Now This, A Bridal Shower

I am the Maid of Honor in a friend’s wedding. We have a very odd relationship, in that we aren’t super close (I wouldn’t call her my best friend) but she doesn’t have many close ppl in her life because she doesn’t leave herself time for friendships and nurturing them. I feel like I am doing my best to support her and be there for her, but sometimes she just says the most outrageous, bridezilla things and it is making me want to pull my hair out. She isn’t very go with the flow at all, and she is insisting on certain things (getting our hair done at the local (extremely expensive) Casino salon; I have to dye my hair a certain color if it isn’t something in the “natural” spectrum for the wedding, particularly if I go back to bright red before the wedding like it has been for the past 4 years because it might clash with the dress; I can’t put a lipstick or anything in the pocket of my dress because it might have a bulge in the photos, etc. etc.) How do I deal with her being demanding? I understand a certain amount of demand, and I am trying to let things go, and support her as much as I can, but some days I find it very very hard to communicate with her.

I am also wondering about etiquette in terms of bridal shower and wedding presents. She is having two showers – for her side of the family and one for her fiance’s side of the family and friends – and she has told me that she expects me to attend both. In fact I am driving both of us to the first one (in January) so she doesn’t have to worry about that stress. I am then throwing her a shower in late January. Should I buy her a present for both? Neither? I don’t know what she is expecting, and I worry that if I ask her she will get offended and think that I am being cheap (money is an issue for me right now, and she is aware of this but also thinks that i am trying to cut corners to save a buck). Also for the wedding, should I give her a present for that? I had always assumed that my standing in the wedding and all of my costs associated with that were my present to her, but I have been told by coworkers that when you stand in a wedding you are supposed to give 2-3 times as much as normal because you are so close to them.

Also, would it be appropriate if I ask to bring a date to the wedding? I have been dating someone long distance, and she penciled him in if he’s in town, but the likelihood is that he won’t be and I would like the ability to bring someone else, as I don’t know her family and very few of her friends (mostly coworkers that we sit on committees with) and its a small wedding with less than a hundred people. I know the person I want to bring (my best friend and an amateur photographer who would likely take photos for her for free as practice for herself), but I don’t know if I should be expecting her to give me a bridal shower invitation with a +1 and she expects me to find the rest.

Any advice would be appreciate – I am treading in new waters here. I have never stood in a wedding, and the ones where I have helped out in the brides were very low maintenance, so dealing with a very stressed and high maintenance bride is hard for me since we are quite opposite.

So, right now I know I will be throwing 2 bridal showers for her. One is being thrown by/for her mom’s friends/friends of the family. The other one I am going to manage. Because of this, I’m thinking about just having that bridal shower and the bachelorette party all as one big she-bang:

  • Bridal shower during the day or early evening with food, activities, cake and gifts, then later that night, go out for the bachelorette party.
  • Pretty much the same people that will be at the bridal shower would be the people at the bachelorette party, since no family will be coming and family friends are hosting one separately.

Has anyone done anything like this, or have any input into it? I figure since it’ll be all the same people at both anyway, it might be nicer for them (some work weekends, some live a couple of hours away, etc.) if it were all one big event/trip.

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