So in my last post you learned that I'm not one for sweetening the situation or sugarcoating things. You will get tough love from me... because I believe it's better for me to tell you like it is than to have you find out the hard way later!
I'm prefacing with that as my disclaimer that this post may not be a favorite among brides, and that's okay. I'm writing this post because it's an issue that needs to be addressed.
A bridal shower, by definition, is an event where the bride is given gifts to start her new life with her husband. It is a kind and thoughtful gesture often given by a close family friend. Typically, it is the Maid/Matron of Honor's responsibility to host a shower, but it is also traditional that family members don't throw showers. It sort of depends on your specific situation.
That being said, a shower is a PRIVILEGE and not a RIGHT. Defining the difference between the two is a recurring theme in my life recently, but this is such a great example. Just because you're getting married doesn't mean you deserve to have a bridal shower. It doesn't mean that someone has to volunteer to give you one. It doesn't mean that you can't get married if you don't have a shower. It is not required.
I have seen, and heard, of many brides asking for showers. Expecting showers. Being disappointed or upset when one isn't thrown.
Let me be clear about this - I'm talking specifically to the brides, not the would-be hostesses. There are absolutely situations when a shower should be thrown, and a bride has a right to be upset if one isn't - but I'm not talking about family issues or ethical decisions on throwing showers, but the role a bride should take in her own shower.
And it's very simple. Provide a guest list, if asked. Provide registry information, if asked. Show up. Smile. Be a gracious guest of honor. Enjoy the party. Send thank you notes promptly.
This does not include:
1. Picking out the theme
2. Setting the date and time (though if it's not a surprise the bride should be consulted)
3. Reserving a venue
4. Ordering food
5. Insisting that every element be from your pinterest board
6. Deciding what the bridesmaids will wear (or anyone, for that matter, other than yourself)
7. Sending unsolicited suggestions for shower plans
8. Inviting everyone under the sun (seriously, check with your host about the capacity)
9. Requiring that all plans be approved by you
10. Sending your own invitations
Brides, if you are doing any of this, stop right now. You are the guest of honor at your bridal shower! You are not the event planner for this one. Step back and let the family member, friends, and bridal party throw you an event that they put together for you to enjoy! If you are lucky enough to have someone offer to throw you a party, be grateful. Say thank you. Ask if you can help. Make sure you tell them how much you appreciate it. Write a thank you card. Tell them thank you again.
If you're expecting a shower as part of the engagement process... think about it. No one's required to spend hundreds of dollars on food, gifts, a venue, party favors, etc just because you think you deserve it. Again, I'm not saying you don't, but I am saying that your place is to be humble and appreciative of the gift of someone throwing you a shower. It's a labor of love, and done in the right way, it is a million times more meaningful than anything you could have planned. Besides, you have the wedding to plan, and you do deserve the break to unwind and relax. Don't worry if the favors aren't exactly what you wanted (or if they're there at all). Just be happy someone cared enough to plan you a party because they love you.
Do I think all brides deserve a shower? Just about. Do I think every bride acts like it's an expectation? No, but the majority do.
Bottom line is, remember what the occasion is about. It's not to compete with pinterest. It's about spending time with loved ones. You won't remember the details after the wedding, anyway.