LOVE/HATE: The ‘Practice Wedding’ Edition

Bridal showers… some people have them, some people don’t. The best thing I can say about my bridal shower is that people I love were there, quite a few of whom I hadn’t seen on a long, long while. The thing about bridal showers is that the bride is supposed to have nothing to do with the planning of it. She’s busy planning a wedding, first of all. And what with showers being a gift-focused event, etiquette says that the guest-of-honor isn’t to be involved in the details.

That means that brides-to-be get what they get when it comes to bridal showers if everyone follows the rules, so there are those who end up with quite restaurant lunches and those who end up with something a little more… like a wedding?

over the top bridal shower bachelorette party

A practice wedding, perhaps? There’s a part of my brain that, when it sees pictures of luxurious and otherwise fabulously-appointed bridal showers or bachelorette parties shouts “Excess, excess, excess!” but it’s a small part, really. And probably a jealous part *wink* since if the hostess of said shower has the fundage to throw a huge do just for the fem folks, then more power to them.

There’s certainly no rule stating that a bridal shower can’t have a giant cake and and favors galore and amazing tablescapes, or even live music and things like that. A shower is, after all, just another kind of party. But there’s still that part of my mind that wonders if all the bridesmaids involved in the planning could really afford to chip in, and if guests possibly might have obligated to spring for a more expensive gift if they heard just how fancy a shower it would be.

I suppose I have to label myself conflicted when it comes to a certain sort of very upscale bridal shower – and, again, it’s probably got a lot to do with that nasty green-eyed monster, since I do love a fab party! What say you?

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6 Responses to “LOVE/HATE: The ‘Practice Wedding’ Edition”

  1. Ash says:

    I hAve been less pleased with the trend towards restaurant showers. The ones that I have been to have been exponentially more expensive than the tradtional home based shower, and have the additional drawback of restrictions on mingling,asyou can really only talk to the few guests seated near you at the table. I also suspect that, if the hosts are agreeable to spending that much money, the guest of honor would rather have a bigger gift than a party that runs to hundreds of dollars. YMMV, of course.

  2. I reckon that a bride’s bridesmaids are the people who know her best, so they will likely know what kind of shower, extravagant or otherwise, whe would prefer… more kudos to them for putting in all that work for their friend! Of course not everyone can afford it, but the main thing is that it comes from the heart, no matter the result.

  3. Twistie says:

    My problem with the trend is that more and more people think there isn’t another option. Sure, if the host(s) of the shower have the funds and believe the guest of honor will be pleased with it, then I have no problem with it. My worry is that since these larger, more elaborate showers have become more popular, more bridesmaids don’t realize that a simple celebration for a handful of good friends in a private home with homemade goodies is more than enough.

    Anyone out there doing MOH duty, please remember that the celebration you throw (assuming you choose to throw one, since a shower and/or bachelorette party is completely optional based on the budget and preferences of the potential host) should be one that fits your pocketbook. Sure, do what you can to please the bride. Just don’t go into debt to do it.

    And brides, be sure to let your attendants know that you care more about their presence than their presents.

  4. 37 Butter Knives says:

    Practically every shower in my experience was thrown by an older relative of the bride – and often her mom. As much as people keep saying it’s an etiquette faux pas, that’s just how it’s done in my circles. Moms – even those who are organizing and paying for the wedding – frequently insist on arranging and hosting the showers. When I was a maid of honor, all I did was show up with a gift, give a speech and call out bridal bingo. I actually appreciated that; as much as I’d have loved to plan a party, I didn’t have the time or money.

    Maybe I’m just used to this, but I don’t really see it as gift-grabby (which is what the etiquette police claim about mothers or family hosting showers). Moms seem to fear that entrusting the duty to the bridesmaids means the shower will be held in a cramped apartment or public park, and not a private room in a nice restaurant (which is, unfortunately, the norm in New Jersey). While the mom-hosted showers I’ve been to don’t look like the example you gave, there certainly have been favors and other bits of excess.

    Then again, maybe the fancy shower is in fact gift-grabby. “Cover your plate” is big around here, and that seems to also extend to showers.

  5. ChristianeF says:

    Hate hate hate… I’ve been to showers that were fancier than my wedding will (probably, someday) be. Maybe it’s a little bit of the green-eyed monster rearing its ugly head, but the extravagant shower in the hotel ballroom seems so over the top and impersonal. My favorite showers have been the ones thrown at someone’s home.

  6. Alaynah says:

    It’s too bad that people think they need to throw crazy extravagant parties to celebrate a wedding. Great parties can still be stylish and fun without costing an arm and a leg.