I Offered to Let My Friend Hostess a Bridal Shower for Her Future DIL at My

Updated on April 25, 2019
A.P. asks from Youngstown, OH
12 answers

house. When I offered, the guest list was very small. 13 including the bride, my friend and myself. (The bride’s Family is also throwing a shower.) My friend informed me the guest list is now up to 20. I’m concerned about space. I asked her not to add any more people to the guest list. In the event that she does, would it be wrong for me to suggest that she change the venue? I seriously encvisioned a small, tasteful event. Just ladies, lunch and gifts with a toast to the bride.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the advice! We had a nice conversation. I expressed my concerns and she understood. Menu is planned and invited are being mailed.

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answers from New York on

In my party hosting experience. You can have 20 on a guest list and have less than 15 show up. For me on average about 40% of people invited are not able to attend. So do you really need to say anything?
There are tactful ways to speak with her about this and others have covered that. So I will only get you thinking about how many might be unable to attend.

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answers from San Francisco on

Can't you just talk to her? I mean seriously, just TALK TO HER about your concerns and go from there.
Do friends not talk anymore? Am I that old at only 50? lol.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think it depends, in part, on what your contribution was to be. Did you just agree to provide the space, or were you also planning on contributing to the food and decor? If she has added so many people that it has added to your expense, or if you would need to rent chairs, then it's unfair of her to burden you.

But I'm thrown off a little by your use of the term "tasteful event." Did you envision some sort of elegant luncheon around your dining room table, and now it's getting bigger and will perhaps shift to buffet foods on people's laps, losing your idea of elegance? Or do you consider too many gifts to be less than "tasteful" so this is feeling more like a "gift grab" to you? If it's either or both of those, I think you might find a way to share in her excitement and her desire to show off her future DIL to her friends and family members. The groom's mother doesn't normally do a lot of the wedding planning (although that is changing in many families and social circles), so perhaps she's getting a little giddy with the joy of this. Can you find a way to let her have that fun? It might not be your kind of party, but this is her event, isn't it?

If it were me (and I realize it's not), I would get a few neighbors to lend me some small folding chairs and an extra table to extend my dining room table, or some occasional tables/TV trays and the same folding chairs and just squeeze into the living room or den. I'd push the dining table to one wall and do a buffet. But that all presumes that you are just providing the space and that you aren't getting hit with bills for tablecloths and decorations and extra food.

Whatever you decide, I'd do it now. There's no nice way, once the invitations are out, to have her calling people to say there's a new location because you couldn't manage it. Sure, she could say "we've outgrown our space and are moving to XYZ location," and maybe she would, but that makes work for her especially as the date is closer. If you agree to 20, what will you do if it grows to 22 or 24? You can't keep upping your total and making a new maximum.

So, without knowing why this is a problem for you, I can't suggest whether it's better if you adjust your vision of the event to suit the family or if you tell her now that you're willing to make a few calls to find a church hall (if they'll let you do champagne or other alcohol, if you so planned) or perhaps a private organization (Elks, etc.) that rent out their facilities. If she was trying to save money by doing it at your house, that second choice is going to be a problem. However, you might adopt the attitude of "the more the merrier" which will make you look like an amazing and generous hostess who was incredibly flexible. It depends on how much this friendship means to you, I guess.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Since it's over by 7 people, do you think you could manage this current amount by:
-moving some furniture to the perimeter of your living/family room
-borrowing chairs from neighbors
-telling her this is absolute tops. No more guests!
-can you spill outside onto a back patio?
-have an inside/outside party

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Just tell her if the guest list goes over 20 she will have to find another place to host it at...20 is your limit. By the way, we used to live in Alaska in a 20 x 25 foot cabin and would have 30 or so friends over for get togethers. Good times.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

No, you would be totally within your rights to discuss a venue change based on the amount of guests. I will say that 20 guests probably mean that only 10 will actually show up - maybe 12. Are the guests confirmed guests, or just people that are getting invited who may not even come?

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answers from Dallas on

It sounds like there was serious lack of communication from the beginning.
What did you originally agree to?
What were original numbers for guests?
What was your responsibility other than providing the venue?

I understand if you have more people than you planned that it messes up the flow you had in mind. Did the other person have the same "idea" you had regarding the shower? Were your specifications made clear?

If you feel uncomfortable and do not have the room, speak now so she can find another venue, which will likely cost her more money.

It is gracious of you to offer but it sounds like things are not being handled in the way you intended for your home. I get the concern with a lot of guests. Personally, I don't want people I do not know in my home. Who knows if someone would rifle through your things, is not honest or if you would have something you treasure "get legs".

Communicate now so she can change it up if needed.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

'small' is an idea.

to you it meant 13. To her it's grown to 20 and it could easily grow 1 to 2 people at a time. So would you say you can't host it at 21? 22?

It's one of those things you kind of had to agree to in the beginning - or do it now. Just say you only have enough seats .. whatever you need to say so she doesn't add more (where you say 'in the event that she does..").

You know your friend. If she's the type to add one or more people .. I'd deal with it now. Later on may be too hard for her to find a new place, and just make everything awkward.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I would probably move some things out of the room and tell your friend to rent some chairs for the event. Of course my thought process is the more the merrier so more people wouldn't bother me as much.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

of course you're well within your rights to do that. it was generous of you to offer. keep it simple and honest and i'm sure it will work out just fine.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Some towns require that you get a permit for large events so cars parked all over a neighborhood does not become a problem.
In your place I would absolutely tell her if more people are invited that the party will be too big for your house and she will have to find someplace else.
I don't have any room in my house where 20 people could gather in one place and I'd have to borrow chairs to have enough seating.
I would have pulled out when the list went over 15 guests.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I would just go with the flow since you have already committed. Realize that if 20 are invited about 12 will actually show. That is me however, if the guest list is going to stress you out you need to talk to your friend and come up with an alternative place. Nothing takes the fun out of a party like a reluctant hostess.

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