Expanding bridal shower guest list – Please Help!

posted 2 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
1222 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1995

I’d change venues and serve just cake.  There is no way I would pay over $700 to host a bridal shower.  That’s just crazy! 

I would also not host that many people in my house.  That sounds like a mess and a disaster.   

Post # 3
5045 posts
Bee Keeper

Either of those options is fine.  Most showers I’ve gone to have been in people’s homes.  If you don’t want to do that, then maybe a VFW, armory, or community center room you can rent for cheap?

The fact of the matter is, a shower is a gift you are giving.  So yes, you absolutely do have the right to tell her she has to limit her guest count if necessary.  As host, you get to set the limits of that gift – she doesn’t tell you what to give.  This means you get to set the budget, venue, and number of people you can comfortably host.  Her options are to graciously accept what is being offered to her or graciously decline if it is not acceptable to her and wait for someone else to offer to throw a party more to her liking in her honor.

If you want her to make the call instead of making it for her, then simply offer her the two options and ask what she would prefer:

“I can either throw you:

a) A shower at a restaurant with a full meal and up to 20 guests, or 

b) A shower at a park or community center mid-afternoon with cake, punch, and a few nibbles like a veggie and fruit tray for up to 40 guests. 

What would you prefer?”

Just make sure you actually price out your alternative to the restaurant first.  Often having to do things a la carte can quickly add up and be just as expensive.

Post # 5
9102 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
californiadreaming7895 :  I would not give her the idea that she should ask or hint that someone else should throw her a second shower. Just give her the choices that you are willing and able to offer: Restaurant party for strict 20 guests, or at your house with 40 (or however many you can comfortably accommodate). Do not feel guilty.

Post # 6
47445 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Any financial advisor will tell you “Put yourself first”  Do not overextend yourself in hosting a wedding shower. Give her choices you can afford, nothing else.

Post # 7
5045 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
californiadreaming7895 :  I wouldn’t tell her her family should throw her a shower – that is not your place to say, nor is it hers.  But someone in her family can offer if they want.

But you absolutely can put limits on what you are willing to throw.  So if you want to throw an intimate shower at your house or a restaurant, tell her that’s your offer.  If she wants to keep upping the guest list, then tell her your space/budget only allows for X people.  It is not shameful to have a budget.  Sure, it shouldn’t be her concern and she doesn’t need to be intimately aware of the specifics of your budget and bank account – but at the same time she shouldn’t have the expectation that this party compromises your wallet and there is no need for the fact that you don’t have unlimited funds to be a secret.  I’m sure she has a budget for her wedding and is well aware parties cost money – this shouldn’t be a new concept.  So figure out your budget and how many people you can reasonably host or want to host with that budget and offer it.

Post # 8
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - City, State

Is it possible to host it at her house if her house is able to accommodate a larger group of people? My bridal shower was at a restaurant but since my baby shower will be a coed, I told my sister she could do it at my house since I have the largest backyard. She’s still hosting, I don’t have any part of it/won’t be home while they’re setting up etc but it is allievating a lot of cost for her so that they can host the larger guest list. I also prefer not to be surprised so that may or may not be something she’d like but figured I’d put it out there!

Post # 9
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2020

I like the idea of giving the options that are in your budget.  Surely she has to know that adding on multiple people increases costs significantly for you.  Or, maybe she doesn’t so having that conversation about the choices you can pull off would be helpful.  Or – is there potentially another person who is willing to co-host that could share the burden of costs?

Post # 10
5754 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

I think it is absolutely fine to tell her the options, either she has a small guest list in the restaurant or she helps you host it somewhere else if she must have lots of people attending. 

I think spending $700 on someone else’s bridal shower is ridiculous. 

Post # 11
7352 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’ve thrown A LOT Of showers over the years….some modest and some big blowouts that cost a lot!

Here’s what I would do, for starters don’t stress the bride out about it. She likely just wants to make sure everyone on BOTH sides of the family is happy and feels involved.  I also would not go into debt or stretch yourself financially thin over it. If you aren’t interested in scaling back and picking somewhere cheaper and doing food yourself I’d just call Mother-In-Law and talk to her about it.

Let her know that you started planning and booked a venue based on the inital guest list of 20 people because {bride} wanted to keep it small and that’s what you budgeted for,  but the bride has now mentioned she feels as though the entire family would be offended to not be invited and then ask her thoughts. Ask if she wants to contribute to the cost to accommodate inviting all her extended family or if someone in the family wants to host a second shower.

“Hi Mother-In-Law, I wanted to talk to you about {bride’s} shower. The date has been booked for XYZ at {Venue}, and was chosen based on the inital 20 person guest list Bride gave me. Initally she wanted to keep it small but She’s just mentioned she’s now worried the extended family might be upset/offended at not being invited. It’s not in my budget to host more than initally planned for, but I certainly don’t want your extended family to be offended or to feel excluded. Has anyone in your family expressed interest in hosting a second shower or would you be interested in contributing to the current shower to be able to include everyone? “

Personally I’m generally in the camp of “host that you can afford”. That being said when it comes to weddings nothing irritates me more than one person getting stuck footing the bill to include every Tom, Dick & Harry because someone “might be offended”. It’s not reasonable to expect you to shell out for allllll the extended family.

Post # 12
962 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
californiadreaming7895 :  If I were you I would talk to brides mother or future mother in law about pitching into the shower. Chances are they’d be more than happy to kick in a few hundred dollars.


I’m marrying into a Greek family and my Fiance has 19 female first cousins, and I get it – it just adds up quickly and gets hard to cut. See if there’s someone else who can help out financially

Post # 13
104 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

soo I don’t know where you’re from, so I don’t know what the norm may be there but I’ll give you how things work for me. My husband is half italian and I have a few italian frieds, so I’ve been to my fair share of bridal showers hosted for his italian members.  The way it works here amungst italians are that when you receive an invitation to a bridal shower, there is normally a line saying something like “contribution of $60 will cover meal and group gift” therefore, no matter how many people you end up being, this covers more than enough meal wise and for the gifts. So when I had my bridal shower, I think it cost my bridesmaids about 200-250 split amungst 5 of them as opposed to 700$ for one person to absorb.

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