Post # 1
Hi bees! Having a little bit of a dilemma and not sure if/how I should handle it. I’m a Bridesmaid or Best Man and the shower is quickly approaching. The problem is that I’m not sure who’s hosting it. The bride chose the date, booked the venue, picked the food and theme, and bought decorations. The Maid/Matron of Honor is really close to her and is very involved, along with her mom and family. The other BMs and I have been updated on the shower but no one has asked us to host it, or allowed us to be a part of the planning other than confirming that we like what they’ve already decided.
The shower is 100+ people and has a lot of components. She just requested that we come help label and mail the invitations soon. I’m concerned that we’re going to find out when we do that that we’re hosting.
I’m older and the only one that’s been in a wedding before. Do you think I should privately reach out to the Maid/Matron of Honor ahead of time in a helpful way and ask her so we can all plan accordingly?
I know if I don’t say something ahead of time we all might get surprised with a ‘bill’ and a list of responsibilities. I honestly don’t mind helping and contributing but from what I’ve seen, the cost is going to be really high and I don’t think it’s fair to require us to host and pay for it when we haven’t been asked to as of 6 weeks ahead of time. Her answer may not be what I want and that’s okay, but is it worth saying something for my peace of mind? By the way, I can’t in good conscience say that I can’t afford it.
Post # 3
Generally, if you plan, you pay. However, the bride and Mother typically don’t host the shower, it’s thought to be poor etiquette. i do have some Italian friends whose mothers were very involved with the shower so it could be a cultural difference. I would definitely ask the Maid/Matron of Honor. It’s not fair at all to plan something and expecting someone to pay without consulting them about their budget first. Let us know what happens!
Post # 4
I would speak with the Maid/Matron of Honor as soon as possible to clarify what her expectations are.
Post # 5
It’s up to the bride’s close friends to offer to organize and throw a shower, but it is voluntary, not an obligation. If you haven’t offered to host, been involved in the planning or been asked to co-host, you aren’t hosting.
Nobody can bill you without your permission.
Post # 6
@Callie_Starr – I don’t think the bride and MOB are planning on hosting – I get the impression that they are planning it and expecting us to play host and pay for it. I don’t think it’s good etiquette for either of them to be involved but I want her to have the nice day she wants so I’m fine with overlooking that part. I tend to be overly conservative on etiquette and am trying to loosen up a little 🙂
Thanks for the input, ladies! I wanted some un-biased thoughts :). I’ve gotten advice to do the same from those close to me but they know that the bride was in my wedding and planned my shower…then said she couldn’t afford to contribute anything after the fact. I found out much later. Adds salt to the wound.
I’m still really nervous to talk to the Maid/Matron of Honor for fear that it will come off wrong but I think it’s the right thing to do for all of the bridesmaids. I will let you know how it goes!
Post # 7
@kms2122: Under the circumstances, I especially can’t imagine the bride expects anything from you. I would not say anything to Maid/Matron of Honor unless I was prepared to offer my help.
Post # 8
My mother planned and paid for my shower. However, the invitations said ‘hosted by the bridesmaids’ because my mom felt it was improper for them not to be ‘hosts’. I don’t think my mom even asked the bridesmaids if they wanted to host it, she just put them on the invites. I stayed out of it all!
I can’t imagine you will be presented with a bill!
Post # 9
Post # 10
I’m in a super similar predicament. I’m a bridesmaid in my sister-in-law’s wedding and her Maid/Matron of Honor has been planning the bridal shower for months at the requests of the bride’s lofty expectations (expensive venue, etc.) The bridesmaids haven’t really had a say in planning, but the Maid/Matron of Honor has filled us all in on things here and there. I offered to pick up decorations and such to contribute. The Maid/Matron of Honor just messaged me last night (6 weeks prior to the shower) and asked how much I paid for stuff because she’s going to add it to the total cost that will be divided between the bridesmaids and moms. I’m in complete shock she didn’t let anyone know these expectations. If I had known I would have liked more of a say in the planning. I can’t really say I can’t afford it, but it goes against etiquette in my opinion and it’s rude to ask guests to contribute when they’re already bringing a gift. To add to the situation, the bride was just a bridesmaid in my wedding a few months ago. She is very cheap and did not offer to help or contribute to my shower or bachelorette events, so I almost feel like I owe her nothing. When you become a Maid/Matron of Honor, don’t you just assume responsibility of planning and paying for the shower and bachelorette party unless someone else willingly offers?
Post # 11
If you are hosting, you would know. If you aren’t hosting, you have no responsibilities.
If the Bridesmaids are expected to contribute funds to the shower, it’s the first responsibility of the person organizing to consulted each ‘Maid to find out what they can/want to contribute. Then the planner knows her budget. You establish a budget first, then plan. Not plan, then bill out of the blue.
An unexpected bill? If that’s what happens, I’d be pissed!
Post # 12
@kms2122: It sounds like the bride is hosting her own shower, which is impolite, but not as impolite as planning her own shower and then sending other people the bill! I really hope THAT is not the plan, but this sounds like a shitshow in the making.
I think you should definitely talk to the Maid/Matron of Honor right away and nip this in the bud. I might say something along the lines of, “I would love to contribute to the shower in some way. Can I give you $X to help with the expenses?”
With $X being whatever number you are comfortable contributing. Of course, if you don’t want to contribute anything (which is 100% ok, btw), you will need a different approach.
Post # 13
I would definitely ask the Maid/Matron of Honor right away.
Also, just because you can afford something, doesn’t mean that someone else can tell you how to spend your money. That $1000 she may ask for could be used for a vacation, a down payment on a new car, or retirement. Just because you have the money in the bank does not mean that you have to fork it over for a party you didn’t plan.
Fiance and I have a combined income that is a heck of a lot more than most of our friends, but do you want to know what our monthly budget is? $2000. We live on $2000 a month including all bills, fun money (vacations/clothes), going out to dinner, and minor car repairs. We are saving everything else for a house. I am not willing to take half of OUR monthly budget and spend it on a party. Do I have plenty of money in my savings account? Hell yes I do, but that is for a house, not a party.
Post # 14
@lastlastfirst: If someone has the nerve to ask, you can have just as much nerve to say no. You don’t have to pretend its about finances. Just say, I’m sorry i’m not comfortable with how this was handled or I’m sorry that won’t be possible. Period.
Post # 15
@thenewmrsmax: It’s so funny that you offered this information because that’s exactly, almost to the penny, how my husband and I are! He has a new business and even though we make good money and have a nice car, we owe way more in taxes than most people, have to pay our own health insurance, etc. We keep our expenses really low so we have a safety net, not so that we can pay for other people’s parties. We also lived off of my savings for two years while things got off the ground. You really never know other people’s situations and you’re right – just because I have it doesn’t mean someone else is entitled to spend it. Thanks for the close-to-home advice.
Post # 16
Thanks for all of the advice. I think I’m actually going to take @weddingmaven‘s advice. If I approach it now, I’m basically volunteering for the job. If I wait and see how it plays out, I may be pleasantly surprised or I can at least say – hey, I was planning on helping you out with $X contribution anyway so I’m happy to give you that much towards the bill but since I wasn’t consulted, I’m not comfortable paying more than that. At least she won’t be able to say that I knew and agreed to it by default.
@lastlastfirst – I drafted a positive and tactful message to send to the Maid/Matron of Honor which a few people, including another Bridesmaid or Best Man, thought was great. If you’d like me to PM it to you to use in your situation, just let me know and I’m happy to!