Showered With Demands

Posted on April 11, 2012. Filed under: Family, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Dear Lora,

I am the maid of honor for my sister’s wedding.  While I’m thrilled to be part of her special day, she’s treating me like dirt!  On top of that, she expects me to plan AND pay for the entire bridal shower!  She also wants to tell me who, what, when and where it’s going to be.  She keeps talking about having 50 friends meet for cocktails at a super expensive bar, where drinks can cost $15 each.  I keep telling her that’s what bachelorette parties are for, not showers, but she won’t listen. 

Showered with grief

Dear  Showered with grief,

Whoa!  Sounds like your sister may have a black eye to go with that white dress if she keeps this up!

I totally feel for you, there are few things more upsetting than feeling like you’re being taken advantage of.  Instead of being showered with kindness and gratitude, you find yourself showered with demands as the maid of honor (MOH).

In the back of your mind, you try to keep the sound track of life tuned into something positive like the old Lou Rawls song “Love is in the air, everywhere I look around…”, but the needle keeps skipping on the record and all you seem to hear is “this is so unfair, what does she keep making that hissing sound???”  Right?

We’ve all heard of the term bridezilla, but seeing one in action is like seeing Linda Blair’s head spin around in that gawd awful movie The Exorcist.  It’s upsetting and leaves you with the same gut wrenching feeling – it seems nothing short of divine intervention can stop the madness.  In fact, you’re pretty sure you’ll need to call the priest to conduct a different type of mass before the wedding, IF she makes it that far!

What makes a bride turn into a big hot mess anyway?  We could blame it on Disney for making all of those princess movies about how we’re all going to get our day in a glass carriage and marry a man who’s not only perfect, but also a Prince!  Going through the process of planning a wedding makes one realize, this isn’t an animated fairytale with talking animals after all, in fact, it actually seems more like a bad dream full of creepy clowns.

Let’s start out with her side of the story, or at least what I imagine to be her side:

The pressure on a bride is huge!  She’s usually surviving on celery sticks and watermelon in an attempt to fit into a dress she ordered 2 sizes smaller than what she really wears.  At the same time she’s trying to figure out a way to keep her future mother-in-law from going with her to Bed, Bath and Beyond to register because she doesn’t want a gnocchi maker or her grief!  On top of all that, she’s constantly worried her husband’s bachelor party, which is taking place in Vegas (as they always do) will end with him falling madly in love with a stripper named Sable, which also happened to be the make of his first car.

Now that we understand why your sister is such a flipp’n mess, let’s focus on how to handle all the “noise” as I call it.  Taking the lead from the country’s leading wedding experts, I’ve boiled their advice down to 4 main points you may want to share with her.

First, let me point out that it’s actually a major faux pas for a family member to host or pay for a shower, because is can appear the family is trying to better it’s status or being greedy by requesting more gifts.  This may be old and antiquated, but that’s the way it is.  The only time it’s okay to bend this rule is when the relative is part of the wedding party, such as yourself.  Basically, you already need to treed lightly.

Second, the MOH is allowed (if desired) to do the bulk of the planning, i.e.: location, decorations, etc.  However, the entire bridal party should help with the costs, which should be determined based on everyone’s budget.  For example, one person isn’t allowed to plan an event the others can’t afford, unless, of course, they want to foot the bill themselves.

Third, showers are considered an intimate event, with no more than 35 guests, so bridezilla’s idea of  happy hour at a bar with four dozen friends it out!

Fourth, but most importantly, the bride is NOT to weigh in.  Like her crock-pot and blender, this is a GIFT.  Tell her to consider it a surprise party where she knows the place, time and who’s coming – that’s it!

Cut her a little slack, and then cut off all communication about the shower!

Keep in mind, there’s a reason the wedding march goes: dum-dum-de-dum…that’s because, given the stress they are under, brides aren’t always the brightest crayons in the box!

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