How to Invite Guests not Attending the Wedding to a Shower?

Dear Gwyn,

I would like to host a shower for my stepdaughter who is having a smaller wedding (not really). To be honest, we were given only a small number of people to invite (her stepfather is paying for the wedding and we have been dismissed and excluded from all planning). Ultimately, my stepdaughter is getting the wedding that she wanted.  My husband (her father) and I are trying to take the higher road.  With that said, I want to have a shower for her – we finally have a date that she is able to accomodate – and invite my friends.  I do not know how to word an invitation.  It’s rude to invite to a shower and not a wedding but my hands are tied. Please help!

Isn’t it terribly sad when people feel that money is power, especially in joyous times like a daughter’s wedding?!  Well! there are a few exceptions to including guests to a shower that are not invited to the wedding and this is a perfect example. The budget and guestlist for the wedding are out of your hands so it is absolutely acceptable to throw a party and include friends of yours that cannot be included on the wedding guest list. I would caution you to follow the structure of the guest list though and refrain from inviting additional friends of the bride because her guest list is not limited.

Indicating that guests are not included in the wedding invite is very simple and you can find examples at the previous post, “How do I indicate guests of bridal shower are not invited to the wedding?

The biggest challenge you face is that you are inviting a mix of guests who are and are not invited to the wedding. A simple solution is to include a note with the invitation, similar to the RSVP card or additional wedding invitation cards you see in wedding invitation packages.  Whether you choose to print the note or handwrite it, you signature is a nice touch.

You may choose wording such as:  As a dear friend of mine, please help us celebrate at the bridal shower of [Bride] in lieu of attending the wedding.

Due to the mixed guest list, there is no reason to call out that not every guest at the shower is invited to wedding in a toast at the shower.

Congratulations and happy celebrations!