If You Don't Want a Bridal Shower, Here's How to Say No (Politely)

Bridal showers aren't required, so if you're not interested, here's how to spread the word.

Not every to-be-wed wants a bridal shower, and that's totally their call. While saying "no" to having a bridal shower should be simple in theory, declining a friend or family member's offer to throw you one can be tricky. Plus, bridal showers are common (and fun!), and since your loved ones want to celebrate your engagement, they might simply assume you're down to do so with a shower. Don't panic and don't feel guilty. Here are some tactful ways to spread the word about your preference to skip a shower or celebrate in another way.

Spread the word to your wedding party (if you've chosen them) and family.

If you say something from the get-go, you'll curb any eager party planner's ideas to start, well, planning (we all have that one friend). Your trusted confidantes can then spread the word to others for you. You'll also avoid hurt feelings—people will know they weren't excluded from the bridal shower, but that you're just not having one. Have your parents let their families know and ask your bridal party spread the word to friends.

Don't be shy about your reasons for not wanting a bridal shower.

It's your wedding, so you don't have to make excuses. You'll put the point to rest faster if you don't try to dodge it with vague explanations of "bad timing." Your friends will likely understand if you explain that you've just never been into bridal showers and don't want one for yourself. Your friends will likely know to back off, but it's possible some family members of a different generation see a bridal shower as an important right of passage and an essential wedding event. All you can do is explain your point of view and stand firm, and everyone else will come around.

Do something completely different.

If a someone insists on throwing you some kind of get-together, and you'd be comfortable with it, you could brainstorm some alternative prewedding party ideas (ever heard of a stock the bar party?). It's likely the reason they're so insistent is because they want the chance to spend some more time with you and don't want you to miss the opportunity to feel like the guest of honor (or they don't want you to regret not having one later on). These days showers come in all forms—consider a small gift-less lunch (or ask friends to donate to charity instead of gifts), an afternoon at a brewery or a trip the spa.

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