Sometimes brides question who they have to invite to what, especially if their wedding is smaller, more intimate, or as a destination event. So, if every leading lady in your life is invited to the bridal shower, do you need to pass out invites to the wedding as well?
“If someone is invited to the shower, must they be invited to the wedding?”
Yes, that’s the proper thing to do. It’s a bad habit to expect someone to buy gifts for your celebration and new, married life and then not have them with you to celebrate on the actual day the party goes down.
Of course, there are some exceptions. For example, if you’re having a very small, intimate destination wedding and loved ones and extended friends and family are well aware, it’ll be okay to have a shower that includes others. Just make sure whoever is hosting has full access to the guest list.
Other Expert Answers
“If you are not invited to the wedding, you should not be invited to the shower. If the bride is having an intimate wedding, she should have an intimate shower — or none at all. That might sound harsh, but in my opinion, it’s the only way to do things in good taste. If kind friends or relatives would like to give a gift when they hear the good news, regardless of their invitation status, that is their prerogative and certainly fine.” – Southern Weddings
“There are few ironclad “rules” about wedding etiquette: 1) guests send a wedding gift; 2) couples thank guests for gifts with handwritten notes; 3) couples thank every guest in person at the wedding for attending; 4) couples make guests comfortable; 5) guests respect the wishes and customs of the bride and groom. And… anyone invited to a pre-wedding party must be invited to the wedding itself. There is no gracious way to ask someone to help you get ready for something that they won’t participate in — it’s like pulling the rug out from under them.
This goes for all pre-wedding parties: engagement parties, showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, the rehearsal dinner or any other party thrown by you or anyone else on your behalf to celebrate the upcoming wedding. This rule also applies to anyone who receives a save-the-date, as there is no way to “uninvite” a guest. (Note: Office showers are an exception to the rule. You do not need to invite colleagues who attend a work shower thrown on your behalf.)
Because of this, the invitation lists for any pre-wedding parties are usually on the intimate side and should be checked with the bride and groom. The couple may not yet know their full guest list at the time of the party, so keep the guest list for these affairs limited to those you are certain will be invited to the wedding. It’s also the reason why surprise showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties can backfire — because they obligate the couple to invite guests they weren’t planning on accommodating. Hosts of surprise parties should always check their guest list with someone who knows the couple and their guest list well, such as their parents or someone in the wedding party.” – Huffington Post
“Even if you’re having a very small wedding, this is one of the worst faux pas a bride-to-be can make, according to Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of etiquette legend Emily Post and a co-president of the Emily Post Institute. “It’s not polite to invite someone to a party that’s all about gifts for the honoree and then not invite them to the main event,” she explains. “It’s like saying to the person ‘I want your presents, not your presence.’ It’s rude.” – Country Living