Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wedding Q & A: Bridal Showers for Destination Weddings

Question: It's my understanding that I should only invite those guests to the bridal shower who will be attending the wedding. I'm having a destination wedding in another state, does this rule still apply? If so, how do I include those friends and family who will be unable to attend the wedding?

Answer: Thanks for the sticky question!! Actually, the rule of thumb is: If they are invited to (not necessarily attending) the wedding, they may be invited to the shower. Which has always made sense because it would be quite tacky to request a gift, but not their presence at the wedding. However, in light of the proliferation of destination weddings, there are many people that would want to wish the bride and groom well, but cannot travel. I am assuming that someone is hosting the shower for you (Shockingly, I have seen a bride host her own shower before); therefore she may have her finger on the pulse of the guest list. Perhaps you are all very close at work, and this is customary, or dear old aunts that just can’t travel. I had to go to my arsenal of information because, today, things are somewhat different. Consulting with three respected advisors about this sticky situation, I received the following three answers: A. If a bride, for any reason, does not or cannot invite someone to the wedding, then they should not be invited to a shower. These friends and family members will probably send a wedding gift anyway. B. I’m sure her co-workers and close relatives understand, and would want to participate in the celebration, so it would be acceptable to invite them, as long as it is customary in that social group to do so. C. Here in New York, ALL of my friends have gone home, out-of-state, to get married. We host showers for each other, knowing that an invitation to the wedding is not forthcoming – she knows we will be unable to attend. I can’t imagine not having a shower for each other. So, perhaps I have muddied the waters, or cleared the air for you. In any event, to be a gracious bride, I would consider the personalities of your two families, some are very strict about etiquette, and make your decision accordingly.

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