiness to go around.

    • Ashlah

      Yeah, I could really empathize with the letter writer, even though I agree with Liz’s advice. My cousin got engaged after us and set their date for the week before ours without talking to us. Yeah, maybe my feelings were immature and illogical, but it still really hurt my feelings and upset me.Sometimes you can’t help how you feel. It was better when he explained their reasoning, but I still wished it were different. In the end, it was totally fine! TOTALLY fine! But I’m still sensitive about these types of “stolen spotlight” issues because I remember how it felt for me.

  • Teresa

    I say this with much love and kindness, because weddings can cause stress-induced mini-freakouts over things that would not normally bother you quite this much, but you get a day. You get your wedding day and that is it. It’s okay to feel upset with your friend, but then you will have to suck it up and remember that no one has as much invested in your wedding as you and your partner do. You don’t have to go to the shower, but you should take a deep breath and try really hard not to think negatively about this. When your wedding is over and you have some distance, you may feel differently (or not), but the shower is planned and you can’t change that. And, it’s going to be okay. Your wedding will still be totally awesome even if her baby shower is the next day.

    • VKD_Vee

      This is a good point. I wouldn’t be surprised if the letter writer felt totally different about this 3, 6 months post wedding. SO MUCH CRAP you look at, even a few days later, and you can’t believe you gave a toss about, tbh…

    • Jenny

      True, but it’s possible that people may leave the wedding reception early, or not go out, or in someway alter their behavior because now they have another long day with multiple events (brunch and shower) they are attending the next day. People also might choose to go to the shower over the brunch, which would have made me sad because brunch for me was an awesome chance to more low key see some of my people. So I think yeah you get a day, or an event, it’s possible that this will in some what affect people’s behavior at your event even if it occurs the day after your event.

      • Violet

        Everything you’re saying is true, and it comes down to if you think your event is the wedding and reception itself, or if your event includes all other wedding related festivities (including a
        brunch the next day). Sure, some people might choose the shower over the brunch, but people will also choose going home over the brunch, or going out themselves over the brunch, or sleeping in over the brunch. LW seems upset with her friend for putting people in a position to choose (even though they don’t overlap temporally) but really, everyone already had the choice all along. One more alternative (in the form of a shower later that day) did not mean it wasn’t a choice in the first place. Unless LW is planning on being hurt by everyone who doesn’t attend her brunch for any reason, or who leaves early for any reason, or who looks at their watch during it for any reason, or any other myriad of ways their behavior could be affected, this hill doesn’t seem worth dying on.

        • Eenie

          This. And to the people who are saying the LW can’t attend the shower and she can be sad about that (which – she can be), if the problematic shower was cancelled, the LW still may not be able to attend any of the other showers – and the only people who really miss out in that situation are those who plan on attending the shower in the first place – not necessarily the LW.

      • JenC

        People could leave the reception early anyway due to bad weather or travel plans – not just the mutual friends of the the BM and the bride but her relatives, the partners relatives. I think the people who want to be at both events – will be. Sure, some people will use the baby shower as an excuse but the relatives will use travel or illness excuses. Sometimes we all need excuses.

  • Sara

    I understand the writer’s hurt feelings – it sounds like your friend had this idea a little late in the planning game, so not only are you stressed but it feels like an imposition. And she made it worse by making that weird comment about you hosting it (unless you, like me, are your group’s ‘social chair’ and tend to organize gatherings. Then it makes sense). But I think once you take a step back from the hurt, you’ll see logistically, it makes a lot of sense. People don’t really tend to travel for baby showers unless they’re exceptionally close to the couple. This is a great way for her to get people that may not have wanted to spend money on a plane ticket twice in a couple months, but still want to celebrate her impending birth. And Sunday, you’ll likely want time with your new husband alone anyway, think of it as her taking over some hosting duties to give you a break!

  • Poeticplatypus

    Don’t know if this is an unpopular view. The wedding is one day. So to think that a whole weekend should be dedicated to only one event is unrealistic. If people will be at your brunch which is after the wedding they will be there or if they choose to go to the baby shower they will. It’s out of your hands. The positive you are celebrating your new marriage and family. Yay!

    • emmeline

      also, the shower doesn’t compete with the brunch. It’s two hours afterwards

    • laddibugg

      I agree with the ‘wedding is one day’….in the past few years, weddings have morphed into being these huge, days long ‘events’ and I am not sure I like it. To expect that everyone should spend that entire weekend only celebrating you is incredibly selfish.

  • chrissyc

    Is it possible that you may be reading too much into this when your friend didn’t think it would be a big deal to you? She did bring it up with you before the shower invites were sent out, and often people think that the “official wedding timeline” is focused around the ceremony and reception. Sure, it’s good to go to as many wedding events as possible, but I don’t feel especially obligate to attend anything before those core events.

    I think your friend may actually be helping you out here. After traveling to weddings, I want to keep socializing after the wedding events. Your friend is providing a bonus venue for those traveling to continue hanging out before they have to go home.

    That being said, you may want to consider politely declining the event, and not just because it’s upsetting you. For me, I needed some time with my husband to decompress after the flurry of emotions from the wedding. You may feel sad or overwhelmed or deliriously happy, and your friend’s shower might not be the best place to deal with the often complex emotions that surround a wedding. If I were you, I’d bow out gracefully, send her a nice card a week or so before the event, and let her do her thing.

  • MABie

    I think Liz is right, but my heart really goes out to the LW. It seems like a part of the problem is that the BM’s communications don’t seem to acknowledge the fact that LW’s wedding is kind of a big deal, at least to her.

    “You don’t have to host!” (Well, yeah…)
    “I understand if you can’t attend!” (Isn’t the DEFAULT assumption here that LW isn’t going to spend her first day of marriage at someone else’s baby shower?)

    I think if the BM had been more open and honest about her plans, and had acknowledged that it might make LW feel uncomfortable, but had ALSO acknowledged that it was actually a nice thing to do for the guests who would be attending both events to have them in the same weekend…LW might not have been writing this letter at all.

    • S

      Yeah. I posted below about why I don’t think a baby shower should automatically be associated with a gift grab, and why we need to honour these occasions for new parents and parents-to-be, but I also want to speak to my own social anxieties. I’ve had sometimes-severe social anxiety since probably aged 11-12, and often that is associated with a loss of control and tied up with my own introversion/mild agoraphobia as well. i.e in high school my friends would call me spur of the moment and say, “Movie night at X’s place!” and I would either have to turn into the kind of person who could be comfortable jumping into a car and going to a movie night RIGHT THAT SECOND (no control, no time to plan or make an educated decision, panic attack) or miss out and all my friends are hanging out without me (also panic attack). I a) understand this is no one else’s problem and b) have been working on it a lot in my adult years, but the idea of all “my people” coming into “my space” (I don’t mean that in a selfish way, but in an “I have agoraphobia” way) for a thing that I have been able to plan and control, and then suddenly there’s this new event that I probably can’t even GO to thrown into the ring? I’m feeling panicky about it just thinking about it. I would LOVE to celebrate that kind of thing with my friends, and this in some ways would be taking away not just a sense of control (arbitrary, selfish) but also a genuine desire to attend the event myself. Heck, there was a giant “You don’t even have to come!” sticker slapped on there! For people with social anxieties, that’s a big UNLOVED, UNLOVED, UNLOVED alarm bell going off. Someone who is important enough to you to ask to be a bridesmaid and they’re telling you “you don’t have to come” to their baby shower? For people with social anxieties, completely innocuous phrases like “I understand if you can’t make it” can cause breathing-into-paper-bag panic attacks. I don’t love those feelings and am aware they’re immature and selfish and being left out/things mattering less to others than they do to you is a part of life, but those feelings are also just part of a mental illness and my cross to bear in life. I don’t know the letter writer, and maybe they’re just wanting big attention-seeking weekend, but that’s why it might (okay, probably would!) bother me, a person who does everything possible in every aspect of life to AVOID attention. I really want to stress again that I’m aware that I know these issues are my own and I would never voice them if I were in this position. I just think, you know, empathy, compassion, understanding, could be useful here.

      • MABie

        Yeah, I agree that the comment “You don’t have to come!” might have been well-intentioned, but could come across as a little flippant and uncaring. I can imagine friends with whom that comment would give me some feelings of insecurity — you’re in my bridal party, but you don’t care if I can attend your baby shower (for what seems like it is probably the BM’s first child)? I just got married a couple of weeks ago. If I had been in the LW’s position, I wouldn’t have been able to attend the shower (we left for our honeymoon at 9 AM the morning after the wedding), and I would have been so disappointed that I couldn’t attend the baby shower for one of my closest friends! Just thinking about it is making me sad!

        Deep down, I believe the BM was trying to be nice and let the bride off the hook. But that just makes it more obvious that there was a real communication issue here. These two were like ships passing in the night. It really sucks to feel so distant from a BM right before your wedding.

        • joanna b.n.

          This. I think this is it. The relationship between the two is looking frayed, as assumptions about what is kind and caring are totally not shared… and the bride is feeling like, ack, not only is my wedding weekend not mine anymore and the guests might feel put upon (that’s their problem, tho) and I’m going to miss your shower to have my day-after-my-wedding as I’d like it, but the biggie is – what the heck is my bridesmaid/friend doing and why doesn’t she see it the way I do?

          And yet, the answer is that they do have different ideas of what is appropriate, and that’s a painful element of weddings – sometimes they clarify differences, and then it’s up to you to decide if it’s a big friendship deal breaker or just a blip on the radar…

  • Meredith

    I did this. It was with my nieces 3rd birthday party and my wedding shower though. I totally think it’s fine not to make people drive twice! But I also feel like I’d be a little annoyed if I were the OP, even though it sounds like the baby mama is being mostly cool about it.

    • Marcela

      Our wedding was on the day of my nephew’s 10th birthday. We did a mini cake and some presents the morning of and the next day we had a pool party with cake and ice cream and all his favorite food. It was the first time all of his aunts and uncles were able to be at his birthday(they live on a different continent) and he got even more gifts and well-wishes because some of our wedding guests who are more distant relatives celebrated him too.

  • La’Marisa-Andrea

    I don’t see the problem here. The shower is after all wedding festivities. The guests don’t even have to choose between one or the other. I’m of the view that there is always room for more joy and more love and LW would be doing herself a favor by seeing it this way and enjoy her wedding.

    • joanna b.n.

      I can see the concept though that the guests are going to have to add another event, which for some people (hi, fellow introverts!) might be a lot. That said, it’s also an efficient use of people’s effort to come to this town, and it definitely was planned so as not to infringe on the wedding. I think the people other than the bride are the ones who are being put upon a bit, but that’s their problem (from the bride’s point of view).

      • j.

        Yeah, honestly, what I see as most likely happening is people not attending the baby shower because they are too hungover or tired from the night before, or because they already booked their travel plans. Or people will show up, but their capacity for excitement might be more muted than if it were a separate weekend. At least, I know I would *definitely* fall into one of the above categories–I like to think I’d be able to put on a happy excited face, but I’m an introvert and wedding weekends almost always exhaust me by Sunday afternoon, if not sooner. I’d have to be really, really, really close with someone to be just as fervently excited for their shower mere hours after a separate big event.

        But like you said, that’s not at all the bride’s problem and something the BM hopefully realizes could happen.

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        I can see that the guests might be overburdened, but that also doesn’t seem to be LW’s issue. She wants her wedding weekend understandably to just be about her wedding and she doesn’t want any other events competing with that. And also she attributes some pretty negative motives to her friend for having the baby shower at this time too that have nothing to do with the wedding so LW needs to take a step back and check herself on that.

  • emilyg25

    But this shower doesn’t conflict with your wedding—it’s the day after, and several hours after the brunch. It’s a perfect opportunity for your mutual friends to be able to celebrate your wedding, and then later, celebrate this new baby. Because really, that’s the point of a baby shower. A little perspective might be useful here.

    • Eh

      Exactly. If it was a conflict with the wedding or a wedding related event that would be different. My cousin planned his son’s birthday party for the same day as our wedding (he knew our wedding date a year in advance – and his family was invited to our wedding). As a result a number of relatives had to pick between the birthday party and our wedding.

  • Lindsay Rae

    Someone once called me gift-grabby in a comment on this site and I have to say.. it hurt. I don’t think it’s fair to make that assumption about someone else. The baby shower does not conflict with the wedding, people won’t be leaving the brunch early for the shower, granted it will be a long weekend for guests but it’s celebrating all the good things in life and hopefully everyone will see it that way!

    • MABie

      The “gift-grabby” accusation didn’t sit right with me at all. I’m in the camp of people on here who think that the BM’s behavior was not awesome, and she might be a little oblivious…but “gift-grabby” seems like quite a stretch, and kind of mean.

    • Marcela

      I hate the term gift grabby. If we could just retire it and never use it again that would be great,

      • Eenie

        That and tacky.

        • Amy March

          Trashy is my hot button word.

  • Amanda

    While planning a wedding is definitely stressful, this is a chance for many of the guests to continue celebrating life and seeing each other :) At least, that’s how I looked at it when I hosted a baby shower for my SIL the day after my wedding. While it did mean more work for me (not much because I kept it super simply), it also meant an extra chance to see the family who came into town for the wedding. One of the sad aspects of a wedding is that you often have a lot of people show up, but not enough time to see them all (which is probably why the OP is having a day after brunch). So, another happy event is another happy chance to see everybody.
    I understand that the OP wouldn’t want to go and would prefer that time to decompress. But all the scheduled wedding events are finished. She doesn’t have to host it.
    Trust me…this won’t take away from your wedding and the focus on you. I know because my SIL was pregnant at my wedding, but it didn’t take away from the wedding. People will definitely focus on you and the wedding all the way through the day after brunch. Yeah, they’ll be happy for your BM too, but it won’t take away from your happiness unless you let it. I didn’t make a big fuss about my SIL’s pregnancy and instead chose to celebrate this happy event in her life, which gave everybody else permission to be happy about it, and we all moved on – happier. I say all this to underscore that life is what we make it.
    So, dear OP, take a deep breath. Everything will be okay. You’ll get married to the love of your life surrounded by loved ones during a weekend full of happy events. Happiness leads to more happiness. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Let your friend do her thing and you do your’s.

  • jspe

    One of our dearest friends now lives across the country from us/their families, and had her baby shower the day before our wedding in the region where we live. I was disappointed because I wanted to attend to celebrate our friends and their soon to be baby, and it was totally impossible to go celebrate. Our friends went to the baby shower and came to our rehearsal dinner, and if anything, they felt like our wedding weekend was awesome because there were so many parties (one of which we didn’t have to throw).

    I totally hear being irritated or disappointed inside, but I’m with Liz – as a friend and host, you have to let it go.

  • snf100

    I didn’t want to attend my own day after brunch after my wedding, I didn’t want to entertain my family or my friends I just wanted to be with my husband. I would have been thrilled if everyone else had something else to attend where they could keep socializing without me. So while right now it might be smarting that your friend is capitalizing on your weekend, the day of you might be thrilled that everyone has something else to do. I would RSVP no to the shower but send a gift and a card to who ever is throwing the event so your friend can open it.

  • S

    Can I just say that one thing I’m picking up on reading these comments is that I think sometimes it can be easy to make a judgement call or assumption about how someone else will feel based on thinking about how we ourselves would feel, but that we’re all different people with radically different values and emotional thresholds, who are wired totally differently? It goes way beyond introversion and extroversion. I think we’re taught in life to think about how you would like to be treated, and then treat others that way, and that is a good thing to teach in general, but maybe it’s also worth talking about how sometimes the way I want to be treated and the way you want to be treated are not going to be the same thing. I’m reading comments like (paraphrasing), “I think this is actually great! I would love to have had another event to go to the next day!” or “I will be so hungover I would rather die than go to anything the day after my/any wedding”, or “I LOVE wedding brunches” and “I LOATHE wedding brunches” and a million other things that talk to how WE would feel in this situation, which, yes, is all we can ever talk to because duh, all we know is what’s in our own brains. But still…I think approaching this and every situation with an awareness that some people just work differently is so, so important. So many of these “APW” questions come down to a fundamental inability to recognise that people just…think differently. It’s actually possible for that person who you think is out to get you and who clearly hates you for some reason or they would never Do The Thing, to be actually doing what they think you’d WANT them to do because they love you! Just like love languages, I think we all have our own…ways of existing. Like you can program a computer game in a thousand different ways depending on the coder, and it’ll look the same on the outside but in reality there’s soooo much different stuff going on behind the scenes? Like that, except human brains. And I think even though it can feel impossible that THAT should be the very first point we jump off when we’re considering what makes anyone else tick. Not whether this would upset us, but that this does upset someone, and maybe it’s not a good vs bad situation, but a different wiring situation. To quote Amy Poehler in her good, “Good for you, not for me.” (not sure if that’s the exact phrase?) Getting to a place where we can understand that other people think differently and that’s actually normal and great is probably the best work we can do on ourselves. (Sorry about all the novels I seem to be leaving in this thread! And I’m aware everything I’ve just typed is heeeeeaps obvious. I just thought, reading over these comments, that it might bear repeating.)

    • Natalie

      Imagining other people complexly is super difficult, but also incredibly important for meaningful relationships. It’s tough to internalize that how you want to be treated in a specific situation is not necessarily how others want to be treated. You’re right, so many issues we see on AAPW probably come down to this.

    • Liz

      I don’t see what you’re describing at odds, though! When readers share “this is how I would feel,” or “my preference would be this,” it’s doing exactly what you say we should be doing- opening one another’s perspectives to how someone else might feel. The LW might not have considered, for example, that lots of the guests would really like this kind of arrangement, or that some friends aren’t interested in a wedding brunch and it’s got nothing to do with an event later in the day. Sharing our personal perspectives is what makes way for broader thinking.

      • S

        Of course we should share our own perspectives and like I said, it’s all we all have to go off! I’m more referring to the black-and-white comments where someone might describe how they would feel or how they do something in a way that seems to assume that therefore that’s how ~it is~. I’d rather not point out real examples though and avoided specifics in my initial comment, which makes this a hard one to explain/justify further! I guess just in general, abstaining from thoughts or statements like, “This is rude because I believe X” is a good idea because they fail to take into account that maybe you have PERCEIVED this to be rude because you believe X, but that person thinks it is actually polite because they believe Y, and both things are true and neither of you are wrong. I don’t think I’m making any sense. I’m gonna tap out!

        • Violet

          You totally are making sense. In this case though, LW did ask for a gut-check (“Am I crazy?”) so I think hearing from other people and how they’d view it might actually be helpful. But yes, as pertains to other AAPWs, I get what you’re talking about.

          • S

            Ha, it’s good to know that made sense to someone! Yeah, I mean, I’ve been thinking about it reading a lot of AAPWs, and also in reading the comments on this one, but also I think that maybe I am just saying that the LW should take a minute to just think to herself, “I’m upset about this, and I know from my experience of living in my own body that I’m upset about this because I’m wired to process things in a way that ABC, and if I unpack this, there’s XYZ going on. Now I’m going to think about all the ways my friend has shown me how she is wired in all the time I’ve known her, and see if I can figure out why she might have done this from approaching it from that angle. Hmmm, I still don’t understand, because my brain doesn’t operate on the same wavelength as hers. Maybe when things are less crazy for both of us and we can talk about it with no baggage, I’ll sit down with her and ask her! In the meantime, I’ll remember that she’s my friend and is probably not doing anything out of spite.” I could be alone here, but I tend to find that we ask things like, “Am I crazy?” when we are expecting people to jump in and agree with us. I guess my answer to that question is, “Not crazy, just YOU! And she’s HER, and you’re both fine.” Like, moving the topic away from semantics (Showers! Gifts! Wedding brunches!) and just down into the nitty gritty, which I perceive to be a communication confusion between friends. Hmm, I feel like I am just reworking the cake and rainbows speech from Mean Girls here. It is Very Early in the Morning here in Australia right now and I need to go to bed, clearly.

          • Violet

            Bahaha, well that was a pretty epic speech, so I say as far as role models go, you could do worse!
            That’s sort of why my comment (not in response to yours, my standalone one) was to maybe examine the friendship. Because if you know you, and you know your friend, you probably know where your discrepancies are. And if no one is right or wrong, it’s just a difference of being in your bodies, as you say, then communication and giving your pal the benefit of the doubt might really be the best answer.

          • Alison O

            “I could be alone here, but I tend to find that we ask things like, “Am I crazy?” when we are expecting people to jump in and agree with us.”

            Haha, as a case in point for the crux of this thread (people have diff. perspectives), my comment was going to be, before I read your comment, “The letter writer is asking for other people’s perspectives because she’s not sure about her own judgment.” I see “Am I crazy?” as wanting to hear what other people think, not specifically seeking reassurance. If anything, I think the onus is on an advice seeker to keep in mind that the people giving advice are separate people with their own personalities, world views, and life experiences, so the seeker can take or leave the advice they request. As you said, all anyone can do in response to to someone asking for advice is share one’s own perspective.

        • La’Marisa-Andrea

          I don’t know. I feel like this ventures into the world of tone policing. I’m personally fine with what people say as long as it’s not harsh and overly mean spirited.

          • Violet

            Oh, this is an interesting take. I was interpreting what S said not as “don’t use ‘I’ statements,” but rather from a practical standpoint, those statements often don’t address the crux of the issue in the letter. Lots of commenters use AAPW to share their individual take even when it’s clear LW would never and will never share that view, which is fine. I thought S was pointing out though that those perspectives don’t necessarily get at what the question was even about. So not to police them, or say they’re bad, but wonder if they’re as useful to the LW.

          • K.

            But is that the goal? Honest question. Do all the comments have to be useful to the LW? I feel like this is something that’s come up more frequently lately, with the two camps being that the comments should be solely for addressing the specific question and the other thinking that the letter can be used as a jumping off point for discussion (though I think for most people it’s a combination of the two).

          • Violet

            Nope, I don’t think that’s the only goal. That’s why I said that lots of commenters want to use the question as a springboard for sharing their own experiences, which is fine. I think the editorial staff has even said that AAPW is a fine place for people to just sort of throw out their ideas and experiences. Others want to try to help LW. Sometimes both. I think they’re both legitimate. My take on what S was saying is that sometimes people maybe conflate the two, and say, “LW, you shouldn’t be bothered by this because I am not.”

    • chrissyc

      I think you make a good point. In cases like this, I (and probably most people) don’t think one is obviously right and the other is obviously wrong. I don’t know them personally so I’m just guessing, but I think if both the LW and BM were more sensitive about the other’s point of view–even if they didn’t really get it–there would be fewer problems.

      For what it’s worth, I don’t think the “I” statements are necessarily meant to imply that other viewpoints are wrong. There’s a big difference between “I dislike brunch” and “Brunch is terrible!” With the “I” statement, it seems implicit that my feelings are not necessarily the same as everybody else’s. But maybe I need to take it further and be explicit by saying, “I feel this way but I know others disagree and I can empathize with that.” It’s my intention, but it may not come across very clearly, especially on online forums. Clarity never hurts–thanks for the reminder.

      • Caitlin

        I agree. Conflating personal experiences with something universal is a very easy and human thing to do. With how human it is, it certainly happens here as well. That said, I think APW is pretty good about this generally and in this comment thread as well. I think people comment (mostly) with the intent to share their perspective as a singular viewpoint and not a universal one. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

        • Alison O

          “I think” is implied in any statement anyone ever makes, because people can only speak from their own perspective. Whether or not someone makes a statement that is seemingly a universal judgment or that that person does in fact believe to be an incontrovertible truth does not change this. So, if as a listener you are disturbed or offended or threatened by someone else’s point of view, I think that is an indication of your own work to do exploring your perspective and why you don’t feel secure with it. Similarly, the way I feel about insults is, they don’t hurt if you don’t believe them. They only hurt if a little or big part of you is already hurting about whatever the insult is directed at.

          ETA: “you” in my comment referring to “one,” not Caitlin specifically

          • chrissyc

            On one hand, I agree with you–that “take it or leave it” attitude about what others say can be a good one to have. But I also think word choice matters because it makes the intention of the speaker clearer. Sure, basically everything that I say is just my opinion, but I still think there’s a big difference the connotation between “I think xyz,” and “Xyz is definitely true.” You can take it or leave it both ways, but the first gives you more room to counter, while the second may shut down the dialogue. Using “I think” cues the listener that I actually am interested in having a discussion.

            Similar with insults. Sure, somebody may call me nasty names that I don’t think are true–and those words themselves may not upset me. But what will upset me is that the person intended to be cruel, regardless of the truth behind the words. It’s more nuanced than whether or not I agree with the speaker.

  • Alexandra

    Nobody has said this yet in the comments, so I will.

    This is not how baby showers are supposed to work. You do not ask someone to host a baby shower for you. The purpose of a baby shower is to “shower” the parent(s) with gifts. According to Miss Manners, the most kosher way to do it is to have a FRIEND (not a family member) of the parent in question offer to host a shower. The parent is not allowed to request it. The parent CAN offer good dates for the party and offer a guest list, but other than that, the parent is to have no input.

    If the parent plans the shower, it IS a gift-grab, according to Miss Manners. Actually, she advises against having family members do it, also, for the same reason.

    I am fundamentally opposed to showers; I find them awkward and embarrassing. As a non wet-blanket, I’ve attended countless showers, and had three thrown in my honor. They were a lot of fun, but I certainly never suggested that anybody throw me a shower. And I CERTAINLY did not talk to the invitees about their plans for my showers. It was none of my business. They were entirely planned and executed by other people.

    If the friend of LW had kept her mouth shut, and the planners of her shower had mentioned something to LW off-handedly about how they were taking advantage of the logistics to throw the shower after the wedding, I would not find the friend’s behavior so distasteful. But in my opinion, the way it has described here IS a violation of etiquette, and would require grace on the part of the bride.

    • Amy March

      I don’t disagree with lots of this, but I also think it just doesn’t matter. Because the part that the letter writer seems most worked up about is the proximity to her own wedding. And no rule book is going to have any problem with that.

      She’s just using all of the other “faults” as a way to pick on her friend’s choices, which rubs me the wrong way. Just don’t go if you don’t like the plans, but no wrong has been done to the letter writer by this friend.

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        Yeah. Also re the etiquette part I guess I probably don’t care. I typically don’t find out how people come to have showers–did the parents ask? Etc. I assume if someone is pregnant they will probably have a shower and I don’t get too wrapped in the “rules” of how they’re supposed to come about. Also etiquette rules are largely cultural so I don’t put too much stock in them anyway.

        • Marcela

          The cultural aspect is so big. Etiquette changes so much based on where you’re from. Miss Manners is not the end-all be-all.

          • CMT

            I think somebody needs to embroider “Miss Manners is not the end-all be-all” on a pillow. And then shout it from the rooftops and fly it around on a banner.

        • K.

          I also think sometimes people use so-called etiquette violations as a scapegoat to complain rather than their real feelings/fundamental issue with an event. Except for some real Miss Manners sticklers, I’ve never known someone to be like “I’m wholeheartedly excited for my friend, ready to celebrate her in any way possible because I love her so much and I’m genuinely incredibly happy for her , and want everything to be perfect… Uh, but her SISTER is hosting the shower?! Ew! FORGET IT! Screw her!”

          i.e., Usually there’s something else going on.

          • S

            I mean, this is a simplification, but I feel like the thing about etiquette when it comes to showers of any kind (and wedding stuff as well, like registries) is to avoid, at all costs, coming across as gift-grabby. And when people are pointing out an etiquette breach, it’s almost always because they think the person is appearing gift-grabby. This is the thing. I think people who worry about other people coming across as gift-grabby (unless the person is genuinely, obviously, tangibly just in it for the gifts, which is rare but a thing that sometimes happens)…I think that those people describing others as gift grabby are probably the same sort of people who look at other people’s plates to see if they gave themselves more. Is giving yourself a larger portion of something polite or nice? Nope. Is being the sort of person who is craning their neck watching the person with the serving knife and what’s on all the plates being passed around any better? In my books it’s kind of…worse.

          • K.

            Totally. Though while I know, at least theoretically, that gift-grabby people exist, it always seems like most people are just going along with the kinds of celebrations society dictates. I had no idea that it was an etiquette breach for my family members to host my shower–they just offered and I said, “That’s so nice!” And no one cared, or if they did, they didn’t let on.

            During my engagement, I used to joke that if I really just wanted presents I’d figure out a better way than committing myself for life to some dude. And now likewise with carrying a new human in my body for 9 months and subsequently raising a child. The greatest scam of all! The toaster and Baby Bjorn were totally worth it, muahahahaha. :p

            Oversimplification, obviously, but sometimes that’s what it feels like!

          • S

            Yeah. I think it comes down to two things a lot of the time with this stuff: the first is difference in culture/knowledge/etc (i.e you not knowing family wasn’t meant to host – something I also didn’t know until I read this thread) and the second is simply whether you’re someone that tends to see the good or bad in someone first. A reasonable person is usually able to consider the fact that a) hey, maybe they just don’t do things the same way as I do or know about xyz, and also b) this person is my friend and I love them, so isn’t it more than likely that they’re NOT just deliberately being a selfish jerk? I’m not sure what it is about weddings and babies that causes us to refuse people the benefit of the doubt so often, but it seems to be A Thing.

          • K.

            Right. And on both points, even if I *had* known that family members hosting a shower is considered an etiquette breach, I don’t think I would have valued that over my sister, aunts, and cousins’ excitement about the prospect. It would have really hurt their feelings if I turned them down for no other reason than what a rulebook said. I wouldn’t have cared if someone thought I was a bad, gift grabby person for that. No regrets.

          • Greta

            Plus, I just can’t imagine your aunt, sister, and cousin’s being like “Hey, let’s throw her a shower so she gets more presents!” They were probably like “Hey, let’s throw her a shower because we love her and are so excited for this new stage in her life, and it will be so fun to have a nice party with lots of friends and family!”

          • Violet

            I see what you’re saying. However, if the people who know me really well as a person still interpreted my sister, aunt, and future SIL throwing me a shower as “gift grabby,” then there’s not much I can do about that. You know me, or you don’t. Understood that people might use etiquette (or lack thereof) as a litmus test for my character, but hopefully not those people I’m close to.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Being “gift grabby” seems like a very western concept to me. I don’t know that to be true but I’m part of a multicultural family and the only people who would ever worry about coming across this way are the very westernized folks. It simply doesn’t occur to anyone else that having a shower, multiple showers or even registering for showers is “gift grabby.” At least I don’t think. I’m not a part of their private thoughts. But this just seems like such a holdover from heavily influenced Protestant cultures.

          • Saxyrunner

            That’s interesting. My mind just goat broadened. I hadn’t even thought about where the aversion to gift-grabby-appearance came from.

          • Cathi

            Can I just pop in at this point and say that I… don’t really actually see anything wrong with being “gift grabby” in the first place? What I mean is, so what if you ARE only participating in a shower because you’re hoping people will give you [more] gifts? I’m not even really sure what it’s supposed to be insinuating. Bridal/baby showers have been in existence for at least decades now, so I’m not sure what’s so offensive at the thought of people daring to have/want them.

            I’m not from a shower-throwing, gift-givey sort of family but as time has gone on I have to be honest and say that I have been very jealous of other people’s gift-receiving events. My husband and I still don’t have matching towels or dishes because we didn’t register for any (or register for much of anything at all), and I guess we can get un-lazy and buy some for ourselves but in retrospect it would have been nice if our wedding guests had gotten those as gifts for us, since wedding guests usually expect to bring a gift anyway.

            For a non-wedding/baby example: I didn’t have a graduation party or send out graduation announcements (for high school or college) because throwing/attending a party and boasting about my achievement seemed like a lot of work. Then I found out that all my friends who had parties (or sent out announcements) got all kinds of gifts from family and friends. So there they were, able to buy a year’s worth of textbooks or put a nice dent into their first loan repayment, and I had… my pride? If I had known that “graduation party” was secretly code for “Aunt Mable and Uncle Joe give you a card and $500” I absolutely would have wanted a party, and I don’t think I’m a bad or greedy person for thinking that.

            I don’t know. I just think it’s weird to shame people for doing something 100% culturally expected.

          • Poeticplatypus

            It’s not like the baby gifts are for the parent separate for the upcoming child. These are gifts to make raising the infant easier for the parents. If it is about gift grabbing then I guess going to a birthday party would be in the same line of thought. Also, if you look at the table of gifts in comparison to the number of guest. Not everyone brings a gift.

    • Juliet

      While I think you are correct from an etiquette standpoint, this would be true no matter when the shower was being held. I think the timing of the shower and how it came about are two separate issues, and it seems LW’s concerns are more about the timing. From that perspective, Liz’s advice is spot-on.

    • Liz

      I wonder if it’s a matter of semantics. There’s a lot lost in sending an email asking for advice, and this part (“she announced she’d be asking someone to host…”) may have just been the easy sum up of a slightly different scenario (like a friend was already planning to throw a shower, and the mom-to-be said, “You know which weekend would be great since everyone would be around??”)

    • S

      I said this in a reply to another comment, but I think we really need to unpack this whole baby shower = asking for gifts thing. I mean, I know that’s traditionally the point and why it’s called a “shower”. But for me, showers come in many forms and can just be a way for you to celebrate with your community. Can we seriously just take a second to think about all the different ways people are encouraged to celebrate you for getting married, and the very small amount of ways people are encouraged to celebrate your impending parenthood? In the milestone department, this one is…lacking. Heck, if you don’t have a traditional heterosexual biological baby situation type going, there can often end up being NO structured ways set up for this type of celebration and support to even occur. Girl probably wants a baby shower with her friends because they’e all in the one place and there’s no such thing as a “Preggo Party” or a “Bun-in-the-oven Bash” yet. In a nutshell: PLEASE LET’S ALL JUST TAKE A HOT MOMENT TO GET OVER THE GIFTS. PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED TO WANT TO BE CELEBRATED. PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED TO WANT TO BE AROUND THEIR PEOPLE. And trust, whenever the words “gift grabby” come out of anyone’s mouth/keyboard? They’ve just told the world that that’s the first place their mind goes, and they’ve said a heck of a lot more about themselves than they’ve said about anyone else.

    • chrissyc

      I understand that showers can be an awkward event to plan for yourself, since even if the intent is to get together and celebrate, often the main event is getting gifts. (At least, this is true in my experiences. Most of the showers I’ve been to have been 20% socializing and 80% oohing and aahing over gifts. Honestly I find it sort of weird, on both the giving and receiving end. But maybe showers aren’t like this in other social circles.)

      But I disagree with you that it would be better if the friend didn’t explicitly bring it up with the LW. In fact, I’d say if anything, the friend should have had a bigger conversation with the LW, like directly asking instead of just mentioning the plan before the invites were went. (I don’t think asking was required, but I do think that when in doubt, it’s better just to ask especially about things somewhat related to weddings. Something like, “We are thinking about having my shower on this date, but I wasn’t sure what you’d think since it’s the day after your wedding, so… thoughts?” Even if the BM decided to go with that date anyway, at least the LW had a chance to speak her peace.)

      Ideally, sure, people would not be involved in the planning of their own shower if the main focus of the shower is gifts. BUT I also know that in reality, the honoree often has a say in the planning purely for logistical reasons. To me there’s a big difference between telling somebody to plan a party for you when that person didn’t offer, and being involved in the planning because the party is about you… and it’s hard to know exactly what happened from this letter alone.

      • Marcela

        But then what happens when you “ask” someone for their input and then disagree and want to do it anyway? To me that seems more upsetting because then you can’t even chalk it up to a misunderstanding and it becomes you deliberately going against what the other person wanted.

        • chrissyc

          That’s true, you wouldn’t really be “asking.” Poor choice of words on my part. To me, it’s okay to ask for impute but not permission–as long as you’re clear from the beginning that you’re interested in gathering information, not in being persuaded. Something like, “I want to open a dialogue about this, but I still have ultimate deciding power since this is my event.” An example of this in my life was asking my parents about their thoughts on the guest list for the wedding. My husband and I had the final say, but I think it can be good to allow other people to voice counter opinions before plowing forward, even it you don’t always take their advice.

          I get it, though. It’s really irritating when somebody asks you what you want, you tell them, and then they ignore your choice. So if you take this approach, I think you have to be very explicit about your reasons for bringing it up. In the OP, it wouldn’t be fair for the friend to say, “Is this okay?” and the LW says, “No,” and the friend does it anyway. But I do think it would be fair to say, “I’m kicking around this idea because it’s really convenient for everybody else, and I want to know what you think before I make a final decision,” and the LW says, “I think it’s a terrible idea and it hurts my feelings,” and the friend says, “Okay, I see where you’re coming from and I’ll take your opinion–in addition to a bunch of other factors that influence this decision–into consideration, and I’ll let you know what my final decision is.”

          Also, maybe it depends on the person. I’m okay with lots of ambiguous space where we bounce around ideas for a while. It would not be unusual for an OOT friend to say, “I’m thinking about coming to visit next month!” and I’d say “Great, I’m available these dates; I hope to see you,” and later my friend would say, “Bummer, it didn’t work out.” On the other hand my husband wants the first proposed decision to be the final decision, so preferably all the deliberating happens internally before the issue is brought up. You have to know your audience and how comfortable they’d be with being solicited for opinions without those opinions necessarily being followed.

    • Liz

      Sort of trying to reply to all of you in the thread with this one, not sure where to put my comment- the thing about etiquette for me is that the main goal is consideration for others. A “rule” that was established a long time ago out of consideration for other folks might not be quite as considerate as times change and culture shifts. Excluding the honoree of the shower makes sense if you think about, “Oh, she’s just planning a party for herself to get gifts!” but in a more modern time where people have larger, more varied friend groups scattered all over the place, it’s sometimes more others-conscious to include the one person who would best know what’s convenient for everyone.

    • Violet

      Even if you’re 100% right (and I think, from an etiquette standpoint you technically are), how can we help LW? From her friend’s-planning-of-shower perspective, what’s done is done. I fail to see how LW should handle it differently whether it was a breach of etiquette or not. It’s planned, I highly doubt telling her friend, “You know you broke the rules, right?” is going to change the plan or help their friendship for the positive. It might give LW some satisfaction to be “right,” but that’s likely cold comfort if she ultimately wants the best for the friendship.

    • CMT

      Honestly, a lot of etiquette that gets passed down, like by Miss Manners, just doesn’t apply anymore. So, you can keep on fighting for things to be the way they’ve always been, or accept that lots of people are going to have baby showers thrown by family members that they’ve coordinated with.

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        Every single baby shower I’ve ever attended was thrown by family members. I’ve never thought anything of it and it makes perfect sense to me that family would do it.

  • Jessica

    BM sounds like one of my close friends, who thinks about several possibilities, chooses one, but doesn’t consider how choosing that path will affect people’s feelings because she chose it so logically. All well-intended, but ultimately someone gets hurt or stepped on in someway since not everyone thinks like she does.

    If I were the LW I would be upset, too, but mostly because there are assumptions going on here. If the BM had come forward and said “I’m thinking of doing this so I can spend more time with our friends before my life is taken over by the baby” BEFORE the invites were sent, the LW would have been able to express her concern about the timing and any possible regrets about not being able to also spend more time with friends.

    • Amy March

      But the timing isn’t a problem, and she can spend time with friends. By going to the shower. I just don’t think we are all entitled to air our concerns about everyone else’s plans, and just because your feelings are hurt doesn’t mean anyone has done anything wrong. She did tell the LW about her plan before invites were sent. LW didn’t say anything. I think its a big burden on people to bend over backwards to accommodate these kinds of sensitivities. The LW is hurt, and she should work on healing that, and I get the hurt, but that doesn’t mean the BM should have done anything different.

      • Jessica

        My viewpoint in friendships is that friends should consider sensitivities (not bend over backwards, but be aware of the personalities of your friends). I don’t think it’s wrong to think my friends that I’ve been close with for years should know my personality a little bit better than to make assumptions, or that there may be a different way to phrase things to me than to another friend. These aren’t strangers we’re talking about.

        That said, my friends (and I) do make mistakes. Feelings do get hurt. We live in Minnesota where passive-aggression is the norm, and that tends to make blow-out fights built from smaller slights happen. I may be looking at it from a standpoint of wanting that blow-out fight to not happen, which takes a little more relationship maintenance up front.

    • Marcela

      Except whenever you make a choice SOMEONE’s feelings will be hurt. If I was in BM’s group of friends and I got an invitation for a shower the week after I schlepped my self over to where all my friends were gathering for a wedding I would be hurt because I would probably not be able to make two trips within such proximity to one another.

      • Jessica

        I’m not saying the shower timing is a bad idea, I’m saying the BM and LW could have had better communication. I would be pretty upset if a friend “announced” this plan, and I may not have the wherewithal to respond logically at the time or find a way to gently say “hey, if you could plan it for XYZ time that would be great.”

        I guess this touches on something for me with the friend I mentioned above and the previous times she has sprung an idea on me that she has already started carrying out–ideas that impact my life in some way.

        ALSO, no one likes to be the person whose feelings are going to be hurt. We’re responding to the LW, whose feelings got hurt. It’s not a bad thing that she doesn’t want her feelings or plans to get stepped on.

  • TeaforTwo

    My first reaction is that this sounds like an exhausting but super fun weekend for your guests. Travel to hometown, see old friends at wedding, huge brunch the next day, on to another party where there will be cake, fly home. Lots of time with people you don’t get to see enough of, lots of celebrating big life milestones, lots of mimosas and snacks. So much love and celebration.

    LW, of course, should not attend the shower. The day after the wedding is for two things: resting and being in love. I wouldn’t even have been able to attend a day-after brunch: The day after my wedding, the thought of talking to anyone other than my husband seemed so overwhelming and almost physically painful. So go to the brunch and then head off for a honeymoon or mini-moon, and know that people at the baby shower are all telling stories about how beautiful your wedding was.

    • gonzalesbeach

      yes and for guests, the day after the wedding is also often for resting, too!
      “Sometimes” after a friend’s wedding, I’m a little hungover. And it’s a little more acceptable to show up to a post-wedding brunch with a hangover than to attend a respectable baby shower while hungover [mama’s to be do not want you to use their new diaper genie as a sick container]. Or guests might have already planned their travel home.
      And with the timing, I think I’m in the minority because lots of people have posted that 2 hours is plenty of time between, but the last time I went to a post wedding brunch, it ended up being over four hours long (and I left before the gift opening) so I wondered if the two hours in between will really be enough time for people to finish eating/socializing and then travel to wherever the baby shower is. And brunch never starts on time.
      My guess is that a lot of people who already accepted brunch will pass on the shower. Personally, I’d send a nice baby gift in the mail and plan to spend the post-wedding morning eating scrambled eggs with maple syrup, followed by a nap under the pile of unopened wedding gifts. probably still in my outfit from last night minus shoes because I lost them somewhere [since they hurt so much that they came off after about 2 minutes of dancing but damn are they ever pretty].

      • Amy March

        Oh god. A gift opening at a 4 hour post-wedding brunch? Nightmare.

  • StevenPortland

    As I was reading the letter I was hoping the answer would match with what I felt — and Liz answered it exactly as I would have answered! Your friend wants to have a baby shower with all of your mutual friends. Those friends are already in town for your wedding and so it makes sense to have a shower that same weekend. It is your wedding day (the day before), but guests shouldn’t feel like they have to spend the entire weekend on the wedding. When I’ve flown somewhere for a wedding I have always combined it with site seeing, shopping, or other activities. This baby shower is just one more opportunity.

  • tilbury

    I see the logic in having the baby shower the day after the wedding, but I still agree with LW. Your BM should have asked. Why is she even announcing she’s going to ask someone to host a shower then? She should be leaving that to her friends and family. If I was going to a wedding for a close friend and then another close friend announced she was going to have her baby shower the day after, you can bet the other attendees and I would be side-eyeing the BM. If this happened to me in real life as an attendee, I would question the BM’s motives and timing.

  • Mrrpaderp

    If I’m really close to you, I’m going to make the trip to celebrate your baby shower with you. If I’m not that close to you, I will send a gift and my well wishes. Hosting the shower the day after the wedding seems like an attempt to guilt people who wouldn’t otherwise make the trip into extended their stay to attend the shower. It’s not a gift grab – see above re: sending a gift even if I couldn’t attend – it’s attention-seeking. Which I think is what LW has a problem with.

    Also, I actually think this is rude to the out of town guests. If I’m within 1-2 hours of the town, then it’s nbd to travel there on 2 separate weekends. If I’m 3+ hours from the town, I’m going to want to leave fairly early on Sunday afternoon so I can get home at a reasonable hour. Hosting a baby shower at 2 p.m., which is likely what OP’s friend is doing, means I can’t get on the road/to an airport until 4-5 p.m. at the earliest. Which means, depending on timing and mode of transportation, I have to choose between having 3 late nights in a row (travel Friday, wedding Saturday, travel Sunday) or taking a day off work to attend someone’s baby shower. I’d be far more annoyed at being guilted into overextending myself than to be invited to visit the town twice in short order.

    • Amy March

      Or you just say no if it doesn’t work for you, because you’re an adult. An invitation is not a subpoena. People do not need to refrain from inviting you to parties because of your personal issues with feeling guilty.

      • Marcela

        Your baby shower is not an imposition.

      • Mrrpaderp

        I never suggested anyone should refrain from extending an invitation. I assume that the pregnant bridesmaid would invite the same people, but more of those people would opt not to come if the shower was held on a different weekend. I was questioning the motivation for holding it the same weekend.

        • Eenie

          I think the motivation for holding it the same weekend is that it would allow anyone with limited money for plane tickets, limited vacation, or someone not that close that wouldn’t typically travel for a shower (but still would love to come) to be able to make it. Not have to make it- but be able to if they choose to.

      • “An invitation is not a subpoena.” Perfect. I would read the hell out of an Amy March advice column.

        • Amy March

          Ha thanks, but that line is actually an APW classic! I can’t take credit for it at all :)

  • D

    Although I agree with Liz’ reaction and most of the things mentioned in the comments, I’d like to add to it with some advice for LW how to deal with their feelings. I can imagine how you feel because I think I had similar feelings when right after my announced engagement a friend announced her engagement and wedding to be planned before ours when her BF didn’t even want to get married. I was asked as stagemanager which I declined because I wanted to focus on our own wedding not hers. Despite feeling hurt I didn’t speak about their wedding to any of her friends. I let it be and concentrated on my own wedding and life transition. This proved to be a good strategy.
    So bottom line: focus on your own festivities, guard your boundaries (if that means not attending the shower, then don’t go) and let other friends decide for themselves if they want to attend. If you focus on your own joy and love, all your guests will notice. Nobody can steal that thunder.

  • JenC

    Logistically, it makes perfect sense. As one of your friends I’d be grateful for having festivities in one weekend, as it’s only one lot of travel I have to do. Also I’d be so freaking excited because two of my friends were celebrating these massive life events. I’d have to take the Monday and probably Tuesday off work to recover from that much excitement! If the baby shower is after your brunch, I see that I can away with buying at least three new dresses. I can’t think of anyone who has too much joy in their life and too much to celebrate. People love babies and people live weddings. We all need more joy in our lives. Celebrate with your friend, you can share a special link with her. Then if you want children she’ll be there to celebrate at your baby shower – like she’s celebrating your wedding by being your BM.

    On a slightly related tangent… We got engaged 5 weeks before my partners brother got married. We were worried about “stealing his thunder”. But you know what our pre-engaged state was for a year before that and with hindsight there wouldn’t have been a moment since where we weren’t stealing someone’s thunder because everyones life is continuing at full speed. It obviously meant that people wanted to talk us about getting engaged at the wedding because it was the next big event but the joy wasn’t transferred, more “look how much the family has grown in five weeks”.

  • BDubs

    I feel like the LW bride is having a difficult time with “should”-ing herself. I “should” be able to let this roll off my back. But then I also “should” be able to have this weekend be sacrosanct to my event.
    Was it thoughtless of your friend to throw her baby shower on the same weekend? Yea, pretty much. But just like you have bride-brain and feel strongly about things ought to be for your celebration, I bet you anything she has preggy-brain and is just trying to get what she wants too. People do things for good reasons, which you might not be privy to. It might not have anything to do with doubling up guests.
    Maybe try to cut her some slack, while still acknowledging that your pricked feelings are legitimate. This doesn’t sound like something to end a friendship over, and you both may feel differently about how things turned out in a few weeks. Meanwhile, don’t do anything with the shower that you can’t make because you’re on your honeymoon, and stay away from social media updates on how it went.
    Best wishes, friendships can go wonky and challenging during an engagement.

  • Kara Davies

    The day after we got married, my auntie and uncle threw a family reunion dinner, at my folks house. While we were obviously honeymooning. Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinda tacky in my book? Yup. Do I get the whole “but we’re all in the same place at the same time” bit? Yup. Would it have been nice to chill with the rellies after our honeymoon weekend? Yup. Oh well. Hubby and I were too busy getting all up in each others business to really care about what was going on elsewhere. ;) ;)

  • Kim

    One of my bridesmaids did the exact same thing. However, she was a bit more gracious in communicating with me and even went so far as to ask my permission (totally unnecessary). I was a tiny bit taken aback initially, but it made sense as everyone was in town from all over the country. My wedding party consisted of my sister and my best friends. Shouldn’t they be the people I give the benefit of the doubt? Plus, what’s one more excuse to get together and celebrate life with those i love?

  • Sarah

    Personally, I think that Liz is pretty spot on with her advice. I read a similar story on https://theweddingexpert.com where someone proposed to the maid of honor during the wedding reception and thought that was pretty fair. A lot of people might find that that takes away from “the couple’s day” but if you love someone enough to have them in your wedding party, you should be thrilled to share in their happiness – whether it be a baby shower, engagement, or whatever. Rant over.

    • Ashlah

      One of my cousins recently proposed to his girlfriend at their friends’ wedding. It was okay because he got permission from the married couple before doing it. Without that permission, I think hijacking the celebration of someone else’s love to make a public proclamation of your own love is not very nice. No matter how much I love someone, or how thrilled I would be at their engagement, I would have been hurt if they’d done it at our wedding without talking to us first.

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  • Daisy

    I think I’m in the minority here, but I feel like the BM could have handled this better. law specifically mentions that the BM is having multiple showers, which lends credence to the gift grabby feeling. It seems like the BM wasn’t thinking about the massive amount of time and money that LW put into her wedding. And two hours between the brunch and the shower? I’m assuming that the time for the brunch is the start time, which really doesn’t leave much room. LW needs to talk to BM and let her know how this crossed the line, especially with the comment about hosting. Also, if the BM is close enough to be in the wedding party, I would think that LW would be a pretty important guest at the shower. To make a comment about her not needing to attend can come across as a bit rude. Yes, LW does not have claim to the whole weekend, but this just feels off. I would be quite upset if I were in her shoes.

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  • ShelbyandtheJets

    Hey everyone! I’m the LW and the bride with “baby mama drama” – so we just had our wedding this weekend, which was awesome, and our wedding party member had her baby shower the next day, which was just fine in the end. I totally hear and affirm Liz’s advice on not being judge-y about “gift grabs” and staying away from that terminology in reference to others. I think at the heart of my frustration was my hurt over her approach to the whole thing – not really asking me about how I felt, making comments about that I should be hosting, attending, etc….and just kind of being insensitive about it all. To put it all in context – I was also planning a wedding while also simultaneously being in my first semester of an accelerated RN program, so it’s been a crazy time in my life, and my sensitivity level was high, and my desire for my friends, especially those who I selected to be in my wedding party, to be caring and sensitive to all that I had on my plate was also high. So that’s where it all came from. Regardless – in the end, my decision was to send her a gift ahead of time, wish them well, let them know we couldn’t be there, and give them lots of love and bless and release. And that was the best thing for this, and also for most things in life I believe. And I am grateful for the APW community for helping me vent and process this difficult thing. I mean, truly, it wasn’t the most horrible drama one could have in wedding planning, just a bit insensitive in her approach. But then again, this particular friend hasn’t always had the best way with these sort of things, and I just gave her grace and love and let her have her moment too. There’s room for us all to be loved and celebrated, there’s enough to go around. And thank you for letting me have my vent! And the wedding was great!