(Closed) HELP! Asking Guests to Pay at Bridal Shower?? (Hosting at Restaurant)

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
13577 posts
Honey Beekeeper

You are correct. The host pays. It would exceptionally inappropriate to ask invited guests to cover their own costs. The one and only exception would have been if a larger group was co-hosting and planning together, which is not the case here. 

This is true for any invitation, and certainly for an event that is by definition about giving gifts. 

There’s nothing regional about this, By The Way. The principles of hospitality are universal. Host what you can afford. 

ETA Showers are optional and hosting one is totally voluntary. You can’t invoice the rest of the bridal party no matter where the event is held.

Post # 3
859 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I firmly think that if they are invited to a hosted event, guests shouldn’t be expected to pay anything more than their personal travel expenses. Especially in the context of a gift-giving event, I don’t think guests should have to shell out even more. 

Post # 4
30393 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

What weddingmaven said.

Have you and the other Maid/Matron of Honor asked the bridesmaids if they are interetsed in hosting the shower with the two of you? If so, you would be able to share the costs, but you would also need to let them have input into the planning.

If the two MOH’s are hosting, the two of you cover all expenses related to the shower. If you can’t afford to have it at a tea room, have it at an airbnb.

Post # 5
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Yeah I believe since the etiquette is for guests to provide a gift, they shouldn’t be asked to pay for anything else. 

A tea party would actually be VERY easy to do at someone’s house. Is it possible to host the event at her mother’s house, or her FMIL’s? If not I second the PP’s advice of renting an Airbnb and hosting the event there. All you need is a bunch of finger sandwiches, doilies, several types of tea, and cute china cups/plates. You’re set!

In all honesty, there are loads of blog entries or articles about high tea bridal showers hosted at home. Plenty of places to get inspiration. 

Post # 7
4895 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
mariedaniels :  I think it would not be wise to ask for guests to pay towards their meal. I also think that you should host what you and the other Maid/Matron of Honor can afford. If the bride wants something in particular that is over budget then they can take their expectations down a notch or put in from their own pocket.

Have you thought if hosting a high tea at someone’s home or at a pavilion in a park. A few nice decorations and some finger sandwiches, scones, tea cakes etc on lovely platters and some cheap old fashioned floral tea cups from a second hand/antiques store could be a lovely but cheaper option.

If you do decide to go the pay your own way route for guests… 

With hens nights/bachelorettes in Australia it is common to put the cost on the invites along with bank details. The guests transfer the cash into the nominated account, for the nominated activity. If you don’t pay, your place isn’t booked.  

However the above method is generally never done for showers/kitchen teas here in Australia. These are always hosted by the brides family or bridesmaids. They are also home parties. The hens/bachelorette is the only time money is requested to pay for activities as a guest. The general rule is if you are expected to bring a gift to celebrate the event, you shouldn’t have to pay to attend….

Post # 8
450 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

I agree with PP’s-the hosts pay.

What if you did the shower on “off” hours? Like 1pm-4pm? As long as it’s not over a meal time, you could save costs by just providing appetizers instead of a whole meal. Just make sure the shower ends well before dinner time!!

Post # 10
523 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I do not think it’s right to ask a guest at a party to cover their own food. I feel if you’re hosting you’re resposible for picking up the tab.

I understand the bride wants a tea theme, so if you can’t afford to cover for everyone I wsould suggest trying to have it at someones homes. As a bride I would not want my BMs spending a ton of money on something like this. I think you could put together a lovely high tea at someones home,  or even a small banquet hall(like at a church, hotel, or community center) for much less. Tea and finger foods are easy to DIY. 

I think it really all boils down to what you and th other host are willing to spend. If somewhere is too expensive or you feel the price is unreasonable you have the right say so. Bridal showers are not required events, so I feel the price point should be on your terms. 

Post # 11
5891 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

Hosts pay, guests do not. This is why so many showers are held at home, with the hosts paying for catering, etc. You can’t ask the guests to pay for their meal.  Tacky tacky tacky. 

Post # 12
464 posts
Helper bee

I have never been to a shower where the host(s) did not pay. I find it so bizarre that the other Maid/Matron of Honor thinks asking guests to pay is in any way appropriate. It sounds like she has never hosted an event like this before! 

Post # 13
1519 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I have paid for hens functions but never for bridal or baby showers, because the expectation is that you bring a gift. I do not usually gift for hens nights, maybe something very small, but would not be offended at being asked to contribute to costs as they are usually held at restaurants or bars. I think hosting the bridal shower at someone’s home, setting a budget and working within that budget is the best idea.

Post # 14
2792 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Agreed with the others. However your OP reads like you and the other Maid/Matron of Honor are planning this party and then planning to basically tell the rest of the BMs, “hey you owe us $XXX” which is very inappropriate as well. If you want them to help host ask if they’d be interested in doing so. If they say yes ask them how much they can afford to contribute and plan something with that budget in mind. 

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