Bridal shower question

Annie DeighnaughFebruary 21, 2014

I have an invite to an out of state bridal shower to which I will not be going, so I'll definitely send a gift. Somehow, ordering what she wants off of Amazon, having it gift wrapped and sent directly seems so impersonal.

Is it just me getting old and old fashioned? Or in this day of automated and simulated and virtual everything, is that totally acceptable? A gift untouched and unseen by me?

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If it was me, I'd order the Amazon gift to be sent to me and then I'd wrap it personally with a handwritten card included when I ship it. I know it will cost more to ship it but I figure it's just the cost of sending a gift if I can't attend. I like to do things personalized. I think Amazon will include a gift note if you request it. It's really the thought that counts and the bride will love your gift no matter how it arrives!

I know it's off topic but it's like the Christmas cards you get with the preprinted labels and no handwritten message/address, nothing! It feels like I'm just on a mass distribution list but that could be my own hangup. :)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:51AM
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Is this acceptable? Yes. Is it your style? Clearly not. Do what makes you happy and comfortable.

I don't see a reason to fret over it--or judge those who use amazon. it has nothing with being old or old fashioned IMO. It's a reflection of your person style and the time you want/can put into it. Some people are bigger on gifts than others-- some love to look for just the right thing, to wrap it up all pretty. But even before amazon, there were people who had others buy and/or wrap for them. It isn't any worse than sending flowers etc.. which people have been doing for decades.

While I am a big gift person, the realities of schedules and such mean that sometimes I send a gift via amazon (or similar) or a gift card by mail. It isnt my style but eh, it happens. If you have the time to wrap, package and send personally, do it.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:17PM
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I don't see anything wrong with it, especially if coming from a registry the couple created. I doubt any recipient would open such a gift and say "OMG, Annie just clicked a few buttons on Amazon, it's not personal....I'm disgusted." No, they will open it and say "Annie got us the soup tureen we asked for!" Do what you feel comfortable doing, but I think sending a gift from Amazon or anywhere is OK and probably more expected than wrapping and sending it yourself.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:19PM
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I know exactly how you feel. Why don't we all just direct deposit gifts?

OTOH, the alternative logistics are so wasteful. What I usually do is order the gift and have it sent. Then I find a nice card, write a note, and send it along with a small personal gift.

PS Emerald, I agree in re the holiday cards too...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:31PM
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Unfortunately it is the accepted way to do things now, how sad. I am invited to a "baby presentation". We are unable to attend and I refuse to do the amazon pick out and send. Circumstances are different, I know we will see them and the baby before long and I am just going to wait & bring a gift. I have an idea of their taste in baby clothes and I will buy the appropriate size for our meeting.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:12PM
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I dont think it is just now....I remember going to department stores in the 70's and 80's and having gifts sent...although in person you could personally write a note on the gift card. I was going to suggest sending a separate card with a personal, handwritten sentiment.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:19PM
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I have to wonder whether they really expected that you might travel out of state to attend a 3 hour event.

I suspect not.

So if it was really just an invitation to send a gift without expectation of your attendence, why wouldn't it be ok to send a gift that doesn't have your fingerprints on it?

You might be being too nice in this case.

Or I could be all wrong. For me, out of state, where all my relatives live, is under a 2 hour drive, so I go if they invite me.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:20PM
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It seems to be the 'new and improved' way of sending a gift, for any ocassion. Send a card before the gift arrives with a handwritten note, saying something simpe such as, 'hope you enjoy the gift that's coming your way', very light and friendly, as well as personal.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:49PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Thank you all for your replies...I like the idea of doing a little something personal in addition to the pre packed gift. Thanks for the suggestion.

I was invited to the shower because we will be going to the wedding...we'll be staying overnight for it so I'm sure they know I won't be going to the shower...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 3:45PM
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All good comments above. I love using registries. They really do take the guess work out of gift giving.

Only you can decide how much or how little you want to do. Are you very close to this person and will be very much missed since you can't attend? Or, are you one of many extended friends or family that are included because they still want to keep you on "the list?

I would hope that they are not the type to only include you for the possibility of a gift.

Let's face it too, if someone sets up a registry, they WANT the things on the registry. If you have an idea for something more personal, that would be lovely.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 3:53PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

It's the daughter of my husband's cousin (so his first cousin, once removed) who we've met only a few times over the years, mostly as a child. I really don't know her, nor she me. But being family, it's obligatory.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:05PM
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My daughters and I traveled 3.5 hours for a shower this past summer. It was given by my sisters for a nephew. The upside of gifting off a registry is the bride can easily exchange duplicate gifts. The bride registered for pans--separately. We purchase a couple. My sister purchased an entire set--not registered for. Our gifts were then null and void and needed to be returned. That was the down side of that trip. If we had stayed home we would never have known. We wish we had stayed home. We attended the wedding and sent the wedding gift just as you described. The bride and groom chose to go "GREEN" so no gift wrap was requested. I shopped on line and shipped directly to their new home. "Personal touch" for people ya don't know personally is a curious suggestion. Weddings are a curious thing. This would be a whole new thread but I would disagree that there is a family obligation for a cousins child--a cousin you don't even REALLY know...Actually I am a bit surprised you are even invited to the wedding. Weddings in my world are pretty tight invitation wise. They are too expensive, people cannot afford to invite second and third circle out people. Our experience is familial connection does not make for a party. Personal relationship does. We have little or no personal relationship--we really should have stayed home.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 7:30AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

arcy, while we aren't close with the bride, DH grew up and spent all the holidays with his cousins (bride's mother). I've know the mother and her family since I was a young child. We rarely have an opportunity to see them any more since they live out of state, so we are glad for the opportunity to see them again. That's why we don't know the bride that well, except as a small child. I'm delighted we were included on the wedding invite. We are spending an extra day to do sight seeing in the area too, so it should be a good time.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 8:06AM
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I agree Arcy, our wedding culture can be curious. The best of all possible worlds in my opinion would be awedding filled with guests who know and care about the bridal party and or know and care about their immediate families. But weddings also usually include people who are there and who are invited out of obligations of some sort. Sometimes, the wedding is a de facto family reunion, which can be a a very nice side benefit for participants.

As far as getting something "personal" for a gift, what I mean is something personal for the giver. Something small (so no harm done if the recipient does not care for it) but something that allows the giver to do what I like to do and what Annie seems to want to do, which is select a gift with care and hopefully pleasantly surprise the recipient, as opposed to typing in a credit card number and hitting "send". I always do both.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:55AM
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I agree with PattyCakes. Send the give direct from Amazon, and mail a card.

Why? Should there be any concealed damage, then it is easy to get an exchange from Amazon. If it were to go from them to you and you sent to her, then you would bear that risk.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 10:38AM
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I agree with sending a card with a personal note in it to go along with the Amazon gift (if you decide to order from Amazon).

We recently received a gift from my sister-in-law. She ordered it from Amazon (not from a registry though) and when it arrived, it was just the item in the box - it didn't have any paperwork with it at all and I had no idea who had sent it!

I called Amazon to ask who it was from, so I could send a thank you note to the gift giver, and they didn't want to tell me in case it was supposed to be a surprise or from an anonymous sender! Finally, they told me where the order had been placed and I was able to guess that it was my sister-in-law!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 10:42AM
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Baylorbear, I was the recipient of a gift that came in the mail last month. I had no idea who it was from so I had to call the store. Thankfully the person laughed at my situation and told me who sent it. Whew!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 6:40AM
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I am in the same situation. Personally, I'm annoyed at being invited to this shower since I only met the bride once. Unless you are in the bridal party, Why are out of town guests even invited to bridal showers? It's enough for me to be flying out for the wedding and staying at a hotel. The shower is only 4 weeks before the wedding too.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:26AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Well, I contacted the folks throwing the shower and told them to expect a box from Amazon and when it should arrive, and I did include a gift card with the gift so hopefully they'll know who it's from....

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:45AM
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Polly929, since you are going to the wedding, then the person is important enough to you. Maybe they don't want to hurt anyone's feelings so are including everyone? It's up to you to decline.
You feel you now have to send a gift as well as having the expense of an out of town wedding?

Side note: When we were in Costa Rica a few weeks ago, we stayed in different hotels. Two of them had destination weddings. At one I overheard the bride say "Thanks for supporting us" as she was saying good bye to a guest. . It made me wonder what size gift is expected when you go to a destination wedding?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:48AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I always thought it was pretty expected that if you were going to the wedding, you'd get invited to a shower too, whether you were local or not.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:51AM
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I had a (semi) destination wedding and told people that their presence was gift enough. And I meant it. Some people choose to take me at my word and just gave a nice card, some gave something small, some gave the same gift as if it had been a local wedding.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:51AM
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I am close in relation by blood only. The wedding is my half-brother's. My father died recently, we were estranged until the funeral. It's very complicated. His mother was awful to me as a child and my parents were still married when he was born.
I am only going because I feel obligated to my dad to be there since he can't. There was a reminder invite sent on fb yesterday and there were 68 people included. There was also information there on how to send a gift from the registry if you are unable to attend. And a reminder that gift cards are accepted as well. Is this socially acceptable these days? I'm only married 12 years and I wouldn't dream of doing this.
Anyhow I have attended many weddings without being invited to the shower. I think it depends on traditions and what part of the country you are from.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 12:16PM
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His mother was awful to me as a child
Polly, my guess is there's a good chance whatever you do will be considered wrong by the groom's Mom. With that in mind, I would take the highest road possible that allows you to be true to yourself. I would politely decline the shower and not feel the need to send a shower gift since I'd be giving a wedding gift in a few weeks.

I would attend the wedding, being as gracious as possible, overlooking any negative behavior, knowing that that is what your Dad would want.

I hope you have a lovely time at wedding.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 12:46PM
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I plan on it. Thank you.

And sorry for hijacking Annie.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 4:01PM
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"I always thought it was pretty expected that if you were going to the wedding, you'd get invited to a shower too, whether you were local or not."
Oh Annie, you have it backwards! You should never invite one to a shower if they are not invited to the wedding. But can you imagine inviting all 150, or whatever, to a shower? Yikes!
Although , showers that were once upon a time always intimate affairs of close friends and family, seldom over twenty invited, have now turned into mob scenes . Sometimes the abundant!! gifts aren't even opened. But that's for another rant.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 4:52PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Yes, I can imagine inviting all 150 to a shower. The last shower I went to, I was one of 80 gals there.

I didn't say to invite someone to a shower who wasn't going to the wedding. I said if you are invited to the wedding and accept, then you should expect an invite to a shower too.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 8:27AM
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I would agree with martinca. Proper etiquette allows you to invite to the wedding and not to a shower, but if guest is invited to a shower, they must also be invited to the wedding. This is also my experience, both as guest and MOB's with professional planners.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 1:55PM
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