bridesmaid paying for bridal shower

My husbands stepbrother is getting married. My husband has a large family all brothers so the wedding party is large with lots of groomsmen. We are not close with the groom and have only met his fiance 2 or 3 times. My husband was asked to be in the wedding over 1 year ago. The wedding is in August. Last week his fiance calls and wants to know if I would mind being a bridesmaid. I assumed that she needed someone last minute to even out the bridal party. I said yes, and have rush ordered and paid in full for my bridesmaid dress. The dilemma is….. Yesterday I received an email from the maid of honor asking for me to pay 250.00 towards the bridal shower and a contribution towards a cash gift. I think that this is in poor taste considering that I was asked late, do not know the bride or her side of the family,was not involved at all in planning the shower and I think it is rude to ask for a cash gift. Am I obligated to pay this? Does agreeing to be a bridesmaid mean agreeing to everything? What should I do?

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Last Minute,

This is a disturbing trend I have been noticing. I don’t think people realize that the bridal shower is an option, that the MOH may offer to host it (not an obligation), and that the bridesmaids must agree to cohost it (pay for it).

Obviously, you were not asked and did not agree to spend $250 for a party. No, you are not obligated to pay for this. You decide if you want to contribute to a group gift also. A wedding should not be an excuse for extortion.

Best wishes,


[crazy]Thank-You very much on your honest reply…my husband said too, to contact the bride and discuss me withdrawing from the wedding as well. I just cannot believe the gall of the MOH, doing what she is doing. On top of that, this is the 2nd marriage for the bride…….the nerve …

Thanks again, your advice really helped me and hopefully I will find and end to all this comotion!