The upside down Christmas tree is a new one for me, too. I thought perhaps the family was getting it out of the way or something. It's really interesting there is history and some tradition as to why it's hung in that way.
My fiancÚ's sister is getting married in August, only three months after our wedding. There are six of us in the bridal party -- the bride's best friend, her sister, myself, and three other "friends." Everyone in the bridal party is either recently married or will be married within a year. The bride's sister called the other day to update me on the shower details. We were in hysterics! Mind you, the wedding is over five months away -- and I have not even had my own shower yet -- but the groom and two of the bridesmaids (of the aforementioned "friends") had decided that time was running short, and took it upon themselves to finalize the shower details without telling the MOH!
The groom and one of the maids had called a few reception halls and had been told that everything was fully booked in June and July. This is hardly surprising, considering that the type of places they were looking at are usually reserved for WEDDINGS, not bridal showers. They did not bother to call small restaurants, inns, or the like, or ask about a brunch or lunchtime party. Rather, they decided that this was a desperate situation, and settled for the first reception hall that was available...at a cost of about $30 per guest. The groom signed the contract, and left it to the bridesmaids to inform the rest of us. They called the MOH to let her know that, not only had they chosen the site, but also bought the invitations and planned the favors! They also informed her that they would pay for the invitations and some of the favors, but not the reception hall. You see, they could not afford it since they were getting married themselves, the first one in November! Needless to say, the rest of us were shocked.
The MOH and the bride's sister confronted the other maids, and they finally agreed to make a few minor changes to the invitations and consider other options for the favors. However, a nonrefundable deposit had been placed on the reception hall, so we could not change the location. We are now going to split the cost six ways, though this will still be much more expensive than most of us had anticipated. With our wedding only two months away, my fiancÚ and I can hardly afford to pay a few hundred dollars for the shower! It turns out that this was actually the groom's decision -- he wanted the bride to have a certain "caliber" wedding, and would not settle for less than a four-course meal. This means that the shower should be comparable to the wedding itself, which will cost them nearly $200 a plate. If he were paying for it, this would be fine, but this is a girls-only affair, so we are left with the bill ... and a whole lot of frustration.
I don't know if I'm missing something in the story, because for I find it so mind-boggling the part of "the groom signed the contract" and the part of "we are left with the bill" didn't make a connection with the LW and the rest of the bridesmaids. Did they feel they had to pay for the shower because it was a "girls-only affair"? Or on the groom's say so? Or thought if they didn't it'd make waves?
This was all the groom's choosing, for he wanted what he deemed best for his bride, which was nice, but then shouldn't leave others to pay for it, unless everyone's in complete, without a doubt agreement all around. The BMs should have gotten together, say each contributing $30 (which was averaged per guest) plus a little extra to cover the bride, then have the groom, aka the decision maker / contract signer, to come up with the rest.