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shower and bachelorette confussion

I've seen several posts where someone is concerned about paying for a shower.  I've never been to one, but I'm under the impression that it's some cake and punch while the bride opens gifts.  How is that expensive?  I would think that'd be about $30.  I know that's a lot of money for some people, but if it's split between even just two people it shouldn't be a terrible burden.  I know one girl who had her shower/bachelorette at a bowling alley, which would cost a bit more...

One of my friends read somewhere that a bachelorette party costs $300, on average.  That sounded like a lot to us.  I guess if there are 10 ladies and if dinner/drinks is $30 that would add up right.  I'd always that the b-party was just the bride and the BMs, so 10 people is a bit much.

Do people have really extravagent parties?  It just doesn't make sense to me that they're so expensive.  No offense to anyone who has had an expensive shower or b-party.  I just don't know how the costs end up being so high.

Re: shower and bachelorette confussion

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    I think the costs can vary greatly for showers / bachelorettes depending on how extravagant people want to make it.

    My bridesmaids rented a function hall for my shower because nobody had a house big enough to accommodate everyone.  I think everyone would have been perfectly happy having it in somebody's living room, but that's not the way it worked out so that was an added expense there.  Other than renting the room it was kept on the more DIY side with friends and family making the cake, food, etc.  Oh and my Mom did spring for a bartender so we could have champagne.  (The hall wouldn't let us bring in our own drinks.)

    I also think location plays a big factor.  I live in Los Angeles and even at the frugal restaurants I frequent $30 would only cover dinner or drinks, but definitely not both.  Add to that cabs or a hired car to drive you around so nobody has to be the dd and that definitely adds up!

    If you're concerned about costs adding up you can have a conversation with the people involved when it gets to be planning time.  You can assure them that you don't need or want anything over the top and would be happiest with something simple. 

    That's really all you can do!  I know its not appropriate for the bride to plan her shower or bachelorette, but as a person who likes to do things herself that was really tough for me! 
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    Most of the real-life showers I've attended have been at a restaurant, and I'm attending one soon that'll be at a country club. Girls on my local board have usually had theirs in restaurants, and some have even had theirs at a wedding reception hall.

    Mine was in a church basement with homemade food, Oriental Trading decorations and the invitations were printed on regular computer paper.

    A lot of bachelorette parties in my area consist of going to NYC or Atlantic City, getting a hotel room overnight, a fancy dinner and drinks, sometimes a spa day. Some girls on my local have flown out to Vegas or taken a cruise with their friends/BMs. Mine was dinner and a comedy club in NYC and then back to Jersey for drinks.

    For reference, I live in the North Jersey/NYC metro area, and things in general around here seem to be ridiculously extravagant at times. I've seen it more often on the Knot than in real life, though, so maybe I'm just chatting online with more affluent people than the people I'm actually friends with.
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    Showers have gone off the deep end.  People are inviting 40+ people, renting halls, and going nuts.  That's how they get so expensive.  In my area, showers are cake and chips and usually some wine for 20ish people.  It's a lot more practical, and IMHO, it's the way it should be.  Anyone can find a place at home for that many people.  The issue comes up when people start inviting way too many people.  

    B-parties are the same thing.  I went to one a few years ago where they rented a party bus.  The bus alone was more than $500, and everyone paid for their own dinner/drinks.  It just gets more and more ridiculous.  
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_shower-bachelorette-confussion?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:9eca3d53-8571-491c-b17f-ce05ea7778efPost:b9c0eb82-9e9d-4e22-904b-9fcfdea584c9">Re: shower and bachelorette confussion</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>Showers have gone off the deep end.</strong>  People are inviting 40+ people, renting halls, and going nuts.  That's how they get so expensive.  In my area, showers are cake and chips and usually some wine for 20ish people.  It's a lot more practical, and IMHO, it's the way it should be.  Anyone can find a place at home for that many people.  The issue comes up when people start inviting way too many people.   B-parties are the same thing.  I went to one a few years ago where they rented a party bus.  The bus alone was more than $500, and everyone paid for their own dinner/drinks.  It just gets more and more ridiculous.  
    Posted by MyNameIsNot[/QUOTE]

    Exactly! I am not sure how much my bridal shower cost, but it was in my hostesses condo club house. I think there were about 40 people (bc I didn't want 2 showers bc we lived out of state and I had limited time when I could come home). We just had finger food and sandwiches and of course cake. Nice, but simple.

    For my bach party, my MOH and 2 of my other BM's went out drinking and dancing. Nothing fancy, just fun. For my husband's bachelor party, his friends did the whole party bus thing.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_shower-bachelorette-confussion?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:9eca3d53-8571-491c-b17f-ce05ea7778efPost:b9c0eb82-9e9d-4e22-904b-9fcfdea584c9">Re: shower and bachelorette confussion</a>:
    [QUOTE]In my area, showers are cake and chips and usually some wine for 20ish people.  It's a lot more practical, and IMHO, it's the way it should be.  Anyone can find a place at home for that many people.  The issue comes up when people start inviting way too many people. Posted by MyNameIsNot[/QUOTE]

    <div>I hope this wasn't directed at me!  Because I promise you, it would not have been possible for any of my close friends or family to host a 20 person party.  That's about the number of attendees I had and unless we started cutting important guests a room had to be rented for us to gather in.  Outdoors wasn't an option either because it was held in March, in New England, during a 3 day rainstorm. </div><div>
    </div><div>I get your point about things getting out of control in some cases but I think your comment about anyone being able to find a home to host 20 people is a little presumptuous.  Without knowing people's circumstances there's no way to back that statement up.</div><div>
    </div>
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_shower-bachelorette-confussion?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:9eca3d53-8571-491c-b17f-ce05ea7778efPost:4d31721e-64e3-41e9-a6fc-6bfb12e594bc">Re: shower and bachelorette confussion</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: shower and bachelorette confussion : I hope this wasn't directed at me!  Because I promise you, it would not have been possible for any of my close friends or family to host a 20 person party.  That's about the number of attendees I had and unless we started cutting important guests a room had to be rented for us to gather in.  Outdoors wasn't an option either because it was held in March, in New England, during a 3 day rainstorm.  I get your point about things getting out of control in some cases but I think your comment about anyone being able to find a home to host 20 people is a little presumptuous.  Without knowing people's circumstances there's no way to back that statement up.
    Posted by Robyn5298[/QUOTE]
    Until 4 months ago, DH and I were living in a 450 sqft apartment in Boston.  That would not have held 20 people comfortably.  Agreed.  But we now live in a 900ish sqft condo in southern California--smaller than the average house, not that much bigger than the average apartment affordable by someone living outside a large city.  We could (snugly) fit 20 people in the living room. People might have to sit on the floor or on yard furniture, but there would be enough room to maneuver, eat, and talk.  <div>
    </div><div>I think her point was that the average living room will fit 20 or so people who are there to eat and watch someone open presents, which, if you think about it, is all a shower is.<div>
    </div><div>In my family showers are 20-25 people; I think I had about 20 at mine.  One of my BM's sisters got married two weeks before me and she threw a shower for 100 people--that's typical in her family.  It's all relative.  But no one should feel bad about only hosting 20 in her living room, if that's all she can afford.</div></div>
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_shower-bachelorette-confussion?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:9eca3d53-8571-491c-b17f-ce05ea7778efPost:9fe48282-f863-40a5-b695-f2d1a334aae5">Re: shower and bachelorette confussion</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: shower and bachelorette confussion : Until 4 months ago, DH and I were living in a 450 sqft apartment in Boston.  That would not have held 20 people comfortably.  Agreed.  But we now live in a 900ish sqft condo in southern California--smaller than the average house, not that much bigger than the average apartment affordable by someone living outside a large city.  We could (snugly) fit 20 people in the living room. People might have to sit on the floor or on yard furniture, but there would be enough room to maneuver, eat, and talk.   I think her point was that the average living room will fit 20 or so people who are there to eat and watch someone open presents, which, if you think about it, is all a shower is. In my family showers are 20-25 people; I think I had about 20 at mine.  One of my BM's sisters got married two weeks before me and she threw a shower for 100 people--that's typical in her family.  It's all relative.  But no one should feel bad about only hosting 20 in her living room, if that's all she can afford.
    Posted by bablingbrooke[/QUOTE]

    Brooke - while I appreciate you trying to explain on Mynameisnot's behalf, I still stand by my original statement that not everyone can find a living room to host 20 people, cramped or not. 

    If Mynameisnot's comment was directed at me, (which we don't know because she hasn't responded) it felt like "you invited too many people".  I was asking her to clarify her statement because I truly didn't understand her intention.  Then we get your follow up which feels like "well, you could have had it in a living room but you didn't try hard enough". 

    My mom lives in mobile home.  I have 4 bridesmaids: 2 of them have moved back in with their moms, 1 bridesmaid has 2 dogs and 2 cats so her place is out due to allergies, and the last bridesmaid lives out of state.  The only relatives I have left in the area are elderly and not up to the challenges of hosting an event at their home/apartment.  I've lived across the country for many years, so that pretty much wraps up the people locally that I'm close enough to to consider asking, "Hey, can we have a shower at your house?"

    All I'm saying is that when people start making blanket statements like "anyone can do this" or "everyone does this" we start getting into trouble.  I'm glad you were both lucky enough to have homes available for you to be able to do things the way you wanted to, but that's not always how it works out.  That's all.
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    I think you're being really over-sensitive here.  I don't know why you're getting defensive, but nothing that's been said calls for it.
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    Robyn, I think you're taking this too personally.  MNIN was, I think, simply saying that showers have become yet another part of the huge wedding industry that keeps dreaming up more and more ways to separate people from their money.

    I also think that people need to remember that an "at home" shower doesn't necessarily have to be at the home of a member of the WP, or even the mom's home.  If someone had a friend with a larger home, perhaps the shower could be held there, with WP doing the work.

    Our church has a fellowship room, and a lovely parlor that work beautifully for small gatherings, and when people bring in some snack foods and a cake, it's plenty.

    I take MNIN's point, which I share BTW: that showers don't have to be in a restaurant.  They don't have to include a full sit down meal and open bar.  They don't have to include scores of guests.

    There ARE ways to economize and still have a beautiful shower.  I speak from experience:  My DD's shower was about 20 guests, which included the 6 girls in her WP.  It was held in the early afternoon, and the menu was desserts and wine:  each BM brought a dessert that she had made and a bottle of wine.  I contributed a fruit/cheese platter and non-alcoholic beverages.

    It probably cost each BM under $20, and it certainly appeared that everyone enjoyed themselves. 

    I just don't see a reason to turn a shower into a mini-reception, which in many cases, it seems to be.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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    Trix said everything I was trying to say.  Well put!
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    Nobody's getting defensive or overly-sensitive.  I asked Mynameisnot a question to clarify if one of her comments was directed at me.

    The only thing I take exception to is the blanket statement that "Anyone can find a place at home for that many people" (20).  She might have meant that showers don't have to be in a restaurant and can still be lovely, etc, but that's not what she said.  I read her comment and wasn't sure if it was meant as a dig at me because I had just said that my shower had to be at a hall because of logistics and personal circumstances.  That's all!

    Brooke and Trix, I'm not arguing any of your points.  All I wanted was clarification on a statement that unfortunately neither of you could provide because you didn't say it in the first place.  I hope this clears things up.

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    You are being overly-sensitive to take that as a dig at all.  There are places holding 20 people that are available for free or very low-cost: public parks, beaches, church basements, any friend with a house or apartment bigger than the shoebox we lived in in Boston, which by the way did seat 12 people comfortably to watch the Olympics.  An apartment complex or trailer park will have a park nearby.  Anyone with a house can fit people in the living room.  THAT was the point.  

    For you to take the statement, "Anyone can find room for 20 people at home" as a dig is really being defensive.  FWIW I once went to a party in a mobile home in Kansas and it easily fit 30 drunk teenagers.  You could have easily fit 20 people for a shower.

    Also, if the host of the shower said "I can only host 20 people" then you find a way to cut a 40 person guest list down to 20.  If you can't, you decline the shower.  It's really simple.  Disappointing?  Absolutely.  But life can be disappointing sometimes.

    Please stop making this all about you.  She, and everyone else, was speaking in generalities.  If you're going to post on international forums, you're going to need to grow some thicker skin.
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    Oh my goodness, this is ridiculous.  This has nothing to do with you!  You seem like one of those people who just likes to argue. 

    I guess my mistake was responding to your comment offering your two cents trying to explain somebody else's comment.  I should have just ignored it and I honestly don't know why I engaged.  Next time I won't!
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    What is with you?  You are flipping out over everything anybody says.
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    Sorry, I'm done playing for today.  Have a good evening.
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    Thanks for the perspective everyone.  I guess I mostly share the opinions of MNIN and Trix.  I realize not everyone can fit 20 people in their house.  We had 16 people over once, and that was starting to get a little cramped.  Brooke, good point about people cutting the guest list.  Same idea as cutting the guest list for the wedding if your venue can't hold everyone.  A church hall, like mbcd had, would hold plenty of people though! 

    Robyn, I knew LA was expensive, but wow!  $30 for dinner OR drinks?  I would tell my friends I'd rather stay in if things were that expensive here!  MOH has told me she'll plan something like TGI Fridays, which sounds perfect for me - especially because I didn't think there would be a b-party at all!
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_shower-bachelorette-confussion?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:9eca3d53-8571-491c-b17f-ce05ea7778efPost:69e19bcd-b541-468c-a4e6-5ba4ccc09fbf">Re: shower and bachelorette confussion</a>:
    [QUOTE]Robyn, I knew LA was expensive, but wow!  <strong>$30 for dinner OR drinks?  I would tell my friends I'd rather stay in if things were that expensive here!</strong>  MOH has told me she'll plan something like TGI Fridays, which sounds perfect for me - especially because I didn't think there would be a b-party at all!
    Posted by jenn.daniel[/QUOTE]

    I think you're forgetting that salaries tend to be higher in high COL areas. I think $30 is pretty normal having lived in LA and SF, and that amount isn't a stretch for any of my friends working perfectly normal jobs in those areas.
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    Yeah, things are expensive here.  I could certainly spend $30 at TGI Friday's without trying very hard (a drink, app, entree, dessert), and it wouldn't be a huge burden as long as I'm not doing it every night.
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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
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    Very true.  DH and I stayed with some friends in KC on our way from Boston to So Cal and were amazed at how cheap everything was--something like $60 for dinner for 4, which is nigh impossible in either place we've lived recently.
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    We've been seriously contemplating a move to Kansas City, largely because it's so very much cheaper.  DH and I make right around six figures between us, and we're sort of comfortably maintaining (i.e. we can afford to go out and do things without having to think too much about it, but we're not making much progress toward saving for a house).
    This is a neglected planning bio.
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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
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    Our KC friends were living in the same area as us and now make the same amount of money but have something like double the disposable income, on a real and purchasing-power basis.  Which is why DH and I are considering a move to the mountain west after I graduate!  
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    It's sorely tempting.  But I'm not sure about the weather (I grew up in Phoenix then moved to Los Angeles, I'm not familiar with this thing you call "seasons"), DH would miss the ocean, most of our friends are here, and on and on.  We keep going in circles about it.  Our lease is up at the end of April, we really need to make a decision soon.
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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
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    I'm not sure that would have changed anything.  We lived in snow in the city and still had to shovel our car out after the snowplows came through (and you should have seen our friends laugh at us when it finally dawned on us to start carrying a shovel in the trunk!) and the T would get extra-dysfunctional when it started snowing.  The plus is that I could walk the two miles to school when it snowed if it got too difficult (I plan to add "uphill, both ways, without shoes" when we tell our kids someday).  

    Competent cities put salt on the roads and send plows through.  And shoveling the walk is DH's job ;)
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    A word of warning from your friends at Cracked.com: Remember that text is going to be how you make your first impression over the internet; if every third word you type is misspelled, people will automatically assume that you're a moron.
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