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Bible for Avoiding Everlasting Damnation by Jeanne
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I am a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding next month. I don't
know any of the other bridesmaids in the wedding party. I was invited to a
bridal shower that the bride's future sister-in-law is hosting. To my
shock, today (the day before the shower), I receive a phone call form the maid
of honor, whom I have never met, telling me that the hostess of the shower
expects each bridesmaid to chip in $55.00 for the shower.
"Is this to go towards a large gift for the bride?"
I ask. This would be fine with me; I could return my gift and help pay for
something that the bride and groom would really want and need. "No... It's
to help cover the cost of food and rentals. She wants each bridesmaid to
pay the same amount. I know, it'll be hard for me, too, I'm a poor college
student," the maid of honor replies.
Now let me take a minute to explain here my financial
situation. My husband was in an accident a few months ago in which he was
riding his bicycle home from work and got hit by a car. He broke his hand
and needed surgery to fix it. Consequently, he's been out of work since.
I've been working as hard as I can trying to keep our finances straight, but as
it is, we're pretty much living paycheck to paycheck. We're newlyweds
ourselves and both in college.
Now, last year, for my bridal shower, some ladies from my
church all brought a dish to pass and someone picked wildflowers from her garden
for centerpieces. The favors were homemade soaps and the shower was held
right at church for free. It was so lovely. And didn't have to cost
a lot at all!
Now, my beef here is that the hostess doesn't even know me,
she invited me to the shower as her guest, and now wants me to pay $55 dollars?
Maybe $10 would have been OK, but $55.00?? This, after buying a dress,
shoes, and paying $50 for a bachelorette party? No way. Maybe, just
maybe, if she would have asked me several weeks ago so I could save and plan,
but expecting (not asking) the day before the shower? Excuse me, but
that's just rude. I know the bride would have been thrilled with a shower
that cost less.
So I asked the maid of honor for the hostess' phone number.
I called her personally to explain my situation. Her reaction was utterly
amazing; "What's that? Oh. I see. Goodbye," as she hung up
on me. What the heck?
Is it just me? Or is this just scandalous?
I have a nomination for a bridezilla that needs to burn
in e-hell. I somehow got roped into being a bridesmaid and then co-hosting
a bridal shower for a girl I really didn’t know that well. The Zilla was
a coworker that apparently didn’t have enough friends to fill up her bridal
party. Zilla’s SIL was my co-host at the bridal shower (a faux pas in
and of itself).
The following were all problems that I had with the bridal
The date – ‘Zilla and her SIL picked the date and sent out
some of the invitations without running the date past me first to see if I was
free. One of my good friends was getting married on the date that they
picked. Luckily, it was an evening wedding close by where the shower was
being held in the afternoon, so I was able to make both but it was tight and it
seemed like they could have run it past me first.
The sheer number of invitees - One of my assigned duties was
to send out half of the invitations. Zilla gave me a list of names and
addresses. There were almost 40 names on the list, and I only had half of
it!!!! I have been to weddings that were smaller than 80 people.
When I expressed my concern that I could not pay for half of a party involving
80 people, she soothed me by stating that most of the people would not come, it
was just so that they knew to send a present!!!! Upon further inspection
of the names and addresses, it occurred to me that many of them were going to
people who lived out of state and half way across the country. When I
suggested that perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to send them to people who
would almost certainly not be able to make it, she responded “That’s the way
we do it in my family. They’d be offended if we didn’t send them an
invite.” Okaaaaaaay. I think she literally had me invite EVERYONE
that she and her mother could think of. After the initial list, names kept
trickling in to me of people that they’d just thought of, and I would often
get a little biography on who the person was. Included on the invitee list
were her mother’s insurance agent, a lady that had once sold Zilla a car (the
invite was sent c/o the car dealership) and Zilla’s dentist. Also, it
was obvious to me that Zilla hadn’t spoken to some of these people for quite
some time – many of the invites came back to me for having incorrect
(presumably out of date) addresses.
The Registry – She made me include those awful little gift
registry cards that the stores give out in all of the invitations. At this
point I didn’t even bother to argue, I just rolled my eyes and went with it.
It runs in the family – On the day of the bridal shower, we set the food up
buffet style. Zilla’s 87 year old grandma is in a wheel chair so I asked
her if I could make her a plate. Zilla’s aunt (who is perfectly able
bodied) overheard and demanded (yes, “demanded”, not “requested”) that I
make her a plate as well. Fine. But then for the rest of the party,
she would interrupt me in conversations with people or whatever else I was doing
to ask for a refill on her drink, or a little bit more of something to eat, or
whatever in a very bossy tone of voice. While I firmly believe in being a
good hostess, this woman really started to get under my skin after a while.
No thank you’s – I never received a thank you note for
either my gift or my time/money spent on the bridal shower.
When I got married, my mother threw a fit over the fact that
my best friend was going to throw me a small bridal shower because she didn't
think I deserved it. My best friend still threw the shower and we had a great
time. Fast forward six months and my sister is getting married and
our mother decides to throw her a HUGE bridal shower. We're talking well over a
hundred people, renting out a country club, extensive expensive menu to choose
from, almost entire wall of presents, flowers professionally arranged...You name
it, she got it. At first I was pretty jealous at everything she was getting
until I noticed the groom's side of the family. To this expensively catered
event, they had brought brown bags full of their own food and made loud comments
on how horrible the catered food was, they just knew they would have to bring
their own. I'm sorry, but after the way my family treated my bridal
shower, I thought this was hilarious!
I recently received a bridal shower invitation to be
given only two weeks before the wedding. I guess that isn't so bad BUT
hold on. At he bottom of the invitation which is printed on a full 8x 11
sheet of paper there is an itinerary listed which states as follows:
12:30-1:30 Bridal Shower
1:30- 3:30 Adult Romance Party (SURPRISE) for the bride.
Please bring cash to purchase items you may want to buy.
Luckily because of the lateness of the invite I have previous
In the early 1980's, I was a new college graduate working in
the financial department of a defense contractor. I had a long-time
boyfriend, my own small apartment, and a LOT of college loans. After
working at this place for about a year, my boyfriend and I decided to move in
together to save money, especially for a wedding. My dysfunctional parents
had been able but unwilling to help me out with college and I wasn't about to
let them brag about paying for a wedding. Six months later, we became
formally engaged and set a date about 7 months away. We'd have about 125
guests and serve them a cold buffet at a local restaurant. Not fancy, but
they'd have food and soft drinks with cake and a champagne toast.
Back then, unmarried lovers openly living together was considered pretty bad,
and I began to get the reputation for being a full blown slut! This was
really funny to me, as I was in fact generally quite conservative in my
clothing, lifestyle, and general behavior. In fact, I'd only kissed four
other guys before my fiancé. Women in the office were openly having
sexual relationships with men both in and out of the office, in one case a
married man, but for some people because I LIVED with my boyfriend I was Slut#1!
Most of my friends from college had moved on to other areas
for work and I lived away from my family which included my MOH, so I
realized that I was unlikely to have a shower. I also realized that in
that time, living with my boyfriend meant that I'd be giving up some of the
traditions of weddings, and I'd just have to lump it. Besides, in my
family showers were casual events for local family and friends. Inviting
someone from more than an hour or maybe two drive away was ridiculous.
Then, about a month before my wedding, my coworkers announced that they were
throwing me a work shower. Hurrah! About two months earlier, one
woman had given another a beautiful traditional baby shower, complete with a
lovely dinner and cake. I could hardly wait! As this was a
work shower, my coworkers assured me that the guest list would be work people.
Everyone in my department was invited to the wedding, so I relaxed.
It would start at 6:30 at someone's home. (Hey, dinner must be included!)
I'd been a typical young bride, sharing the details of my wedding with my work
friends, and so I thought they had an idea of my taste. I was just
grateful, anyway, for their efforts.
That evening went like this: No decorations of any kind.
No dinner, just chips and salsa. Over half of the guests were people from
other departments that I did not know (and who were certainly not invited to the
wedding). A late arrival came in and handed my hostesses "her
share" of the money. No games or activities seemed scheduled. I
opened my gifts. It was all stuff like edible underwear, erotic lotion,
and "toys." The cake was a standard grocery store cake covered
with chocolate penises. Finally, the entertainment everyone had chipped in
for arrived: a male stripper. I was MORTIFIED. Other than my fiancé,
I'd never seen a man in even as little as a Speedo! Little ole'
conservative me was having a SLUT SHOWER! I smiled and was as
gracious as possible As soon as I could, I left. Yes, I did send
thank-you notes, though I hated having to write "thanks for the crotchless
panties." The gifts were deposited in the dumpster as soon as
possible. I eventually concluded that this was all just thoughtlessness,
not spite, but it ruined any chance of a long-term friendship with any of those
women. I had a job change right after my wedding and was never happier to
leave people behind!
My brother is getting married (his second) to a woman named
Fiona. We were sitting around the table one afternoon talking, and I mentioned
that I would love to give here a party, if it was alright with her. She
said that would be great, but she only wanted an announcement party and the
reception. Since I was obviously not going to host their wedding
reception, I said I would love to give their announcement party, and she said
that would be fine.
Fast forward 4 months, to September. She originally said
she wanted her party in November, so I sent her an email asking her to make a
guest list when she had a moment, so I could begin planning based on the number
of guests. She actually sent me an email back asking “How many people can your
house hold?”. I replied that the number of people invited was not important to
me, and I could plan a lovely party on my budget no matter how many people she
wanted to include. I just wanted to plan for the appropriate number.
Several weeks later (at my daughter’s birthday party!) they
corner me and say that one of my brother’s friend’s wives also wants to give
the announcement party and they don’t know what to do! I told them I
wasn’t comfortable giving a party with someone I didn’t know, so they needed
to decide what they wanted. It took me nearly half an hour to extricate
myself from this conversation, and they never told me what they decided. I
called my brother later and offered to bow out and just buy them a gift with the
money I would have spent on the party.
Still no decision.
Another few days goes by, and I called again to see what was
going on. It turns out, my FSIL has decided she does want another party
after all, and has assigned this task to me. Without asking. I tried
every which way from Sunday to make her understand that I originally asked to
give the announcement party because that’s what I wanted to do, not this other
shower. I ended up calling my brother later, when I knew she wouldn’t be
there, to explain that I wasn’t giving another shower.
I thought when someone offers to give you a party, that it is
an honor, and you don’t get to change your mind later just because a better
offer comes along! If that had been me when I got married, I never would
have told my FSILs “no” in favor of some guy’s wife!
Although the shower hasn't happened yet, it's already got me
worried that a Bridezilla may show up. My best friend, K, is getting
married early September 2008. Her FH is English, she is Australian. They
currently live in the UK, but the wedding is in Australia, so everything is
being planned via email and international phone calls. She first
mentioned her shower in December 2007, which the other BM and I thought was
a little early, but if K wants to suggest things then that was fine.
We haven't started any planning yet, so we just take note of her suggestions and
think about them closer to the date. Other BM and I both live
in City A, the town we all grew up in, and where K's parents still live. There
are many places that hold day spas (K's suggestion) and most of them are
reasonably priced. Oh no, local spas are not good enough. K wants us
to fly or drive 750km to Capital City for a weekend spa. Bearing in mind that K
will not be returning to Australia for the wedding until a couple of weeks
beforehand and the wedding is being held five hours from City A, so we would
essentially have to go down to Capital City and back in one weekend and then
turn around and practically go all the way there again the next weekend for the
wedding. We haven't told her yet that we won't be planning anything
outside City A, especially anything that involves a 1500km round trip just
for a facial! Especially as only 2 people who will be involved in the shower
live outside City A.
K also had one more request for her shower. That when we send
the invites, we wait until the last minute to send one to her friend R. R and K
have a stormy relationship over the years, but K is godmother to one of R's kids
and feels that she should be invited.
The reason for the last minute invite? She wants her
invited, but late enough that she won't be able to come! In my own
selfish little mind, I'm thinking of agreeing with K to send the invite late. R
and I have never gotten along, mostly because I don't agree with her lifestyle
and the way she treats K. In fact, the other BM and I threatened to quit if R
was made part of the wedding party. Luckily, K agreed that R would
be to unreliable to be a BM and didn't ask her. But I'm still waiting to see
what she pulls at the shower!
I received a very nice printed invitation to a bridal shower
that was to take place at a local restaurant approximately six weeks before the
wedding date. The shower was hosted by the bride. "Guests"
paid for their own meals at the shower, and chipped in to pay for the bride's
meal. Two weeks later, the wedding invitations were mailed. That's
when I discovered that I wasn't invited to the wedding!
I still wonder whether the shower gift served as some sort of
audition for the wedding gift. Perhaps my shower gift indicated that I
could not be relied on to give the happy couple a suitably expensive
I was getting married in April 2002. My co-workers decided
that it would be nice if they threw a shower for me. I did make it known that I
do not like surprise parties, etc because I really do not like being the center
of attention and I am shy and self conscious (however I was getting married
which makes me the center of attention - go figure). For some reason I figured
out that they were planning a shower for me but I did not know when. So the day
of my shower came and a co-worker also a friend asked me to go back to the break
room. Then I knew they were having my shower. I attempted to flee the building
but I reluctantly agreed to go back to break room. I was not very enthusiastic
about the whole thing. Some of my co-workers got ticked off at me and if the
roles were reversed I think I would be ticked off as well. My boss then yelled
at me for being childish and ungrateful. (However, she should talk because she
is the queen of etiquette faux pas).
At the time I felt very hurt because I did not want a shower
and I felt very uncomfortable. But I have realized that the proper thing for me
to do would have been to suck it up and act gracious. So basically I would like
to apologize to everyone for acting like a donkey and I really appreciate what
you all did for me.
My co-worker and I were invited to another co-worker's bridal
shower. "Chloe" sent us emails privately and asked that we keep it
"hush-hush" so that non-invited co-workers wouldn't feel snubbed.
Neither of us had been invited to the wedding and we both considered politely
declining, but in the interest of maintaining workplace harmony, we accepted.
Chloe enjoys the finer things in life, so we both feared that
her gift expectations would be high. Together we purchased a fine crystal vase.
It was out of each of our price ranges, but splitting the cost made it
When we arrived at the bridal shower, something seemed amiss.
None of Chloe's family or future in-laws were present. It was just a handful of
past and present co-workers and acquaintances, NONE of whom were invited to the
The hostess (also not invited to the wedding) was a lovely
woman who used to work in our office. There was a lovely spread of sandwiches
and desserts all made by the hostess herself. The woman was a saint and we all
felt warmly welcome in her tiny apartment.
The bride-to-be opened her gifts while another perplexed
co-worker took notes so that "Thank You" cards could be sent (which,
to Chloe's credit, were sent promptly and each was personalized and
handwritten). Most of the gifts were modest. No one had been informed of a
registry and few workplace acquaintances felt comfortable bringing lavish gifts.
Chloe oohed and aahed about her gifts, often exclaiming "I've been looking
for one of these!" even for items she didn't correctly identify.
Throughout, guests exchanged uneasy glances because it was all
so surreal. A few games were played to celebrate the bride-to-be and we all went
We learned later that there were, in fact, three bridal
showers. Each was a "tiered" event. We were in the bottom tier:
workplace friends and assorted acquaintances. The next tier was friends and
family. That shower was a more formal reception at her MOH's house followed by
cocktails at a trendy venue. The third tier was a bridal shower for her
"posh" friends and acquaintances (her own family didn't make that cut
and we learned through a mutual acquaintance that most of the top-tier invitees
had declined because they barely knew the bride to be). It was held at an
expensive restaurant where guests would have to pay their own tabs, generally
$120 per person. But all this was "hush-hush" and I wasn't supposed to
know about any of it.
At work, I asked Chloe how the wedding preparations were
going. "Oh, we haven't set a date yet." She answered. "We've been
so busy with all our engagement parties!" Retroactively, all the bridal
showers had become "engagement parties" (with gifts).
The actual wedding ceremony ended up being over a year later.
It was a tiny event at the courthouse with only immediate family members, so
virtually none of the guests from the bridal sho--"engagement parties"
In all honesty, we don't believe the intent was a "gift
grab". Chloe just really enjoys the spotlight. We think the logic of the
tiered events were so that lower income acquaintances wouldn't be burdened by
the costs of expensive venues or embarrassed by more expensive gifts from the
"upper tiers". Chloe has a good heart, but she's pretty loopy.
Page Last Updated October 11, 2008