Wedding Party

What to do when the bride wants to be overly involved in the bridal shower?

I'm one of two bridesmaids at a friend's wedding. The family didn't offer to throw a shower for the bride so we (the bridesmaids) are going to host one. I asked the bride if she wanted it to be a complete surprise or not, thinking she may have a certain theme she was thinking of. She responded that she wanted to be very involved and planning it sounded like fun. uh oh. The problem with this is she's suggested some expensive places... I countered with a few not-so-expensive places, but we live in a city so everything is a little pricier than average and with only two of this is going to add up quickly. Also, apparently the other bridesmaid didn't know we would be the ones paying for this and totally freaked out (it's her first time being a bridesmaid). This bridesmaid doesn't even want to consider hosting at a restaurant and wants to ask the bride if we can use the roof/lounge of her building. I think this is a little rude/not so special, but we both have not that big of apartments so I feel kind of stuck. I can't make her pay up, and while my apartment might work it would be a tight fit. I don't think the bride thought about the budget and it's a little awkward to talk about with her since the shower is for her. Can we ask her if her mother would be interested in helping out so we'd be able to go to a restaurant? Both the bride and the bridesmaid mentioned wanting to have the guests pay and not give gifts, but then what is the point of having a shower? We're all fairly young, and I'm the only one with wedding experience having been a part of a bridal party before. I don't want to upset anybody, but I feel like there is a total breach of etiquette going on... any suggestions? Am I over thinking this?

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  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    edited March 2014
    You two need to plan something you can afford, so get on the same page as the other BM. Figure out what you both can afford. It doesn't have to be at a restaurant. Making it at someone' home does not make it any less special, so I think you are over thinking that.

    Don't have guests pay, that wouldn't be a shower and that would be rude.

    ETA: I would not ask the mom for money.

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    MairePoppylc07
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Beast326 said:
    I'm one of two bridesmaids at a friend's wedding. The family didn't offer to throw a shower for the bride so we (the bridesmaids) are going to host one. I asked the bride if she wanted it to be a complete surprise or not, thinking she may have a certain theme she was thinking of. She responded that she wanted to be very involved and planning it sounded like fun. uh oh. The problem with this is she's suggested some expensive places... I countered with a few not-so-expensive places, but we live in a city so everything is a little pricier than average and with only two of this is going to add up quickly. Also, apparently the other bridesmaid didn't know we would be the ones paying for this and totally freaked out (it's her first time being a bridesmaid). This bridesmaid doesn't even want to consider hosting at a restaurant and wants to ask the bride if we can use the roof/lounge of her building. I think this is a little rude/not so special, but we both have not that big of apartments so I feel kind of stuck. I can't make her pay up, and while my apartment might work it would be a tight fit. I don't think the bride thought about the budget and it's a little awkward to talk about with her since the shower is for her. Can we ask her if her mother would be interested in helping out so we'd be able to go to a restaurant? Both the bride and the bridesmaid mentioned wanting to have the guests pay and not give gifts, but then what is the point of having a shower? We're all fairly young, and I'm the only one with wedding experience having been a part of a bridal party before. I don't want to upset anybody, but I feel like there is a total breach of etiquette going on... any suggestions? Am I over thinking this?
    You need to take a step back and start again.  Start with talking to the other bridesmaid.  She doesn't have to help host a shower if she doesn't want to or can't afford to, so ask her if she's interested in co-hosting a shower, and if so, ask her what her budget is.  Add your budget to her budget, and that's your shower budget.  If she doesn't want to help host, then figure out if you can afford to host on your own and if so what you can afford to host.  What type of party and the number of guests you (or you and the other bridesmaid) host depends on what your budget is.  When you have an idea of what the budget is and what you can do with that budget, tell the bride what type of shower you're offering to host for her and how many guests you can accommodate. 



    cowgirl8238lc07
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited March 2014
    You should have consulted the other BM before talking to the bride and making any kind of plans. I agree you need to back up and start over. 

    Edited for a reading fail.  
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • It would be the bride's roof... just don't want it to be a pain in the butt for her (we'd probly need to use her apartment too). Again, maybe I'm over thinking that... but it just makes it harder to control.

    I did consult the other BM first asking about budget and things, but I didn't realize how clueless she was about how this works and how much money it can cost to be in a wedding party. The two of us were definitely on separate pages. I just feel like I'm being left to do this on my own as far as paying for things which is very daunting and not super fair of the bride to expect and other BM to do :/

    I think taking a step back and starting again is very good advice! thanks! I think I'm too worried abut pleasing the bride and need to focus on what the two of us can handle and afford. I got really worried when the bride initially hinted wanting a brunch at some expensive places. I'll try and come up with a nice way of telling the bride to let us plan it for her. 
  • mlg78mlg78 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I see nothing wrong with asking the mom if you word it appropriately. I hosted a baby shower a couple months ago and I immediately reached out to the mom to be's best friend, mother in law and sister in law and asked if they'd like to host with me. They all thanked me for thinking of including them and they all hosted with me. Do not make this about money when you speak with her though. When you speak with the bride you can totally say, "Unfortunately, that's not in the budget for the shower." She also has the ability to decline the shower if it isn't to her taste...
    jenniferurs
  • Beast326Beast326 member
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Comment
    edited March 2014
    zitiqueen Because we'd probably need to be in and out of her apartment. I don't think the lounge has a bathroom or kitchen.
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Beast326 said:
    It would be the bride's roof... just don't want it to be a pain in the butt for her (we'd probly need to use her apartment too). Again, maybe I'm over thinking that... but it just makes it harder to control.

    I did consult the other BM first asking about budget and things, but I didn't realize how clueless she was about how this works and how much money it can cost to be in a wedding party. The two of us were definitely on separate pages. I just feel like I'm being left to do this on my own as far as paying for things which is very daunting and not super fair of the bride to expect and other BM to do :/

    I think taking a step back and starting again is very good advice! thanks! I think I'm too worried abut pleasing the bride and need to focus on what the two of us can handle and afford. I got really worried when the bride initially hinted wanting a brunch at some expensive places. I'll try and come up with a nice way of telling the bride to let us plan it for her. 
    It should only cost as much to be in the wedding party as you are able and willing to spend, and not one penny more.  It is not her job to throw a shower for the bride.  It is also not your job to do so.  I don't think you're getting that.



    jenniferurslc07
  • @Viczaesar I disagree. I think when you're asked to be a BM/MOH and you say yes, there is an unsaid understanding you are agreeing to certain things, including throwing a bachelorette party, buying a dress, and to help the bride out (these things do cost money). A shower is one of those strange things that everyone seems to have a different opinion on depending where you're from and what experiences you have had in the past. In this case, I know my friend, the bride, expects us to throw her one (no matter if you think that is right or wrong) and she being one of my best friends, I want to make this happen for. It's trickier when there isn't a larger bridal party to help out though.

    I like the other advice people gave about stepping back, rethinking it, and starting over with what we can afford and handle. She's (hopefully) only going to get married once and I want to try and do this for her. The BM is happy to plan it too, she thought each person paid though, so was shocked when she learned that planning it meant paying for it too. 


  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    No, bridesmaids are not required to throw parties. Period. There should be no expectations of that, spoken or unspoken.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    jenniferursemmyg65pinkshorts27
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Beast326 said:
    @Viczaesar I disagree. I think when you're asked to be a BM/MOH and you say yes, there is an unsaid understanding you are agreeing to certain things, including throwing a bachelorette party, buying a dress, and to help the bride out (these things do cost money). A shower is one of those strange things that everyone seems to have a different opinion on depending where you're from and what experiences you have had in the past. In this case, I know my friend, the bride, expects us to throw her one (no matter if you think that is right or wrong) and she being one of my best friends, I want to make this happen for. It's trickier when there isn't a larger bridal party to help out though.

    I like the other advice people gave about stepping back, rethinking it, and starting over with what we can afford and handle. She's (hopefully) only going to get married once and I want to try and do this for her. The BM is happy to plan it too, she thought each person paid though, so was shocked when she learned that planning it meant paying for it too. 


    Nope.  The only thing you're agreeing to when you agree to be in a wedding party is wearing a dress, which should be selected with your budget and comfort in mind.  That's it.  There are no other 'duties'.  It is not her job to throw a shower or bachelorette for the bride, and neither is it your job.  If you CHOOSE to take on that task, that's on you, but you don't get to decide whether or not somebody else does.  The bride can expect parties in her honor til the cows come home and it doesn't mean didly.



    jenniferursKeptInStitchesMairePoppycowgirl8238
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Beast326 said:
    @Viczaesar I disagree. I think when you're asked to be a BM/MOH and you say yes, there is an unsaid understanding you are agreeing to certain things, including throwing a bachelorette party, buying a dress, and to help the bride out (these things do cost money). A shower is one of those strange things that everyone seems to have a different opinion on depending where you're from and what experiences you have had in the past. In this case, I know my friend, the bride, expects us to throw her one (no matter if you think that is right or wrong) and she being one of my best friends, I want to make this happen for. It's trickier when there isn't a larger bridal party to help out though.

    I like the other advice people gave about stepping back, rethinking it, and starting over with what we can afford and handle. She's (hopefully) only going to get married once and I want to try and do this for her. The BM is happy to plan it too, she thought each person paid though, so was shocked when she learned that planning it meant paying for it too. 


    See, that is how you ended up in trouble with this situation. You're under the mistaken impression that the bms are obligated to do all those things. The other bm isn't wrong. She only expected to buy a dress and stand at the bride's side as she said her vows. And she is correct in her expectations. But that doesn't solve the problem, does it?

    Go back to the beginning. Tell the bride you'll be planning a shower that fits within your budget. Ask her for a guest list of X number of people and clear a date with her. Otherwise, she shouldn't be involved in the planning. Ask the other bm IF and how much she would like to contribute to the shower. 

    You may ask the MOB, if she would like to help with the shower. If she agrees, you should let her know your budget up front. In some circles, it's still considered improper for the MOB to be involved in planning a shower, so don't take offense if she declines.

    The guests at a shower should never be asked to pay for their meals, even in lieu of a gift. What the bride and bm are describing sounds more like a bachelorette party, where everyone pays their own way and there are no gifts. That would make you the organizer, rather than the host. 
                       
  • Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 Deep in the Heart of Texas member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Combo Breaker
    All these entitled brides... My goodness. Every bridal shower I have been to/hosted has been at a home. When we hosted my best friends shower, the MOH asked us what we were willing to contribute. I said I had a large family room that would seat all the guests nicely in a circle to watch bride and groom open their shower gifts. I cleaned up, repositioned furniture, and brought out chinaware for the punch bowl, cupcake stand. Other girl brought all the food. Another did decorations. It was lovely, and we had a fantastic time.

    Personal opinion here, but a shower at a restaurant seems a little rehearsal dinner ish. I would never have thought to have a shower in a restaurant. Too expensive!

    image   image   image

    princessleia22
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Sugargirl, I'm with you. I have never been to a shower outside of someone's home. Some people do choose them to be at restaurants b/c of space issues, so I get that,but I guess I would probably never want a shower so large that it wouldn't fit in someone's living room. 


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • Sugargirl1019 This is exactly what we're planning on doing now!
    princessleia22
  • ViczaesarMairePoppy I wonder where you guys are from, because in the Northeast, these are many times the expectations. 

    One proof of evidence that I'm not alone in my thinking :) :
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    AddieL73 said:
    Sugargirl, I'm with you. I have never been to a shower outside of someone's home. Some people do choose them to be at restaurants b/c of space issues, so I get that,but I guess I would probably never want a shower so large that it wouldn't fit in someone's living room. 


    I always thought of them being small events held at someone's home too. My MOH & mom are throwing me a shower. They mentioned that so far they've set a date (consulted with me first) and "reserved a place" for it. My jaw literally dropped when I heard that. I'm kind of worried about how big and extravagant they plan to get if they need to "reserve a place". I'm definitely the low-key, laid back type. And at this point, I think my shower may end up being bigger than my wedding (we invited about 60 people to our OOT wedding and only about 1/2 are coming). 

    image 

  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited March 2014

    Beast326 said:
    ViczaesarMairePoppy I wonder where you guys are from, because in the Northeast, these are many times the expectations. 

    One proof of evidence that I'm not alone in my thinking :) :
    I grew up in MA and have lived all of my adult life in CT. Definitely part of the Northeast : )

    FTR, we consider it rude to 'expect' anyone to throw parties for us, since parties are gifts and therefore given freely. I have never been to a shower that didn't include a meal and usually wine or a 'signature' cocktail, as well as soft drinks. In my circle, the MOB and/or other close family members pay for the food. Sometimes, the MOG offers to help out, too. The bms sometimes help with hospitality, decorating, serving and cleanup - unless it's in a restaurant. Or sometimes they show up as guests. Again, it's strictly volunteer. 

    My mother threw my daughter's shower. It was a buffet luncheon at a country club with eighteen guests. The MOH and bms were the life of the party. They offered to help, but everything was done by the country club staff. Since most of the other guests were family members, we would not have felt right allowing them to pay for this. If my mom hadn't offered, I would have paid. If the bms had offered, I would have contributed generously. That is the way it's done in my social circle. 

    The MOH organized the bp. It was a bus tour of the New York wine trail, $80/pp, plus spending money. She gave the info to all the invitees so they could phone in their credit card payments to the bus company. The MOH paid for my daughter and told her to meet her at such and such a place, where she surprised her by getting off the bus to greet her. Another bm bought her a corsage for their special day. No lollipop penises and here comes the bride tee shirts. Everyone had a great time.

    We did a thread a while back where everyone posted what type of showers were the norm for their social circle/region. Maybe it's time to do that again. It was very interesting.

    ETA - your link doesn't work so I don't know what the article says. Generally speaking, I wouldn't rely on Glamour magazine or TK for etiquette advise.

    Even the 'at home showers' are usually held at the MOB's (or an older relatives) home because she has the space and the equipment. Those are my favorite types of showers. 
                       
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