The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Ask Amy: I can’t go to the wedding. Why am I invited to the shower?

4 min

Dear Amy: Because wedding season seems to be ramping up, I have a question about destination weddings. My goddaughter and her fiance have decided to marry in a very far-off foreign location this spring. This is not an easy trip, and it is expensive.

I assume she wanted a wedding that had very few people in attendance; she certainly could not expect her grandparents or anyone who could not afford the trip to attend. That’s fine, but honestly I hate the philosophy, “It’s the bride’s day.” A wedding used to be a celebration of two families joining.

The problem? Wedding shower invitations!

Why should I be invited to a shower hosted by people who know darn well the invitations were sent out to people who could in no way attend the wedding? The reason for the shower invite, “Well, you WERE invited to the wedding,” is disingenuous at best.

I do love my goddaughter, but I need you to help me understand it from another point of view, if you have one. Am I off base?

— Homebound

Homebound: I completely agree with you regarding the change of focus that far-off destination weddings impose. (I’m referring here to weddings that take place in locations where neither the bride nor groom has any personal or family connection.)

It seems to me that most often these weddings greatly reduce the number of guests who are willing or able to attend. Because of this, the invitation itself does seem disingenuous — and yet, in this case, they’re trying to recognize your close connection by inviting you. (Would you feel left out or insulted if you weren’t invited?)

Because of the pressure imposed by destination weddings, wedding showers seem to be changing, too. These more local showers are morphing into wedding celebrations that, for many guests, are more affordable and easier to attend than those far-off tropical weddings.

I differ from you in your reaction to be insulted by this shower invitation. I see this as an opportunity to celebrate with the couple and their families, and to express your support and joy for the couple.

Shower gifts are often more modest than wedding gifts, so the idea that the couple is somehow “trolling for gifts” (a common accusation) is, I think, beside the point. I think you should embrace this opportunity to celebrate the wedding, and consider yourself spared from making a trip you can’t afford — or simply don’t want — to take.

And, of course, you can always respond to any shower invitation with a polite: “I’m so sorry I won’t be able to make it to your shower! I wish you both joy and happiness, and hope you have a wonderful wedding.”

Dear Amy: Reading your column, I know you have recommended publications on how to cope as a spouse of a cancer patient. I wonder whether you could give me some suggestions for resources to help me.

My husband has terminal cancer, and right now, I’m having a hard time dealing with the impending loss. I just need the tools to work through the feelings of my husband dying.

Right now, all I see of my future is a dim and painful one.

— Grieving

Grieving: I’m so sorry you are going through this. What you are experiencing is called “anticipatory grief.” Getting some healing support right now will help you to stay more fully in these challenging moments of your life as a loving and beloved spouse.

You’re taking the important first step by seeking help. This is one important way that you can take care of yourself, which will help you to take care of your husband. Communicating with other families of cancer patients could be important.

Speak with the social worker at the hospital where your husband is being treated and ask for contacts with local resource groups. Your local hospice will also offer guidance.

The American Cancer Society is an invaluable resource; check out its comprehensive website at or call 800-227-2345.

If you have a friend or family member who is reliable and compassionate, ask for them to research and navigate some of these resources with you.

Dear Amy:Not Going to Apologize This Time” and her brother tossed their estranged father from their mother’s funeral.

You need to offer a correction. Funerals are not invitation-only events. Anyone can attend!

— Upset

Upset: Anyone can certainly try to attend a funeral. This father turned up for his ex’s memorial, and his children were justified in asking him to leave.

© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.