shower gifts for a distant bride

yborgalSeptember 24, 2005

several of us are hosting a local shower for a young lady that lives several states away. Shipping these gifts back home is a concern for us. Assuming the guests might not think of this when purchasing a shower gift for her, is there any way to mention that either a gift small in size or a gift card might be the way to go without actually coming out and saying so? Is this socially incorrect? Do you think wording the invitation with a cute poem about distance and travel might be a subtle way of suggesting the better choice of gifts?

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I wouldn't say anything. Presumably, most if not all of the guests know she lives far away and can figure this out for themselves. Besides, they might get a gift so great that it's well worth the shipping! Those gifts that are too big to fit in her suitcases can be shipped or maybe even packed to be checked as baggage (I assume she's flying in and out; if she's driving, this isn't an issue to begin with). And if they do get something very heavy like a microwave oven or a set of Corningware or something from a national chain like Target or Macy's, someone might be able to return it for a store credit that she can then use in her home town to get the same item (or whatever she prefers, for that matter). I'll bet few gifts she gets won't fit into one of these categories.

Many couples have the "problem" of moving gifts, and they all solve it somehow. When we got married, we lived in State 1, were just about to move to State 2, got married in State 3 (my parents' home), and had had a big engagement party in State 4 (my in-laws' home). None of these states was near any other. We were lucky enough to receive gifts in all 4 places, and I don't recall it being a big deal to get them all to State 4.

It's nice of you to try to avoid a nuisance for the bride, but I don't think it's a big enough problem to outweigh the problem of trying to direct the guests' gift-giving. If I were one of your guests, I wouldn't like it. If you do say something, I'd say the less the better -- i.e., not a poem, just a short line with something like "Please keep in mind that Petunia will be returning to Timbuktu by plane." But if I were sending these invitations, I wouldn't say anything. As a guest, I would feel like I were being pushed to give a gift card or maybe even cash. Even if it works, you might be sorry: it's not much fun to watch someone unwrap a stack of checks and gift cards at a shower.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 3:45PM
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I'll not say anything in the invitations. I think you're right about the guests feeling pressured and it is nice to have packages to open. Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 4:18PM
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Guests will call the hostess or mother for ideas, and that is when you can offer advice. My DD got married here but lives a plane ride away. She learned to travel putting one suitcase inside another to get here, and then return with both suitcases full. When I flew up to her shower, I brought her gift from her father and me of several place settings of her flatware for easy travel in my checked suitcase, and packed the ribbon and wrapping paper to use there. I also brought along one big oversized suitcase with gifts that had recently arrived, well padded. Everything got there safely. Next trip she comes, she will hand carry onboard a recently arrived Waterford cut glass bowl in its heavily padded box. Hopefully, people will remember that she is traveling and will buy nice but smaller items. Linens are small enough and pack nicely, as well as cookbooks, crystal salt and pepper shakers, etc.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 6:44PM
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MonaBlair, thanks for your kind words. I certainly owe you whatever help I can give you after all your help on the Decorating Forum a few years ago! Will the shower be in your lovely home?

Nice to "see" you again.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 2:20PM
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If an RSVP is included in the shower invitation, guests will call and they can verbally be reminded that the bride must transport the gifts.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 10:50PM
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