Wedding Etiquette Forum

Out of town bridal shower

I moved to Atlanta about 7 years ago, but I'm still extremely close with a LOT of my college friends.  3 of them are going to be bridesmaids in my wedding, actually.

My bridesmaids have offered to throw me a shower in my hometown (which is also where I went to college).  I am actually inviting probably 25-30 people to my wedding from my hometown.  I know SOME of them will make it, but some won't be able to afford the flight, hotel, etc.  So the shower thing seems like a GREAT idea since I'll be home for another event about a month before the wedding.  Then those that can't attend, can still celebrate.

So my question is ------ what on earth do I do about gifts?  Can my BMs come up with something cutesy on the invitation about "it must fit in my suitcase"?  Is that tacky - does that say "Chrissy wants Gift cards"?  Ack.  I don't know what to do.  I just don't want to end up where people bring huge things and I spend a fortune flying them home.  But on the other hand, I think people are smarter than that???

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Re: Out of town bridal shower

  • You can have a luncheon or tea if you don't want gifts, but if you have a shower, transporting gifts is your responsibility.  See if you can leave some of your gifts with your friends or family still in your hometown, so you can take some back with you whenever you visit, or check extra luggage or ship things. 
  • Unfortunately a shower is meant to shower the bride with physical gifts. If you don't want people to bring gifts, then the shower is not appropriate. Instead you could just have a get together type of thing, instead of a shower.

    But asking for gift cards or anything like that is tacky. Sorry.

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  • I'm with milkduds. If you accept the out of town shower, you accept responsibility for getting everything home.
  • I drove to my first OOT shower (Massachusetts; I'm in Maryland), and am driving to my second (same location) for exactly this reason.

    If it's not driveable, then you need to pay for shipping for the gifts you can't take on the plane.  It sucks, but it's the cost of having an OOT shower.  It's your responsibility, not that of your guests.

    One of my BMs shipped her gift to me, because she knew I was traveling, but I didn't ask her to.  And the guests most certainly weren't told to.
  • Sorry, that was exactly what I was saying, that I did NOT want to send the message of "Chrissy wants gift cards". 

    They were just thinking of putting something cutesy, like in a rhyme, where people would think of the smaller items on my list.  Like instead of buying a crock pot, go for the serving spoons.

    Hmmm.  Yeah, maybe we'll just go the party/happy hour route instead of a shower.  Just a "gathering".  I don't NEED anything (my fiance' and I live together already and it's already hard enough to round up a list for my registry!)

    Thanks girls!
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  • I just had one last week.  It was in my hometown, where the wedding will be, and we live over 2000 miles away.  I was a little reluctant, but my extended family really wanted to do it.  We're registered on Amazon, so a lot of people shipped gifts to us early and gave me pictures, gift cards, smaller items to go w/ the larger items, and some just gave me the larger gifts anyway.  I did have to check an extra bag going back though.  I'd be prepared to do that.  We still played a lot of games, had lunch, and everyone rreally had a good time.  They didn't put anything in the invite, but everyone was aware of the situation already.  I got this same advice from other boards.  I wouldn't let it stop you, but be prepared for another bag.
  • Thank you April.  That's a great idea, to bring another bag.  :)

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  • I've had one shower already and will have one this weekend both in FL and I live in MD.  I just brought an extra suitcase home with me just in case.  I did have some people give me large gifts like pots and pans but mostly people used their common sense and gave me stuff I could easily get home.  And, either way, you can always ship it even though checking a second suit case is usually cheaper than paying for shipping. 
  • People are smarter than that.  I went to a friends baby shower over the winter when she was home for the holidays but she and her husband at the time were living in California.  While I brought gifts to the shower, I made sure that they were compactable (for the lack of a better word) and others had larger gifts sent directly to their address in CA and brought a card with either a cute sketch or a cutout picture of what it was.  Worst case scenario is you have to spend a little bit of cash to ship the gifts that don't fit in your luggage out to your home.
  • I had a shower in Massachusetts and was able to get home 4 sets of dishes, towels, 2 seving bowls, cookbook, cook book holder, trivets, pitcher, etc. 

    On my way there I packed very lightly in a large suitcase.  Also, in the suitcase I packed 2 duffle bags. 

    On the way home I filled the large suitecase with non-fragile items and checked it.  I then put fragile items in the two duffles and carried them on (one duffle was small and able to fit under the seat).  It was tricky, but I did it. 
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  • I was invited to a shower for a wedding that I'm in that the hostess did this for and I was beyond annoyed.  The bride is flying home for the shower.  I still bought her gifts b/c like pp's said, that's the whole point of the shower.  She can figure out how to get them home.  I'd rather spend that extra $10 of shipping towards gifts.
  • I actually posted last week about being a guest for an OOT bride's shower. They put a small note on their website above the registry about "remembering the bride and groom are commuting" which I thought was kinda rude, but their choice.

    Most people remembered they were traveling and got them gift cards. It made for a boring shower though when every gift was "Oh! A gift card! Thank you!"
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