The bride dropped a bomb on us all and instead of a bridal shower she wants a couples shower instead. However she wants it in a different town at an expensive restaurant. There’s 4 bridesmaids and knowing how many people she wants in attendance will be outrageously expensive. Are we supposed to cover this party still? As a group we were thinking a small bridal shower and not expecting something so large.
I would tell your bride that it just isn't in your budget to plan the type of shower she wants. If you have volunteered to throw her a shower, she should be appreciative of however much you do for her. Just let her know and if she decides that she still wants something extravagant that isn't in everyone's budget, she should help pay for it to make it happen.
I definitely don't think you should be expected to foot the bill for an expensive shower...it sounds like she's already done the planning herself and now just needs someone else to open their wallet. BUT this conversation doesn't need to be the start of World War III either!
Personally, I do like the idea of a couples shower because it gives the groom a chance to be involved too, but you're right, once all of the original bridal shower guests bring their SO, and groomsmen and their SO's are invited, you've all but quadrupled your guest list. Before you talk to her, see if a couple's shower is still in the budget or if you want to stick strictly to a bridal shower - when we were considering a couple's shower some of the ideas we were considering were a bbq (BIL loves to grill) if actually doing a meal OR a smores/firepit or brunchy themes if we just wanted a shorter get together at the house. Once you have a feeling where your budget is, and the type of party the four of you had started planning, it's time to bring the bride in the loop.
In a direct but non confrontational way, it's totally okay to tell the bride that while you would love to attend the couples shower at fancy restaurant X, the bridal party would not be able to pay for such an event (maybe she'll say no problem, she's got it, or more likely she'll be a little upset). Follow up by describing the shower you had in mind for her, and how the four of you were excited to plan an intimate afternoon for her. Put the ball in her court, "we don't have to make any decisions on this phone call, but think on it and let's talk again at the end of the week to decide if you want us to throw the bridal shower we described for you". She'll likely have a negative reaction, but she also needs to do a little self reflection about the meaning behind the shower - getting together with some of your most important ladies to share in the excitement of your upcoming wedding...which is just as fun in your decorated living room as it is at fancy restaurant X. Good luck!!
I agree with PPs. Showers are usually the hosts responsibility financially IF and only IF the hosts are actually allowed to... ya know... host. If she is making specific demands about where, then she should know that means she will need to help with cost, especially for an expensive location. I like how Amber worded it.
No, you don't have to pay for a shower that will cost more than you can spend. Tell the bride that the shower she has requested is not within your budget and tell her what you and the other bridesmaids are able to host. It will then be up to her to accept the shower that has been graciously offered or to decline the shower you are offering to host.
No, no, and no! If you are the one throwing the shower, then the budget is your decision! I do think the bride should be able to decide who is invited, so if she gives you a guest list of more people that you anticipated inviting, then maybe you could scale back and hold the shower at someone's house. I recently attended a shower that was potluck style at someone's house and it was lovely. There was a google doc that went around beforehand and people wrote what they would be bringing so they didn't end up with duplicates. Each person was also sent a blank recipe card with their invitation to write down the recipe of their dish for the bride, and the host gifted the bride a beautiful recipe box to put them in. It was one of my favorite showers I've been to
Time to nip this one in the bud! Be direct with the bride about your plans and your budget. How can she not realize that a small bridal shower that was offered to her would be much different than a huge party at a fancy restaurant. I'd like to believe she is not that naive to realize that the expenditure for something like that would be way over the small gathering that was originally intended. If she wants couples shower, I second the idea of the Recipe shower. I didn't even want a shower, but my MOH convinced me that we could do a couples shower that would be potluck and people could bring recipes. We will not be doing gifts, but if people really feel the need to spend money they can donate to charity. I thought it was a good balance of having a fun gathering without all the spending of gobs of money and the expectation of gifts.