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  1. elizabeth anne

    Please bear with me, I’m in a bit of a conundrum. By reading all of the information below I hope someone can offer me insights on how to handle my friend’s “friends” during the process and while hosting a couples baby shower for our mutual friend.

    I have a long-time friend who has experienced fertility issues and is now pregnant with her first child. I immediately offered to throw her a shower as I know how special and extraordinary this time truly is for her and her husband. She agreed to let me host a shower for her, however at the time I was relocating back to the city she lives in. Now that I’m here, in the same city, she has two other friends who want to host a couples shower. (My friend is actually having 3 showers one with family in her hometown, one at her church and then this couples shower.) My pregnant friend asked me to help them with the couples shower instead of throwing one on my own. Wonderful! I reached out via email, since I don’t know the other two ladies, and suggested we meet in-person to discuss the shower planning and budget.

    The “lead” lady in the planning process said she didn’t have time to meet in person as she is exceedingly busy with school and a new pregnancy of her own and that she thought we could accomplish everything we needed to via e-mail. I responded with “many things can get lost in translation via email so why don’t we at least have a phone conversation”. She called and she dolled out “can you do the invites and the alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks” to me. My response was sure, that’s fine as an individual task but could we discuss the other aspects of budget, food, decor, entertainment as a group? Her response was that those things had already been decided and that she felt rather than adding up the total cost of the shower and splitting it three ways she said “we should pay for our own parts because what I want to spend may be different than what you want to spend.” This translates to me, “I don’t want you to infringe on what I want to be perceived as “giving” to the pregnant friend.

    I was going to be leaving for a trip to Europe and I was able to design and get the proof of the invites sent off to the other two ladies for review prior to my departure. I was told by the “lead lady” that she should be listed as the RSVP contact, which I found odd since I was asked to handle the invites. I graciously made the change and also included a “hosted by” line with all three of our names listed in alphabetical order, of course. I submitted the order and the invites were delivered while I was in Europe, but I promptly got them addressed and mailed out the day after I returned – which was still 4 weeks in advance of the shower. Mind you the whole time I was abroad, I did have access to e-mail and the ability to make/receive calls on my mobile phone.

    After I mailed the invites, I didn’t hear a peep out of the other two ladies until I emailed and asked them how the RSVPs were coming and what type of food would be served so I could begin planning the appropriate beverages. I only then received a number from the “lead lady”.

    I called my pregnant friend the week of the shower (this week) to ask her what she thought her percentages would be of guests who would drink alcohol and those who wouldn’t in addition to those who don’t drink alcohol what their preferred beverage would be – sodas, teas, etc. My friend told me 2/3 would drink a cocktail and most everyone would drink tea. My response was “great! now I can get a signature cocktail together and then a couple of flavored iced teas.” She then asked me how things were going and I told her I honestly didn’t know what else was being planned, other than the type of food, due the “lead lady” not communicating or wanting/being available to meet in person. We wrapped up the call and then, it happened.

    All of a sudden I got flooded with emails from both ladies, not even a phone call mind you, about their details of the shower. In one of the emails the other lady who has been pretty silent up until now, suggested two days before the event we meet at her house for set-up at 4 the day of the event. Since I hadn’t heard from them until now, I already have plans up until I am supposed to be there with drinks, as my only part. Then the other lady suggested we meet in person tomorrow or Friday “to make sure everyone’s expectations are being met, how important it is we not lose sight of making our friends happy and what a difficult time she had getting pregnant and how wonderful it is to have a child.” (My pregnant friend has told me all four of us have experienced fertility issues but I have never met the other ladies to have divulged this very personal information, nor would I share it.)

    I am not able to meet with the “other lady” in person as my schedule doesn’t permit it at this late stage of the game. The “lead lady” had responded and said “feel free to meet in person without me as I have other commitments”. I have not responded to her e-mail.

    The “lead lady” responded with a “God bless you other lady for putting it all in perspective. We all have been through fertility issues and God is working. What a miracle when you are blessed with a baby. I know we thank God ever day for ours.”

    Here’s my questions:
    1. How do I respond to these emails? I am not able to meet in advance and frankly since they haven’t wanted to include me in the planning process, rather I feel like just a warm body who can “bring drinks”, I am not inclined to go out of my way to meet up with them so they can feel they appease me – which is what I feel like the whole “let’s meet in person two days before the event” says.

    2. I have NEVER discussed my personal experiences with either of these ladies, a little hard to do since I have only spoken to one of them on the phone, once. I do not feel it’s appropriate for the “lead lady” to bring it up in a public forum such as e-mail.

    3. I do NOT plan on mentioning anything about these email exchanges at the actual shower, but if one of the ladies brings something up how in the world do I address it with tact?

    I welcome and respect all responses and will read each one with an open mind. Thank you in advance for reading my post.

    • Graceandhonor

      I gather, Elizabeth Anne, that you have had enough of this alienating foolishness, and I do not blame you. What started out as a genuine desire to do something nice for your friend has devolved to a grinding chore and it is a shame you have been treated as you have. At this point, I suggest you adopt a survival mode, and get through this as best you can. I agree the last minute call to meet for a review is too little, too late, and would politely decline, but assure them at the same time that you will show up in time to set up beverages you were assigned. Smile during the party, be happy for your friend, and happy that this will be the limit of your interaction with the “lead lady” and
      her minion(s).

      As for your friend divulging private information, you might, at an opportune time in the future, tell her quietly that you were unhappy she broadcast your health information. It is obvious this group was using this mutual difficulty to build what I think was an insincere bridge over the swamp of poor behavior they exhibited during this whole affair, and I can see how offensive that would be. Should one of them have the audacity to bring this up to you at the shower, simply say, “I don’t care to discuss this. This party is about our guest of honor.”

      Your restraint and objectivity in relaying your dilemma speak volumes of your good character and intellect. I have no doubt your friend made a major mistake in not appreciating your gracious offer. Onward and upward, and happy holidays to you. G&H

  2. Sherry

    One of my best friends since 5th grade (we are now 34) asked be to be part of her honorary bridal party. In fact, all of the bridesmaids are honorary bridesmaids. The bride said we would be escorted down the aisle near the time of the mothers and grandmothers and then be seated on the front row. She mentioned that I would be seated on the end to help her wtih her dress and flowers. She never actually stated that I would be honorary matron of honor, but the responsibilities imply such.

    I have intiated along with her sister, also an honorary bridesmaid, to host a shower for her. I have contacted the other honorary bridesmaids to see if they would like to join in and help with the shower and/or a bachelorette party. I have two questions.

    1. As a shower hostess, am I supposed to also buy an actual shower gift or could the shower itself be a gift?
    2. What about a wedding gift?
    3. Are there any other honorary bridesmaid responsibilities?

    • Alicia

      I think you should ask your friend what she wanted in terms of the difference between regular bridesmaid and honorary. I’ll be honest other then not being forced to wear a dress you hate I’m not sure I see what is so different. I think since she is making you guys honorary for what is an honarary job she might have a very clear idea of what she does or does not want.
      That said shower hostess does not have to give a gift at the shower but a small one would be very appropriate. Generally showers are seperate from the wedding in terms of giving so plan on at least a small wedding gift as well.

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