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20-40-60 Etiquette: How should we split the cost?

A mixture of singles and couples is throwing a bridal party. Do we divide the cost of the wedding shower per individual or per family unit? 20-40-60 Etiquette answers, with etiquette teacher Devonne Carter as guest.

by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman Modified: July 29, 2012 at 9:44 am •  Published: July 29, 2012

HELEN’S ANSWER: This is a hard question and should be decided by all of the hosts when the party planning is in the initial stages. Usually the single person will be in favor of paying per person and the married couples will want to pay by the unit, so if the cost is $100 per person and the single person pays $100, then the married couple would have to pay $200.

That is probably the reason recent party invitations that I have received only lists the wives’ names as hosts for the party, even though it’s for a couple’s shower. That way everyone shares per person and there is one person in the couple who is billed. Readers, do you have any other ideas on how to do this?

GUEST’S ANSWER: Devonne Carter, licensed clinical social worker and etiquette class teacher at Oklahoma Christian University: You divide the cost by 11. There is no reason to penalize the single person.

To ask an etiquette question, email For more 20-40-60 etiquette, go to

by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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