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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 shower:

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:

12:00-12:30 Lunch 
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 obligations!


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 wedding gift?



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 reasonable.

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 wedding.

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 home.

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" were invited.

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