Bridal showers are magical events designed to celebrate the bride and lavish her with love, support, and gifts. As such, she typically invites her closest friends and relatives to keep the party intimate and special.
However, as a bride and her bridal crew plan the bridal shower, they might find themselves asking, “Should I invite my mother-in-law to the bridal shower?” Though the answer in most cases would be yes, further explanation is provided below, including what circumstances would make it appropriate or inappropriate to extend an invitation.
Do You Invite Your Mother-in-Law to a Bridal Shower?
Bridal showers and wedding showers are all about celebrating the fact that two families are merging into one big community. These pre-wedding events bring together the bride’s and the groom’s circles, allowing them to start getting to know each other and forming bonds.
This is why the answer to the question, “Should I invite my mother-in-law to the bridal shower?” is a yes in most cases. After all, she is part of your new family and this new chapter of your life.
To be more specific, here are some situations where you should invite your mother-in-law to your bridal shower:
- If your mother-in-law is involved in the planning of the bridal shower, it is customary that you invite her to the celebration.
- If the groom’s side of the family is hosting the bridal shower, your mother-in-law will most probably be in attendance.
- If your mother-in-law is an overall positive presence that gives you warmth and makes you feel loved, make sure she gets an invitation to your bridal shower. You want this energy to surround you on your day.
- If your partner specifically requests for his mother to be included in the bridal shower, you should invite her to the celebration.
Oppositely, here are some situations where you should reconsider inviting your mother-in-law to your bridal shower:
- Your mother-in-law makes you feel judged, unworthy, and uncomfortable. Prioritize your comfort and happiness over everything else; in this case, it is best not to invite your mother-in-law.
- Your mother-in-law is an introvert and is not comfortable in parties and large gatherings. She might not feel comfortable attending an event with a lot of people she does not know.
Inviting Mother-in-Law to Bridal Shower: Etiquette
If you want to invite your mother-in-law but are worried about navigating the dynamics, remember that open and honest communication is key. Tell them about your concerns. Most mothers-in-law will understand your anxieties—after all, they were brides once, too.
However, if you have decided not to invite your mother-in-law, you have to be careful with how you approach the situation.
It is worth restating that honesty, kindness, and respect will go a long way. Tell your mother-in-law the reason why you decided that the answer to the question, “Do you invite your mother-in-law to a bridal shower?” is a no.
Here are some ways you can phrase your reason:
- “We’ve decided to keep the bridal shower small with just my closest friends.”
- “(Partner’s name) told me you don’t really like attending parties where you don’t know most people, so we figured it would be better to not include you in the guest list of our bridal shower.”
- “We thought it would be fun to have a younger crowd at the bridal shower, especially with the itinerary my bridal crew has planned.”
If you ultimately do not invite your mother-in-law to your bridal shower, you have the choice to extend an olive branch. Invite her to dinner with you and your fiancée, host a smaller gathering with just family, and so on.
If the real reason you did not invite her is because of how she makes you feel, it might not be in your best interest to do so. This would only alienate you two from each other further; it might be acceptable to sugarcoat in this case.
At the end of the day, every family and every bride is unique—what works for one might not work for you. Ultimately, this is your bridal shower; it should reflect your style and personality, and your happiness and comfort should be the utmost priority.
Navigating wedding etiquette can feel like walking a tightrope, especially when dealing with mothers-in-law and inviting them to your bridal shower, but with a little empathy, communication, and a lot of love, you will be just fine.