Post # 1
This is my first time as a Maid/Matron of Honor and the only other weddings I’ve been in have been for my two older sisters, so I am feeling a little out of my depth :/
Its been my experience as part of a large extended family full of girls that the bridesmaids/MOH are involved in the shower, but the bride’s mother and family have always hosted it. Its always been more of a family affair and I’ve never known otherwise.
As Maid/Matron of Honor for my best friend, I’ve been in touch with her mom via email and no one has come right out and said it plainly, but I’ve worded things to suggest that she’ll be planning it primarily and I will be right there with her helping, but not hosting on my own. I feel especially uncomfortable hosting because:
A) I think they will be inviting alot of people
B) I will not know any of the people invited aside from the bride and her mother
C) I don’t feel comfortable spending alot of money for a party for people I have never met, especially since I really can’t afford it. Maybe that sounds petty, but its the truth.
I am more than happy to contribute to the party and help as much as possible. I want to be very involved but at the same time, hosting it myself makes me very uncomfortable and I just can’t help but feel that it should be something her mom calls the shots on. Am I crazy? Is it totally unacceptable for me to not host it on my own? Feeling very conflicted! Help!
Post # 3
My mom and aunts threw my bridal shower. they didn’t ask for any lathing monetary from my bridesmaids, either. just had them show up early to help. I would talk to the bride and her mother so you know exactly what is expected of you and what their ideas are. You don’t want to have zero communication over what seems to be a kind of large party. Good luck!
Post # 4
Every wedding I haev been in, and it’s a few, the Maid/Matron of Honor takes the lead in planning and the Bridesmaids help plan as well. For my shower my Maid/Matron of Honor and bridesmaids are planning it and my mother is helping them as well, but I think really its all up to wedding party to host and plan.
Post # 5
Although the mother may have the shower at her home, and help with the expenses, it is not good etiquette for the close family of the bride to actually “host” a shower. It is impolite to say ” Come to a party for my daughter, the bride, and bring gifts.”
I encourage you to be totally open in any discussions wiht the Mom and the BM’s about what you and the BM’s can afford. Not every bride is going to have the type of bridal shower you read about on Martha Stewart or Pinterest. There are lovely showers held every day in someone’s home.
If the bride’s Mom’s ideas are too grandiose for your budget, you could always host a shower for her girlfiriends and let someone from her more distant family or the FIL’s host a larger shower for family members.
Post # 6
As another poster said, traditionally it isn’t “proper” for the mother of the bride to host the shower. in my experience usually it is the bridesmaids who host the shower, sometimes along with the help of some other female relatives.
Post # 7
I don’t feel comfortable spending alot of money for a party for people I have never met
You would be throwing the party for the bride, not the guests. You need to talk to her mom.
Post # 8
Agree with julies1949: (Reply # 4) —> THIS
Post # 9
Unfortunately for me, the bride and her mom are very difficult to communicate with about this stuff. Her mom’s mom (her grandma) is very ill and hospitalized (prognosis is not good), and the bride is in grad school with a crazy schedule (we rarely even talk on the phone and I’m lucky to see her once every 6 months). The BMs have all been very helpful with planning the bachelorette and offering to help with the bridal shower, if not a little over zealous (apparently, its unacceptable to just go out to bars anymore).
I guess I’m just feeling conflicted because I grew up with it being handled by family, which I don’t think is bad etiquette- a bridal shower is a bridal shower no matter who is hosting it, everyone knows you’re supposed to bring a gift and I can’t imagine someone thinking of the family hosting it in terms of present mongering. I’m going to help her mom and contribute as much as I can, but I’m not going to leave it to fall solely on my shoulders.
When in doubt, W.W.M.S.D? (what would Martha Stewart do?) Therefore, I quote from her weddings website: “Traditionally, family members didn’t host showers (for fear of looking like gift-grubbers), but these days anyone can take the lead. After all, with many attendees living in different cities, gathering in your hometown where your mom knows the lay of the land might make the most sense.”
Post # 10
@Brideonabudgetlauren: the party will certainly be in honor of the bride, but I would have to provide food and beverage for at least 30 people was more what I was getting at.
Post # 11
@JemmyGee: thanks! Thats what my family and extended family have always done so I’m being thrown a little bit for a loop here! Nice to know we’re not the only ones!
Post # 12
Where I live, its normally the mother who hosts the shower. I know this is looked down upon in other parts of the country, but its very common here. They are usually thrown in nice restaurants or bars, so its usually more expensive than bridesmaids would normally spend.
Post # 13
My Maid/Matron of Honor is planning my bridal shower and bachelorette party but I’m going to be invloved. She totally doesn’t have a problem with this as she knows I’m OCD about certain things and I enjoy planning stuff and making sure everything looks perfect. My cousin kind of did this with her shower (she helped her Maid/Matron of Honor get everything stet up) and I didn’t see anything wrong with it.
Post # 14
In my experience, mothers host the shower along with the bridesmaids. I know that is not the norm everywhere though.
As far as the bridal shower, there should be no expectation that you will host a shower. Although it would be nice, it is not required simply because you are the Maid/Matron of Honor or a bridesmaid. No one is entitled to a bridal shower. I am assuming you are already spending significant sums of money on a dress for the wedding, traveling expenses, hair, makeup, etc. If you don’t have additional money to host the event, that is completely understandable.
I would suggest contacting the bride’s mother and, instead of tip-toeing around the issue come right out with it. Tell her that you would love to help in any way possible with the set-up/prep/planning for the shower if they decide to host it but financially you just can’t swing hosting the shower yourself. If you can donate some money, great, but I would offer a specific sum of money that you are comfortable with after the planning has began.
I’m sure you are a lovely friend and I’m sure it’s hard for you to not meet the bride’s expectations but if you don’t come out with it and let the mom know you won’t be hosting, she may assume you are going to and then no shower will actually occur.
Post # 15
another great Martha Stewart Weddings quote on the subject: “But as events get less traditional and more elaborate, people other than the bridesmaids and family friends are playing host. Today, the bride’s mother and sisters — even the groom’s mother — throw showers.”
Post # 16
@reebs83: very helpful! thank you for reminding me that I am not a horrible person for all of this!