Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Controversial Bridal Shower

I have my reasons for doing what I am doing, but I'm generating a bit of a stir anyway. It seems my wedding - and I am sure any bride has experienced this - is bringing out the diva in some people. My first major 'no-no', according to my old-fashioned family members, was to include comfort food at my cocktail hour. "Mac-n-cheese is for a kiddie birthday party, Jaclyn, not for a wedding" and "I don't care if it's in a martini glass, I will be seen eating mashed potatoes at a wedding" were some very, very common comments. Then I announced what they thought was the absolute worst thing ever - wait for it - wait for it......cupcakes!!!!! NOOOO!!! The uproar that ensued was, in my eyes, hilarious.

And then, when things finally calmed down, I gave them the big one. The most horrid thing that any old-fashioned, cannoli-eating, sambuca-drinking family could have ever heard of.

I'm planning my own bridal shower.

How dare I?!

Am I some sort of deranged control freak? Have I lost all sense of customs? What the heck* (note, heck wasn't the word my vino drinking family member used, but hey, this is a family blog) do I expect my bridesmaids to be doing? My generation, apparently, has no sense of tradition and honor. Hope. Is. Lost.

Seriously? Give me a break!

Let me make my case, and then you can make a decision on whether or not my actions are forgivable, or if I have undoubtedly cast doom onto the rest of my life.

My main reason for organizing my own bridal shower was money. I've been a bridesmaid, I've been a maid-of-honor, and I've been a guest - no matter what your role, these parties are expensive. Add in the fact that we live in New York/Long Island, and well, the regular idea of expensive has a few extra zeros at the end of it. Things where I live are shockingly expensive. Aside from the expensive, I have a rather large Italian family - way too many people to fit in a private home, and, unfortunately, the date of the shower isn't conducive to an outdoor fiesta. All of the above leads to one thing, a restaurant or catering hall shower, which ultimately equals even more $$$$$$.

And who, exactly, is supposed to front that mula? My bridesmaids? Well, let me put this out there - I'm relatively young. Right now in NY the average age for getting married is late 20's early 30's. I'm more along the lines of mid/early 20's, which means that my bridesmaids are along those lines as well. It's hard surviving as a newly working 20-something-year-old in a NYC economy. We are all surviving very well (in fact I think my group of girls deserve applause for being hard-working, super motivated gals with heads on their shoulders and lights in their tunnels!) but at the end of the day we don't have large sums of money sitting under our mattresses stashed away for expensive bridal showers.

So, what does a bride do? Ask her girls to hand over something they work their butts off for, or just organize and pay for the party herself?

Whether my peers like it or not, I've decided to meet in the middle. I'll pick a date, book a place, and pay the bill. My girls will plan all the activities, prizes, and so on. They don't have to take extra time off from work to do their bridal party duties, and I don't have to worry about walking into a restaurant in my pajamas, only to discover SURPRISE!

At the end of the day, I adore - no, love! - my girls. I know, without a doubt, that if I had asked them to foot the bill for the shower, they would have without batting an eyelash. But in my heart I can't do that. I love them too much to be putting that kind of pressure on them. Planning a wedding is stressful, planning a surprise party is also pretty stressful. I don't want my girls stressed, I want them to enjoy the journey, by my side. Their support means the world to me. I didn't ask them to be my bridesmaids because of their money, their party planning capabilities, or the way they'll look in a pretty dress standing next to me. I asked them to be my bridesmaid because they've been by my side since day one, and I know they will be for a long, long time coming.

I hope my family can come to terms with the fact that times, and traditions, are changing. Change happens, embrace it!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...