Pre-wedding Parties

Bridal shower on a budget

Ok, so my friend is a MAJOR perfectionist, and I totally get that this is her wedding so I keep my mouth shut as I am her best friend, so I can accept that I have to listen to her talk about the wedding every day (even though after a year and a half, I am dying for the wedding to be over so we can stop talking about it). Here is my problem though, I am technically the MOH, but not really, I live over 1500 KM away and I was in this wicked demanding school program that made it basically impossible to really be all that helpful except for emotional support, so her mom took over a lot of the stuff I would have done. Oh well, she understands. But now I've agreed to plan a wedding social for her because I thought it was the least I could do, but I am starting to think that it is a huge mistake. 

1. Distance/ I can't actually be there --- I can't even be in town until about 2 days before the wedding - I won't even be there for the social, so all I can do is plan. What ever, I am wicked introverted so that doesn't really bother me and sadly I have neither the time nor the financial luxury to leave my job for a week for her and she understands. However the problem is that she has 4 bridesmaids, only 1 of whom is in the same town and it means only 1 of us might be there, which seems ridiculous and I think it would be highly unfair to ask 1 girl to host the party alone (even if we all pitch into helping to plan it).

2. Tight financial situation makes it hard as hell --- I am beginning to realize that this wedding social / shower is a huge financial burden for me, like its ridiculous. I know that my friend has paid for the entire wedding, which is even more, but a few of us (like myself) have recently bought houses, cars, or have a ton of student debt because we are (reasonably) living our own lives and don't really have a lot (or any money) to put into this party. We can only host the thing during the week, which means it'll probably run over dinner, but catering it will probably cost $100+ (for the number of people, it might be a few hundred dollars) so that's not even an option. I thought about telling the guests that it'll be a potluck and to email me with a thing they want to make for it, but I don't want to break some kind of wedding shower etiquette thing by making such a request. However, I cannot pitch out the amount of money for paying for everyone's dinner (my limit is legit maximum $40 to $50) and it'll probably be an issue if I tell a bunch of small town people that "sorry, you're going to have to have dinner very late tonight instead of at 5 pm, but hey, have a cupcake". Even if I could pay out more, I am not going to even be there and I have already spent hundreds of dollars just to be there for her on her special day. As much as I love my friend, I cannot accept any additional financial burdens for this wedding (I already paid about $200 for a dress, $100 for shoes, $500 for plane tickets, I'll probably have to pay another $50+ for nails and hair on the day of, so I simply don't have any more to give as I am broke as hell right now) Like I said, I know her financial burdens for the overall wedding are far higher, but my budget is what it is and I don't know how to tell her or the other bridesmaids that. 

Ok, so it's stuff like that which is causing problems. The main problem is that I promised my friend that this other bridesmaid and myself would plan something and I don't know what to tell her if that between the distance and the cost, that my promise pretty much means nothing. I am happy to help plan something, and I love planning stuff, but it also seems ridiculously unfair to tell one bridesmaid to host it alone if neither of the remaining 2 girls can be in town. Also, 1 of the bridesmaids is one that my friend is on the outs with  (it's the fiances sister so yeah) and I can't really trust that girl to be remotely useful. So basically, as a result, the financial burden will fall on two of the girls (again, totally unfair)

I am getting really desperate, I don't want to tell my friend it can't happen. I REALLY need some ideas about how to host a bridal shower in a small town that is on a major budget. 

Re: Bridal shower on a budget

  • As to her being a perfectionist, I mention this because I know it'll be a huge deal if we can't bring her a bridal shower... But it might also be a big deal if we don't "do it up" enough for her... But we also can't afford to spend a pile on it, and I feel like doing something is better than nothing
  • Finally, if I have to break the bad news and tell her that it's just not possible for us to host a party because of our financial situations and the fact that it's kind of unfair to put the burden on one girl for hosting and spending, how should I break it to the bride/ my friend?
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    There is no "technically the MOH but not really." No potlucks. If you can't afford to throw her a shower or contribute to one,then don't feel obligated to do so.
    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
    [Deleted User]
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited July 2015
    Ok, so my friend is a MAJOR perfectionist, and I totally get that this is her wedding so I keep my mouth shut as I am her best friend, so I can accept that I have to listen to her talk about the wedding every day (even though after a year and a half, I am dying for the wedding to be over so we can stop talking about it). Here is my problem though, I am technically the MOH, but not really, I live over 1500 KM away and I was in this wicked demanding school program that made it basically impossible to really be all that helpful except for emotional support, so her mom took over a lot of the stuff I would have done. Oh well, she understands. But now I've agreed to plan a wedding social for her because I thought it was the least I could do, but I am starting to think that it is a huge mistake. 

    1. Distance/ I can't actually be there --- I can't even be in town until about 2 days before the wedding - I won't even be there for the social, so all I can do is plan. What ever, I am wicked introverted so that doesn't really bother me and sadly I have neither the time nor the financial luxury to leave my job for a week for her and she understands. However the problem is that she has 4 bridesmaids, only 1 of whom is in the same town and it means only 1 of us might be there, which seems ridiculous and I think it would be highly unfair to ask 1 girl to host the party alone (even if we all pitch into helping to plan it).

    2. Tight financial situation makes it hard as hell --- I am beginning to realize that this wedding social / shower is a huge financial burden for me, like its ridiculous. I know that my friend has paid for the entire wedding, which is even more, but a few of us (like myself) have recently bought houses, cars, or have a ton of student debt because we are (reasonably) living our own lives and don't really have a lot (or any money) to put into this party. We can only host the thing during the week, which means it'll probably run over dinner, but catering it will probably cost $100+ (for the number of people, it might be a few hundred dollars) so that's not even an option. I thought about telling the guests that it'll be a potluck and to email me with a thing they want to make for it, but I don't want to break some kind of wedding shower etiquette thing by making such a request. However, I cannot pitch out the amount of money for paying for everyone's dinner (my limit is legit maximum $40 to $50) and it'll probably be an issue if I tell a bunch of small town people that "sorry, you're going to have to have dinner very late tonight instead of at 5 pm, but hey, have a cupcake". Even if I could pay out more, I am not going to even be there and I have already spent hundreds of dollars just to be there for her on her special day. As much as I love my friend, I cannot accept any additional financial burdens for this wedding (I already paid about $200 for a dress, $100 for shoes, $500 for plane tickets, I'll probably have to pay another $50+ for nails and hair on the day of, so I simply don't have any more to give as I am broke as hell right now) Like I said, I know her financial burdens for the overall wedding are far higher, but my budget is what it is and I don't know how to tell her or the other bridesmaids that. 

    Ok, so it's stuff like that which is causing problems. The main problem is that I promised my friend that this other bridesmaid and myself would plan something and I don't know what to tell her if that between the distance and the cost, that my promise pretty much means nothing. I am happy to help plan something, and I love planning stuff, but it also seems ridiculously unfair to tell one bridesmaid to host it alone if neither of the remaining 2 girls can be in town. Also, 1 of the bridesmaids is one that my friend is on the outs with  (it's the fiances sister so yeah) and I can't really trust that girl to be remotely useful. So basically, as a result, the financial burden will fall on two of the girls (again, totally unfair)

    I am getting really desperate, I don't want to tell my friend it can't happen. I REALLY need some ideas about how to host a bridal shower in a small town that is on a major budget. 




    BOXES----------------------------------------------


    "Friend, I know that Sheila and I said that we would throw you a bridal shower, but unfortunately after discussing logistics and finances we just cannot do it.  We love you so much and really want you to do something for you, but a shower is just not possible.  We would love to take you out for a lovely lunch, just you and the other BMs a day or two before your wedding just to catch up and celebrate your upcoming nuptials." (the bolded, of course discuss with the other BMs before saying anything to the bride)

    Look, if you can't throw this party then don't.  Don't put yourself or the other BM in a financial strain just because you told the bride that you would throw her a party.  Things happen.  I also wouldn't be thrilled throwing a party and shelling out money when I couldn't even be there for it.  Just be up front and truthful with your friend and hopefully she is the type of person that will understand that as much as you wanted to throw her a party you just can't.

    [Deleted User]southernbelle0915speakeasy14
  • flbride2015flbride2015 member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited July 2015
    Ok, so my friend is a MAJOR perfectionist, and I totally get that this is her wedding so I keep my mouth shut as I am her best friend, so I can accept that I have to listen to her talk about the wedding every day (even though after a year and a half, I am dying for the wedding to be over so we can stop talking about it). Here is my problem though, I am technically the MOH, but not really, I live over 1500 KM away and I was in this wicked demanding school program that made it basically impossible to really be all that helpful except for emotional support, so her mom took over a lot of the stuff I would have done. Oh well, she understands. But now I've agreed to plan a wedding social for her because I thought it was the least I could do, but I am starting to think that it is a huge mistake. 

    1. Distance/ I can't actually be there --- I can't even be in town until about 2 days before the wedding - I won't even be there for the social, so all I can do is plan. What ever, I am wicked introverted so that doesn't really bother me and sadly I have neither the time nor the financial luxury to leave my job for a week for her and she understands. However the problem is that she has 4 bridesmaids, only 1 of whom is in the same town and it means only 1 of us might be there, which seems ridiculous and I think it would be highly unfair to ask 1 girl to host the party alone (even if we all pitch into helping to plan it).

    2. Tight financial situation makes it hard as hell --- I am beginning to realize that this wedding social / shower is a huge financial burden for me, like its ridiculous. I know that my friend has paid for the entire wedding, which is even more, but a few of us (like myself) have recently bought houses, cars, or have a ton of student debt because we are (reasonably) living our own lives and don't really have a lot (or any money) to put into this party. We can only host the thing during the week, which means it'll probably run over dinner, but catering it will probably cost $100+ (for the number of people, it might be a few hundred dollars) so that's not even an option. I thought about telling the guests that it'll be a potluck and to email me with a thing they want to make for it, but I don't want to break some kind of wedding shower etiquette thing by making such a request. However, I cannot pitch out the amount of money for paying for everyone's dinner (my limit is legit maximum $40 to $50) and it'll probably be an issue if I tell a bunch of small town people that "sorry, you're going to have to have dinner very late tonight instead of at 5 pm, but hey, have a cupcake". Even if I could pay out more, I am not going to even be there and I have already spent hundreds of dollars just to be there for her on her special day. As much as I love my friend, I cannot accept any additional financial burdens for this wedding (I already paid about $200 for a dress, $100 for shoes, $500 for plane tickets, I'll probably have to pay another $50+ for nails and hair on the day of, so I simply don't have any more to give as I am broke as hell right now) Like I said, I know her financial burdens for the overall wedding are far higher, but my budget is what it is and I don't know how to tell her or the other bridesmaids that. 

    Ok, so it's stuff like that which is causing problems. The main problem is that I promised my friend that this other bridesmaid and myself would plan something and I don't know what to tell her if that between the distance and the cost, that my promise pretty much means nothing. I am happy to help plan something, and I love planning stuff, but it also seems ridiculously unfair to tell one bridesmaid to host it alone if neither of the remaining 2 girls can be in town. Also, 1 of the bridesmaids is one that my friend is on the outs with  (it's the fiances sister so yeah) and I can't really trust that girl to be remotely useful. So basically, as a result, the financial burden will fall on two of the girls (again, totally unfair)

    I am getting really desperate, I don't want to tell my friend it can't happen. I REALLY need some ideas about how to host a bridal shower in a small town that is on a major budget. 




    BOXES----------------------------------------------


    "Friend, I know that Sheila and I said that we would throw you a bridal shower, but unfortunately after discussing logistics and finances we just cannot do it.  We love you so much and really want you to do something for you, but a shower is just not possible.  We would love to take you out for a lovely lunch, just you and the other BMs a day or two before your wedding just to catch up and celebrate your upcoming nuptials." (the bolded, of course discuss with the other BMs before saying anything to the bride)

    Look, if you can't throw this party then don't.  Don't put yourself or the other BM in a financial strain just because you told the bride that you would throw her a party.  Things happen.  I also wouldn't be thrilled throwing a party and shelling out money when I couldn't even be there for it.  Just be up front and truthful with your friend and hopefully she is the type of person that will understand that as much as you wanted to throw her a party you just can't.


    ------BOXES------------------

    What she said.

  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited July 2015
    1.  There are no MOH duties besides showing up in the proper attire and being sober enough to walk down an aisle to stand next to your friend on the wedding day.  That's it.  If she has other expectations or wants the picture perfect pinterest shower/wedding, that's of her own doing to have that expectation and to manage the disappointment that will inevitably ensue once she figures out life isn't perfect.  It is not your responsibility to live up to that standard.

    2.  Throwing her a shower is optional.  And anyone can do it - not just a MOH or bridesmaid.  I do believe traditional etiquette frowns upon MOB doing it, but that's a question for another board.  There is nothing stopping any of her other friends from throwing her a shower, except possibly that she may have alienated them all with a year and half of constant wedding talk and unrealistic expectations and there's no one left to throw a shower.  But again, not your responsibility to live up to that expectation if you simply cannot afford to do so.

    3.  It doesn't matter what the question is, the answer is never potluck.  NEVER.

    However, it seems like you've already promised a party.  As I see it, you have two options.

    1.  Reneg on that offer.  Explain that you thought it was do-able, but finances and logistics will not make it possible.  Apologize sincerely and follow the advice above offering to do a bridal party luncheon where you take her out to lunch (hopefully with everyone else in the bridal party) when you're in town.

    2.  ASK if the other bridal party members would want to co-host with you. 

    If they do, and the one who lives in town is willing and able to take on the in-person tasks, then you spend what you can afford.  Host the shower at a non-meal time (say 2pm), buy a cake or cupcakes (if someone has a Costco membership you can get some wicked cheap delicious cake), a fruit tray, a veggie tray, chips and salsa, maybe a meat/cheese/cracker tray if you can swing it - invite however many people can comfortably fit in the home of the person willing to have such a thing in their home (either the in-town bridesmaid or maybe this is where the mom can help out), hit up Party City for some decorations, and have people out the door by 4:30/5:00 to have dinner on their own.  If your friend gets upset at you that you threw the kind of party you could afford and it didn't meet her "perfectionistic ideals", well then she's kind of a crappy friend.

    If no one else is willing to co-host with you, go back to #1. 
    MGP
  • I am sorry you are stressed about this.  But you are under no obligation to host a shower.  Its not a requirement of yours.  Talk to your friend.  She should understand and appreciate how much $$$ you are already spending to be there on her wedding day.  Did she even ask you guys a budget before making you a buy a $200 dress.  And $100 shoes, really!?  Shame on her.
    image

    Anniversary
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited July 2015
    My daughter didn't get a shower.  It was fine.
    My bridal shower was uncomfortable, because it was all my mother's friends, not mine.
    If she is really your friend, she will understand.

    If you still want to give a shower, just order a sheet cake from Sam's Club and serve tea.  Open shower gifts.  Socialize.  No big deal.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Ok, so my friend is a MAJOR perfectionist, and I totally get that this is her wedding so I keep my mouth shut as I am her best friend, so I can accept that I have to listen to her talk about the wedding every day (even though after a year and a half, I am dying for the wedding to be over so we can stop talking about it). Here is my problem though, I am technically the MOH, but not really, I live over 1500 KM away and I was in this wicked demanding school program that made it basically impossible to really be all that helpful except for emotional support, so her mom took over a lot of the stuff I would have done. Oh well, she understands. But now I've agreed to plan a wedding social for her because I thought it was the least I could do, but I am starting to think that it is a huge mistake. 

    1. Distance/ I can't actually be there --- I can't even be in town until about 2 days before the wedding - I won't even be there for the social, so all I can do is plan. What ever, I am wicked introverted so that doesn't really bother me and sadly I have neither the time nor the financial luxury to leave my job for a week for her and she understands. However the problem is that she has 4 bridesmaids, only 1 of whom is in the same town and it means only 1 of us might be there, which seems ridiculous and I think it would be highly unfair to ask 1 girl to host the party alone (even if we all pitch into helping to plan it).

    2. Tight financial situation makes it hard as hell --- I am beginning to realize that this wedding social / shower is a huge financial burden for me, like its ridiculous. I know that my friend has paid for the entire wedding, which is even more, but a few of us (like myself) have recently bought houses, cars, or have a ton of student debt because we are (reasonably) living our own lives and don't really have a lot (or any money) to put into this party. We can only host the thing during the week, which means it'll probably run over dinner, but catering it will probably cost $100+ (for the number of people, it might be a few hundred dollars) so that's not even an option. I thought about telling the guests that it'll be a potluck and to email me with a thing they want to make for it, but I don't want to break some kind of wedding shower etiquette thing by making such a request. However, I cannot pitch out the amount of money for paying for everyone's dinner (my limit is legit maximum $40 to $50) and it'll probably be an issue if I tell a bunch of small town people that "sorry, you're going to have to have dinner very late tonight instead of at 5 pm, but hey, have a cupcake". Even if I could pay out more, I am not going to even be there and I have already spent hundreds of dollars just to be there for her on her special day. As much as I love my friend, I cannot accept any additional financial burdens for this wedding (I already paid about $200 for a dress, $100 for shoes, $500 for plane tickets, I'll probably have to pay another $50+ for nails and hair on the day of, so I simply don't have any more to give as I am broke as hell right now) Like I said, I know her financial burdens for the overall wedding are far higher, but my budget is what it is and I don't know how to tell her or the other bridesmaids that. 

    Ok, so it's stuff like that which is causing problems. The main problem is that I promised my friend that this other bridesmaid and myself would plan something and I don't know what to tell her if that between the distance and the cost, that my promise pretty much means nothing. I am happy to help plan something, and I love planning stuff, but it also seems ridiculously unfair to tell one bridesmaid to host it alone if neither of the remaining 2 girls can be in town. Also, 1 of the bridesmaids is one that my friend is on the outs with  (it's the fiances sister so yeah) and I can't really trust that girl to be remotely useful. So basically, as a result, the financial burden will fall on two of the girls (again, totally unfair)

    I am getting really desperate, I don't want to tell my friend it can't happen. I REALLY need some ideas about how to host a bridal shower in a small town that is on a major budget. 
    The others are correct about it being okay for you to back out of hosting a shower because you can't afford it.  I know that sucks and is an awkward conversation and you don't want to disappoint your friend, but you simply cannot afford it, and that is okay.  What is not okay is having a shower over a meal time and not serving a meal.  That is incredibly rude and inappropriate for any hosted event, not just showers.  If you can't afford to host a meal you need to hold it at a non-meal time, e.g. 2-5 pm or 8-10 pm.  If those times don't work for you, then you don't have the shower.  So you need to think whether you can plan something at a non-meal time and pay for any possible location fee, decorations, and cake and punch at minimum with your $40-$50, which seems unlikely.



  • A shower is a gift, not an obligation. If you can't afford it, don't do it, especially if you can't even be there. And quit comparing your financial burden to your friend's; it is her wedding and she is the one responsible for paying for it, so you shouldn't feel bad about any of it.

    image
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Ok, so my friend is a MAJOR perfectionist, and I totally get that this is her wedding so I keep my mouth shut as I am her best friend, so I can accept that I have to listen to her talk about the wedding every day (even though after a year and a half, I am dying for the wedding to be over so we can stop talking about it). Here is my problem though, I am technically the MOH, but not really, I live over 1500 KM away and I was in this wicked demanding school program that made it basically impossible to really be all that helpful except for emotional support, so her mom took over a lot of the stuff I would have done. Oh well, she understands. But now I've agreed to plan a wedding social for her because I thought it was the least I could do, but I am starting to think that it is a huge mistake. 

    1. Distance/ I can't actually be there --- I can't even be in town until about 2 days before the wedding - I won't even be there for the social, so all I can do is plan. What ever, I am wicked introverted so that doesn't really bother me and sadly I have neither the time nor the financial luxury to leave my job for a week for her and she understands. However the problem is that she has 4 bridesmaids, only 1 of whom is in the same town and it means only 1 of us might be there, which seems ridiculous and I think it would be highly unfair to ask 1 girl to host the party alone (even if we all pitch into helping to plan it).

    2. Tight financial situation makes it hard as hell --- I am beginning to realize that this wedding social / shower is a huge financial burden for me, like its ridiculous. I know that my friend has paid for the entire wedding, which is even more, but a few of us (like myself) have recently bought houses, cars, or have a ton of student debt because we are (reasonably) living our own lives and don't really have a lot (or any money) to put into this party. We can only host the thing during the week, which means it'll probably run over dinner, but catering it will probably cost $100+ (for the number of people, it might be a few hundred dollars) so that's not even an option. I thought about telling the guests that it'll be a potluck and to email me with a thing they want to make for it, but I don't want to break some kind of wedding shower etiquette thing by making such a request. However, I cannot pitch out the amount of money for paying for everyone's dinner (my limit is legit maximum $40 to $50) and it'll probably be an issue if I tell a bunch of small town people that "sorry, you're going to have to have dinner very late tonight instead of at 5 pm, but hey, have a cupcake". Even if I could pay out more, I am not going to even be there and I have already spent hundreds of dollars just to be there for her on her special day. As much as I love my friend, I cannot accept any additional financial burdens for this wedding (I already paid about $200 for a dress, $100 for shoes, $500 for plane tickets, I'll probably have to pay another $50+ for nails and hair on the day of, so I simply don't have any more to give as I am broke as hell right now) Like I said, I know her financial burdens for the overall wedding are far higher, but my budget is what it is and I don't know how to tell her or the other bridesmaids that. 

    Ok, so it's stuff like that which is causing problems. The main problem is that I promised my friend that this other bridesmaid and myself would plan something and I don't know what to tell her if that between the distance and the cost, that my promise pretty much means nothing. I am happy to help plan something, and I love planning stuff, but it also seems ridiculously unfair to tell one bridesmaid to host it alone if neither of the remaining 2 girls can be in town. Also, 1 of the bridesmaids is one that my friend is on the outs with  (it's the fiances sister so yeah) and I can't really trust that girl to be remotely useful. So basically, as a result, the financial burden will fall on two of the girls (again, totally unfair)

    I am getting really desperate, I don't want to tell my friend it can't happen. I REALLY need some ideas about how to host a bridal shower in a small town that is on a major budget. 




    BOXES----------------------------------------------


    "Friend, I know that Sheila and I said that we would throw you a bridal shower, but unfortunately after discussing logistics and finances we just cannot do it.  We love you so much and really want you to do something for you, but a shower is just not possible.  We would love to take you out for a lovely lunch, just you and the other BMs a day or two before your wedding just to catch up and celebrate your upcoming nuptials." (the bolded, of course discuss with the other BMs before saying anything to the bride)

    Look, if you can't throw this party then don't.  Don't put yourself or the other BM in a financial strain just because you told the bride that you would throw her a party.  Things happen.  I also wouldn't be thrilled throwing a party and shelling out money when I couldn't even be there for it.  Just be up front and truthful with your friend and hopefully she is the type of person that will understand that as much as you wanted to throw her a party you just can't.
    _____________________________________

    This!

    Also, stop comparing your costs to what she is spending on the wedding. This is her wedding, not yours. Of course she should be spending more than you! Also, she's spending it because she wants to. That doesn't mean you are obligated to spend anything.
  • I have no idea how you would a host a party you're not even attending.  I would skip hosting all together and just offer to take the bride out for lunch or pedicures or something when you are in town.


    Also, pot luck - Against my better judgement I allowed my family to convince me to host a pot luck shower for my sister.  It was a disaster.  Because there were so many people contributing, I was no longer hostess and there was no organization. So along with the reasons other's have mentioned, from experience just don't put yourself in that situation. 
    image
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