Post # 1
I’m one of 6 bridesmaids in my sister-in-law’s wedding in a few months. Her Maid/Matron of Honor is hosting the bridal shower at a nice venue and has asking the bridesmaids for opinions here and there, but has handled all the planning taking little help. I have offered to help purchase some decor and make food/desserts to contribute, but I’ve also known the bride the least compared to the other 5. I emailed the Maid/Matron of Honor asking if there was anything else I could do last night, just being polite, and she messaged me back asking me to inform her how much the stuff I had purchased cost because she’s going to add it to total cost of the shower and will let all 6 bridesmaids & 2 moms know what the split every owes is “soon.”
I’m really conflicted. I thought etiquette was whoever hosts the shower pays for it. If I had known I would be responsible for a portion of the shower, I would have liked more say in how expensive the venue was, etc. I’m surprised that just weeks before the shower after months of planning she’s telling everyone this. I read etiquette was that it was rude to ask guests to contribute when they’re already bringing a gift.
The bride just stood up in my wedding a few months ago. She is extremely cheap and did not offer to contribute a cent to my bridal shower or bachelorette party, which is fine with me since my MOHs planned & paid for both events without complaint…isn’t that a responsibility you just accept when you become someone’s MOH? The bride has had lofty requests for her shower & bachelorette party since of course the she isn’t expected to pay anything, but it all hardly seems fair. I informed another bridesmaid, my other sister-in-law, about the expectation to pay and she is shocked it’s being thrown on us last minute and says she’s not paying a cent. Do I say something? Do I just keep quiet and fork over the money? My husband (his sister is the bride) says I’m not to pay a cent because the bride contributed no help to my wedding or events…I just don’t want to come across as a bitch.
Post # 3
I think the host should discuss budget with anyone who is contributing PRIOR to planning anything, and then planning an event in accordance with what everyone’s budget will allow.
If the host decides to throw a grander affair than the contributors are able to afford, then she should cover the gap.
Post # 4
The wedding party pays and hosts the shower and bachelorette. The Maid/Matron of Honor should have had you guys more involved in the planning though
Post # 5
I agree with PP, however, I believe it is the responsibility of the entire bridal party to split the cost of the shower. I also agree that the planning should have been a joint effort, when other people’s money is involved all people SHOULD have a say in where things are held and how much is comfortable for each person to spend.
Perhaps you should give what is comfortable for you and say “I’m sorry I’m not able to contribute more, I would have let you know what my limitations were if we had discussed this at an earlier point”.
It’s up to you how you handle it…you have to live with the decision you make. I wouldn’t make a decision out of spite or do what your sister-in-law did ESPECIALLY if you think she was in the wrong. In My Humble Opinion if you decide to withold funds for her shower, you give up your right to hold it against her for not paying for your events because you will have done the same to her.
Post # 6
@lastlastfirst: If she was expecting you to help pay for anything (as in, hand over cash and not just “you get the dessert”) then she should have asked what your budget was and worked within that.
We all know what the Maid/Matron of Honor should have done. As for what you should do…this is what I would do:
“HI Becky, I spent my entire budget for the shower on the decorations and other items you asked me to get. I didn’t realize that the cost of the venue and food was being split amongst everyone or I could have utilized my budget differently.”
If you are willing to spend a bit more money or the decorations are returnable, you could add something like:
“I spent all but $30 of my budget on the decorations, so I can contribute that to the venue/food.” or “The decorations are returnable if you think the money would be better used on the venue/food.”
Also, I would bring up the bachelorette party right away. Ask what the expected budget was so you could get an idea of how much you will need to save up. If they say $300 and you can only afford $100, then say that.
No one can dictate how you spend your money but you.
Post # 7
If the expectation from the start of planning the bridal shower was that we were to all cover a portion of the total cost, then that’d be one thing because I think we’d all expect that we should have had a say in the planning then too. But she handled everything so who were we to think we’d be given the bill at the end of it? I wouldn’t not pay in spite of my sister-in-law not contributing to my wedding events because no one asked her to contribute. My Maid/Matron of Honor graciously planned and footed the bill for my shower and bachelorette party, just like I did for her wedding when I was her Maid/Matron of Honor the year before.
Post # 8
Thanks, you rock! You helped outline the situation and now I think I know what I’ll do.
Post # 9
I have never been in a wedding party where the Maid/Matron of Honor just paid for everything, that would just be way too much money for one person. I think you should have just assumed you were sharing costs, and I don’t think itll be that much if there are 6 bridesmaids, 1 Maid/Matron of Honor and 2 mothers splitting it.
Post # 10
Maid/Matron of Honor is out of line. If she planned on everyone chipping in she should have communicated that from the get go, she been spending what she wants and yet she doesn’t know other peoples budget.
I would consult with other bridesmaids and see if they know she planning on doing this, then I would send a poliltely worded email, let her know that you weren’t expecting this cost and that you made a budget for the wedding and would not be able to afford anything. Tell her those items you purchased are you contribution to the wedding shower and because you didn’t have notice you can’t afford to pay anymore.
If MOh was planning on splitting the cost she should have been dicussing budget and not making any final choices before talking to everyone.
Post # 11
Yes, the host generally pays but typically the bridal party does split the costs. But then again, that would be because they’re co-hosting it together. However, you’re right in thinking that if you’re splitting costs you should have a say in the planning. I’d be pretty ticked off in this situation. She should have informed you from the beginning. If people are putting in money, they need to be aware of and okay with the costs upfront.
I would maybe consider giving what you are comfortable with (whatever that $ amount is) and telling her since she didn’t include you in planning or give you any advance notice that is all you will be able to contribute. I would tell her if she had bothered to include you in planning or discussed it earlier this whole situation could have been avoided.
Post # 12
@lastlastfirst: generally, before plans are made, the host committee is decided and budget is discussed. Once you have those two decided, THEN you start making concrete plans.
It is generally accepted in my circles that the bridesmaids are the hostesses, and hence contribute to the throwing of the party. However, I informed my sister/bridesmaid that I don’t want a party that people can’t afford, and that if she wants to throw something out of my other bridesmaids’ budgets, then to find other ways for them to contribute.
When I’ve been involved in hosting parties, there are times that I’ve been the go-getter and planned the whole thing paying for everything except the meal out myself. I’ve hosted showers with a group of people where we all contributed the same amount. I’ve hosted showers where we all said what we were comfortable contributing and then made plans from there with no judgement about who contributed more/less.
I’m still shocked that so many people on the Bee think that it’s okay to just plan and then inform the group how much they owe without gathering that information beforehand.
Post # 13
Sometimes the entire party hosts and splits and sometimes just the Maid/Matron of Honor does, it really depends. Her major faux pas here was as you said, doing whatever she wanted and then at the last moment dropping the bomb on you and the other girls (who may or may not even know yet) that she’s planning to have you all split the cost. If she had planned to do that then she should have been involving everyone from the get go and made sure the cost was affordable.
For now I would wait and see what she says about the cost per person. If it’s outrageous, then I’d tactfully explain to her that you would have preferred to be involved in the planning as you and everyone else has a budget to stick to, etc etc… But I wouldn’t start anything before knowing what she’s going to come up withd. Frankly if it’s 40 bucks a person it’s reasonable to pay it. If it’s 100+, then that’s a bit out there.
ETA: The only time I ever did what I wanted and just gave the price to everyoe at the end, was when everyone said they were going to split the cost, but no one could bother to plan, give ideas, or even give opinions on plans I had already come up with! So then I just did whatever and gave them all the bill basically. Even then the total was 50 per person and that included some bachelorette party stuff too.
Post # 14
@lastlastfirst: Obviously the Maid/Matron of Honor should have let you all know about splitting the cost of the shower, so you could have had more say budget wise. However, she didn’t. I would just wait and see what the price is that she says you “owe”. I know that I am the type that wouldn’t want to piss anyone off, so if she quotes you $50 or $100, is it really worth the potential drama? However, if its something extravagant, I would then say, “I didnt know we were splitting the costs, etc.”.
If it is 6 bridesmaids, plus Maid/Matron of Honor and 2 moms, thats 9 people. So even if the cost was $900, it would be $100 each. Again, I just wouldn’t want the drama that could potentially happen from the situation.
Post # 15
I would simply tell them that you budgeted X amount of dollars to help out with the shower and that’s all you will be spending.
Post # 16
Bridesmaids are not required to pitch in with the costs of a wedding shower. The Maid/Matron of Honor decided to do it. If she wanted people to pay with her, she should have set that expectation in the beginning. At this point you can see what she comes back with after the costs have been split. If it works for you, fine. Otherwise tell her what you’re comfortable contributing, seeing how you weren’t made aware it would be an expectation, and be done. They can’t force more out of you.