Mom is planning a surprise bridal shower, but the bride (my sister) doesn't want one. What do i do?

Layla, on January 11, 2021 at 9:05 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 10

This is really long, and I would deeply appreciate any advice anyone can give me. I've been so preoccupied worrying about this and want to avoid a family feud...

Last weekend, my mom called me very excited to tell me that she just booked my sister's bridal shower venue. A few weeks ago, my sister told us that she didn't feel she needed a shower, but if my mom insisted, we could all plan it together (I'm the MOH). My sister was clear that she wanted to be involved in planning the shower. When my mom called me, she told me it will cost around $5k to $6k, and she would invite around 60 people. I was so shocked and didn't want to crush her excitement that I didn't protest, I just said it sounds good. During the conversation, she also said she'd like to put my name on the invitation as the 'host,' but didn't ask me for $ at the time. I'm 26 and have 2 jobs & go to school at night & am preparing for the MCAT, so I don't have the time or money to contribute to this the way my mom probably wants. If it was up to me I would've gone with my sister's preference and had an at-home DIY small gathering or a small wine-tasting at a vineyard (like 7 people) if Covid allowed.

My mom has been so emotionally invested in this wedding that I'm scared to bring up the budget and ask what she expects me to pay. She is paying $30k for the wedding, and the groom's parents are paying $20k, so it's crazy to my mom that I wouldn't be able to pay a measly couple of thousand for the shower. I know my sister wouldn't want us to spend so much on this, but I don't want to stress her out with this or ruin a potential surprise party.

I'm really looking for advice on talking to my mom about this and telling her I can't afford to throw a bridal shower, and whether I should try to convince my mom to share the guest list and theme with my sister before we plan too much of it.


Latest activity by Willow, on January 12, 2021 at 1:12 AM
  • Kristen
    Master November 2020
    Kristen ·
    • Flag
    You need to pull the bandage and tell mom straight up. I would talk to her face to face and calmly explain what your sister wants and ask if mom can do something nice but simple to make your sister happy.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    There is no reason for it cost that much. Get a grocery store cake and pick up plates/napkins/cups from Party City. Serve coffee/lemonade/punch. Host it at your mom's house. That's all you need. No reason at all for it to be more elaborate.

    Generally it's considered rude to turn down a shower if someone chooses to host it for you. It's 3 hrs max that isn't hurting anyone.
    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Savvy November 2021
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    Yes definitely tell your mom straight up, she is probably excited but I’d be so mad if I was your sister. She should be involved in the guest list and I would hate if my family spent that much on a shower.
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Rockstar August 2020
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    Your sister made a good choice making you MOH! You are looking out for her 👍 I would talk to mom and say you don’t want to hurt her, but considering your sister’s feelings and due to covid, a shower of that size (although thoughtful) doesn’t seem possible. Blame as much as you can on covid restrictions (we need to use covid to our advantage at every opportunity!). Good luck!!
    • Reply
  • A
    Super September 2020
    Alli ·
    • Flag
    Oh my; yes, you definitely need to have a chat with your mother... I know she means well, but a shower of 60 guests during covid is idiotic... and especially if the bride doesn’t want one! I didn’t want a bridal shower either, but my mother threw me a medium shower of 25 guests at the Hilton with a very nice brunch and it was $2,000. I would have rather not had it to be honest... so I would respect the bride’s wishes.
    • Reply
  • Brittany
    Dedicated January 2021
    Brittany ·
    • Flag
    My mom and FMIL did a surprise shower, but other than parents, his sister, and 2 family friends it was all Zoom and I'd be shocked if they spent much more than $100 putting it together. More so time gathering emails, including friends of mine they never met and Facebook messaged about it haha. I've never heard of $5k+ for a shower, but then again I haven't been to a $50k wedding. Idk how anyone thinks a 26 year old student has a spare $5k either... agreeing with others that you could try to blame COVID to bring down the scale of it
    • Reply
  • V
    Champion July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag
    Definitely talk to your mom. It wouldn't be the best choice to have an unnecessary unwanted party with 60 people during Covid. It is also completely unnecessary to spend that kind of money on a shower.
    • Reply
  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    First of all, that is an insane amount of money for a bridal shower. She cannot plan an outrageously expensive event and then demand money from others without their initial input. I would honestly sit her down and ask her if she is planning this shower for herself or her daughter because it seems like she's not considering her daughter's wants in mind.
    • Reply
  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
    • Flag
    Yup, I agree with others about talking to your mom. Maybe they both could compromise on a virtual shower?
    • Reply
  • W
    Super September 2020
    Willow ·
    • Flag
    This is a very big and expensive shower. She's pretty much throwing a mini wedding. And how would such a gathering be legal anywhere in the US, during covid?

    Just be honest with your mom
    • Reply

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