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bridal shower etiquette/suggestions

My friends mom is planning my friends baby shower.  All of her family and friends live here but my friend and her husband recently moved across country.  My friends mom emailed me for advice....

"I REALLY NEED HELP with wording the invitations.  Since she lives out of town and can?t carry the gifts home, not sure how to word invite politely.  How to ask guest to select gift from registry, HAVE IT SHIPPED DIRECTLY OR DROPPED SHIPPED TO HER ADDRESS and come to shower with either gift card or gift photo wrapped in bag or box for her to open."

Personally, I don't really think it's appropriate.  I understand it will be a hassle and extra expense for them to get all of their gifts back home but I don't think that should be the responsibility of the guests.

I wanted to get your thoughts and wording ideas, please.

Thanks!

Re: bridal shower etiquette/suggestions

  • There is no polite way to say it.  95% of people will figure out to send the gift or bring a gift card.  The bride should plan on returning things or bringing an extra bag.
  • I feel like the premise of a shower is to open gifts, if you are not opening gifts there is no need to have a shower. Family could pass on registry info if asked by people who ask if she could use anything for the baby and she could not have a party.

    I am also in the camp that it's ok to bring gifts to a wedding and that the B&G should not complain about having to lug home stuff. This seems to be a minority opinion around here though. 

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  • imagegrahamsm3:

    I feel like the premise of a shower is to open gifts, if you are not opening gifts there is no need to have a shower. Family could pass on registry info if asked by people who ask if she could use anything for the baby and she could not have a party.

    I am also in the camp that it's ok to bring gifts to a wedding and that the B&G should not complain about having to lug home stuff. This seems to be a minority opinion around here though. 

    I agree 100%

  • Don't suggest it at all.  The purpose of a shower is to shower the person with gifts.  She'll have to figure out how to get them home.
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  • imageleighanneh:
    imagegrahamsm3:

    I feel like the premise of a shower is to open gifts, if you are not opening gifts there is no need to have a shower. Family could pass on registry info if asked by people who ask if she could use anything for the baby and she could not have a party.

    I am also in the camp that it's ok to bring gifts to a wedding and that the B&G should not complain about having to lug home stuff. This seems to be a minority opinion around here though. 

    I agree 100%

    This. That is why it is OK to address the issue of getting the gifts from point A to point B. Its different for the actual wedding or some other party. You can have a small comment at the bottom of the invitations. If its a more laid back event something like:

    "Our bride-to-be has flown in for this occasion. Lets lighten her load by having all gifts sent to her house and bring a decorated card to the shower"

  • imageiluvmylab:
    Don't suggest it at all.  The purpose of a shower is to shower the person with gifts.  She'll have to figure out how to get them home.

    You're correct that the purpose of a shower is to give them gifts, hence why it is OK to address the issue of gift giving in the invitation. I had a shower to go to and the bride-to-be had to fly in, so she was not able to bring any gifts back with her. The invitations indicated to have the gift shipped to her house. I was glad because if I am buying a gift for someone, I want to make sure they are actually getting it and using it, not sitting at someone elses house until they can "figure out" how to get them back to where they live.

  • Do people know she's coming in from out of town? They may figure it out on their own...

    I recently threw a shower for a bride who lived in another state than where the shower was held. People still brought gifts - lots of them. She packed what she could in her luggage, shipped some more, and then returned some items (registry stuff) and rebought it with the store credit when she got home. Really, in this case, I think it's the bride's responsibility to figure out how to get the gifts home...

    That being said, if your mom (or the host) is insistent on including something on the invite, I would not put it on the invite directly. Rather, on another insert card, list the registries and then put the note at the bottom.

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  • One of my friends's mom did something like this for her wedding shower. We are from Michigan and they moved to Washington, but her mom still wanted to give her a shower so they did a gift certificate couple shower. This was a few years ago so I don't remember the exact wording, but the invite said something like Anna and Joe are home, join us for a party to celebrate their upcoming wedding. Please help them get back on the plane without extra baggage and bring a gift certificate to your favorite store. They didn't put any registry info or suggestions for stores on the invite.

    It was on a Saturday night in the summer, we did a bbq type menu and had drinks/beer. Since their was no opening presents, they played a version of the newlywed game, with the bride/groom, his parents, her parents and grandparents. They also had gift certificates to give away as prizes (aniversary closest to wedding date, etc) It was a lot a fun and no one seemed bothered by the request to bring gift certificates.  We are from a small town where etiquette isn't as important as getting together.

  • We recently had this with my cousin.  She lives in TX, and her baby shower was in WI with our family.  We just spread the word to have gifts sent to her house, it wasn't written on the invite.  Everyone bought gifts, and they were sent to the house, and we all printed pictures of the gifts we got her, so she had something to open.  There were a few things for her to open there though and she took back what she could.  My aunt will go down when the baby is born and take the rest. 
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  • imageabrowneyedgirl4:
    imageleighanneh:
    imagegrahamsm3:

    I feel like the premise of a shower is to open gifts, if you are not opening gifts there is no need to have a shower. Family could pass on registry info if asked by people who ask if she could use anything for the baby and she could not have a party.

    I am also in the camp that it's ok to bring gifts to a wedding and that the B&G should not complain about having to lug home stuff. This seems to be a minority opinion around here though. 

    I agree 100%

    This. That is why it is OK to address the issue of getting the gifts from point A to point B. Its different for the actual wedding or some other party. You can have a small comment at the bottom of the invitations. If its a more laid back event something like:

    "Our bride-to-be has flown in for this occasion. Lets lighten her load by having all gifts sent to her house and bring a decorated card to the shower"

     

    I think that wording at the bottom of the invitation, politely IF it is a laid back shower is perfectly acceptable.  The point is to bring gifts so she should expect some but hopefully more considerate guests who already KNOW she's coming from out of town will have it shipped.. 

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  • I'm in the camp that says part of a shower is the gift opening so gifts should be there, and that asking guests to give a specific gift (a gift card) is inappropriate.

    My baby shower wasn't in the state where I lived, because we had only recently moved there.  It never, ever occurred to me to ask my guests not to bring gifts.  I was extremely grateful for everything I received and considered it my responsibility to find a way to get it home.  I was fortunate that I was able to drive, but even then couldn't fit it all and had to make arrangements to get the other half of the stuff back.  I didn't complain once about it.

  • We just did this for a close friend of mine. Are you planning on sending paper invitations out? If so, I would add an insert stating the bride is coming from out of town and either shipping presents to their home or buying gift cards to where they are registered would be appreciated. 

    Either way, you cannot control every guest and how they provide a gift, if any. Hopefully the bride, bridal party and family will appreciate the generousity of the gift & the attendance at the shower, regardless if the present is shipped or not.  

  • Do people invited to a bridal shower not know the bride lives out of state?  I would certainly hope they know her at least that well or they shouldn't be invited.

    Yes, the point of the shower is to give gifts.  It's not the point to dictate how or what to buy though.  Requesting they are shipped or gift cards is doing just that.

  • I live in th south but my bridal shower was in NJ. I'm assuming everyone new I was driving, which is why they brought the gifts to the shower..but there were some items I couldnt fit and I had to leave them home. If I was flying up, I would have really liked for my MoH to have taken an inittiative to let the guests know I was flying and would have no way to get the gifts back with me and the politely let them know I prefer them shipped directly.
  • hmm...I see both sides of this, yes it's rude to request certain gifts but having to get everything home presents a big dilemma.

    Thinking out loud here.  She may be able to return the bigger gifts to the store, and reorder them sending them to her house, in the worst case scenario that someone "doesn't get it" and gives her something huge and heavy.  Ususally they offer free shipping on bigger orders so in all likelihood this won't cost her anything but a trip to the store.

    You could leave registry info off the invite, and have guests call to RSVP, and this may cause them to ask about a registry, at which point you can personally give the message "she registered here,we weren't sure what to do because some of the items on her registry would be too much for her to bring home on her own, I know I'm just having mine shipped from her registry right to her house but people may want to do different things.

    We thought it may be helpful to know that our mom-to-be will be flying home after her shower and we could lighten her load by having gifts that couldn't be packed in a small suitcase sent to her home"

  • I'm confused if this is a bridal shower or a baby shower, I think it said both in the post.  If it's a baby shower, then I think it's OK to ask people to ship the items to her house, because she will need them by a certain date.  If it's a bridal shower, then I think it's the bride's responsibility to have them shipped back.  My thinking is that you really need the baby gear, and the bridal shower gifts are more "wants" than "needs" especially if the couple already lives together.

    I was living in California when I got married, and my family is in Pennsylvania.  I got tons of gifts (in Pennsylvania) and had my parents ship them to me later.  Some people had their gifts sent directly to us, but not very many.  I think people like to give gifts, especially at a shower.  It really depends on the family and friends that are invited.  If it's a small group, and everyone is laid back, then go ahead and ask to have the gifts shipped ahead.  Another idea is having a honeymoon registry.  You can do it online, and people donate money based on activities that you want to do on your honeymoon.  They can print out a card that says what they bought you , such as "a night at the hotel" or "snorkeling trip."  That way, the bride still gets to open something, and she only has papers to take back with her on the plane.

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