Etiquette

wording for shower invitation when couple not registering?

I am MOH and we are hosting a shower/brunch for my brother's bride to be.  It is a second marriage for the bride and they have been living together for 2 years.  They are not registering, and my brother mentioned people can get gift cards if they want (home depot, bed, bath & beyond, etc). My mom suggested putting - "gift cards welcome" on the invitation, but I think that is tacky.  What do you think I should put on the invitation or should I just leave it out totally? any thoughts? thanks!

Re: wording for shower invitation when couple not registering?

  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
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    In Response to Re:wording for shower invitation when couple not registering?:
    I am MOH and we are hosting a shower/brunch for my brother's bride to be.nbsp; It is a second marriage for the bride and they have been living together for 2 years.nbsp; They are not registering, and my brother mentioned people can get gift cards if they want home depot, bed, bath amp; beyond, etc. My mom suggested putting quot;gift cards welcomequot; on the invitation, but I think that is tacky.nbsp; What do you think I should put on the invitation or should I just leave it out totally? any thoughts? thanks! Posted by klj1176
    I would leave it out completely. I am one of the few around here that really love showers and I enjoy watching the bride open gifts. However, it's really boring to watch someone open a bunch of gift cards. Also, asking for gift cards is like asking for cash. If the couple only wants gift cards or cash, they should really decline showers.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
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    Change it to a luncheon with no gift giving intentions.  As PP said, you shouldn't host a shower if people have not registered.  I would change the invitation to a Luncheon in Honor of Bride.  Make no mention of a shower or gifts on the invite.  If a guest calls to inquire, just say its a just a lunch to honor the bride and not a shower, this should help clarify that no gifts are expected.  If a guest wants to find a gift on their own, that's on them.
  • If she wants a regular shower, she should register. Yes, asking for giftcards is tacky. 

  • I have no idea if this would work etiquette-wise, but could you do something outside-of-the-box like a lingerie shower or everyone brings something more sentimental than financial like a photo, story of their favorite memory of the bride and/or groom), or recipe or something?

    Or what if you had a bridal brunch with no gifts expected/requested, just your presence? Just a get together for the women before the wedding. If someone wants to bring a gift card despite this, they will, no need to write "gift cards welcome" on the invite.

    Sorry if these ideas are dumb, but it sounds like you want your MOH to have the shower experience without making people waste money on unnecessary gifts and this is what I came up with.
  • I went to a bridal luncheon for a couple that didn't register, and it was lovely. That's what you should do if you don't register.
  • In Response to Re: wording for shower invitation when couple not registering?:
    I have no idea if this would work etiquette-wise, but could you do something outside-of-the-box like a lingerie shower or everyone brings something more sentimental than financial like a photo, story of their favorite memory of the bride and/or groom), or recipe or something? Or what if you had a bridal brunch with no gifts expected/requested, just your presence? Just a get together for the women before the wedding. If someone wants to bring a gift card despite this, they will, no need to write "gift cards welcome" on the invite. Sorry if these ideas are dumb, but it sounds like you want your MOH to have the shower experience without making people waste money on unnecessary gifts and this is what I came up with.
    Posted by AndreaJulia
    This. A lingerie shower or something to that effect would work, but if she is having a regular shower, she should register, IMO. Otherwise, call it a lunch or something.

    I used to work with a girl that had a pre-wedding party like a shower called a pounding. Sounds violent, right? Well, I guess it is an old southern tradition where all the women come and give the bride one pound of a pantry item (or other household items) to stock the new couple's house. Maybe she could do something like that. It was something I had never heard of, but I also thought it was kind of cool. She got lots of household staples which she obviously didn't register for.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    In Response to Re: wording for shower invitation when couple not registering?:
    Also, what are they going to use the gift cards for if not to buy stuff?
    Posted by scribe95
    LOL  - I  was thinking the same things.


    Honestly I'm not a fan of showers (I find them boring), so I found out someone had everything and didn't want me to bring a boxed gift I would just not attend.   Why should I spend money on someone just for the sake of spending money?   If they need something, then I'm happy to help.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Poundings are fun - I've been to one, and it's a nice idea when a couple hasn't registered.  The one I went to combined it with a recipe shower - so you brought one pound of one ingredient, along with a recipe to use that ingredient.  People definitely got creative, and a few guests also brought small kitchen items like a lareg mixing bowl  to go with that pancake mix or a pastry blender to go with flour.

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  • Simply FatedSimply Fated
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
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    edited February 2013
    Registering isn't mandatory, it's just helpful when they do register. My friend didn't register, but still had a shower. People had to just guess what she wanted or ask her mom or someone. A few people asked me and I gave some suggestions. It worked out fine and she got some great gifts.


    ETA: OP, just leave off mention of gifts on the invitations. People will either call you or ask someone else close to her. A bunch of people asked me when they called to RSVP. It
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    Registering is not a prerequisite for a shower.  The guests can give whatever they would like and can afford as a gift for a shower regardless of whether or not the bride has registered-they did this in times past before there were ever any registries.
  • I agree that they don't have to register to have a shower, but it IS a gift-giving occassion and thus expecting gift cards is unrealistic and requesting them is tacky as you suspected.  I would talk to your brother and his FI to see if they still want a shower knowing most people will then buy them things they don't want/need or if they'd rather have a luncheon / lingerie shower / recipe shower / other non-traditional-gift event.

  • I agree that if they're adamant about wanting only gift cards, then you should probably back out of throwing this shower or calling it something other than a bridal shower.
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  • like others have said- skip the formal shower if they truly don't want to register for gifts (which I think is appropriate for 2nd marriages if the couple lives together) and do a really nice lunch instead.
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  • "They decided not to register, so bring on the chili pepper lamps!"

    Kidding ... sort of.
    A registry is not mandatory for a shower, true, but without one, your guests are left without any idea of what you want/need.  Especially in the situation of a second marriage or when a couple has been living together, it's really helpful to know what they have and don't have, what colors they use, etc.  Yes, they can ask, but that means the guest has to track down someone close enough to be in the know, and that puts the extra work on the guests.  Honestly, if you know enough about what you want/need for family/bridal party members to answer these questions, you know enough to go and register somewhere. 

    I attended a shower without a registry and the bride got a fair number of things she didn't need, and there was a lot of overlap, including 4 of the same set of casserole dishes, which her FSIL complained about ... loudly ... while there were still guests around. 

    OP, sounds like there's something that interests them at BB&B and Home Depot?  Home improvement stores may not have traditional registries, but you can add anything that's listed on a website to an Amazon registry.  We're doing that for some odds-and-ends things, and family members are loving it because it's easy access online, and there's often free shipping. 

    Otherwise, I'll echo the suggestion for a non-gift event, or a theme shower (lingerie, kitchen, "pounding", spice, recipe, coffee/tea, lawn-and-garden, sheets-and-towels, etc.).

    There's an alternative to a baby shower called a "blessing / blessing way / blessing shower".  Rather than bringing a physical gift, guests are asked to bring a "gift from the heart" for the expectant mother -- words of support and encouragement, mothering wisdom, etc.  Usually, guests are asked to write down the blessing, so the mother can read them over, put them into a scrapbook, etc.  The same concept translates very well into a bridal blessing.  My MOH is putting one together for me in lieu of a bachelorette party and I'm really, really looking forward to it.  I can't think of anything I'd rather take into my marriage than the love, wisdom and encouragement of the dearest women in my life!
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