Bridal Shower Etiquette: Who Pays for the Bridal Shower?

Hi Everyone,

I have a friend that has been in 2 weddings this year & have been asked to help pay for the bridal showers. I have been in alot of weddings & have had one myself. I would never ask my bridesmaids to pay for my shower!!

Is this proper etiquette?? The bridemaids have a huge expense as it is(shower gift, dress, shoes, wedding gift, hotel expenses etc)! How can these mother’s of the bride & groom let this happen? I feel that is a terrible burden to put on friends that you ask to be in your wedding!! Any thoughts?

Wedding Queen

Agreed, this is just another reason the bridal shower should not be hosted by any family member (unless they are a part of the bridal party), nevermind a family member telling any of the bridal party to chip in. If asked to help pay, the bridesmaid can choose to decline if she likes. It is not the obligation of the bridesmaid to pay for the shower.

Reader Response

Thank you for your input, but how can you decline? There is so much pressure on the bridesmaid that states that they only can pay less then everyone or not at all that it causes a lot of stress. There are so many bridezilla’s out there that the bridesmaids are felt to be obligated to pay for it. Who is to pay for the bridal shower? I have never heard of anyone but the bride’s mother or maid/matron of honor throwing a shower for the bride. I guess I’ve been out of the loop on this. It’s not an honor anymore to be in someone’s wedding it’s just a big expense!

Etiquette Now

I must agree with you about the expense and the bridezillas. It is unfortunate. If everyone would just remember how they wish to be treated… Wouldn’t that be nice?

The MOH can host the shower, but the mothers shouldn’t. It is viewed as self serving. And, by your own experience, can get ugly.

The bridal shower is an optional event, so the bridesmaid can opt out if she wishes. The bride cannot demand one, nor can her mother. So, if the bridesmaid does not want to contribute, she can just say that she cannot host. She can use the excuse of money or time, or both. If there is a tantrum, the bridesmaid can always walk away.

Wedding Queen

No one has to feel obligated to offer to host a bridal shower. Just don’t offer. But note that if you’re a bridesmaid and you want to host one, it doesn’t have to be a mini-reception. Just host a simple afternoon tea at your home or other small venue. And remember, only those invited to the wedding should be invited to the shower. And, of those guests, only those close with the couple. This guest list shouldn’t be a list of all women invited to the wedding.

If one of the bridesmaids wants to host a shower, she needs to ask the other bridesmaids for help paying or organizing, if she wants help. Never assume all the bridesmaids want to be involved or can afford to be. Discuss all of the costs ahead of time and agree on who’s paying and what role they will play before making plans.

The Bridal Expert

This question comes up a lot. I often hear things like, does the maid of honor pay for the bridal shower? Can she ask for contributions from the bridal shower guests? Whoever is hosting theshower generally pays the way, whether it’s the maid of honor, a female friend or family member of the bride, or the bridal party.

Whoever is hosting the shower generally pays the way, whether it’s the maid of honor, a female friend or family member of the bride, or the bridal party. The host should not ask for contributions from the guests or from others (they’re bringing gifts after all), but that said, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to host a shower. It doesn’t have to be an upscale affair with finger sandwiches and petit fours! Instead, opt for a wallet-friendly alternative that’s more in line with the bride’s style.

Reader Response

Are the shower guests required to pay for their food and drink? Isn’t the maid of honor supposed to take care of all these expenses? I don’t know what to do!

The Wedding Expert

Bridal shower guests should never be expected to pay for their meal. Let your maid of honor know that you are aware of the shower preparations and ask if she and the bridal party can re-think their plans. Bridal-shower guests are coming to celebrate with you and will bring gifts to help you and your fiancé begin your life together as a married couple. Asking anything more of them is unacceptable.

Traditionally, the bridal shower is arranged and paid for by the maid of honor and the bridesmaids, good friends or relatives. In many instances, the bride’s parents offer to contribute to the costs to help alleviate the financial burden for the bridal party (especially if the shower is held in a restaurant).

 

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