DEAR MISS MANNERS: As the maid of honor in a friend's wedding, I found myself having the sole financial responsibility for throwing the bridal shower. I was the only member of the bridal party with a full-time job, so I think it was assumed that I would foot most of the bill.
I felt really bad asking the other members of the party to chip in. One girl did buy the beverages, but no one else offered to contribute financially. The problem is that my finances are extremely tight, and I ended up using my credit card to pay for some of the expenses.
The shower was not fancy by any means, but any amount that anyone would've offered to contribute would have been much appreciated. Should I have directly asked everyone to contribute? I don't know the best solution to this issue.
GENTLE READER: Not to have been volunteered for this expensive pastime in the first place -- which Miss Manners can only assume you were.
A shower given by friends is an activity that is offered, not one that is assigned. If you had talked to the bridal party members in the first place, and said that you were thinking of throwing a party and wondered if the others would like to join in the hosting duties (read: also share in the expenses), that would have been the time to have seen what resources could be used and individual tasks assigned.
But unfortunately, now it is too late. To be asked retroactively to pay for a party that one didn't realize one was hosting is unseemly at best. Miss Manners recognizes that this is likely the position in which you found yourself. So you can see why you wouldn't want to spread that wealth -- or unfortunately, lack thereof.