How many parties is to many??

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mrsj2011 Posts : 31 Registered: 10/21/08
How many parties is to many??
Posted: Apr 15, 2010 7:57 AM

I am looking for some opinions on this. Here is the background trying not to make it to long. I am my best friends MOH. I am throwing her the bridal shower and bachlorette party. I finally got her guest list last week and it has over 70 people on it. To me this was alot for a bridal shower I was thinking only her close family and friends but this has every girl on her side of the family plus all her friends and anyone who has children that are girls are invited. So trying to do what I can I am planning on throwing a party for all these people, and she mentioned her family expects it to be catered. Now Im not getting any help from her family for this but the other bridesmaids will be helping out. Then for her bachlorette party she told me she wants to do wine tasting and then out to a comedy club. again the girls said they will pay their own way for this but wine tasting around here gets to be expensive. She had text me awhile ago saying her finance wants me to throw her a lingerer party, I was a little shocked and she prob took the text as are you serious. I get an email from another bridesmaid today and she says the groom text her and wants her to throw the bride the lingerer party. She continues on saying we should have another girls night rent some hotel rooms and throw the lingerer party then. First I was going to ask he girls in the bridal party to get that for her at the shower knowing she wanted some lingerer(just got the list so have not told them any plans yet). Maybe Im being selfish but Im thinking about how much money I am already going to be spending on the bridal shower, I will be paying more because not everyone will have enough to split it all up they are contributing what they can and I didnt expect them to even do that so I appericate it greatly. Then for the bachlorette party I will be paying for mine and the brides night out. Plus then all the other basic bridemaids stuff which I have no problem and already planned on doing. Im just thinking that it was rude of the groom to ask someone to throw that party for her when we are all going to be doing the rest and many of these girls are also from out of town and will be paying for transportation.

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: How many parties is to many??
Posted: Apr 15, 2010 8:31 AM Go to message in response to: mrsj2011

You're right - it's pretty presumptuous of the groom to ask you to throw another party. It's also pretty presumptuous of the bride to give you a huge guest list (and mention that 'her family expects it to be catered' WTF?) for the shower without consulting you on budget, as you're the one paying. And while her idea for the BP sounds fun, again, it's not really fair of her to tell you what to plan, as it's YOU who has to shell out the money for all of this. Now, how to deal with all of this?

Bachelorette Party - First off, I would take her suggestions as what they are - suggestions. Then put your own spin on them. Instead of attending a wine tasting (which can certainly be pricey), why not start the party with a wine tasting at someone's house? I have parties like this all the time - simply ask each guest to bring a bottle of their favorite wine (or something that they've never tried before). You can be as casual or as fancy with it as you'd like. It might be fun to make little score cards so you can rate each type of wine and make notes on your favorites. Put together a cheese platter or serve your favorite snacks to go with it. Heck, you can even combine the wine tasting and lingerie party if you want to - that way, you'll only pay for refreshments once. If everybody is on board with the cost, then by all means, do it at a hotel. Get a suite or something - preferably close to the comedy club, which will eliminate transportation costs and the need for a DD. If you do not live close to the comedy club or get a hotel room nearby, don't feel like you have to get a limo or anything. I've been to plenty of BPs where a DD rented a van to drive everybody or we just took cabs. As for the idea of you having to pay the bride's way, it's never been my experience at a BP that one person covers the bride - usually, everyone chips in, but I guess it's probably smart of you to plan on covering her, just in case nobody else offers to treat her.

Lingerie Shower - This one would piss me off, too. If I were you, I would give the bride the option of a traditional shower or a lingerie shower, not both. Or combine the lingerie shower with the BP, as I suggested above. But don't feel like you NEED to do it, just because she or the groom asked for it.

Shower - Ok, this would also piss me off. YOU are the party host and YOU determine the budget, not the bride. If 70 guests is beyond your budget, tell her. If you weren't planning on shelling out thousands of dollars to get the thing catered, tell her. She can have a lovely shower within your budget.

Two general pieces of advice:

1) Sit down and tally up your budget for this wedding - determine how much you are willing to spend in total on the wedding, including clothing, travel, the cost of hosting parties, hair, makeup, nails and whatever else you have to pay for. Figure out how much you can afford to or want to spend on this wedding. From there, subtract the actual wedding day expenses (dress, hair, travel, etc) and what you have left is your budget for the parties. (Do not count on contributions from other WP members until you have the money in your hand. People are notorious for making promises involving money and backing out at the last minute - and then guess who is left picking up the balance?) Take a look at that number and figure out what you can do with it. Then approach the bride with your ideas. If she isn't happy with them, then she can find other party hosts. Heck, if her family expects the shower to be catered, then perhaps her mom will be willing to pick up the cost, once it becomes apparent that a catered party for 70 people is beyond the MOH's budget.

2) You need to talk to her about this. While I agree with you that she's expecting a lot from you, the poor girl won't know it's a problem if you don't tell her. I know a lot of BMs suffer silently and spend far more than they want to on a wedding, because they're afraid that they'll upset the bride or ruin her wedding by saying something to her. I'm sure your friend cares far more about you than she does about wedding parties, and will be happy to work something out - but she won't know that she needs to unless you tell her. Ideally, you should have had a budget talk long before now, but now will work. Have your budget figured out and go to her with it. Tell her that you love her and want her parties to be great, but what she's asking just isn't in the budget right now, so you'll have to come up with a Plan B. Hopefully she'll be understanding and willing to compromise.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: How many parties is to many??
Posted: Apr 15, 2010 8:57 AM Go to message in response to: mrsj2011

OP - I'm 100% with ArtBride on this. She gave you great advice!

 

 

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: How many parties is to many??
Posted: Apr 15, 2010 9:58 AM Go to message in response to: mrsj2011

Dear Mrs J,

Artbride is right.

I'll reiterate the main points:

1. Figure out your total wedding budget, that is, how much total bottom line you are willing to spend on this wedding. Start with any requred dresses, shoes, hair, makeup, travel for W-Day. Then see what you have left over for party expenses.

2. Get control of the party guest list. Just because someone hands you a list of 70 people and tells you they want it catered doesn't mean you have to do that and go into the poorhouse. What can you afford, per person? What food, decorations, gifts, games, drinks, etc., can you afford, per person? Then invite exactly that many. If it means handing the list back to the bride and saying "Pick 40 out of these 70", so be it.

If you are spending your remaining budget on a nice bridal shower, then,

3. Forget the lingerie shower.
4. Forget the girls night out.

If I were you, I'd give her as nice a bridal shower as I could, with as many guests as possible, within my budget. Then if someone else wants to come up with the money for other parties, that's their business. You can attend as a guest, but not as the hostess stuck with the tab at the end of the night.

Further, I'd suggest that you budget for the bridal shower out of your own money, what you have in hand right now. Do not rely on contributions from others, not unless those others hand you the money in cash now. Promises of future contributions are worthless.

If someone promises a future contribution ("I'll help you out as soon as my tax refund arrives."), then I recommend politely turning them down, but steering them towards one of these other party hosting opportunities.

"I'll tell you what. The bride would really like a girls's night out. I, as maid of honor, am planning the bridal shower out of the funds I have now. I won't have anything left for a girls night out. Why don't you take your tax refund and plan that party for her?"

Thus, she gets her parties and you are off the financial hook.

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MrsCP3 Posts : 456 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: How many parties is to many??
Posted: Apr 15, 2010 10:01 AM Go to message in response to: mrsj2011

I agree with Art 100% too. As far as the lingerie shower, combining it with the bachelorette party is a lot of fun. I've been a part of 2 combined ones, as well as my own. At all 3 parties, the lingerie shower was beforehand (and served as a great way to pregame before going out, which ends up being cheaper than buying all your drinks at the bar or whatever) and then we'd do the BP after. This is a much cheaper option than throwing them separately, and that way the (super rude) groom gets what he wants, and you don't have to spend a fortune.

 

 

 

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kellyheartsjeff Posts : 66 Registered: 2/25/09
Re: How many parties is to many??
Posted: Apr 15, 2010 11:02 AM Go to message in response to: MrsCP3

I agree with all of the PPs - great advice.

Regarding the lingerie shower - I have never seen a lingerie shower that is a separate party from the bachelorette party. All of the bachelorette parties I have attended had some type of lingerie involved. I have seen the "underwear game" a few times - where every guest brings a pair of underwear for the bride - you put them all in a bag or lay them out somewhere and the bride has to guess who gave her each pair. A lot of the other BP's I have attended - there wasn't a formal note on the invite to bring lingerie, but pretty much everyone did anyway - it's just kind of a "known" thing around here I guess? My point is, I don't really see why there has to be a completely separate lingerie shower from the BP - you can easily combine the two of them.

And a sidenote - I ALWAYS buy cute nighties for BP's from Macys - they have really cute stuff and it's always on sale and is MUCH cheaper than Victoria's Secret! Same with their underwear - very cute and cheap.

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mrsj2011 Posts : 31 Registered: 10/21/08
Re: How many parties is to many??
Posted: Apr 15, 2010 11:54 AM Go to message in response to: kellyheartsjeff

Thank you all for your great advice. I wanted to make sure I wasnt out of line on being upset by the lingerie party and that many people for the bridal shower.

I agree about talking to the bride. I knew I was going to have to after she gave me the list, I have just been trying to figure out how to go about it and get some prices first before I said anything. It is like you said the bridesmaids suffer because they dont want to say anything to the bride about the cost. I dont want to upset her but I know in realitly it is to much for me. I am going to use your advice and make a total budget, hadnt done that was just estimating for the basice bridal party stuff and figured some extra for the parties just not as much extra. After that I will talk with her and let her know and figure out Plan B. I think or hope she would understand because she made the comment to me she is not inviting a few girls we grew up with but have seen them for only special occassion in the last few years because she doesnt want to pay for them and their SO at the reception since she is tight on money. You ladies are right I shouldnt consider what others say they will give me but what I can afford in case they dont give me the money in the end.

As far as the bridal shower, her family wont contribute anything for it. Her mom is a little crazy and not so thrilled about everything. She already said she wont contribute. Then her dad and step mom are helping out as much as they can in the wedding cost. Her sister is getting married a few months before so she said she only has limited funds. I asked her to let me know an actual number. I dont know anyone else in her family.

I love the idea of doing the wine tasting at a house or hotel room and everyone bringing their own bottles of wine to try and doing a little score card or something. I had thought about at home tasting but was thinking about paying to have someone come in. I never thought about doing it that way. Then combinging the lingerie party with it. I think this would work well and make everyone happy but save costs. Also with renting a van instead of a limo is a great idea to. There arent really any hotels by the comedy club so I knew transportation would be needed.

Thank you so much for your opinions and advice it is really great and helpful. I am also not as stressed as I was when I wrote it after getting your ideas.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: How many parties is to many??
Posted: Apr 15, 2010 1:23 PM Go to message in response to: mrsj2011

Dear Mrs J,

"because she made the comment to me she is not inviting a few girls we grew up with but have seen them for only special occassion in the last few years because she doesnt want to pay for them and their SO at the reception since she is tight on money"

Hmmm... let me get this straight. The bride and her family are tight on money, but they expect you to throw a catered bridal shower for 70 people, a bachelorette party, a girls night out, a lingerie shower, plus pay for all the "usual" bridesmaid expenses of a dress, shoes, hair, etc?

Whew.

Time to draw the line. If you did all that, you'd probably pay more for all these parties than they will for the wedding itself.

Next question: Does she expect to invite people to the shower who are NOT invited to the wedding and reception? She doesn't want to pay for the guest and her SO at the reception, but expects you to host the guest at the shower and expects a gift from the shower guest?

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

You do not invite people to the shower, but not the wedding. That is very insulting. "You are good enough to come to a present-centered party for me, but not good enough for me to invite you to the wedding and reception itself."

It sounds like you can cut a bunch out of the shower guest list if they are not also invited to the wedding.

There are a few very special exceptions to the above rule. Co-workers can give a bridal shower in the workplace, without being invited to the wedding. The workplace shower should be very informal, with either a bunch of inexpensive gifts or maybe the work group could go in together for a larger group gift.

You need to get a good grasp on your own available money, substract out any W-Day clothing and see what's left. Then plan a nice party out of that.

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mrsj2011 Posts : 31 Registered: 10/21/08
Re: How many parties is to many??
Posted: Apr 15, 2010 2:27 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Her family is a little out there they expect everyone to do everything nice for them but wont help out with any of it.

There is noboday invited to the shower that is not invited to the wedding. Everyone on the shower list is also on the wedding list. I had already made that comment to her that if she doesnt invite them to the wedding I will not invite them to the shower, so those girls were not on the list. I almost think she wanted them to be invited but I would not do it. Like you said its like she expects all these gifts is what I really am beginning to feel like is all she wants with the parties.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: How many parties is to many??
Posted: Apr 15, 2010 2:42 PM Go to message in response to: mrsj2011

Dear Mrs J,

"Her family is a little out there they expect everyone to do everything nice for them but wont help out with any of it. "

A little? You think?

Time for some tough love on your part!

Remember, the only thing "Etiquette" expects from a maid of honor is to show up on time, suitably dressed, and sign the marriage license.

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Perla99 Posts : 1 Registered: 1/2/09
Re: How many parties is to many??
Posted: Jun 10, 2010 11:50 PM Go to message in response to: mrsj2011

Wow! 70! She seems very excited! You communicate yourself as very calm. That's great because you'd have to be with such an ambitious bride! I think that if you talk with her about this, she might understand. She might also just have her fiancÚ call you again! However, it sounds like you'll be spending well over a grand just in the catering. That's not fair! At all! As far as the wine tasting, my birthday parties have had that theme lately & I tell each guest to bring one bottle and they will be tasting many wines! It works & is so fun :). Good luck!

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cyndi33 Posts : 2,585 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: How many parties is to many??
Posted: Jun 11, 2010 10:38 AM Go to message in response to: Perla99

Subway or Quiznos caters. But I'm betting that's not what her family had in mind. It IS waht I'd do though, if someone demanded I pay for, and cater, a party.

 Proud Member of P.O.O.P.,  People Offended by Offended People

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