If you’re having a small wedding, this means you have to really sit down and cut the guest list to fit the appropriate amount of people. However, this isn’t always easy. You may not realize how many supporters, friends and family you have in your life until you really examine your guest list. But there may be one solution for inviting loved ones: Ask them to come to the bridal shower or bachelorette party, but not the wedding.

More and more couples are opting for smaller weddings and it’s becoming increasingly popular to host showers or parties that include guests who did not receive wedding invitations. Couples may also want to invite those who can’t attend the wedding so that these guests can still take part in some of the wedding festivities. Oftentimes brides may want to invite someone who is unable to attend the wedding on that date, or a few coworkers whom she is close with, but unable to fit on the guest list.

This means you have to be very careful when it comes to the wording on your invites for events like the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Take these wording samples, for example:

For a small wedding and a larger shower: The bride is hosting a private wedding, please help us celebrate at the bridal shower (or bachelorette party)

For a destination wedding and a local shower: Before the bride departs for her wedding, let’s celebrate with a bridal shower (or bachelorette party)


You could keep it brief: Please help us celebrate at the bridal shower (or bachelorette party) in lieu of attending the wedding. This makes it clear what they are and aren’t invited to.

This way, your guests still feel like a part of the celebration without being offended that they won’t be able to attend the actual wedding. Be sure to double check the guest list for any wedding-related events to avoid any awkward situations.

Will you be having a small wedding? Share your thoughts with us!

3 thoughts on “Inviting non-wedding guests to the bridal shower or bachelorette party

  1. Thank you for this article. My share of the invites is 60. My fiancé has 60. My family,family friends and friends used those 60 invites. I am a part of a church that is large and people I’ve known my whole life wanted to celebrate with me however, I can’t invite them to the wedding so I’ve opted to having a pre wedding garden tea party for the ladies in my church. I’m not looking for gifts. No registry info will be given this is simply celebrating with my sister in faith. I’m looking forward to spending time with them and having them wish me well. I think that as long as you make it clear you’re not gift hungry people don’t mind celebrating with you even though they aren’t invited to the wedding. Unless you’re wealthy there has to be a cutoff and someone will be left of the list. Why not have an alternative? I’m happy about my choice. I understand the reason for the rule but just because everyone is doing it doesn’t mean you can’t do something different. Just make sure you avoid the pitfall( i.e. Expecting gifts.) keep your motives pure and you won’t go wrong.

  2. Wedding etiquette says you should not invite guests to shower you with gifts that are not invited to the actual wedding, it’s very tacky.

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