Pre-wedding Parties

Should bridesmaids pay for pre-wedding reception (in lieu of wedding shower)?

Instead of a wedding shower, our destination bride-to-be is requesting a cocktail style masquerade themed party that starts at 7pm. She wanted the bridal party to take care of the entire expense for this party of 75 or more people, including food, beverages, alcohol, centerpieces, candy bar, tableware, menu cards, photo backdrop, favors, etc. The budget for the event totaled more than $2K at the last estimate. Many bridesmaids feel this is too much to ask, especially since this is a destination wedding and she requested to go to Vegas for the bachelorette party. We have thankfully talked her out of that. After hearing complaints and questions from the wedding party, she has reluctantly agreed to pay for food and alcohol but expects bridesmaids to pay for decorations, centerpieces, tableware, DJ, non-alcoholic beverages, candy bar, photo backdrop and cake. She insists this is not a "reception" but a party, but requested us to save space for a grooms cake. This was originally supposed to be a medium sized gathering of family and friends but has become a party for everyone who can't attend the wedding.  We also received a visual and PowerPoint presentation at our first bridesmaids meeting that outlined the details of what she wanted at her "wedding shower". She even wanted the party on the weekend of one bridesmaid's 35th birthday which she knew wasn't a good weekend in advance. Please advise as how to proceed and or address the bride. By the way, she has requested (through her maid-of-honor) that no one call and ask her any questions/ details about the shower. Any questions are to be addressed to the maid-of-honor, who will ask the bride, and we will get answers in that manner. This process seems a little unethical for friends, do you think? Please help with any advice or suggestions?

Future Maidzilla

Re: Should bridesmaids pay for pre-wedding reception (in lieu of wedding shower)?

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This has also been posted on Etiquette, Moms and Maids, and Destination Weddings.  It is NOT necessary to post the same question on multiple boards.  IF you do post an identical question, please place "XP" at the start of your title.

    It would be helpful if you could go back to your posts and edit them for clarification.  
  • I read recently that technically your only job as a bridesmaid is to show up and stand with the bride on her special day. You have to buy your dress, and make sure you look the part. Anything beyond that is at your discretion. Sounds like she is hiring a business and sponsorship team, not asking her friends to be a part of her special day. If she's adamant, I'd bow out gracefully. Nobody should DEMAND you spend that much on them, especially when you are traveling to a destination already.
  • Wow what a bridezilla! Everyone needs to understand that any help the bridal party choses to give is their choice.  Honestly in my circle the bridal party does NOT pay for the bridal shower.  Actually the mother of the bride and groom host and pay for the entire shower.  So it is strange for me to hear that bridesmaids actually pay for stuff.  I think that it is appropriate for them to help set-up and clean-up if they are asked.  My sister's bridesmaids at her recent shower didn't even help do that, they just sat there and I (MOH) did everything.  So honestly whoever choses to host should pay.
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  • wow-- just no, that bride is ridiculous.  You are no way obligated to pay for this party and I would tell Bride NO!  That or just decline being a bridesmaid all together and save yourself from bridezilla.  Is this like a rehearsal dinner of some sort during wedding weekend?  If bride and groom want an elaborate party for their destination wedding guests they need to pay for it themselves.  It would not be a bridal shower. Bride needs a reality check that all you are required to is get the dress (in your budget that she should have asked you about) and show up on her wedding day.

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