Commanding Contributions: Responding to an unexpected monetary request

Q: My 14 year old daughter was asked to be a junior bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. The shower is just a few weeks away. I received an email from the maid of honor that was addressed to the other four bridesmaids and myself. My daughter and myself were not included in the planning of the shower, which is at a restaurant and includes a full lunch for 80 guests. The email asks that we all bring our checkbooks the day of the shower to split the restaurant cost (flowers, invitations, favors, etc.) I thought that the junior bridesmaids were considered to be ‘helpers’. In other weddings I have been in as a bridesmaid, we have never asked the parents of the junior bridesmaid or the flower girl to contribute financially. Is it the responsibility of the junior bridesmaid to contribute financially to the wedding shower or other expenses besides her own dress and accessories?

A: No, it is not the responsibility of the junior bridesmaid to participate in these costs, nor is it correct to require payment from any attendant, junior or senior, without asking that person first if she is willing an stating the amount of the contribution. It is fine to write back and say you are sorry, but you had no communication that this was an expectation and therefore will not be contributing.

7 Comments

  1. YELENA

    Hello. How are you? My name is Yelena. I`am from Russia, Moscow. Y want to know, please, about the etiquette of the clothing of the woman-librarian. Thank you very much. Yelena. Russia.

    • Elizabeth

      Yelena, there is no etiquette relating specifically to that position. However, as a professional, a female librarian would be expected to dress professionally. Some libraries are more casual (perhaps a local branch of the public library) while some are more formal (an academic library). The female librarian should determine which of these she works in, and follow suit accordingly. Professional attire for women can include suits, dress pants, skirts, button-down shirts, sweaters, blazers, etc. It should not be overly revealing.

    • Jody

      Yelena — as others have noted, attire varies in each library. What I would do is dress conservatively for an interview (business suit, for example) and note how others dress. I might also dress more conservatively for the first day or so to make sure I have a good sense of how coworkers dress. Then I could relax my attire and dress how other librarians dress.
      My local public library, for example, seems to have casual dress. None of the librarians dress in the “hippie” attire described by one responder, but most seem to dress in nice jeans or slacks and a shirt.

  2. Brockwest

    1) Jr. Bridesmaid: Sheesh, to think someone thinks a 14-year-old should front the cost of 10-20 dinners! No, the Jr. Bridesmaid is there for the experience as it is understood that she doesn’t have funds. I don’t like how some wedding people “assign” financial responsibilites without in-put.
    2) Librarian: Yelena, in American movies, classically librarians were portrayed as shabbily-dressed spinsters. These days, being a librarian is a profession, frequently with a college degree to back it up. Yes, there are two forms of dress now….the hippie casual with jeans and flip-flops, versus the profession skirt and blouse. As with anything in life, if you want to succeed, be the one who dresses and acts professionally. When promotion opportunities come, the professional is the one who will get the nod, everything else being equal.

    • Joanna

      I agree! To me, it sounds like the inclusion of the 14-year-old is really nothing more than trying to get another person to pony up for the expenses of the event. It’s definitely ok to say you can’t.

  3. YELENA

    Good day! Elizabeth, Brockwest, Thank you very, very, very much for your answer. Have a nice day! Yelena, from Russia with love.

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