Should I Send a Gift if I Can't Attend a Bridal Shower?

Wedding shower gift etiquette

Photo: Anna Williams

Even if you can't make it to their wedding, you should still send the bride and groom a gift from their wedding registry. The same rule doesn't apply when it comes to showers, so our etiquette experts have a few present-giving tips.

If I'm invited to a wedding shower but can't attend, should I send a gift?

No, you don't need to send a shower gift to the bride if you can't attend the shower itself. However, as only close friends and family of the bride are usually invited to the shower, chances are you know her well and may want to send her a shower gift to celebrate anyhow. Weddings are the only time that it's required to send a gift, regardless of whether or not you attend the event itself.

If you still wish to send a shower gift, try to send it to the host before the shower is held so that it can be opened with the other gifts; it's a fun way to participate even though you can't be there. If there is a theme, it's nice to play along for the sake of those who do attend, but if your gift won't be opened at the shower it's up to you whether or not you stick to the theme. Many brides have their registry set up by the time a shower is held for them, so you could also choose from that.

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