Bridal Shower: Must We Register for Bridal Shower?

Q: I'm marrying in Jamaica, and we are having a cocktail party the night before we leave. My aunt wants to throw me a wedding shower, but I'm not sure if it is appropriate. My fiance and I are living together, and we are not registering for wedding gifts. We prefer no bridal shower gifts. If I have a bridal shower, won't I have to register?

A: Although registering is a gracious way to let your guests know what you want, it's definitely not mandatory. Guests will simply bring something they choose themselves, or they might decide to give you money instead. In fact, your aunt could plan a "wishing well" shower, where monetary gifts are expected. Avoid letting gifts make you uncomfortable. Don't concern yourself with how your aunt plans the shower or what she asks guests to bring. Even if you prefer no gifts, which is your right, some shower (and wedding) guests will really want to give you something to mark the occasion. Of course, you should accept all gifts graciously -- and be sure to send prompt thank-you notes!

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We are being pressured by the mother of the groom to have an engagement party for our newly engaged daughter and future son-in-law. The wedding is a ways away, after college graduation and jobs are secured. I say throwing a wedding engagement party now is precipitous, and I would like to wait. Also, which side of the family is responsible for such a party, or can either side initiate it?

by The Knot