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Ask a Disney Bride – Can I Invite Non-Wedding Guests to My Bridal Shower?

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It has been a while, but today we are back with another installment of

Ask a Disney Bride

Today we are talking about the etiquette of the shower invite when you are having a destination wedding.  Most of the couples who get married at a Disney Resort are traveling from afar, and the guest count is usually limited.  So what does that mean for your bridal shower at home?  This is a question I see come up over and over again, so let’s discuss it …


Dear DWI,

We are getting married at Walt Disney World, and my Maid of Honor is planning a shower for me here at home in New York. Do we invite only people who are attending/invited to the wedding or branch it out to other friends/family not attending/invited? Help!!

Nerve-wracked in NY

Dear Nerve-wracked,

First of all – remember it’s gonna be okay!  These are silly problems to have, aren’t they?  Deciding who gets to come celebrate us and shower us with gifts … Yet it’s always a major stressor for brides.  Know that most brides struggle with guest lists woes.

Getting back to the question, let’s take a look at traditional etiquette.  According to the Almighty Martha, “every shower guest must already be on the wedding guest list.”  So that means anyone who is invited to your shower, must also be invited to the wedding.

You could save yourself a lot of headache and leave it at that.  Honestly, it’s a good rule.  Put yourself in the guest’s shoes: You’re good enough to be invited to the pre-game tailgate but not good enough for the main event?  Inviting someone to the shower and not the wedding could result in hurt feelings and cause a rift in a friendship that potentially may never be repaired, and honestly it’s probably not worth it.

That being said, I invited a number of friends to my shower who weren’t invited to the wedding, and I think all of us are still friends.  Our guest list was very limited and I had a number of friends who were very special to me but we just didn’t have the budget to fit them on our wedding guest list.  A lot of people would cringe at this (cover your ears, Martha!), but I sent those friends a personal email and explained that due to budget and space limitations, we weren’t able to invite them to the wedding but I would really love to celebrate with them at my shower.  I told them I wanted them to come celebrate with me and to not even think about bringing a gift.  Aren’t I the tackiest?  But you know what, my message was the truth and from the heart, and I’d rather be known for that then my perfect etiquette.


What advice would you give to this bride?

About Mindy

Mindy Marzec is a life-long Disney fan who grew up in Los Angeles. She started This Fairy Tale Life to share Disneyland travel tips for adults. When not at Disneyland, you can find Mindy at home snuggling with her cats and re-watching Thor: Ragnarok for the billionth time.