The Sensible Celebration

Love is in the air. The flowers are blooming. And your girlfriend is getting married. Or maybe she’s having a baby. Naturally, you want to celebrate with style.

But when planning the shower or bachelorette party, well-meaning friends in party planning mode can run up the cost faster than a New Years Eve dinner at Craft – and believe me – that’s fast.

The good news is that you can plan an elegant shower without taking a bit out of your happy hour budget.

Guests. First, ask your friend for a list of guests, so that you can get an idea of how many people you’ll be hosting. Will it be a couple’s shower or just women? What does she have in mind? Will this be her only shower? These are all things to take into account.

Your friend will also give you names of her other friends who have expressed interest in helping with the shower. Contact them as quickly as possible to ask how they want to help and share ideas. Everyone who wants to help make the day special should feel included.

Budget. Figure out what you can reasonably spend and stick to it. If it’s possible for all of the hostesses to agree on a dollar amount, that’s ideal. But don’t pressure anyone into matching your contribution. Everyone should contribute what they are comfortable with. Your friend would not want any of you breaking the bank over her shower or party.

Hostess Gift. If you contribute to a hostess or group gift, you are not expected to also buy another gift. In fact, as the hostess of the party, etiquette says that you don’t have to buy any gift at all. However, I recommend that you bring a small gift.

Food & Beverages. You are not expected to pick up the tab for all of the drinks at a restaurant. I recommend paying for the food. If that’s too expensive, don’t have it at a restaurant. It’s in bad taste to throw a party and not have anything for the guests to eat. However, if the event is held is someone’s home, you should provide all food and drinks.

No matter what, the guest of honor pays nothing.

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