Bridal shower prizes

I have a little bit of a problem. I am hosting a Victorian Tea party for my sister-in-laws bridal shower on sat. I am a bridesmaid. I have been to showers where the prizes won in the games were given to the guest of honor. I absolutly hate this “tradition”! I think that these invitees have already spent money on a present and shown up. If you play a game, you play to win the prize, not give it up. This is her fourth shower, that is a long story, so she has already received a lot of gifts. Also, I have spent quite a bit of thought, time and money trying to make this shower really special. In addition to a shower gift, I am paying for most of the shower on my own, as none of the other 7 bridesmaids could or wanted to help. I have also bought her a nice teapot and a bone china cup and saucer to start a collection. So my question is, I really think that the guest should be able to keep their prizes. I went through a lot of thought in getting prizes that were unusual. How do I go about stating my wishes at the shower without making the bride mad? She is a VERY self centered bride, I know that she is going to expect it. I spoke to the one person who is cohosting with me, and she thinks that the bride will get very upset. If you think that I should discuss it with the bride, what do I say to her? Also, if I can find a way to accually pull it off, how do I state my intentions? I was thinking something along the lines of “I realize that this is a normal practice, but I have decided that I want you to keep the prizes and not give them to the bride.” How do I accomplish this with tact? Your advice will be greatly appreciated as the shower is in two days!! Thank you.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Walking on Eggshells,

Actually, you are the one with good taste. I have heard that some follow this tradition, but it isn’t typical in most areas. I have never experienced it, nor have I read about it anywhere. I have no idea how this was started but it isn’t polite to the guests. Why include games at the shower if everything goes to the bride anyway. It just doesn’t make sense. So, it is not “normal” practice. It is just normal in some places.

This is the way you could state your point of view. You could say that were not brought up this way and that it feels rude to you. She has had her way in all of her other showers. This one is hosted by you. You get to make up the rules. If she gets angry, well, perhaps someone will help her understand that if she is thinking about getting married, she should behave as an adult. I’m not sure about this being tactful, but it is truthful.

Best wishes,

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites

Wow..I have never heard of this bridal shower tradition either but since this is her FOURTH shower she should really be feeling lucky that she’s getting anyone to actually attend, nevermind bringing gifts and giving up their prizes too! [crazy]

I would sure speak to some of the close family and/or friends and have a plan prepared to deal with her. Perhaps you can designate some brave soul who will be ready to take her aside and give her a talking to if the situation arises.

Let’s just hope she’s had enough practice at this wedding and shower thing to know how to act apropriately.

Please come back and let us know how the shower goes. I’m dying to know what happens.


Thank you so much for your advice! It helped to know that I had someone backing me up so to speak. Some people seemed a little uncomfortable with my decision, but that is only because it is something that everyone does locally. The bride accually took it very well. The only thing that was funny was that her maid of honor was sitting right next to her and won a prize. When she opened it, the bride admired it. By the end, she ended up with that prize. I don’t know if she asked her for it or not, but at least everyone had the option. At the start of the party, I made an annoucement that was something like “In appreciation for you attendance, the bride has said that she would like you to keep whatever prizes that you win.” So that made her look good. I just wanted to come back here and say thank you so much for you advice!!

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites

I’m so glad your story had a happy ending and that you were able to tame the “wild bride”! Thanks for coming back and ahring your experience, and how you handled it, so that others may learn from you.

Hope the wedding is a lot of fun. [:)]