Huge Family... Help! — The Bump
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Huge Family... Help!

Hey Ladies,
  My mom has mentioned that she and my aunt are doing my shower (Listen, it wasn't an offer it was a declaration. But I don't live with my parents, and I read on here that it's ok for her to throw it then).  Anyhoo, my family is HUGE. When I say my family, I mean MY family and that is not including my FH's family. FMIL claims she will be throwing us a shower for "her" people. To give you all an idea of how big my family is: My Sweet 16 was OVER 300 people, subtract about 50 (give or take) and then it's all family. ALL blood or by marriage, no divorces or separation and re-marriages, family. So, I've read 100000000x on here that huge showers are rude and tacky. I'm concerned about this. My mom and aunt are big on family. Is there a way we can do this without it being a million people with gifts and my opening them? Games will take forever, people getting food will take years, and my mom will get the side eye. Is there something that I can suggest to them? I just don't want all their planning to go to waste. Help!! (Culturally you invite everyone, but logistically and according to the etiquette I have been learning via the bump, I am concerned)

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hplunkett2883

Re: Huge Family... Help!

  • If you really don't want a huge shower I would just sit down and talk to your mom. Be honest and just let her know how you're feeling.
    CCasey2015
  • I have a huge family but I wanted a smaller shower. We are traditional in that showers are ladies only events so that made it easier. I just kept it to in town family and my closest friends.
  • Well, first off, have they said how many people they plan/want to host? Because if they can only host 30, that solves a lot of your problems there. 

    I'll be honest, I don't have family anywhere near that large, so I'm not super sure how I would go about this. Are you the first baby shower to be held? If other family baby showers were huge, I wouldn't worry too much, if they were smaller, I would mention to your aunt that you were hoping to have an intimate shower. And if it is normal for your family, I wouldn't sweat it too much and would just keep the guest list family only (because, while as a friend I would love you anyway, I'd feel super awkward if I arrived to a 100 person or more shower and would duck out ASAP. I love showers, but 50+ is just way too many people for me to deal with) 
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  • @wassuphoes I'm not the first baby shower to be held, but I am the only 1 with 3 parents (sides to the family) a spouse and that lives close to 95% of the family. So I'd be the odd ball. They haven't set a number yet, but I'm just trying to have options in my bag of tricks just in case this comes up as a thing. I appreciate the help. I just feel like a huge shower is overwhelming for everyone involved, but I also don't want to offend anyone either....
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    kristen2b
  • You said they were all family, so I'm not sure if this will help. Both my SILs (different sides of the family) had HUGE showers, which is awesome if that's what you want. I didn't. I didn't even really want a shower. The compromise with my mom and sister was that it had to be small - only people who were directly related to us. They kept it to that and it was nice. Mine also wasn't co-Ed so that kelt it smaller (only because I don't think any of my male relatives would have even come).

    But, I did have one friend (with her MIL and SIL - both of whom are owners of the family business DH works for). It was funny actually. My friend called up my mom that morning and asked what time the shower was. Mom felt bad bc she didn't invite my friend, but assumed she would go to my work shower (which she did). But she's not the type of person who would have even been hurt about no invitation. She's sweet and just wanted to be there.
    ChiccoBeanz
  • The antidote to a huge shower is a tiny shower. Then nobody's feelings can be hurt because you are just having a "tiny little thing." I mean, in reality, everybody's family us huge, if you trace it back far enough and count enough degrees of cousins, but that doesn't mean they all have to be invited.
    fwtx5815VOR
  • dufferoo said:
    The antidote to a huge shower is a tiny shower. Then nobody's feelings can be hurt because you are just having a "tiny little thing." I mean, in reality, everybody's family us huge, if you trace it back far enough and count enough degrees of cousins, but that doesn't mean they all have to be invited. 


    I'll suggest it. I'm receiving the shower as a gift, so I know it isn't in my control and that would be rude. But I do have a lot of 1st cousins. 1 Aunt has 10 kids alone. But I will heed your advice. Thank you.
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  • Is it possible that in your family not inviting everyone would be considered bad etiquette? If you're okay with a big celebration, I'd vote for doing that as opposed to feeling pressured to cut people out. If you decide to go with the big shower, google ideas and I'm sure you will find lots. If you decide to go with a small one, just talk with your mom and aunt so they can help you figure out who to invite to keep the family peace :) 
  • I am in not quite as big a boat, but I get it. My husband's family is very big. When I added my family's most important ppl to be there for "my side", it was about 20. MIL added and our total went up to 70. She and my mom are hosting, and I know they are both good about figuring out finances, but it's a lot of ppl, which overwhelms me since I still don't know some of those relatives. But I guess that's up to them to decide, and that's what happens when the extended family all lives within a 10 mile radius.

    I have only seen this once, but I did see a request for guests to bring gifts unwrapped - just with a bow/card and they could be shown without taking a long time to unwrap. The mom did still share/show and recognize ppl 1 at a time, but much faster since she didn't have wrapping paper. I know that was done back when my parents and grandparents got married, but I don't know how ms. Manners would look at it now. But the invite said how it would allow more time to visit with guests, which it truly did.

    Good luck!
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Photogenic
    So, if your mom and aunt want to do a huge shower, some suggestions-

    1- DON'T do games!  Really.  Games are absolutely NOT necessary and if they are only going to suck up time, skip them. I really have never understood why a group of adult women "need" games anyhow!

    2- Food - I'd try to set it up in a way that the food is out, self serve, and direct people to grab some food when they show up. 

    3- Gift opening - I really don't feel there is anyway around this.  All I can suggest is to have people hand you the gifts and then take them from you.  And YOU need to be quick.  I don't mean tear the paper off and look at the gift and throw it to the side, BUT don't read long notes in the cards (do it later).  just see who it's from, open the gift quickly (rip the paper, dont' be dainty), hold the gift up for people to see,  look at the person, thank them genuniely and then move on.

    I have a friend who would be dainty about the gift and then the MOMENT anyone started talking, she'd stop to listen.  No.  Don't stop.  You can look at a person who is talking while also passing a gift off, getting the next gift and starting to open in.  Multi-task, basically!!

    Just keep it moving, be effiecient, and just move on.  TRUST ME - in the end, people really only care about seeing THEIR gift opened.  They aren't worried about all the others.
    ChiccoBeanzwassuphoesDylansCandyBarDannylion24
  • As @VOR said don't do games. If you feel the need to have an activity, maybe have a couple of stations set up where people can decorate a onesie or something like that. 

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