Chris asks: “I’m wondering about shower etiquette for two separate instances at work. On one hand, one of my coworkers is 22 and being married for the third time — should we give her a wedding shower? On the other, another of my colleagues was married about one-and-a-half-years ago in a small ceremony with just her and her husband. They are now having a wedding in Florida and leaving on a cruise with any of the attendees who wish to go. (None of us are, of course, invited.) Since she and her husband were already married when she moved to our town and came to work with us, is it correct to throw her a bridal shower?”
Dear Chris: Life is never simple and you are to be commended for caring enough to inquire as to proper etiquette. As for the 22-year-old, I’m sure you hope for her sake that “the third one is a charm.” If she was in your office when she married either husband number two, or husband number one, and you threw her a shower either time, then the answer is ”no.” You do not have to throw her a second or third shower. You may, however, want to get everyone in the office to sign a card congratulating her on her engagement and — if you’d like to score lots of brownie points with her — get her a small gift that everyone chips in to. If, however, she was not working in your office when she married the first two husbands, and if it’s traditional in your office to throw office showers, then you should give her one, too. Because for you, her third is your first.
As for the girl at work who had just a small ceremony: Because she is already married, technically, a shower isn’t appropriate. She and her husband may be amongst the couples who didn’t have the funds for a big wedding and, just because they’re going on a honeymoon cruise, I wouldn’t begrudge the bride some kind of celebration. However, instead of a shower, I would suggest that you “throw” her a luncheon. Invite the people in your office that you would have invited to a shower. Where my answer may be different under other circumstances, I suggest you don’t opt out totally from some kind of party, simply because she is someone you work with — and it’s a good idea for the sake of office harmony.
I hope this helps! Valley professionals, what’s your rule for bridal etiquette? Let me know in the comments box below, or to submit a question to “The Wedding Guru,” E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.