Post # 1
Hi everyone – i need some advice!
I have a friend who has asked me to be Maid/Matron of Honor & I am honored! Of course I accepted. However two little snags have come up –
My bm dress is over $200 – I know that might not be too expensive to some, but I don’t make a lot of money.She recently asked me if I still wanted to be in the wedding because I hadn’t put any cash down on the dress, I said yes, but I didn’t have $200 on me to buy it right now as Fiance and I are trying to buy a house. (They are also kind of off/on so I wanted to wait until closer to the time because the dress is non-returnable…) She did drop it eventually after requesting that I “take care of it soon please.”
The other thing is her bridal shower. I was thinking of trying to give her a shower/tea party kind of thing as opposed to having a big bachlorette for her – but I’d more like to host 10 – 15 close people to her. She has some friends that I dislike big time, but I know the day is about her and not me, so I am willing to invite these people too. The only problem is that when I offered to host her a shower for her baby, she invited 60 people and I was shocked to get a 3 page guest list. I had told her 20 people, and she kept saying “I already told these people they could come though, they wanted to come” so I said I was sorry but I had to ask for some monetary help if I was hosting 60 and I didn’t get any so I stepped out of hosting the shower.
I’m really sorry this is so long but I was just wondering if anyone has any advice for me? Should I host something? What is your opinion on this? Thanks!
Post # 3
You have my sympathy, my dear. I am not a big fan of the showy self-aggrandizing wedding, let alone of the mass cast-of-thousands shower. And while I may frequently spend $200 on a dress-length of fabric or a good suit, I despise the thought of girls dropping something that significant on a dress that is not of their choosing, generally in poor taste, and not really able to be worn again. My ideal of the sweet sincere wedding involves a bevy of maids in their existing Sunday best, or at least in a coordinating set of cocktail dresses in their own favourite and flattering colours and styles. And I find the notion of everyone hopping into a plane for Las Vegas and a multi-night “bachelorette” at the maids’ expense, all the way over the top. A traditional bridal shower, the kind that is actually tolerated by formal traditional etiquette, is exactly what you are proposiing: a handful to a dozen close intimate friends gathered for tea in the parlour.
Traditional formal etiquette tolerates the shower, but it does not demand it. So you do not have to give a shower if you do not want to. But since you do want to, but just not to have it hijacked and turned overboard, I recommend you do give one. Just do it as a mature and confident adult:
- Do NOT ask the bride for her guest-list. As hostess, you are in control of the guestlist, not her. Invite only people who, to your knowledge, are so close to the bride that a) she must certainly be planning to invite them to the wedding and b) who would actively WANT to shower her with gifts even if she were not inviting them to her wedding.
- Tell the bride you are planning a shower, and ask her if she is available on that date. Tell her the details such as the actual venue will be a surprise. That way she can’t invite anyone else.
- Get together with the other people who will be at the shower to coordinate on decorations and refreshments. Tea and cakes in your parlour should be quite economical — and usually the other guests offer to bring something too. A proper shower is an upside-down entertainment with ten-to-fifteen hostesses and only one true guest, the bride. So it is quite acceptable for the other people who are coming to help out with the arrangements.
- Compromise with the other co-hostesses. Since a traditional shower is a small informal event where the bride’s closest peers pitch in to make it come together, and share costs, you also have to share responsibility and authority.
As for the dress, you need to be sure that the shop will still have it available when you are able to put your money down. If you are the only maid, or if your dress as Maid of Honour is substantially different from the other maids’, you should talk to the bride and see if she would consider a less costly dress for you. If not, you need to talk to the shopkeeper and find out when is the last date at which the order can be placed, and start making incremental payments toward it. Or, if the dress is a sticking point for her and the $200 is a sticking point for you, let the lady know now that you cannot come up to scratch so she can pick a richer maid of honour. I would be apalled to think I had chosen a two-hundred-dollar dress over my best friend, but then I would be ashamed to burden anyone, best friend or not, with a bill like that. Different value-systems for different people…
Post # 4
@aspasia475: Thhank you so much for your kind and detailed reply! This subject has truly been haunting me absolutely more than necessary lately and how refreshing to hear an opinion other than those of my biased friends. I am so grateful for your tips also. The more I think about it the more my stomach turns at the thought of It actually. I am quite certain that my friends bridal party would not be interested in financially supporting a shower for her however so things need to be kept so simple and economical if I am the one footing the bill for everything. I see now why I was the only person whom offered to do anything for her. Anyways I am certain everything will work out and I most certainly will follow your lovely advice. Thanks again for all your help!
Post # 5
@brittandkelly: I would say that she did wrong by telling 60 women they can go to her bridal shower. You are right by telling her how many you could host. I would say back to her, “I’m sorry, but 20 is really all I am able to host for you.” Plus people don’t just go to a shwoer unless they get a real invitation.
I would ask for the names/addresses of those 20 people she wants to invite though. I threw a baby shower for my sister and I would have no clude who she’d want there, but I did tell her my max #.
I agree with above, don’t share the details about the shower, just ask if she’s around that date/time. The more you talk about it the emore she’ll interject.
As of now, are you off the hook for hosting? You know showers aren’t really required, so if you are not up for doing a shower withint your limits (which is very kind of you), you really don’t have to do it!
Post # 6
@sienna76: Thank you so much for the advice! I agree she did wrong, my fi said that it seemed like she was honestly just oblivious to that being a little rude. I think you and the pp are both spot on about keeping details discreet- I feel certain that I would be taken advantage of if I left the chance available. Actually, hearing the honest advice of you and the pp had started to get to me… The more I realize how I am getting taken advantage of, the less it makes me want to do any type of shower for her. And actually it questions our friendship now also…. But anyways thank you so much for your help! You were great, and as for me not having to do it, I think I might just not after all.