Broke-Ass Tag: wedding party

4/26

So the bridal shower has been sort of an ongoing issue with my bride tribe and I. To be honest, a shower was never even on my radar as something I would need to worry about. Isn’t that a time when friends and family get together and shower the bride with gifts? Shouldn’t her only job be to show up? Welp, apparently not.

My MOH is wonderful and I love her dearly. Planning parties is not her thing. If I say, find me someone who rents freezers in Syracuse, she will bring me a list of everything sorted by distance and price. We shop and brainstorm together while taking no prisoners. But apparently she lacks the genetic coding that allows me to say “will you plan the shower?” and for her to reply with” I’ve already booked the venue and have a menu set.” If you caught one of my earlier posts, you’d know what I’m talking about.

One of the tea cups my mother started hoarding

Fast forward to now. I’m living in another state and I’m about 300 miles from home. I rallied the other ‘maids to help my MOH with her planning. My sister and another ‘maid have been trying, unsuccessfully, to contact the venue I picked for the shower. The lack of response from the venue was at first manageable. The owner apparently had some sort of family emergency and was unavailable for a while. Since the owner is the one that books all events, my girls were at a standstill to book the venue. A week turned into two week and then well over a month with no phone calls being returned. The girls called a few times and got the same response. Well crap. This is not worth the hassle, back to the drawing board.

Teapot we got at an antique store

I have a family friend who has a giant house and hosts parties all the time. I had hesitated to ask her if she could host the shower, 1) because she can be a bit overwhelming at times, 2) she and my MOH do not get along, at all, and 3) I didn’t want her going wildly over the top with this, something that has happened before. But, desperate last minute times call for last minute measures. I casually texted her about something completely unrelated and mentioned that we were looking for venue suggestions if she knew any. Not an outlandish question, she’s well connected and party planning is her jam. She responded with the expected response of “you can have it here.” I’ll admit I was very relieved. Anything that she gets her teeth into will be beautiful and go off without a hitch. Problems? Welp, my sister has this vision of what she wants for my shower. I asked for a tea party. Little sandwiches, hats, tea, the whole pinkies up extravaganza. (Not to be confused with Alice and Wonderland).

My sister has been roaming the country and city side in search of antique tea items. She hopes to use them for centerpieces since buying 40 for everyone to drink out of is a bit insane. She asked my mother to help with tea-item acquiring and my mom has gone a little insane hunting down tea cups. Some of them are really stunning though and I plan on running away with them afterwards.

Sale at Michaels on tea party items

So, we now have a date, time and location. My sister is working with the friend and together they can hopefully create something awesome. Spoiler alert: I don’t really care what the party looks like. I’d just like to hang out with an awesome pack of ladies and drink tea in our fancy hats. I have a small army of cute hats that I’m currently debating which to wear. If only all my decisions were this difficult.  

What about you? Are you experiencing unexpected twists and turns when it comes to the shower?

  • 4/3

    Did you miss Part I? Catch up here.

    Printable sign available from Etsy seller MonCheriPaperie

    Here are a few more bridal party norms in place that I’ve observed, which are also huge money suckers for both the marrying couple and the attendants:

    • Bridesmaids and groomsmen must all wear the same dress/suit, and the bride/groom gets to choose it, and it must be expensive-looking and formal. This usually meaning it must be purchased or rented for the purpose of the event, and likely means it will be worn only once.
    • Bridesmaids should have their hair, makeup and nails done professionally, and in more or less the same way.

    I know there are varying schools of thought on who foots the bill for the above two points. However, in either case, it is a heckuva lot of money. If the bride and groom pay, that’s the cherry on top of a gigantic bill for their wedding. If the wedding party members pay, it is a gigantic cherry on top the costs of transportation, lodging, gifts, babysitters, lost wages from missing work, etc.

    For ease, and with respect to experience level, I’ve left Ev in charge of coordinating the outfits of the suit-wearing members of our wedding party, while I’m navigating the needs of the dress-wearing group. My bridesmaids, and Evan’s groomswomen, are all gorgeous and stylish people. They’re also delightfully unique, which is what we love about them, and they feel comfortable wearing different things. So, why would we want them to all look the same? I believe that have the capacity to pick their own dresses and choose what hairstyle, and amount of (if any) makeup they want to wear in my wedding. That way, I know that they will both feel comfortable, and look fly as hell.

    However, I also know that getting all dolled up together can be a fun, de-stressing, bonding time for all of us. So, I’ve struck a balance. I have requested that they choose own dresses, but they can choose one that fits their personal style — I just ask that it be a shade of my chosen wedding color. Then, they can wear it again!

    I am willing to pay for hairstyling, unless someone doesn’t want it done. The cost of hair and makeup combined is cheaper than each separately, so I told each of them that if they wanted to have their makeup done, they could just pay the difference in upgrading from hair-only to hair and makeup. They are free to choose whatever style makes them feel comfortable and pretty. As for shoes? Nails? Meh. Up to them.

    In the end, maybe my expectations are low, but to be honest I’m just grateful that they’re going to be there. The last thing I’m going to notice in the photos, when I look at them in 20 years, is if all my bridesmaids look perfectly done-up and identical to each other … rather, I will probably be remembering how much fun we had that day, and how much I love them.

    How have you approached the look of your wedding party? Do you want a uniform aesthetic or are you more laissez faire about it?

     

  • 3/20

    I want to talk about our wedding party. There seem to be a lot of traditions and rules in North American/European anglophone culture surrounding bridesmaids and groomsmen that there is heavy pressure to follow. I imagine that if you have been reading my posts thus far, you probably know how I feel about arbitrary rules, especially if they are outdated, rooted in sexism or classism and/or…

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    3/13

    The four in the middle:  planner/doer, her fiance, me and my MOH When it comes time to pick your ladies to stand by you, take into consideration their particular skill sets before you ask them. I have an overwhelming six bridesmaids. I have one that is a doer and a planner. There’s an artsy one, one with a green thumb, a miniature one whose mom…

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    8/16

    Over the course of my engagement, I had a lot of different ideas on who I wanted to be in my wedding but I held off until I had my date and venue at least to ask anyone. Being engaged for four years meant people came in and out of importance in my life and I knew that was the way things went sometimes. I'm…

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  • 11/6

    Hello again, BABs! While we very (im)patiently wait for our wedding album to appear, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite wedding related things: PRESENTS! No, not for us. But for our amazingly awesome wedding party members. I love, love giving gifts and finding amazing deals! If you've been following my posts for a while, you know that I don't like things…

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    5/28

    Source I called my Sister-in-Law last week for a very big reason. I wanted to convey that despite her not being in the wedding party, it was important for me that she knows how much she means to me. And that I value her friendship and love equally with everyone who will be wearing a gray chiffon bridesmaid dress that day. She replied gently, "I don't need…

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