Wedding Etiquette Forum

Bridal Shower

My Bride's hubby to be is stationed in Alaska and they're getting married in Michigan (they'll be in Alaska for at least 5 years). Shipping to Alaska is super expensive! I want to throw her a bridal shower but anything beyond gift cards or small trinkets will be far to expensive to ship back to Alaska. Any advice?
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Re: Bridal Shower

  • Don't throw her a shower?

    Showers are meant to "shower" the bride with physical gifts. Asking for gift cards or cash is inappropriate. If she cannot afford to transport gifts back to Alaska, then she doesn't need a shower.
  • Are they already moved up to Alaska? If not, I'm sure you could time things so that they could pack the gifts with the move. Perhaps they can make arrangements. People who would be invited will likely know the couple's situation and, hopefully, plan accordingly.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I would not host a shower in this instance either.  If you want to host something, perhaps host a luncheon to honor the bride.  Don't put any registry info on the invite or anything about it being a shower. 

  • A lot of people who are out of town make sure to register at stores with locations in both places. They return after the shower and repurchase at a store near home. If its from the registry they should be able to return without a receipt. Otherwise, bring extra suitcases, register for small stuff so it won't be as expensive to ship.
  • edited June 2012
    Where is the bride now? Is she in Michigan or Alaska? If she's in Michigan and is going to be moving her things to Alaska, than I like what PP said about timing the shower so it happens before she moves. If she's already there but is just coming home to get married, I would maybe skip the shower like the other PP said.

    You can also see which stores you have in Michigan that are also in Alaska. Maybe they would be willing to allow her to take things back to the Michigan store that would be too hard to move to Alaska, and allow her to wait until she gets there to get the gift. I don't know if and how that would work, but it never hurts to ask. Also, I'm going to guess that she's marrying someone in the military. You could check and see what the stores shipping policies are to ship to a military base. They may be able to apply a discount or something. I think some stores wave the big shipping fees to Alaska and Hawaii as long as the package goes to a military base post office. You'd have to check that though.
  • Ditto PPs.  If shipping is absolutely undoable, your best bet might be to host a tea or lunch instead.  If she can ship some things, the bride might want to focus her registry on a small list of lighter/easier to pack items - sheets, towels, small kitchen tools, etc.  A small registry is a signal that cash or gift cards are preferred, but she might be able to develop a suitable list to give shower guests options and then not add on before the wedding.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_bridal-shower-67?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c9392c2d-b9f7-4701-a50e-f0fc0156d7a3Post:615cebde-7197-4963-ad84-ab13d7becf25">Re: Bridal Shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]Don't throw her a shower? Showers are meant to "shower" the bride with physical gifts. Asking for gift cards or cash is inappropriate. If she cannot afford to transport gifts back to Alaska, then she doesn't need a shower.
    Posted by KellyBrian2013[/QUOTE]



    That seems a little harsh. 

    I don't know much about Alaska, but maybe there is a chain store up there that's also in Michigan (Target?  Bed Bath and Beyond?) where the shipping wouldn't be so much or maybe they offer to allow pick up in the store?  Have the shower in Michigan, but just have people write a card stating "A new vacuum is coming your way"!  ...or maybe that is all a little tacky.  I do think it would be nice to have a shower for your friend and I think it's even nicer that you're trying to come up with an outside the box idea to make it happen!
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_bridal-shower-67?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c9392c2d-b9f7-4701-a50e-f0fc0156d7a3Post:b63e9768-7ca1-4d51-9adb-ae5a1c4858db">Re: Bridal Shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bridal Shower : That seems a little harsh.  I don't know much about Alaska, but maybe there is a chain store up there that's also in Michigan (Target?  Bed Bath and Beyond?) where the shipping wouldn't be so much or maybe they offer to allow pick up in the store?  Have the shower in Michigan, but just have people write a card stating "A new vacuum is coming your way"!  ...or maybe that is all a little tacky.  I do think it would be nice to have a shower for your friend and I think it's even nicer that you're trying to come up with an outside the box idea to make it happen!
    Posted by julibug86[/QUOTE]

    Harsh or not, it's the truth. Showering the bride in cash? Might as well call her a stripper.

    I mean, seriously, the purpose of a shower is to give physical gifts. Bride can't be bothered with physical gifts? Don't throw her a shower. The other Eeners presented some lovely ideas - host a luncheon or a tea instead, but make no mention of gifts or a shower.
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_bridal-shower-67?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c9392c2d-b9f7-4701-a50e-f0fc0156d7a3Post:17d5f560-2e4f-4126-878a-dfcd56c2bc93">Re:Bridal Shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]A lot of people who are out of town make sure to register at stores with locations in both places. <strong>They return after the shower and repurchase at a store near home</strong>. If its from the registry they should be able to return without a receipt. Otherwise, bring extra suitcases, register for small stuff so it won't be as expensive to ship.
    Posted by Loopyseven[/QUOTE]

    I always think this is so ridiculous! 

    If you can't ship the gifts after the shower, then just have a luncheon.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_bridal-shower-67?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c9392c2d-b9f7-4701-a50e-f0fc0156d7a3Post:eda900e0-5968-4e5f-8904-fb488699ce93">Re: Bridal Shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bridal Shower : Harsh or not, it's the truth. Showering the bride in cash? Might as well call her a stripper. I mean, seriously, the purpose of a shower is to give physical gifts. Bride can't be bothered with physical gifts? Don't throw her a shower. The other Eeners presented some lovely ideas - host a luncheon or a tea instead, but make no mention of gifts or a shower.
    Posted by KellyBrian2013[/QUOTE]

    Well then I guess my BM's should have brought a pole to my shower. I was "showered" with physical gifts, but I also got a nice amount of gift cards and a nice amount of cash. I've often gave cash as a shower gift. There is nothing wrong with that.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_bridal-shower-67?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c9392c2d-b9f7-4701-a50e-f0fc0156d7a3Post:88389da3-ac26-4f30-aee6-d8a6f87adee1">Re:Bridal Shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:Bridal Shower : I always think this is so ridiculous!  If you can't ship the gifts after the shower, then just have a luncheon.
    Posted by JoanE2012[/QUOTE]

    Why?  I don't see anything wrong with it.  It would be a little distasteful to return everything just to get cash, but returning them and rebuying them to save on high shipping costs seems fine.
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    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:Bridal Shower : I always think this is so ridiculous!  If you can't ship the gifts after the shower, then just have a luncheon.
    Posted by JoanE2012[/QUOTE]

    Not only is that not ridiculous, stores will tell you that when you register. When we registered, one of the first questions we were asked is whether or not the shower was going to be local and if we were local. We said yes, and they said okay, because if not and then said about returning and buying at another store.

    They also told us not to scan sets, but to scan everything seperately, but that was for other reasons. I'm guessing that if the store itself recommends these things, it's not a crazy thing to do.
  • egm900egm900 member
    500 Comments
    I have a friend getting married in Alaska, and where she is at, there isn't a national chain around.  From what she said, if you aren't in Anchorage, there is really no place to register, and even then, most people still fly to Seattle to shop.  I think you need to talk to the Bride on this one, say you would like to throw her a shower, but you understand there are unique logistics regarding getting gifts home.  If she declines, then I would throw her a luncheon or tea.
  • If her fiance is in the military, then chances are he has an APO (military post office) address with a PO box.   A lot of retailers will ship to APO (BB&B and Target both do).   Also, you get a discount on USPS flat-rate boxes if you ship them to an APO address.

    My advice would be to buy the bride gifts that are easily shipped (sheets, towels, napkins, small utensils) for her shower.  You can fit a lot of these items in a large flat-rate box (about the size of two shoe boxes) and I think it costs about $14 to ship.  She can ship them to the APO address herself (or if the fiance doesn't have an APO box, she can still ship the items via USPS flat-rate boxes).
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_bridal-shower-67?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c9392c2d-b9f7-4701-a50e-f0fc0156d7a3Post:2533a6d1-3f36-43ca-b8c5-788449cc3dc4">Re: Bridal Shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bridal Shower : Yes but you still got physical gifts.  Throwing a shower JUST for gift cards isn't cool.
    Posted by edielaura[/QUOTE]

    No, it's not. However, the OP did say something about maybe only registering for smaller gifts.

    And the response I posted my comment to was more about the remark about getting cash. Nothing is wrong with people wanting to give cash.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_bridal-shower-67?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c9392c2d-b9f7-4701-a50e-f0fc0156d7a3Post:091896d5-7eb5-4f2e-a511-0025af21914b">Re: Bridal Shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bridal Shower : No, it's not. However, the OP did say something about maybe only registering for smaller gifts. And the response I posted my comment to was more about the remark about getting cash.<strong> Nothing is wrong with people wanting to give cash.
    </strong>Posted by futuremrsbruno[/QUOTE]

    I never said that it was wrong to "want to give cash"... what I did say was that if the bride does not want physical gifts, she shouldn't have a shower.
  • LD1970LD1970 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited June 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_bridal-shower-67?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c9392c2d-b9f7-4701-a50e-f0fc0156d7a3Post:e9cce647-46ff-461c-8c32-b1e007eb028c">Re: Bridal Shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bridal Shower : I never said that it was wrong to "want to give cash"... what I did say was that if the bride does not want physical gifts, she shouldn't have a shower.
    Posted by KellyBrian2013[/QUOTE]
    Nowhere in the OP did it say the bride didn't want physical gifts.  It didn't even say the bride knew about the shower.  It also didn't mention cash.  It said gift cards and small gifts.  YOU are the one who took it over the top.
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    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bridal Shower : Nowhere in the OP did it say the bride didn't want physical gifts.  It didn't even say the bride knew about the shower.  It also didn't mention cash.  It said gift cards and small gifts.  YOU are the one who took it over the top.
    Posted by LD1970[/QUOTE]

    "I want to throw her a bridal shower but <strong>anything beyond gift cards or small trinkets</strong> will be far to expensive to ship back to Alaska."
  • LD1970LD1970 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_bridal-shower-67?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c9392c2d-b9f7-4701-a50e-f0fc0156d7a3Post:ac48522a-7600-4c8b-960d-596bd477795e">Re: Bridal Shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bridal Shower : "I want to throw her a bridal shower but anything beyond gift cards or small trinkets will be far to expensive to ship back to Alaska."
    Posted by KellyBrian2013[/QUOTE]
    Yes.  That's what I said.  Gift cards = gift cards (which, by the way, are normal at a shower) and small trinkets = small gifts.<div>
    </div><div>YOU brought up cash.  And still, nothing says the bride (1) knows about the shower, (2) is asking for any of this, (3) is as worried as OP about shipping charges.</div><div>
    </div><div>You assumed a bunch of stuff and then got nasty about it.</div>
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
  • edited June 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_bridal-shower-67?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c9392c2d-b9f7-4701-a50e-f0fc0156d7a3Post:d558365d-5a27-4e0e-8597-bcb73df8a49c">Re: Bridal Shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bridal Shower : Yes.  That's what I said.  Gift cards = gift cards (which, by the way, are normal at a shower) and small trinkets = small gifts. YOU brought up cash.  And still, nothing says the bride (1) knows about the shower, (2) is asking for any of this, (3) is as worried as OP about shipping charges. You assumed a bunch of stuff and then got nasty about it.
    Posted by LD1970[/QUOTE]

    I was under the impression that gift cards are not considered "physical gifts" for the purpose of a shower, as it is still a form of giving cash.
  • LD1970LD1970 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    And I disagree.  

    Plus, I was really glad for the gift cards I got at my shower, just as glad as I was for the physical gifts, which were also all awesome.  They allowed us to get our crazy $700 knife set & crazy $750 All-Clad cookware set for which my husband insisted on registering (he's a helluva cook, though).

    Around these parts, it's gifts & gift cards at showers, mostly cash at weddings.
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
  • I had a friend who had a gift card shower for a similar reason.  The shower was themed around it and everyone had a good time.  I wouldn't do it personally, but everyone knew the reasoning and no one thought it was tacky. I think it depends on the situation. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_bridal-shower-67?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c9392c2d-b9f7-4701-a50e-f0fc0156d7a3Post:17d5f560-2e4f-4126-878a-dfcd56c2bc93">Re:Bridal Shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]A lot of people who are out of town make sure to register at stores with locations in both places. They return after the shower and repurchase at a store near home. If its from the registry they should be able to return without a receipt. Otherwise, bring extra suitcases, register for small stuff so it won't be as expensive to ship.
    Posted by Loopyseven[/QUOTE]

    This is what I would do - 99% of people give a gift receipt with a gift.  She can take it back in  Michigan for store credit and repurchase the same gifts when she returns to Alaska.  BRILLIANT!
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  • weddingmuseweddingmuse member
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Comments First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited June 2012
    Oh for heaven's sake.  The post office and UPS deliver to Alaska.  Macy's, Bed, Bath & Beyond, etal will deliver to Alaska off someone's online registry.
    I have been to quite a few showers where the bride (or mother-to-be) was visiting from out of town.  Considerate guests either give an easy-to-transport gift like towels or a cookbook or gift cards, or have the gift sent by the store and present the bride with a note in a box or card.  Really not a problem.  Give the girl a shower.
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