Where do you draw the line when it comes to throwing a party for the bride-to-be?
Prepping for your wedding can be an expensive affair and everyone involved in planning your wedding will have their role to play (and spend money that they often don't have).
So is a bridal shower really necessary or might it just lead to a few disgruntled wedding guests?
Call me cynical, but from what I’ve witnessed bridal showers have become a circus of present parades. A poor excuse to get even more gifts from people who will already be spending a lot on you on your actual wedding day.
I know, I know – this is not necessarily the bride-to-be’s fault. In fact, if there ever was a finger to be pointed here, it’s at those who are actually arranging the party for the bride. Most often the friends/bridesmaids arranging the shower and/or bachelorette go completely OTT because they feel obligated to include certain rituals, like giving lingerie.
Let me be clear before I continue: bridal showers done in moderation can be really lovely.
READ MORE: The ultimate guide to being the best bridesmaid ever
Think lunch or a simple dinner with wine at a modest restaurant and an exchange of gifts – simple, intimate and without breaking the bank – it could be a really good time where bonds are cemented and no one feels like they’re being coerced into being there.
Yes, the day is about celebrating the bride-to-be, but what so many people arranging the shower don’t take into account is the economic climate that we’re currently living in.
Not everyone can afford to go to expensive spas, have treatments and then still provide a gift. So if you don’t want to alienate members of the family or friends who can’t partake in a day where exorbitant funds are required to be spent, do take that into consideration.
I’ve seen invites that request we bring gifts that have to match a certain monetary value, or high-end appliances. No, darling. Not everyone can actually afford the Russell Hobbs espresso machine as a bachelorette gift!
What started as a simple tradition to help the bride build a dowry for her new home has become an overzealous and competitive need to not only have the most extravagant shower possible, but to make sure that brides-to-be get their money’s worth in gifts pre-wedding AND on the wedding day.
I voiced my thoughts about this on Twitter and in response one reader told me that a colleague showed her an invite to a shower which requested tinned goods as an entry fee, along with a gift.
You want groceries and a gift? And then also a present on your wedding day? That’s just greedy.
Also, just because your friend might be high-maintenance, doesn't mean you as the bridesmaid or maid of honour have to fork out an exorbitant amount of money to ensure that she has a luxe-filled day that may see you and some of the other guests resent her later on.
If she values your friendship she’ll know that whatever you do, you did with the best of intentions with all as much resources you were able to utilise. And that is what should really count, right?
WATCH: How to host a bridal shower on a budget