Q-pinkI’m getting married in October (hooray!), and I am having a teeny tiny wedding with about 20 to 25 people on a very teeny tiny budget. We are going to have a party up north for family a few weeks after. 

What’s the etiquette on showers? It feels weird to invite people to a shower who aren’t invited to the wedding, but my sister wants to throw one for me. Curious on your thoughts. — Callie

A-gray Congrats on your engagement! So here’s the thing about showers. They’re a lovely thing, and it is so sweet that your sister wants to throw you one. But shower guests are definitely wedding guests. All kinds of feelings can get hurt if you stray from this rule. Think about it this way: Oh, hey, do you want to come to a party and bring me a present? Here’s a list of items I would love! Oh, wait, you also want to come to my private, personal wedding reserved exclusively for the people I love most in the world? Sorry, you’re only good enough to give me a gift. Feels crummy, yeah? Don’t make those people feel crummy.

Lizzie Post (great-great-granddaughter of etiquette master Emily Post) just sent me her latest etiquette book for weddings after I interviewed her and she is very strict on this being a no-no. Anyone invited to your showers must also be invited to the wedding. “It’s wise for the couple to review guest lists for these parties with the hosts to avoid a potentially awkward situation later,” Post writes. “This is one reason surprise showers aren’t a good idea—surprise, these guests are all now also wedding guests!” The only exception to this rule, according to Post, is if it’s a coworker situation or your parents throw you one in a city far away where the guests wouldn’t possibly be able to come to the wedding.

Good luck, let me know how it goes, and send me some shower and wedding pictures!

Kirsten Ott is the co-founder and editorial director of Equally Wed, the world’s leading gay, lesbian and allied wedding and honeymoon online magazine. Follow her on Twitter. Connect with her on FacebookWrite her with your gay wedding questions. If she can’t answer it, she’ll find another expert who can!

Bridal shower invitation design by Pretty Little Papers via Etsy