Is it just me?

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CCforever Posts : 33 Registered: 7/25/07
Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 9:15 AM

Some of these etiquette rules just totally baffle me.

I just read in a post below that etiquette says the MOB is not supposed to host the bridal shower. This is not meant to bash the posters who cited that rule, but, in a practical sense, that makes no sense to me at all.

I have been a MOH three times, and each of those times, I co-hosted the shower with the MOB. Being that I am still in my 20s, work in a profession that I love but is notorious for paying low salaries, and have a mortgage to pay, I could have never afforded to pay for any of these showers by myself. Nor did I feel comfortable hitting up the other bridesmaids to help me. (They were all in similar financial situations and, in most cases, were not anywhere near as close to the bride as I was.) None of these showers were hosted at a restaurant, catering hall, etc. I just helped supply food, alcohol, and decorations to host these parties at someone's home.

The MOBs, in all cases, were in a much better financial position to help out with this. I never asked a single one of them to help host; they all volunteered. Not to mention, I paid for as much as I could afford to pay. None of the MOBs benefit from the gifts their daughters got.

I'm sure I'm not the only MOH or BM who has been in this position. In situations like this, wouldn't it make sense to examine the practicality of these rules instead of feeling like you "have" to follow them?

Being someone's wedding shouldn't be about spending money you can't afford to spend. It should be about supporting someone you live during an extremely important time in their life. That's what I did to the best of my ability. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation for myself and others is that there is a financial limit to that ability.

Sorry if I sound frustrated about this, but I really feel there needs to be wiggle room for stuff like this in "etiquette."


Apollo and Starbuck forever

 Oh yeah, Kate and Sawyer, too :-)

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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 9:22 AM Go to message in response to: CCforever

I completely agree with you. I can understand SOME etiquette "rules" when they make sense, but this one about the Mom of the Bride not throwing a Shower makes absolutely NO SENSE to me; and therefore I didnt follow it and believe me, NOONE that came to my Shower even knew this was a "rule." My mom planned my Bridal Shower, and I find it ridiculous that anyone would think thats "wrong" or a "gift grab." Seriously, it makes little sense to me. A shower is for gifts, thats the whole point of it... and why does it matter who throws it? I am my parents only daughter, and it was sort of my moms dream to do that for me. She really wanted to do it, and it was beautiful! Plus I have been to MANY other Showers where the mom threw it, or the mom and aunt...mom and sister, whatever. I honestly think that SOME etiquette rules are made to be broken, and this is one of them. Personally, I take etiquette stuff with a grain of salt, and only use the ones that make some sort of sense to me. The others, I dont worry too much about. Its 2007, and some of these "rules" were literally created hundreds of years ago, and they just dont apply to todays world.

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xNikkiHeartsMikex Posts : 341 Registered: 2/19/07
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 9:30 AM Go to message in response to: CCforever

Some etiquette I whole-heartedly disagree with.

This is one of the instances- some people have mostly family that they turn to and not a lot of friends. I am one of those people- I keep my distance with most people except like, perhaps TWO best friends, and then everyone else is family. How are my "friends" going to host a shower for me when my best friend is my own mother and my other "friends" I hardly see and are broke? I think that people view these parties too much in terms of, "The Bride getting gifts" and in a way I understand why the rule was made but I disagree with it on the basis that not all brides are greedy little bridezillas. I want a Bridal shower not for a new toaster or something, but so I can be showered with love and support by my family. God forbid my mother wants to make sure I enjoy one of the most traditional parties associated with weddings, just because other people always think of it in terms of gift-giving and money rather than the emotional significance!

There are a lot of other things that people I think can be overly anal about. For instance, we're going to make a wedding website with a "registry info" tab, in case our friends/family want to see what we've registered for. Our invites are going to have the website on it with just a little blurb about extra information being available there. A girl I work with insists that this is just TERRIBLE etiquette on my part, but frankly, our family is so fractured/spread out across the US that my mother isn't going to be having tea with every guest who may want registry information and will have the perfect chance to drop in, "By the way, they've registered at Williams Sonoma!". 


 

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Guest
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 9:32 AM Go to message in response to: CCforever

Of all the weddings I've been in the BM and MOH never helped with the showers.  All of my friends moms or aunts planned the shower.  My stepmom, stepsister (also MOH) and grandma are planning my shower - which is tomorrow!  I don't get that etiquette rule at all either.  It doesn't make sense.  I feel bad enough my stepmom is paying money for a shower, I would feel bad my friends who are just starting out on their own would have to pay for a shower.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with a mom planning a shower.


 

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LochNessie Posts : 1,631 Registered: 4/2/07
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 9:36 AM Go to message in response to: kelleyiskelley

I agree completely, Kelley.  My mother has already expressed interested in co-hosting my bridal shower with my MOH, since she's 1) still in college, 2) strapped for cash and 3) she lives 9 hours away.  My other BM is my FSIL and she'll be 17 when we get married.  Not exactly financially able to contribute to a shower.  So I say, frig the rules.  That's right: Frig 'em.

-Ness 


 

And when you say forever can't you see you've already captured me. - Mae

Good luck, Gorgeous Go-Getters! 

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seadreamer Posts : 522 Registered: 6/8/07
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 9:48 AM Go to message in response to: LochNessie

I see everyones point regarding the MOB hosting or co-hosting the shower because the BM's are strapped for cash.  But also please remember the most important thing, a shower is a  unnecessary party. 

Everyone here sounds like their mom's wanted to do the shower, which is cool.  I think most ettiquete sticklers really get going when it comes to the MOB being left no choice but to do it. 

It is one of those ettiquete rules that needs to be broken sometimes, or evolved with the time.

Good Luck to All!

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 9:48 AM Go to message in response to: LochNessie

I think that in most cases, it's perfectly fine for a mom to host a shower. Are there really many people who know and care about that particular etiquette rule?


DaisypathWedding Ticker

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Bride2008 Posts : 3,058 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 10:01 AM Go to message in response to: CCforever

I see no problem with a MOB (or MOG for that matter) helping out with or even planning a shower. I know my mother is paying for the shower to take strain off my bridal party, although they will be the official hostesses. To some it is an unnecessary party, true. But in some families though, brides don't have anything to build a new home with and the family or friends happily get together to help her out.

 

"I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." - Billy Crystal, When Harry met Sally 


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MisOctober Posts : 167 Registered: 5/2/07
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 10:15 AM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

I agree with everyone as well. I was the MOH in my best friends TWO days before Christmas wedding! So I was def. strapped for cash. Not only was it around Christmas time, but I was still in college, only working on the weekends, I was SO thankful that the brides Aunt offered to pay for the food, which was a HUGE help. I did however pay for most of everything else, with little help from the BM's but I couldn't imagine having to pay a couple more hundred dollars to the caterer!! It really puts a load on young MOH's...even not as young MOH's......

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 10:36 AM Go to message in response to: CCforever

Dear CC,

I can tell you the rationale behind the rule that relatives should not host a shower.

Let's say the couple gets married, and finds they need certain items for their household that are beyond their budget. Where would they, naturally, go for help? Their families. Parents, mostly, then siblings and other relatives would be "obliged" (note that is in quotes) to help furnish the new household.

Thus, if a relative hosts a shower, that relative is saying "Come and give presents to my daughter/sister/niece so later when she needs more things, it will cost me less."

A friend is not obliged to help out like that.

I know this makes little sense these days when people get married after having established independence from their parents, and are fully immersed in careers.

However, it makes as much sense as a father "giving away" a bride, modestly veiled, when in reality the couple already have a couple of kids. That groom has seen a lot more than just the lady's face!

I understand the dilemma of a MOH living on a poor student's income, and the MOB having the bucks to fund the party. The classic solution to that situation is for the MOB to fund the party as a Silent Partner. The MOH sends out the invitations in her name, and collects the RSVPs. The MOB quietly pays the bills for the food, decor, games, etc.

I certainly know that many showers are given by the bride's mother, and that is the norm in many areas. It's not an Etiquette Felony.

If possible, I would prefer seeing the shower given by a non-relative. If not possible, then "oh well".

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Guest
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 11:01 AM Go to message in response to: CCforever

My mom planned and hosted my bridal shower with my little sister who was my MOH.  My sister was 19 when I got married and had never been to a bridal shower, let alone planned one, and my other BMs live in other states, so my mom did it with my sister.  She loved it and was really happy to do it.  She was really glad to do something so special with me and everyone had a fabulous time.  I think there is definitely wiggle room in this one, especially since everyone knows how close I am with my mother.

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blndsnbrdr Posts : 131 Registered: 9/3/07
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 11:43 AM Go to message in response to: CCforever

I agree, these ettiqute rules are insane!  Who hosts the shower doesn't really make the big of a difference to me.  If I'm invited to a shower hosted by the mothers or by the BMS, it wouldn't make any difference to me.

Its also crazy to see how much people are worried about what other people think of their wedding and such.  Its their wedding, it can be their way.  As long as they are at least considerate and not rude about what they are doing then it shouldn't matter if Aunt Betsy doesn't like the fact you are not having a seating chart or if FMIL is upset you don't have a grooms cake...etc.

Some of the posts (and replies) on here make me afraid to have a wedding!


 

 

"We fit together pefectly, like two puzzle pieces...puzzle pieces you have to pour water on and pound together" -Chris (FH)

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 12:43 PM Go to message in response to: blndsnbrdr

Dear BlN,

"Its also crazy to see how much people are worried about what other people think of their wedding and such.  Its their wedding, it can be their way.  As long as they are at least considerate and not rude about what they are doing then it shouldn't matter if Aunt Betsy doesn't like the fact you are not having a seating chart or if FMIL is upset you don't have a grooms cake...etc."

Let me address this.

When some decision you make only affects you, then you can do what you want. For example, if you have a tattoo and you get a dress that shows the tattoo, don't worry what others think. It's your body, your dress, your tattoo.

On the other hand, you have to be very careful (as you said) with thing that affect other people. Let's take your example of Aunt Betsy griping about no seating chart.

If you are having a relatively small wedding, where tables can be easily found, then so what if you don't have a seating chart. But, Aunt Betsy may have attended another wedding with a large number of guests and corresponding large number of tables. Without a seating chart, guests were wandering around the room, looking for their table. That would be confusing, and detract from the guest's enjoyment of the event. Thus, now that Aunt Betsy's niece is planning her wedding, she says "Don't make the same mistake that other bride did. Make a seating chart so people can beeline to their proper table, instead of wandering around the room peering, in dim light, at table numbers and place cards."

Your other example of the FMIL and the groom's cake could be thought of as follows. The main wedding cake has some ingredient that various guests cannot or will not eat. (Wheat? Sugar? Animal products? Non-kosher?)

So, FMIL, knowing there will be a group of guests who cannot eat the main cake, may suggest a separate, smaller groom's cake be prepared that those health-challenged folks can eat.

Since that has an immediate affect on the enjoyment of the guests, I think that might be a reasonable request.

If, on the other hand, FMIL is just butting into the wedding planning, then she can be told, politely, to butt out. 

Back to the original question. If a shower is given in a gift-grabby spirit, then a guest with a limited budget would be impacted negatively. By some people's definitions, a shower given by a relative is gift-grabby for reasons I described above.

But, if the shower is given by a non-obliged friend, then it is less gift-grabby and more of a fun party with gifts. The invited guest might feel more comfortable about attending, even if they could not afford an elaborate gift.

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 12:49 PM Go to message in response to: CCforever

Yeah, I know. I posted that "rule" about mothers, but those of you who know me know that there are many "rules" that I do not follow. Nonetheless, it's always good to know what those rules are, so when you decide to break them, it's an educated decision. As I've said over and over again here, if you let kindness, consideration, and graciousness guide your decisions, you probably will not go wrong. For the record, my daughter's future MIL and the groom's sister (a bridesmaid) hosted hers, and nobody was surprised or offended.

myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Is it just me?
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 1:18 PM Go to message in response to: myra

The thing about etiquette, too, is that it is frequently regional.

Officially, my MOH hosted my shower.  In reality, and everyone there knew it, my stepmother planned much of it.  No one would have considered this unusual in the least, because in everyone's mind, a shower is, essentially, a gift grab.  And within my family's circle, that's perfectly okay.  I wouldn't think twice about going to a shower hosted by a parent. 

My attitude toward etiquette is to know it, but essentially you can pick the rules that will and won't work for you and your guests.  Like myra said, if you let kindness, consideration, and graciousness guide your decisions, you probably will not go wrong.


_______________________________________________________
Marriage is our last, best chance to grow up. - Joseph Barth

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