FAQ Friday; MOH Duties and Bridal Showers

The problem, sent via one of my dear readers: "What do you do when you're the maid of honor (for your little sister's wedding, nonetheless) and find out that the shower you are throwing is the only shower the bride and groom get and your little old budget can't support her huge guest list? I am having that issue right now. I wanted to throw my sister and her fiance a co-ed shower in a backyard with games, beer, grilling, etc for our friends. But come to find out no one else is throwing her one, so now it's every immediate family member and friend within driving distance. I can't afford it. Eeek!" Photo via here.


This is tricky now that I think about it. Because anything involving family, money (and not having enough of it) is sort of a touchy subject. Then throw in anything relating to your little sister's wedding and you have a situation you'll most likely want to tread lightly on. That stated, there are surely ways to throw a memorable shower in your sister's honour without breaking the bank and most importantly, while still staying classy and keeping guests happy. Read more below for my take on the situation!

{Suggest a Potluck} A potluck? For a bridal shower? I know what you're thinking, really Rhi how tacky are you. But hold up people! Some of the best parties I've ever been to have been potlucks. Because first and foremost, there is always an abundance of food in endless variations; it's like the best buffet you could ever eat at. And secondly when people are invited to a potluck they always whip up their favourite and most delicious dishes. Which means guaranteed - and free! - yumminess. Plus, if you're shooting for a coed backyard barbecue I really couldn't imagine anything better than a potluck; men could bring the meat, chips, condiments and beer and the girls could bring the salads, desserts, fruit platter and drinks. Send me an invite too please.

{Talk to Your Sister} Communication, as I've reiterated over here many times, is the key to having anything run smoothly. So talk to your sis. I'm not saying to sit her down and tell her there's no way you can afford the bridal shower of her dreams because sometimes the brutal truth really isn't needed. But instead let her know that with a little clever planning you're hoping to make her day really special. Ask her what elements of a bridal shower are most important to her and her fiance so you can make sure your efforts and the little money you do have to contribute is spent on things that she will most appreciate and love. Great games? Killer snacks? A signature drink? Festive decorations? Instead of spreading yourself thin in every single area focus in your efforts on a few different elements to make both guests feel comfortable and your sister and her fiance, happy.

{Ask For Help} Just because you're the Maid of Honour doesn't mean everyone else is exempt from lending a hand. Check in with family members, parents of the bride and groom, the other bridesmaids, kind and generous friends; everyone and anyone who may be able to contribute to making the day a success. When it comes to weddings most people are more than often willing to help out where needed even if means donating a chunk of change or a few hours of their time to organize, cook, grill, set up, entertain or tear down. And remember, regardless of if the shower ends up being a backyard potluck sans flower arrangements, a rocking DJ and a bartender, your sis and soon to be brother in law will appreciate your support and love.

Thoughts, friends?

10 Lovely Comments:

bonafidebride said...

I totally agree with every point here. I couldn't have said it better. Awesome advice, girl.

Ashley said...

absolutely brilliant, rhi!!!

I love every bit and think I will start to ask for people to bring a dish, PLUS I think you hit the nail on the head with asking her exactly what part of the shower is most important to her - that way, I can make that part really shine.

You're the best! And I'll check back for more advice!

Nicole-Lynn said...

This post hit home for me. I just got married and my sister who was one of my Matron of Honors was in charge of hosting my shower. She had very little help from two other girls, not a lot of money, and little experience hosting such an event, so that resulted in a very small guest list, invites that weren't given much thought, and the location wasn't the greatest. I knew the shower had potential and the thought behind all of it meant the most, but it was hard. It was a once in a lifetime event for me and I know my sister felt bad she couldn't give me what she thought I deserved.

If I could give any advice to those hosting an event for a friend or family member it would be to do the best you can and do your research beforehand. If you know a friend who is creative and can give you some ideas, by all means to go her and definitely ask for help from others. You can make it a potluck type event and split the costs of a gift and decorations. Etsy even has printables that are cheap to help make your event very custom with little cost. When a little, time, effort and love are put into planning a nice event it makes it that much more memorable for the guest of honor.

Koru Kate said...

Sound advice as always! I agree with the "Ask for Help" suggestion the most. I've been in a few bridal parties where the Maid of Honor & bridesmaids split the cost of the bridal shower. For another, the Maid of Honor, bridesmaids & Mother of the Groom split the costs. For my bridal shower, my Mom paid because she could afford it while it would have been tough for my Maid of Honor or bridesmaids to pay for it. Naturally, they helped my Mom plan, organize & run the event. I believe anyone who can help to make the bridal shower fun & special will do so if asked!

Michelle Ellen Lee said...

Don't be shy to ask for help, especially from family. I've been part of a bridal party that hosted a Jack + Jill with a guest list of almost 100. The couples' family never approached us about contributing (monetary and food/drinks) but when we asked, they were more than happy to help out!

Don't forget the other bridesmaids and the groomsmen too!

la petite coquine said...

This is absolutely BRILLIANT advice-what would we all do without you?!

I think that in a situation like this, asking moms and dads to help is very smart-it sounds like this will be a major family event, and I'm sure they'll want to help out!

Cris of Kiss My Tulle said...

I am a BIG fan of co-hosting showers. Especially big showers. Ask mom or dad or aunts or cousins to chip in for specific items (i.e. "Dad, can you buy all the beer?") and then act as the coordinator.

Nikki said...

I like the idea of a potluck, and maybe toning it down to just a dessert and champagne potluck. Everyone always wants to bring dessert anyway ;) Great advice Rhiannon!

The Girl said...

I'm diving in... love the idea of a low-budget shower challenge!!

I agree! Potluck is a-okay, and you can even make it so it's not called a potluck (not that there's anything wrong with that!). Hasn't everyone been to bridal showers where you bring a recipe card? What if you turned into something like that, but actually bringing the dish?

For the games, I don't know if you live near a large city but if you do, go to Craigslist to get used Bocce Ball sets, horseshoe, the whole deal. And if there aren't ones to buy, put up an ad that you want to RENT people's games - and I bet you'd get yourself some takers.

What about.... BRUNCH! If you turned it into a brunch shower instead of a full-on cook-out, dishes for breakfast-type foods can typically be much less expensive. Bake your own muffins, Cut up a ton of melon (cheapest fruit there is - mixed with grapes), buy a massive thing (or 5 things) of OJ from Costco, and champagne... and don't have any other alcoholic beverages... or expenses. A brunch and breakfast food is much easier to ask people to bring as well... ask maybe 10 of your friends participating (so that you don't have to ask all the guests) to bring a breakfast bread, someone can bring two jars of jam, someone else can bring something else...

Another thought - I know the idea of the co-ed super fun outdoors shower is a great one, and popular right now - but you'd cut your attendees in half by just having the ladies for a more traditional shower.

I'm sure I'll think of more ideas and I'll post if anything brilliant comes to me:).

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said...

You are the 6th blog since yesterday that I have thought...hmmm...why have I not seen updates from this person...even though I visit yours by nature daily...well, silly Google Friend Connect appears to have suddenly un-follwed you! Grrrr...well, I'll show it...I'm following again! So sorry...I LOVE you blog and now must catch back up! I hope you are having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, Rhiannon!!!

Liesl :)