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  1. #1
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    Wedding/showers..advice, ettiquette, and general bitching!

    It's that time of year again! Since spring is around the corner I figured now is a great time to share advice and stories with regard to the up coming wedding and shower season

    My aunt is throwing my baby shower that's coming up in June, and while I'm definitely excited, this whole baby shower thing is definitely new to me!

    The shower is going to be female-only, however I do have a few friends that are hispanic (like myself) and are more accustomed to baby-showers that are co-ed and family oriented. I don't want anyone's feelings to get hurt, but we want to keep the number of people as small and manageable as possible. Since I have a large family and quite a few friends that are either married or attached, the best solution was to keep it female-only, and to be honest I feel more comfortable with that arrangement anyhow.

    My Aunt mentioned that simply addressing the invitation to the female should give them the hint that it's female only, but I know that will go over some people's heads. Would it make sense to indicate "ladies only" on the invitation, or just bring it to anyone's attention that it's female-only if they try to RSVP with their husband? I feel like the latter option might be leaving the door open to the possibility of hurt feelings and awkwardness.

    On the subject of weddings! One of me best friends is semi engaged...(she's planning a wedding, and put down a deposit on a dress, but has no ring and hasn't been formally proposed to yet) and those of us in her wedding party are a bit concerned with buying our dresses/planning showers, ect. since she has "called off" the wedding once already.

    Her and her fiancee are throwing themselves a jack and jill to raise money for the wedding, since they're broke and can't really afford a wedding to begin with. Is it bad that myself and another bridesmaid don't want to attend? I think jack and jills are a bit tacky to begin with, but I can understand it if it's being thrown by the wedding party or a close friend as a gesture to help out the bride and groom. But I think it's just a huge tacky money grab to throw YOURSELF one!!! The way I see it, if my bf and I can't afford to get married right now, we're sure as hell not tossing in money to fund someone else's wedding.

    Anyone else have a wedding or shower story/questions...feel free to share!

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    This is my advice: Include the "ladies only' in the invite. Trust me the more info you include the better. And make it a pretty significant line in the invite as people often don't read things or miss things. If people's feelings are hurt just explain that it was the wishes of the Mom. I am not sure most men want to go anyway unless there is sports on the TV or beer and chips anyway. To me it is weird to have men there but that is how cultures are different I guess.

    As for the wedding thing, a Jack and Jill party these days isn't that uncommon. Parents don't pay for the wedding anymore and weddings, even cheap weddings are expensive.But honestly I would wait to buy a dress when they have set the date and booked the hall etc. I would imagine you could find a dress within two weeks of the event as it doesn't sound like it will be too formal. As far as not going, eh I don't know I think you should. But you can explain to her that you can't afford too much to give or offer to give her something else instead.Like you will do her hair an make-up for the actual day. Just a suggestion. Find something you are good at that will help for a wedding. Make the invitations. etc.

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    Just write a short, cute note that you're hoping to keep things small and intimate and thus it's ladies (or whoever gets the invite) only. I dictated that some of my wedding guests wouldn't get +1's. People know me, and know that I would be uncomfortable if they brought a stranger to my wedding, so I've gotten absolutely no pushback on it. Right now it looks like we'll have 60 people at mine, and that's a great number.

    I also bought my dress before I got a ring. But it was SO CHEAP it didn't require a deposit. And we'd been talking about it for a while. Alf didn't get scared when he saw the giant white garment bag in the closet.

    I'm usually really open-minded about such things, but asking people to put money toward your wedding by throwing a party is just tacky. That's about it. If you can't afford a "typical" wedding, get married at City Hall then have a potluck where you celebrate with friends. You aren't owed a fairytale wedding if you can't afford one.

    And once they're married and struggling to make ends meet, they'll be wondering why the heck they spent so much on the wedding instead of taking that money and using it for their actual needs.

    My own wedding's just over a month away and I'm saying goodbye to my money about now. I'm actually stressing more about my class projects than about the wedding so....I think that's a good thing?

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    My niece got married last year -- big wedding with 300 guests. They saved up and paid for everything themselves. They deliberately chose a March date since in our area that's low season for weddings so they were able to get the hall/catering, etc. at half price. Not everyone is in a position to do that though.

    I don't go to Jack and Jills on principle .. people should tailor their wedding to what they can afford. Marriage is enough of an adjustment without having a huge debt hanging over you. But that's just one opinion.

    Sometimes I give money at weddings and showers and sometimes gifts .. whatever I think the couple needs most. And agree with Chantilly above .. buy the dress as close to the wedding date as possible!! I have 2 fugly dresses at the back of my closet from two weddings that didn't happen .. and we bought the dresses 6 months before.

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    First, & most important, congratulations Smiley0884! That's so exciting!

    I agree with Anita, say it in the invitation, that way you avoid misunderstandings.

    I've never heard of a Jack & Jill, what is it?

    My daughter is getting married in September. We have sent out the "save the dates", will send the formal invitations in two months. We are inviting about 220. But, we decided that only friends who are living together, engaged, or married can bring a date. It's just too expensive to have an additional 20 people there. There is no way to make that clear on the wedding invitation. we will address it to the person without a + one or and guest. hopefully, they'll get it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    Just write a short, cute note that you're hoping to keep things small and intimate and thus it's ladies (or whoever gets the invite) only. I dictated that some of my wedding guests wouldn't get +1's. People know me, and know that I would be uncomfortable if they brought a stranger to my wedding, so I've gotten absolutely no pushback on it. Right now it looks like we'll have 60 people at mine, and that's a great number.

    I also bought my dress before I got a ring. But it was SO CHEAP it didn't require a deposit. And we'd been talking about it for a while. Alf didn't get scared when he saw the giant white garment bag in the closet.

    I'm usually really open-minded about such things, but asking people to put money toward your wedding by throwing a party is just tacky. That's about it. If you can't afford a "typical" wedding, get married at City Hall then have a potluck where you celebrate with friends. You aren't owed a fairytale wedding if you can't afford one.

    And once they're married and struggling to make ends meet, they'll be wondering why the heck they spent so much on the wedding instead of taking that money and using it for their actual needs.

    My own wedding's just over a month away and I'm saying goodbye to my money about now. I'm actually stressing more about my class projects than about the wedding so....I think that's a good thing?
    Congratulations on getting married Anita Got any pics of your dress?


    And once they're married and struggling to make ends meet, they'll be wondering why the heck they spent so much on the wedding instead of taking that money and using it for their actual needs.
    Exactly. Especially since they have an 7 month old. My only issue with the way my friend is doing things is that she's in the middle of getting her masters (which she is post-poning a year) and her fiancee is kind of a bum that works only 15-20 hours a week, doesn't help out with cleaning, can't drive so doesn't help with errands, ect. She's basically paying for the wedding on a teacher's assitant salary. I just feel it's rude/tacky to throw your own jack/jill to raise money for a wedding you can't afford because of your own irresponsible choices. If someone else were throwing them the jack/jill I would understand, but I don't think I can bring myself to spend money on something like this, since she'll be charging $30 a person. She's asked my advice a million times, and everyone keeps telling her to wait 2-3 years to finish her masters, she'll be making more money and be able to afford the wedding.


    I'm not making the baby shower invites, but I will definitely ask my aunt to put in some sort of note indicating it's ladies only. Maybe say something like "Ladies garden patry theme" or something of the sort. It will just cut down on confusion. Anyone who is about their spouse not being invited, well their spouse is more than welcome to join my Dad and bf at whatever sports bar they'll be hiding in

    Anita, I don't blame you for limiting the +1's. It's one thing if the person is married or in a long term relationship. But you definitely aren't obligated to pay for a plus one, and it probably takes the pressure off of that guest to scrounge up a date anyhow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    First, & most important, congratulations Smiley0884! That's so exciting!

    I agree with Anita, say it in the invitation, that way you avoid misunderstandings.

    I've never heard of a Jack & Jill, what is it?

    My daughter is getting married in September. We have sent out the "save the dates", will send the formal invitations in two months. We are inviting about 220. But, we decided that only friends who are living together, engaged, or married can bring a date. It's just too expensive to have an additional 20 people there. There is no way to make that clear on the wedding invitation. we will address it to the person without a + one or and guest. hopefully, they'll get it.
    Thanks Cruisin Congratulations to your Daughter!


    A jack and jill is an event that is typically held to raise money for the wedding. Usually it's at a hall, a cover of anywhere from $10-$40 per person/couple is charged and there are also raffles, and other types of "money grab" style games. I know that it's a regional/cultural thing, but I just find it so . My bf and I were discussing getting married in about 2-3 years since we want to have money saved for the wedding, honeymoon, and something to put towards a house or condo. Then I got pregnant and all of that is on hold I don't want a shot gun wedding, so we're just going to wait. I just can't imagine asking our friends to put money in our pockets for something that is our choice. Some people will have their jack and jill in lieu of gifts, which is somewhat less tacky, IMHO.

    It might be a good idea for your Daughter to send a friendly text or email to those who will not be approved to bring guests? I definitely agree that you shouldn't have to pay for extra guests, but some people are so accostomed to bringing a guest to a wedding it might fly over their head that their invite doesn't say "and guest".

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    I knew it was common in many Hispanic cultures to have co-ed showers, but I have never heard of this Jack and Jill party. Maybe she can freecycle her or a friend's quince dress, have the wedding at someone's home, and friends can bring food and drink. My cousin did that, and it was a lot more fun that traditional weddings with bland catered food. There has to be at least one Tio who will be thrilled to roast a pig. Throw in some rice, beans, and maduros, and you have a great meal.

    I never regretted having a City Hall marriage. Not being in debt and being able to keep our savings intact was the more attractive option. Also, people tend to regret throwing so much money into a wedding when it ends in divorce as so many do.

    The men will likely be grateful to avoid the whole shower thing. Maybe one of them can come up with a seperate guy party.

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    I think bridal showers are strange (you already bring gifts to the wedding, so why do you have to bring the bride gifts at a shower too??), Jack & Jill parties sound really tacky - unless you ask for money in stead of wedding gifts, which to me is OK.

    we did our wedding at semi-budget (venue was MIL work place cafeteria, a great place overlooking a lake, and FREE, cake & dress & hair was done by my mom, invitations were hand made by me, in laws paid for catered high-end food (this was our most important item and I still remember the tastes 13 years later) & flowers, my brothers best friend was hired as a cheap bar tender, private venue meant discount alcohol buying without restaurant markup (we wanted full bar), music was friend with DJ hobby and prof equipment.... I mean, we rented the silverware and set it our self - there is a lot of things you can do on your own!)

    I would suggest you say 'no thanks' to the Jack & Jill, and maybe offer some service for them, like making invitations, or maybe you know someone where you can get a discount, like family & friends discount for a photographer etc.

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    I was invited to a Jack n Jill, but not to the wedding. The Jack n Jill cost $25, I could not go, due to a conflict. I bought a $10 raffle ticket for the Jack n Jill.
    I am in CT and never heard of Jack n Jill before. But the bride is from Mass - and she says it is common there.
    I thought it was odd to not have been invited to the wedding, and it was around 300 people. Makes one feel like they are looking for $$.

    I say - if you can't afford the wedding on your own (with the exception if parents pay - and they can afford it) - then don't get married yet / elope / go to city hall.
    Don't spend what you don't have! What one wants may not match ones financial situation.

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    Inviting someone to a gift grab, but not the wedding? That is incredibly tacky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Inviting someone to a gift grab, but not the wedding? That is incredibly tacky.
    Seriously. I would say it didn't FEEL LIKE they were looking for $$, they WERE. It's rude to invite someone to a shower if they're not invited to the wedding, forget this "Jack and Jill" thing (only place I've heard that term is West Coast Swing, where it means a competition with randomly-drawn partners. Never been invited to a Money-Grubbing Party....)

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    I've only been to one Jack and Jill, many years ago, for a young couple setting up home for the first time. It was a fun night - casino games, drinks, buffet etc - sort of a party that happened to have two guests of honour who would benefit from the proceeds. As I recall, they actually didn't make a lot of money - the players were better than the dealers I'm quite sure they didn't throw it themselves though - I do think that's quite tacky. Even if it was their idea, at least get someone else to host the thing.

    As for inviting people not invited to the wedding, sounds like the stag parties I knew of decades ago. In those days, it was a men's night - tickets were sold, there might be cards and/or strippers, cash bar, maybe food. Lots of men would attend who would not got to the wedding, and might not even know the groom directly - guys would sell tickets to their own networks, and people would come out for the event itself, not minding that it benefited some young man.

    But these were also the days when people got married younger, and went directly from their parents' homes to living on their own for the first time. Families, friends and community came together to help the young couple set up home and start their adult life on the right foot. Nowadays - at least in my experience - couples almost always live together or on their own first, are older and have more income, may have been married before and/or already have children. They don't need the cash or household items, and if they do, then they either scale down the wedding dramatically, post pone getting married, or just don't at all. In recent years, I've found that pre-wedding events are more about celebrating the bride and/or groom, and getting to know families and wedding parties in advance of the wedding.

    Still lots of baby showers though - many people seem to love buying things for babies and getting together to talk about babies

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    Inviting someone to a gift grab, but not the wedding? That is incredibly tacky
    I was in a similar situation last year. I was invited to a wedding but not the reception. The invitation said nothing about this, it came with directions on how to get to the reception hall and information as to where the couple was registered. When we got to the hall, I was informed that I was not "on the list" but was directed as to where I could leave my gift. Of the 300 people invited to the wedding, only about 150 were "on the list" for the reception. Needless to say, I left and my gift left with me.

    Then, a couple months ago, I got invited to a bridal shower for a girl I work with. I was kind of shocked because I don't really know her that well. The shower was being held at a country club and the invitation included information as to where I could send my payment! Yup, in order to attend the shower of someone I barely know, it would cost me 50 bucks, plus a gift!
    Last edited by Whitneyskates; 03-19-2013 at 03:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitneyskates View Post
    I was in a smilar situation last year. I was invited to a wedding but not the reception. The invitation said nothing about this, it came with directions on how to get to the reception hall and information as to where the couple was registered. When we got to the hall, I was informed that I was not "on the list" but was directed as to where I could leave my gift. Of the 300 people invited to the wedding, only about 150 were "on the list" for the reception. Needless to say, I left and my gift left with me.

    Then, a couple months ago, I got invited to a bridal shower for a girl I work with. I was kind of shocked because I don't really know her that well. The shower was being held at a country club and the invitation included information as to where I could send my payment! Yup, in order to attend the shower of someone I barely know, it would cost me 50 bucks, plus a gift!
    Talk about horror stories!!! How incredibly rude to invite guests to a ceremony, and not reception. It's a blatant money grab. Same with the bridal shower. I've seen people literally just invite everyone on the facebook friends list to their shower or jack/jill, and constantly spamming everyone to attend. So. Tacky.

    I was talking to a friend of mine who threw her sister a jack and jill. Her reasoning was "they can afford the wedding, but I wanted to do something nice for them so they could have money to put towards a house or honeymoon" While I think it was a nice gesture, at the same time it's still money grabby. Why should other people have to pool their money to pay for someone ELSE to take a vacation or buy a house, when a lot of people can't afford to themselves? Isn't a wedding gift enough?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smiley0884 View Post
    Congratulations on getting married Anita Got any pics of your dress?
    My mom added some missing beads and made it a bit shorter (and I will be wearing the veil with my hair down), but this is the dress: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c89rblilc5...gveilfront.JPG

    I have to wear bra pads so there isn't a huge space on top, but otherwise it fit!

    If anyone has old wedding dresses, sell them on ebay or http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/ ! It was clear the guy I got this from was just looking to get rid of it (it'd obviously been sitting in their closet for a long time!), because the rest of the stuff in his ebay store was Yamaha motorcycle parts. But the veil, the longline bra, the crinoline, and the dress was $64, including shipping. You realize why I couldn't wait until I got a ring to buy it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Smiley0884 View Post
    Exactly. Especially since they have an 7 month old. My only issue with the way my friend is doing things is that she's in the middle of getting her masters (which she is post-poning a year) and her fiancee is kind of a bum that works only 15-20 hours a week, doesn't help out with cleaning, can't drive so doesn't help with errands, ect. She's basically paying for the wedding on a teacher's assitant salary. I just feel it's rude/tacky to throw your own jack/jill to raise money for a wedding you can't afford because of your own irresponsible choices. If someone else were throwing them the jack/jill I would understand, but I don't think I can bring myself to spend money on something like this, since she'll be charging $30 a person. She's asked my advice a million times, and everyone keeps telling her to wait 2-3 years to finish her masters, she'll be making more money and be able to afford the wedding.
    Exactly. If I was going to give someone money, it certainly wouldn't be for their WEDDING, which is only a one-day thing! The marriage is much more important than a wedding, and if you're going to start it with financial worries, it's definitely not the way to go!

    Quote Originally Posted by Smiley0884 View Post
    Anita, I don't blame you for limiting the +1's. It's one thing if the person is married or in a long term relationship. But you definitely aren't obligated to pay for a plus one, and it probably takes the pressure off of that guest to scrounge up a date anyhow.
    Right. I only allowed for +1s for guests who were in a long-term relationship. Like, living together kind of long-term! The only person whom either Alf or I don't know will be my mom's friend, but that's because she helped make a really cool wooden tree puzzle guest book. (A similar one on Etsy would go for more than $200, and that costs more than feeding two people at my wedding!) I figure a wedding invitation for her and her husband would be the least I could do to thank her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Inviting someone to a gift grab, but not the wedding? That is incredibly tacky.
    I wonder how some people could get up the gall to even suggest that to their friends and relatives! :

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    I can't imagine hitting anyone else up for my wedding. Might as well just charge for the reception itself.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smiley0884 View Post
    Talk about horror stories!!! How incredibly rude to invite guests to a ceremony, and not reception.
    I think the rudest part was that the invitation didn't say anything about not being invited to the ceremony and the couple expected a gift/had apparently planned for gifts from guests which were not on the list.
    As for being only invited to the ceremony, that's not all that uncommon in Germany. But weddings are a much smaller affair in Germany anyway and there is the "eve of the wedding" Party (Polterabend). My parents had invited all their friends to that, then had the wedding itself as only a family affair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballettmaus View Post
    I think the rudest part was that the invitation didn't say anything about not being invited to the ceremony and the couple expected a gift/had apparently planned for gifts from guests which were not on the list.
    As for being only invited to the ceremony, that's not all that uncommon in Germany. But weddings are a much smaller affair in Germany anyway and there is the "eve of the wedding" Party (Polterabend). My parents had invited all their friends to that, then had the wedding itself as only a family affair.
    They probably didn't put that info on the invitation because they figured you wouldn't bring a gift if you knew ahead of time. That is beyond obnoxious!

    Smurfy, I can't believe you were invited to a Jack and Jill and not the wedding. Talk about offensive! I had never heard of a Jack and Jill before. I don't like the idea of it at all.

    Anita, can't believe the wedding is coming up so soon! For those not following the "What Do I Wear" thread, we've been talking about it for a while. Are you getting excited, stressing about details, totally relaxed and in control? We will want many photos of the big day. So happy for you.

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    Anita, I can't believe you found that stunning dress for only $65!!!! What a steal You are such a beautiful bride! Please post a couple of pics of you on your big day!

    I am actually going to show the website where you found your dress to my friend who is getting married. She actually ended up not being able to afford her dress, and the deadline to pay in full is today, so unfortunately she is out of her deposit. I personally wish she would wait a few years, but if she wants to get married now, that's what she's going to do, so I might as well try to help her save some $$.

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