Imaginary Bridal Shower, Revisited

I rushed to judgement. The notion of an imaginary bridal shower – where there is no transportation hassle, no gift-opening ceremony with requisite gushing over tablecloths, and no need to wrap an actual gift, was enchanting. I gave the idea of a virtual shower my whole-hearted endorsement. Then, I was invited to a second imaginary shower.

Like the first imaginary shower, the reason given for the lack of a physical shower, in the invitation, is that the bride is busy. Since I’m not a friend of her’s, I can neither confirm nor deny that statement. I can’t even confirm that there is an actual wedding taking place, as I never received an invitation. Update: I have since received the invitation, with apologies from the bride. There was a mailing oversight.

While the original imaginary bridal shower was given by the bride’s sister, who I can personally attest is a kind soul, I don’t know this party planner. I don’t even recognize her name; I don’t recall the bride ever mentioning her. All I know  right now is that she’s very efficient. In addition to coordinating the shower, she mailed out all the invitations, each of which included a self-address envelope, pre-stamped. The invitation, which rhymes nicely, explains that the envelope is to be used to send the $25 check each guest is to deliver the party planner so she can buy gifts for the bride.

That’s one way to introduce yourself.

I do not blame the bride for the party planner’s actions. I can attest that she is a generous person, almost to a fault. It’s quite possible that she is unaware of any of this, as she’s been so wrapped up in wedding plans that I haven’t seen her in months. For that reason, I’m happy to send the bride a gift. The bride is a nice person; if I can, in some small way, help her start off with a nice home I’m happy to do so. Yet the imaginary shower has made that difficult.

The party planner’s demand of $25 is more than I spend on most of my close friends, and I have no desire to get into a pitched battle with the party planner about my contribution. I don’t want to spend $25, and I don’t want to write a cover letter to explain why. This is where the imaginary aspect of the bridal shower has failed me. I cannot buy a gift to my own specifications, which I could have brought to a bridal shower. I can’t drop a gift off with the bride, as I’m not sure she knows where she’s living. Instead, I’m now forced to return to the Bed, Bath, and Beyond website with its over-priced shipping.

There has got to be a better way to do this.

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2 Comments

  1. Oh wow, people are out of control. The planner should have written on the invitation: “The bride is registered at Bed, Bath & Beyond and Macy’s. If you prefer, you can return the enclosed envelope with a check which the planner will use to buy gifts for the bride.” $25 is more than I spend on bridal showers, so if I were invited to such a virtual bridal shower I would go look at the B,B&B registry (which always has a shipping address) and buy something in the range I wanted to spend (price+shipping=amount I want to spend, don’t forget about shipping cost).

    Hannah, I’m calling dibs on your bridal shower. It will be the way bridal showers should be: (1) in person, none of this virtual nonsense, I actually want to see you and other friends, (2) I will tell people where you are registered and let people use their best judgment on what to buy for you, and I will not demand that people shell out a certain amount of money, (3) I will absolutely not make people do absurd things, like dress up or bring a note card with a recipe, because just showing up and bringing a wrapped present is often a lot of effort, (4) I will serve lots of delicious snacks, a mix of healthy things (for people who are into that sort of thing) and junk food (for people who are not), (5) the room and the food will be decorated in a pink hearts motif, obviously, and (6) I will plan a few fun games, but not the kind that put people on the spot and make people think of witty things on the spot. I like the challenge of thinking of witty marriage advice based on a spatula or measuring spoons, but some people find this stressful and parties should not be stressful.

    • As you say Dena, we’re gonna have fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!

      (1) I’m being forced to agree that in-person, despite the hassle, is better. You were right all along.
      (2) Good call; demanding money from people is gauche and tacky in the extreme.
      (3) Silly is as silly does.
      (4) Delicious snacks are essential. You are wise.
      (5)um, ok. If you’re willing to host a party you get to pick the decor. But I don’t believe with every fiber of my being that wedding showers necessitate pink everything.
      (6)Pressure is bad; it can cause heart disease. On behalf of my future guests, I thank you for watching out for their health.

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