Why Bachelorette Parties and Bridal Showers are Overrated
Save the Pennies & Prevent the Pretend Penises!
I write this knowing full well that my mother and future mother-in-law will fight me over this when I decline a bridal shower. That’s part of the challenge: older generations tend to see these events as rites of passage.
But I simply think bachelorette parties and bridal showers are a waste of time and money. Should we keep doing them just because of tradition? I think that being in a wedding is such a lovely and genuine honor. I also think it is expensive enough as is (which I will get to in a future post).
Having seen almost every one of my gal pals go through each step from getting engaged to walking down the aisle, I’ve been to many of these parties, and as maid of honor in my two best friends’ weddings, I have even hosted a couple such events.
I always thought that having a bridal shower with family in the early afternoon and then segueing into the bachelorette party with friends that same night was the most efficient way to go (although among my lady friends, I was the only one who thought that). Now, I believe the better way to go is to opt out of both!
Nobody needs frou-frou
Do you really need all that stuff in addition to what you’ll be gifted on your wedding day? Probably not.
Half of your bridal shower and bachelorette party gifts will end up unused, so skip the gifts. Many will get abandoned in some corner of the garage or that spare closet full of random items you haven’t parted with yet, a quarter of them will probably get returned, fifteen percent will be accouterments you signed up for on the registry but only because you didn’t know what else to sign up for, and ten percent will actually be useful.
Call me jaded, but I’ve seen the stuff you get at these parties. Why not just nix the party altogether? Am I the only one who secretly dislikes setting aside a whole day to both attend and purchase some useless frou-frou gift? Don’t get me wrong – I thoroughly enjoy quality time with friends. I don’t enjoy the fuss of useless item giving.
Here’s my proposal: If you’re going to have a bridal shower, make it about the time spent with your loved ones – and presence can be the only acceptable gift. (I think this was the original intent – pre-Pinterest and gift registries.)
Escapes are expensive
As for the bachelorette party, I understand that it’s nice to have an excuse to escape for the weekend – especially for my friends who have a hubby and kids at home – but I think all the fancy Pinterest-perfect set up is unnecessary, consumer-driven, and yet another waste of money.
Bear in mind that your lady friends will have additional expenses that you will burden them with. For example, your bridesmaids will purchase the $300 one-time-use dresses required to be part of your day (whether they like the design or not), pay for the alteration costs (which are almost as expensive as the dresses), pay for hair and makeup for your big day, their hotel for your wedding night, a wedding gift, etc.
Hold on…what was the purpose of this event again? It’s all about you! Yay!
Oh wait, no, it’s about your MARRIAGE. That’s what it’s actually all about. Don’t lose focus of what’s really priceless and important.
You can’t please everyone
I was recently maid of honor in a wedding and the bride was a nervous wreck about trying to please everyone – every step of the way – including the bachelorette party.
Finally, we ended up grilling out and having a nice lunch, followed by gifts. Then we went downtown in the city where I lived. We stayed in a hotel that was walking distance from the bars.
Unfortunately, despite my careful planning and checking in with the hotel several days in advance to confirm, there was a mishap and the hotel gave us space that was too small to accommodate us all.
This led to a big headache and at least an hour of our night spent trying to patiently and tactfully iron everything out and get a refund.
You don’t get anywhere in life by being rude or mean to people, and luckily we knew that. Remember that. The whole situation put a wet blanket on the day. Why not skip all of that burden?
Save your pennies and energy trying to get everything “right.” Quality time does not require a fancy hotel.
Last Night of Freedom
I’ve never understood the saying of “this is my last night of freedom!” What do you think your marriage will look like if you are making questionable decisions with your best girlfriends late in the night? Isn’t the reason for the event to celebrate your upcoming marriage?
Keep it simple
If you’re going to do a bachelorette party, invite some friends over for movies and wine, an afternoon at the beach, dinner at your favorite restaurant, or a good old-fashioned sleepover – whatever suits your lifestyle.
But for the love of weddings, please, oh please don’t make your lady friends try and guess what your future spouse wants you to wear in bed. You’ll rock it (duh) but nobody wants to guess what size lacy thong you wear or try and guess how freaky your S/O likes it while selecting a lingerie set.
Just skip the gifts. Skip the tacky genitalia junk. Skip the scheduling nightmare that is created when you try to get 80 of your closest girlfriends together. Skip the complexity and keep it super simple. Your life – and the lives of your lady friends – will be better because of it.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know in the comments!
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