Question from Concerned:
My niece has just married two weeks ago and is expecting. She and her husband have planned a combination baby shower and wedding reception. (They were married at the Justice of the Peace). Attendees are expected to shower the baby first and then transition to another room for the wedding reception. Is this extremely bad form or are events like these acceptable today?
Answer from Bridal Expert Angela:
I have people asking how to combine wedding showers and wedding receptions, and there is no easy answer. To combine a baby shower with a wedding reception is just as difficult.
When you are invited to a baby shower, or a wedding shower, the expectation is that you will give a gift. If you don’t want to give a gift, then you will not attend. The showers are usually a “ladies shower” whereas the receptions are for couples and family groups.
When you attend a wedding reception, gifts are freely given or not, as the guest chooses. Presumably if you are invited, you are happy for the couple and want to give them a gift.
To combine both events is poor form, but is being done on occasion in certain circumstances. It is not something I would advocate, nor do I believe it is proper etiquette. There is no reason not to have two events—a wedding reception and then a baby shower at a later date. But as a guest, the proper etiquette is to behave as if everything is perfect the way it is, and to be gracious under less than perfect circumstances.
Angela Fiebelkorn, Ask The Expert