- 12 years ago
I am the Maid/Matron of Honor of a wedding scheduled for next October and I am having concerns about the mounting expenses for the bridal shower. I live in the same city (Boston) as the Bride, and the other 2 of the other bridesmaids live outside of Boston and the remainder live all down the east coast.
The Mother of the Bride lives in Baltimore, and wants the bridesmaids to host BOTH a Boston shower and a Baltimore shower (splitting the costs for both between 8 ways between her and the bridesmaids.) Bride’s Mom also expects all bridesmaids to attend both showers.
This sounds great, but – Now comes the real kicker: Bride wants to invite EVERY woman on her wedding invite list to the shower. It is literally a list of 85+ people to invite to the showers split between the cities (40 something people to be invited to the Boston shower, 30 something to be invited to the Baltimore shower, and 15 to be invited to BOTH.) In my experience, bridal showers have always been more "intimate" with 20 maybe 30 people total at someone’s house, which is easy to do and you can have fun with the themes, etc.
No one in the Boston area can host the shower at their home (I live in a small 1 bedroom apartment that cannot physically hold that many people.) I am scared to "bet" on the fact that some won’t show up (what if they do?) I can’t fit them. The other bridesmaids in the Boston area are in the same boat. So we got quotes from restaurants in the area – they are all coming in at $25 -30 a head (per person, no counting tax and gratuity!) for brunch in a room big enough to hold everyone. The city is expensive, but so are the suburbs. $20 a head is the running rate.
This is simply too much for every bridesmaid’s budget. For example, say Baltimore prices are the same as Boston, and only 60 percent of the invitees show up (that’s a gamble). That would be feeding 51 people at 30 bucks a head (did I mention that the number does NOT include tax and gratuity?) We are looking at $191 bucks a bridesmaid, before we even get out of the barn (this doesn’t include invites, favors, the money the bridesmaids need to spend on the bachlorette party, etc.)
Anyway, several of the bridesmaids have complained to me that this is getting excessive and too expensive, in light of the other expenses associated with the wedding (hotels for Bachlorette weekend, dresses, hotels for the wedding, flying to these events, etc.)
Couple all this with an EXTREMELY pushy Mother of the Bride who personally called me to bitch me out last night about the planning, and how everyone should pay for both showers. She was very angry with me because I got the list of invitees directly from the Bride. She told me I should have gotten it from the groom to keep it a secret (there is no secret here, except for in the MOB’s head… the Bride freakin knows she’s having a shower!) My bad, but really, do you have to yell at me? I was really put off by the woman, who has been BridezillaMom since Day 1 of this this thing.
I think it is excessive to expect your friends to foot the bill for THAT many people in 2 locations. In my opinion, if MOB wants to host something in Baltimore, fine, so be it, but don’t expect us to foot the bill on 2 showers.
So the ettiquette questions are:
1) Are the bridesmaids required to pay for the 2 showers? Also, are we really required to feed (at a restaurant) all these freakin’ people? It’s like throwing half a wedding! The fact of the matter remains: many of us simply cannot do it.
2) How much is too much and how do we deal with this? Prices could go over $300 a bridesmaid, which is just too much for many of the bridesmaids (including myself… I budgeted $600 for the wedding events / dresses and this going to burn through that and then some!) At this point, we are only in the beginning stages of planning with the bridesmaids reaching out to each other over email (we don’t all know each other.)
3) Should we approach the bride about culling down the list (this is a big no no, but good lord! She doesn’t even know half these people!) 85+ people?
4) Suggestions on dealing with money issues between bridesmaids early on? Do I sent an email around to everyone saying "what is our budget" before we start any real planning? Things can escalate out of control quickly!
I really want my friend to have nice shower, but our expectations are completely different (given that she invited 85+ people!)
Any imput would be appreciated. After I got the call from the MOB last night bitching my out and being nasty to me, I almost seriously called up the Bride and said "I quit." That would have been over reacting, I know, but it is seriously how I feel.
Thanks – Stressed in Boston.