Should Aunt Send Gift If Not Attending Bridal Shower?


Send Gift If Not Attending Bridal Shower?

I live in one state and my niece lives in another state. She is getting married. Due to costs, I do not know if I will be attending the wedding or not. I just received an invitation for a bridal shower and the person who sent it should know that I definitely would not be flying to another state to attend the shower.

I may attend the wedding and I may not. Either way, I will give a gift of money for the wedding.

Since the person hosting the shower knows I will not attend, and since I may have to send my wedding gift if I don’t fly in for the wedding, should an aunt have to send a shower gift when the family knows I will definitely not be attending the shower? Seems like a request for gifts to me!

Donna, Wedding Queen

General rule of thumb is that if you’re not attend the shower there is no obligation to send a gift. Notice I use the word obligation? That’s because this is your niece. The person sending the invitation may feel compelled to send you an invitation since you’re a family member. You may be surprised how many complaints we hear where a family member wasn’t sent an invitation (even when they couldn’t attend). It’s sometimes a fine line the bridal shower host has to walk.

I wouldn’t read anything sinister into this invitation. Decline if you can’t attend. Send a gift to the host of the shower if you want. Don’t forget, the bridal shower gifts aren’t usually expensive. It can even be something you make yourself or even a family heirloom or keepsake. The choice is yours.

PS: The wedding gift should be sent to the home of the bride before the wedding, so no need to carry it along or bring it to the actual wedding.

Have a nice trip.

Jay Remer, The Etiquette Guy, International Protocol and Corporate & Social Etiquette

I agree with Donna. But, I always advise people to follow their instincts. You are in no way obligated to send a gift for the shower, but you certainly may! Sounds more like a planning issue than a gift grab, let’s hope so anyway.

Jodi R R Smith, The Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting
Author, The Etiquette Book, A Complete Guide To Modern Manners

I am with Donna and Jay on this.

As an aside, an aunt of mine passed away in June. One of my reminders of her is two family recipes (handwritten by her) and the necessary baking pans which she gave to me at my bridal shower. The price tag was low and not important, the thought she put into sharing the family recipes is what warms this memory for me.

Donna, Wedding Queen

Jodi – I’m sorry for your loss, but glad you have those memories. Thank you for sharing that personal information. Many brides don’t consider that many of the gifts they place on their register, while nice to have, are just things. Your Aunt’s gift is everlasting and meaningful.

Happy baking, Jodi.