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

A: 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. —Anna Post, The Emily Post Institute

See all questions about engagement party, bridal shower, and bachelor(ette) parties etiquette

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