Post # 1
hmmm i am not really sure how to handle this….
my SIL is due in 2 months. since i only have 1 sibling and they insist these will be their only pregnancy, i definitely wanted to do something to honor them. i saw SIL’s mother back in april and she approached me about SIL’s shower. it was presented as “i am throwing SIL a shower if you want to help. I have dates picked out” … i said sure, just let me know what she needed and we left it at that.
a few weeks later i sent her an email asking for a reminder of what date she had chosen for SILs shower and an offer to help again. she replied that since their son was getting married in a few weeks, that was the primary focus. i got an email from her this morning with the final date and location, a restaurant near her home. i wrote back and asked if she might need help with the decorations (getting or making anything), invitations (i am a designer), setting up or finding games etc.
“I could use help with money… anything you and your family can give. The wedding cost us a fortune”
i am…. is flabberghasted too old school of a word to use? by family i am guessing she means my parents/grandparent, but isnt it a little weird for me to ask my grandma for money to fund a shower that i am not throwing…
also i have no idea how much this shower costs and what a fair amount to contribute would be. if i throw her $300 am i paying for half the shower? is that a drop in the bucket? no idea. i always intended to offer her money, but really we cant afford a ton. we are really working on saving for our wedding and i have several expensive textbooks to buy in august for grad classes i am taking.
but money aside, i am really just kind of bummed that i will have no role in this shower at all except financial. i was really looking forward to helping throw a nice shower for SIL because i love her and because i am truly thankful that she is a part of my family.
Post # 3
I think it would be fine (and really important!) for you to set the boundaries you are comfortable with. You say it’s at a restaurant? Since you are also a bride-to-be and a graduate student, she has to understand that you are also cash strapped. Maybe you can pay for a limited portion of the meal – say, the desserts, or you could offer to bring a cake (and then buy an affordable one at a Costco or a grocery store, etc.)
Would something like that be workable?
Another alternative would be to say, “Oh, I wish I could help out. I definitely understand how financially draining weddings can be – I’m in the midst of planning my own! So, unfortunately, I’m really not in a position to contribute financially, but I thought maybe I could help out with the activity side of things, like finding some fun shower games for us to play?”
Post # 4
Just when you think you have heard everything…
I would respond ” I am sorry. there must have been some misunderstanding. Perhaps I should have been more clear in my offer to help with the shower. I am not in a position to offer financial support for the shower you are hosting.I would like to help with decor, planning some games, or providing dessert. Do you still need any help in those areas?”
Post # 5
Yikes. Flat out asking for $ like that is so, what’s the word, tactless?
Did she ever respond to what you actually asked her (re: the invitations, decorations, etc.)? Maybe you can counter back with something like “My family and I are more than happy to contribute. As I mentioned, I can make the invitations, or decorations. Do you have a theme in mind? … ” Or however you want to reply to let her know you’re willing to help with actual things, not just sending her a check.
Post # 6
Yeah, I would not want to donate money for a shower I did not help plan. If a person expects others to help financially, that convo should have happened BEFORE she booked the location.
If you can help with $$, I would shoot her an e-mail about how much you can afford, and tell her if she needs additional help, you can look around for a more affordable venue. You could also offer to do the invites, games, desserts, and a cake then it would save her $$, you get to participate in the way you had originally hoped to.
Post # 7
That is really tacky. she can’t plan the party and treat your family like an ATM or something. like previous posters said, respond and offer to help out in a different capacity.
you can still take your sil and DH out to a nice dinner or buy her a spa package or something. they have pregnant lady ones (forgot the correct term!)
Post # 8
I don’t think its weird to ask your Mom or Grandmother to help out with costs for their son/Grandson’s shower expenses…I’d ask her what she expects the shower to cost and get back to her with what you want to contribute. Is it coming up soon?
Post # 9
Do not offer a dollar amount!
Offer to pay for something that you are comfortable with, like food, or favors, or decor or something. She should not be planning a shower that she cannot afford, and she should absolutely not put the responsibility on you.
“Hi! Sure, I’m happy to take care of the favors and the cake. I feel your pain – weddings sure can get expensive! Please let me know what else I can do to help set up for the shower.”
Post # 10
Can you offer your backyard or offer to make food for the shower, or something? I think a baby shower really can be done quite inexpensively in someone’s home, so hopefully she’s not planning some catered extravaganza that she can’t afford and expecting you and your family to fund it…
Post # 11
@julies1949: I agree with you! Well said.
Post # 14
I would write back offering the services you mentioned to us that you wanted to help with and leave it at that. If she still wants money perhaps you can buy a few small things but I think, even if it is family, that there has got to be a more tactful way to ask for something. A person shouldn’t just be good for money.
Post # 15
Yikes! Just offer your time again and don’t feel obligated to pay for anything you didn’t help plan or contribute to.
Post # 16
@ItWasntMe: Hm–I don’t think this is her SIL as in brother’s wife, it’s her SIL as in fiance’s sister. Am I right OP? So she wouldn’t be asking them to pay for their son/grandson’s baby shower, it would be for the sister of their future son- or grandson-in-law. That’s pretty presumptuous of SIL’s mom, yikes. Good advice from PP’s here. You’re in the right to be uncomfortable with this, OP, SIL’s mom should not have asked for money.