Guestless Wedding: Shower or no shower?

Q: If a person is getting married by a Justice of the Peace and having no guests, is it proper to throw a shower for that person?

A: No, generally those invited to a shower are those invited to the wedding.


  1. Jazzgirl205

    If these are friends of yours, it would be nice to throw them a tea on a Sunday afternoon or a dinner party after they return from their honeymoon. This would not be a gift-giving occasion but more of an introduction of a new couple to your community of friends.

  2. Joanna

    I don’t know…perhaps it may be “official etiquette” not to have a shower for such a wedding, but IMO it really depends on the circumstances and how close you are to the couple. Perhaps they can’t afford a wedding; perhaps someone is being deployed; perhaps any number of things. If so, then certainly, a shower would be nice and I’m sure greatly appreciated by the couple.

    • Alicia

      Appreciated by the couple or not the message to shower guests in this situation is that they are liked for their gifts not their actual selves because they are invite to gift giving occasion but not the wedding. Basically the message you send to the shower gifts is that you do not care about them but like their money and presents. That is why it is rude not invite people to showers but not wedding.

  3. Heather

    My husband and I were married by a Justice of the Peace while we were living in Japan. Our families were all still in the US, so it was the easiest way for us to marry. My friends threw us a surprise party a week or so later– I’m not sure whether it was officially a shower, but many people did bring gifts. You can consider it bad etiquette if you choose to, but it was one of the most touching moments of my life. Seeing how much support we had, even though we were thousands of miles away from home, was incredibly meaningful, and surely that is the point of a shower or party anyway?

    • Alicia

      Key differences are : 1. after the wedding so nobody expected to get invited to the wedding. 2. Gifts not required at a post wedding party

    • Elizabeth

      I agree – yours was a post-wedding celebration, not a shower. The guests were not invited to a “shower” and therefore expected to bring gifts. The gifts they brought were of their own volition, given with great sentiment no doubt. No one would consider any of that poor etiquette.

  4. Depends on the reason they are not having guests I would say. If it’s because they don’t want to make a fuss then you probably should not make a fuss with a party either. But if its for some other reason maybe…although com eto think of it, what are valid reasons for not having guests?

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