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Shower Invitation Etiquette?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

So, my BFF and one of my grandmothers are in cahoots and planning my shower.  I already let them know that I want a really casual, simple, co-ed thing-- like more of a get-to-see-our-favorite-people-one-more-time-before-the-baby-comes thing instead of a "traditional" shower.

 

No problem.

 

The question is, who should be on the invitation list?

 

Obviously our friends and family, especially those within a 3-hour drive (most within 30 minutes).  But what about those who almost certainly won't be able to make it?

 

It feels weird to invite, say, one cousin, who lives 2 hours away, and not invite her sister, who lives 6 hours away.  And what about their other sister, who lives in Thailand (we're in the US)?

 

KWIM?

 

I absolutely don't want to look like we're gift-grubbing, nor do I want ANYONE to feel ANY pressure to get us ANYTHING, LOL... 

 

But OTOH, it almost feels rude or weird not to invite some of these people, YK?

 

It's different with a wedding, which is much less explicitly about gifts...  Then, of course, we invited all possible family and good friends.  I don't think of a shower-- especially this particular shower-- as being "about" gifts, either, but technically, that is what a shower is-- you're to be "showered" with gifts.  So... I could see where it could get sticky.

 

FWIW, we have pretty much 3 categories of friends/family.  1) Live within 3 hours, mostly <1 hour.  2) Live elsewhere in the US.  3) Live overseas, mostly in the Philippines. 

 

In each category, there are varying levels of closeness-- like maybe one would say don't invite those in the Philippines, but it seems a little funky not to at least invite DH's godparents, etc.  OTOH, maybe we just send them a baby announcement?  I have no idea...

 

Any thoughts?  What did you do (especially with your first)? 

post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

I did find this, in searching, which was interesting...

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/924615/baby-shower-invite-etiquette

 

I am usually (99% of the time) with Miss Manners, whom I kind of love (and who lives in the "smallest" "state," incidentally-- Washington, DC).  But IDK.

 

I should mention my BFF is sending an evite, with registry links (since they're both online registries).  But perhaps we could include some wording...  even though I'm usually loathe to mention gifts in invitations (even to say "no gifts"), as Miss Manners acknowledges, there ARE a few occasions that kinda are about gifts, namely "showers."  But maybe we could say something like, "Best wishes for the new baby will be most cherished! If you choose to send or bring a gift, X and Y are registered at... blah..."

 

Or something...

post #3 of 11

In my experience, with my first, most people are dying to get you something for your little one.  Especially since I see in your signature that you've been married for quite a while.  DH and I had been married for 9 years before we had our first one and the sentiment expressed over and over again was "we've been waiting so long for you to have this baby!"  

I was working as a cashier at the time and there was even one customer (who was very friendly with me and we had talked on more personal levels) who requested an invite to my shower and brought a lovely gift basket.  People just love to celebrate babies!

 

I guess, as far as invitations go, you could base it strictly on inviting people you think will actually come?

And include some kind of little disclaimer "You don't need to bring a gift, just bring us your love" or something along those lines if you feel more comfortable with that.

 

We didn't invite any family that would have been a long distance travel, but did send announcements to everyone after.

post #4 of 11

hey there mama,

 

i just had my baby shower, but i was unfortunate enough to have a major death in the family at the same time, so everyone came out to that, though we had only invited about 30 people. we seriously had about 400 people there at the hotel. it was completely overwhelming. 

we had to fly out from CO to OH for my baby shower and the memorial, and had invited immediate family on both of our sides. mothers, aunts and uncles (including some family in germany and those that we knew would not be able to make it anyway), brothers and sisters, grandparents and some of my cousins, no matter where they lived. my best friend also made it out from many states away. 

i would say, whatever makes you comfortable and happy. if you want a smaller thing like i did, then ask for that. if you want a big get together, then do that! it's your day. stillheart.gif

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks, kellybeth!  What we really want, more than anything, is to see everyone!  Or as many people as possible, for a super-super-low-key "barbecue"-type event (well, not BBQ in the late January, but you know the feeling).  Gifts would DEFINITELY be appreciated, and we do "need" plenty...  but I've always been the kind of person...  let's just say that when we got back from our honeymoon and there were tons of gifts waiting for us, I was shocked and delighted.  I mean, I "knew" people would give us gifts, and I love to give gifts myself, but I just didn't think about it much.  It was more of a nice bonus than anything.  And even if we got exactly 0 gifts, I am a champion bargain-hunter and can surely get by on my own. 

 

Odinsmama, it's so nice to hear from someone else who was married a long time before having kids!  Yes, people are very excited for us, which is so lovely.  I think especially because DH is such an incredible kid person-- people have been dying to see him as a father since he was about 20 years old (he's 42)!

post #6 of 11

I suggest sending an invitation to everyone that you wish could be there. Perhaps on the invitation, you could include a specific time that you intend to either open gifts, or eat cake, or whatever and maybe try to get some of those folks who cant be there to be on skype so that you can virtually visit with all of your family at once. 

post #7 of 11

I had a similar issue. We've been two years in Singapore, three years in California and then grew up around Vancouver so we had three pockets of people who are all folks who would normally be gung ho to come celebrate a new baby. I thought it was cheeky in send everyone the exact same invite given that two groups are completely on the other side of the world... Here's what we did:

 

Two of my Singapore friends are throwing a small co-ed afternoon tea and sent out a classy invite with a registry link. Fair enough. Meanwhile my best friend back in Canada sent out an invitation to a "virtual shower." She asked all of our good friends and family to record themselves sending us wishes or even giving the baby some future advice and send the video clips to her. She's compiling a video we can see at the shower. On that virtual invite there's also a small mention of a registry but the invite was carefully worded to be more about the participation aspect. It's not for three weeks but I'll share how it all went when it happens!

 

However, in your situation buko, I think I might still send the same invite to everyone. Even people out of town might like an excuse to take a road trip and come. I was a little upset once to not be invited to a shower of one of my best friends who was just a 2 hour flight away. It turned out I was flying into town anyway so as I was calling her up to coordinate a visit there was a very awkward last minute invite to the shower. 

post #8 of 11

I opted for a really low-key baby shower with only my closest girlfriends and family who lived in the area. It didn't even occur to me to invite people from out of town! But in your situation I might invite everybody, even those in another country, since it seems like they might expect it. And if out-of-towners are likely to send you a baby gift anyway, it might be nice for them to have access to your registry. And I agree-- people LOVE buying things for a new baby, especially if it's the first baby. We got stuff from the most random people after DS1 was born, like my MIL's co-workers and my grandma's friend who I hadn't seen since I was 10.

post #9 of 11
Quote:

Originally Posted by typebug View Post


Meanwhile my best friend back in Canada sent out an invitation to a "virtual shower." She asked all of our good friends and family to record themselves sending us wishes or even giving the baby some future advice and send the video clips to her. She's compiling a video we can see at the shower. On that virtual invite there's also a small mention of a registry but the invite was carefully worded to be more about the participation aspect.

 


Love this idea, typebug! We have so many out-of-town friends who are excited about our babe...and nobody here where we live seems too interested in the idea of a shower. At least, nobody is stepping up to organize/host (and we feel awkward doing it for ourselves). The video greetings would be a great solution for us. Do you happen to know how your friend is having people deliver their clips? Dropbox, maybe, or some similar service? Mailing flash drives?? Or is there a simpler option I'm not thinking of? Thanks!

post #10 of 11
I will
Quote:
Originally Posted by cortinacolorado View Post



Love this idea, typebug! We have so many out-of-town friends who are excited about our babe...and nobody here where we live seems too interested in the idea of a shower. At least, nobody is stepping up to organize/host (and we feel awkward doing it for ourselves). The video greetings would be a great solution for us. Do you happen to know how your friend is having people deliver their clips? Dropbox, maybe, or some similar service? Mailing flash drives?? Or is there a simpler option I'm not thinking of? Thanks!

I'll ask her! She's a film producer so I'm sure she's figured out something clever.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by typebug View Post

I will
I'll ask her! She's a film producer so I'm sure she's figured out something clever.

 

Fantastic, thanks a bunch.

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