Ask the Wedding Maven: Bridal Shower by Mail?

by Marta
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Dear Wedding Maven,

My family grew up giving and receiving family bridal showers. There are several cousins, however, as each of us had our turn, many of us moved away. Now is the time when the last cousin is getting married. She lives in the midwest, and the rest of us are in three other states. Is there an acceptable way to give her a shower by mail? Could there be some creative wording, sending gift cards the same day, something? I would hate to see her not have a bridal shower when she and her mom have supported so many of us when we got married. Do you have any ideas or advice?

Signed,
Cousin

Dear Cousin,
What a nice question to start the new year on, someone who recognizes the need to give back to others who helped you. I think it’s great that your family is close and has this tradition.

Unfortunately, there’s really no polite way to ask people to send gifts to someone’s house, which is what a shower by mail would be. That being said, you do have some options. Presumably, your cousin has local friends, and possibly even bridesmaids. Perhaps one of them is planning on throwing her a shower? Ask the bride’s mother if she knows of any plans.

If she does, then you can contact the host and explain that you and your cousins would like to contribute to the shower. Obviously, you can all send gifts, but you could also offer to provide a centerpiece for the shower, or if there’s a famous family recipe, you could bake up a batch of cookies and send them to be served.

Another option is to take the idea of a “shower by mail” and just restrict it to your family. Talk to the other cousins and aunts and explain what you’re thinking. Could you all send items to her mother’s house by a certain date, and arrange for a surprise teleconference? Because you’re keeping it in the family, you don’t need to send invitations with clever wording, or worry about offending guests, you just decide what to do as a group.

If you need wedding advice, or have a question about wedding etiquette, manners, relationships or traditions write the Wedding Maven at weddingmaven@onewed.com

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