People offering to help with bridal shower

I'm throwing a bridal shower for my sister next month. I'm organizing the shower but am holding it at my parents' house because it's bigger. On the invitations, under "hosted by" I put my name and my mother's since it's at her house.

A few of the other bridesmaids (my sister's friend and her fiance's sisters, one of whom cannot attend because she has a newborn) and also her fiance's mother have all asked what they can contribute or do to help. I've been keeping track of all I spend so at the end I can say "I spent $XX on shower expenses, if you'd like to contribute anything toward that" (on my mom's suggestion). I'm wondering what else I should ask? My sister's friend lives locally so I could probably ask her if she wants to get together with me to do favors. I thought of asking if she wants to be put in charge of favors, but since she's not listed as a host I didn't want her to be resentful. I figure anyone close who offers to help, I can also ask them to come over early to help set up. I suppose for the local friend, I can also ask if she'd like to bring a dish. I don't think she's ever been a bridesmaid before and is really excited about the shower/bachelorette party stuff.

I guess I'm just wondering what I can say - especially to fiance's family who are out of town, other than money. And I'd definitely feel weird asking his mother for money. As far as the money thing, I think what I might just do is after the fact, send an e-mail to all the bridesmaids saying how much I spent, and saying that they are under no obligation to contribute but if they wish, they can paypal me or send me a check for whatever amount they feel appropriate.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
I like the phrasing about the financial stuff.

Talk to the other bridesmaids and see what other help they can give. Even out-of town ones can help in some manner other than financial. One or two of them can help you plan games and activities. The local ones can definitely help with favors. You could probably ask someone to help addressing envelopes for thank you cards. If one is crafty at all, have her be in charge of the bow hat/bouquet in advance. Or send her pics of your sis and her fiance to make a photo collage that you will display.
Try to play to everyone's strengths and get creative.
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I like Geeky's suggestions. Play off of their strengths, and see what they can offer. Photos, flowers, decorations...some of those things are easily transported and they can come and help with the set up, too. If they want to think of an easy game, the supplies for those are usually pretty easily transported, too.

What about food? Can you ask them to bring something simple; rolls, crackers and cheese, etc.
I was in a similar situation not too long ago with my sister's bridal shower. I felt weird asking people to give money or pay for stuff but at the same time I wanted to make sure the bridesmaids felt like they were contributing or part of the planning.
As the matron of honor and host, I kind of planned to end up picking up most of the tab but I did email all the bridesmaids with the info on the details of the shower, where, when, ideas for food, favors, etc and then just asked for their opinions or if anyone had anything they wanted to do/contribute.

It worked out well, one of the girls volunteered to get the cake and favors, another one volunteered to get balloons and decorations, and another one who is out of work and strapped for cash right now volunteered to help set up and clean up.
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Great ideas - thank you ladies. I wrote back to the groom's mom and told her that she and groom's sister could come early to set up if they'd like and that I might be making a photo collage and maybe she could send me some baby/kid pictures of the groom. I wrote back to the local friend and asked if she wanted to get together to make favors (and maybe she can help with the collage too) and said that she too could come early to set up if she wanted.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
If I was one of the bridal party, I would have an issue with the hosts on the invitation being listed as you and your mom and then being asked for money. You really should have given them some of the credit if you plan on asking them to foot the bill.
**guano***

and please don't take this as any type of snarkiness towards you pixie...

but I've always been told that family should not give a bridal shower, and showers are only thrown for the first marriage in my area. Is this just a regional thing? Just curious.

/end guano
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poodlehead
Ah, it all makes sense now. Goldy is the puppet master!
**guano***

and please don't take this as any type of snarkiness towards you pixie...

but I've always been told that family should not give a bridal shower, and showers are only thrown for the first marriage in my area. Is this just a regional thing? Just curious.

/end guano
Originally Posted by goldy
Not a regional thing. I'm aware that it's kind of gauche, but there wasn't really any way around it without being a bi+ch to my sister. Everyone who's been invited seems excited about it and is not acting like they think it's inappropriate. If they do, they don't need to attend. I certainly won't be offended.

RCW, I'm not asking anyone to contribute money. But some of them have asked if they can contribute, so I see no reason why I shouldn't just let them know that they can IF they want. Plus, the invitations didn't have enough room to write out EVERYONE'S names and at that point none of the others had really jumped in to help with planning.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
Wow, you're lucky to have the help! I just threw a shower 6 days after my grandma's funeral, and the only person who volunteered to help is someone who's not even a bridesmaid. And she was amazing - provided the location, and helped me a TON. She printed the invitations for me, too, after I took advantage of the wedding invitation stuffing party to stuff envelopes.

I think your idea of how to handle it sounds really great. You're not telling them "no, you can't help!" but you're not making it harder on yourself just so they can feel useful, either.
The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
-Speckla

But at least the pews never attend yoga!
**guano***

and please don't take this as any type of snarkiness towards you pixie...

but I've always been told that family should not give a bridal shower, and showers are only thrown for the first marriage in my area. Is this just a regional thing? Just curious.

/end guano
Originally Posted by goldy

I think in this day in age the only rule is that the recipient not give herself a party. I have had friends and family give me showers before. Even my own sisters gave me my baby shower.
IC - I think it's definitely more common in this day and age for mothers/sisters to host showers (bridal or baby). Especially because a lot of women live away from their hometown, so the mother's house is often a central location.

It is my sister's 2nd wedding, which I think is the more controversial part about this. It is her fiance's first wedding, which is why (or at least the reason they're giving) they are having a more traditional wedding instead of something tiny and informal.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy

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