Wedding Shower planning dilemma – nontraditional bride vs. traditional mom?

July 8th, 2011

Hi – I’m a maid of honor in a wedding and I have a little bit of a planning dilemma with regards to the wedding shower. The bride, who is my best friend, wanted a non-traditional, no cheesy games and retarded gift ribbon hat shower – she really wanted a luau and to hire a belly dancer to give everyone a belly dancing lesson and have fun with it. Plus her big thng is NOT to have it on the traditional Sunday afternoon, as she finds that depressing.

The rest of the bridal party consists of her sister, and her 3 nieces (who are young teenagers), so the mother will be paying for the bulk of the shower. However, her mom is very sweet and traditional, likes to please people, and has a lot of friends who are “the country club variety”. So when I brought up the bride’s desires… she was shocked – she’s like my friends won’t do belly dance!! and she wanted to have it at the country club (which my friend hates), or a restaurant, and you can’t really do something like that in a restaurant! and, she’s like showers are always on Sundays…. and her sister, who is the matron of honor, was like “oh i was looking forward to making a gift ribbon hat for my sister…” So… my dilemma is to think of ideas so that her mom is pleased (as she is kicking in most of the money, and besides that she is a great person and I would never want to step on her toes), and my friend has a memorable shower that is different and not the traditional wedding shower sap cuz that’s totally NOT my friend!

Any ideas? (besides multiple showers, cuz we’ll probably end up doing that so my friend can have her luau). I was gonna bring up the idea of having the mom’s shower at a spa, cuz I know my friend would be into that. But in case that doesn’t fly, other ideas would be awesome!
By the way, my friend is BY NO MEANS an ungrateful b$%#… she’s almost 40, and has waited forever to get married. She’s not set on the belly dancer, she just thought of it to be something fun and different b/c, being almost 40, she’s sat through everyone elses BORING shower – which is not a few minutes, but often 3 hours! So, she just wanted something different and fun that would be memorable. I’m trying to marry her wishes with her mom’s desire to please her friends and family. They are all really nice, and my friend would be grateful for anything – but I’ve been friends with her for like 15-20 years, and I’d love to see her have a nice memorable shower that makes MOST people happy!
1 more note then I’ll shut up :): My friend knows she needs to respect her mother’s wishes in regards to the shower, but since I’m helping her mom organize, as well as putting money in, I figured I could help her mom make it a party that will be fun for both the “traditional” and non-traditional guests. So – I’m basically looking for ideas, not a debate on who has a right to request things, etc… they are very good people who are not gift grabbers (my friend always says they really don’t need anything cuz they are older and already have a house, 2 sets of dishes, etc….) so of course my friend would respect her mother’s wishes! But I’m also trying to integrate my friend’s fun, free-spirited personality into the shower…and she’s not a “bridal bingo” type of bride – which her mom knows. I’m just looking for ideas of different games, themes, etc… that I can present to her mom that we can plan together…thanks in advance for your help!

11 Responses to “Wedding Shower planning dilemma – nontraditional bride vs. traditional mom?”

  1. xoxo says:

    What your friend wants sounds more like a bachelorette party than a shower. Mom’s also typically do not throw the shower – as it can be seen as a gift grab. However – I think the best thing you can do here is to let the mom give her the traditional Sunday afternoon shower… and you throw her one heck of a bachelorette party – complete with a belly dancer 😉

  2. hagertygal says:

    Ugh! Wedding crap is ridiculous these days, it’s as if people use it just to get stuff. Your friend is right to want her own way.
    You have the engagement party, the bridal shower, the wedding shower, the wedding gifts, etc…..bachelor/bachelorette parties, DUH! It is gross. I have even seen couples use their registries as “wish lists” for extravagant stuff they will never use. My aunt’s family was appalled that my cousin and his gal registered at Crate and Barrel, as well as Target. They all wanted to buy crystal and silver instead,as if to imply they were classy folks. My cousin refused. They have no use for that stuff.
    Tell the bride to be immediately of the “secret plans.” She needs to let her mother know that while her intentions are well meaning, they are misplaced. That this is not her mother’s wedding, but it is hers, and if her mother wants to hold a party she is not going to enjoy herself at, then all plans should be canceled, and money not wasted. It should be HER memorable day, not her mother’s show off party.

  3. guineapig says:

    Either you or the bride needs to talk with these people and tell them that the bride specifically requested to NOT have these lame ideas – she has specific ideas and you want to fulfill her desires. Also, remind them that it is the bride’s event, not theirs, and they should care about what SHE wants.

  4. Proud Momma says:

    Hmmm… well her mom’s friends don’t have to go if they won’t like it. The shower is for the bride and HER closest friends.

    You could always keep the theme but skip the belly dancing.

    Or like the one suggestion… do that as her Bachelorette party.

  5. Blunt says:

    Sorry, but the bride has no say and no do on what the shower is all about. She may dislike this and that, but she should know that mother is paying and she calls the shots.

    The shower uis a gift to the bride, so really, she should not be planning or telling what she wants. This is a gift.

  6. Amie87 says:

    I hate to say it but there’s not alot you can do to please them both… I’d just let the mom throw her the shower especially since you’re planning on throwing another so she can have it her way anyway. I like the spa idea.

  7. Lydia says:

    Please host a traditional shower. The bride’s wants for quirky stuff can be planned for a bachelorette party.

  8. fizzy stuff says:

    I agree with Blunt! Where have manners gone? The daughter should be grateful for the shower, and she shouldnt put stipulations over the particulars of it. She should just do the games and have fun, they only last a few minutes anyway, and be gracious.

    Also, I have to question the taste level of this bride. She doesnt want “cheesy” games, but shes willing to hire a belly dancer? In my opinion, that is 10x cheesier than the traditional games!
    If she wants to belly dance she should travel.

  9. lalala says:

    Whoever is hosting a shower calls the shots. I can respect that your friend would find a belly dancer fun but all the guests attending the shower have to be thought of. Games are not a necessity (didn’t have them at either of my showers) but I think substituting them with a belly dancer is a bit much.

    If you do decide to have a separate luau shower, remember you can only invite those who haven’t been invited to the previous shower. Inviting guests to two showers makes it look like a gift grab.

  10. kmils says:

    The bride has nothing to say about the shower. She can plan her wedding anyway she wants but the shower is a gift given by other people so they can give her gifts She’s lucky that people care enough to attend and buy her gifts and she owes them a polite thank you for the gifts and shower.

    Either you or her can organize another more private party more to her liking.

  11. *Lost_Marbles* says:

    It’s a tough one that. Especially with the 2 completely contrasting views. Although I’m not really sure what a bridal usually entails (we don’t really have them here in the UK) there must be something to compromise on. As you seem quite ready to talk things over to the mum, how about suggesting other things that will be equally unusual, but maybe not as far out there as belly dancing lessons. (Love that idea by the way!)

    How about a cocktail masterclass? Hire a barman/mixologist to teach everyone how to make a few select cocktails. You can all have fun that way, and the mother might enjoy it too.

    I’m really stuck on other ideas at the moment, but if I think of anymore I’ll get back to you!

    Good luck! You sound like a good friend to be taking both bride and mums opinions into so much consideration!

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