Invitation Wording and Gift Etiquette — The Bump
Baby Showers

Invitation Wording and Gift Etiquette

dznutsdznuts member
edited April 2017 in Baby Showers
Hi ladies! So my mom settled on just the BBQ after the baby is born. She was concerned two separate parties might get too complicated guest list wise and feelings hurt for being invited to one and not the other. I personally prefer the focus be more on celebrating and meeting the baby than gifts. Originally was going to ask people not to wrap gifts, but saw a lot of negative feedback on that idea. Instead, I'll just open people's gifts one-on-one as they arrive,  and then display them from there. Thoughts on this??

Also trying to decide how to word gifts aren't the focus on the invite. Below is what I came up with. Is this ok or is there a better way to word?    


For those who wish to bring a gift, diapers, wipes and baby/children’s books are greatly appreciated, or you can visit our registries for more ideas:


::EDIT BASED ON RESPONSES:: I probably should have clarified that several friends and family members are asking about and insisting on buying gifts, which is why we considered including registry on invite. Our focus really is on the baby, just trying to find an easy and appropriate way to address both the people who do and do not wish to bring gifts.    

Re: Invitation Wording and Gift Etiquette

  • I don't think it's appropriate to mention specific gifts at all. If it's a baby shower, then include registry info and that's it. I wouldn't even mention the side dish. What if everyone brings a gift and you are short on side dishes? Or what if you end up with way too many side dishes? 

    Also with the opening gifts as people arrive, what happens when 3 or 4 couples arrive at the same time? Do they have to wait in line to watch you open their gifts? It just doesn't sound logical.  Once everyone has eaten, you can open gifts as they have dessert. 

    Truthfully, DH and I don't want a shower at all. We like the party and celebration aspect, but have never really been big on caring about gifts. The BBQ is our compromise in trying to make it more about the baby and less of an actual shower about gifts. Some people have expressed wishes to still get gifts, which is why we included registry info. The reason I specifically mentioned diapers and baby books because that's a thing in our area. Usually it's tied to a "raffle" where you win a prize if your name is drawn for bringing it. Maybe we should just do the raffle thing like usual, unless there is a better way to word this or maybe we should just throw it out all together?

    For the side dish, our family and friends have always done parties like this, and we've never really had an issue with amount of food. Most of them usually call to confirm what they can bring.  

    I see your point of multiple people showing up at same time, and didn't think about that. Now that I am, would obviously greet them all before even attempting to open the gifts. Then would probably ask them if they want me to open it now or wait when I have time to sit down with them personally. We are trying to shy away from the big gift opening spectacle because the BBQ is going to be an all day open house for people to drop in as they can. It would be hard to do a specific time on gift opening when people will be coming and going at their leisure.   
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  • If your mom is hosting, she should provide all of the food.  Pot luck works for small, informal, intimate groups of family or friends but is pretty questionable in an environment where guests don't know each other well and formal invitations are actually mailed out.

    I'd leave out all talk of guests bringing anything.  If someone wants to contribute they'll call and ask if they can bring something, which you can feel free to take them up on.  And if they want to find your registry they can Google your name or ask you or your mom for the info.  If it's not truly a "shower" I wouldn't put the registry on the invites.  It will make people who otherwise wouldn't have brought a gift feel like they need to, which I think is the opposite if what you are going for.
  • My mom and I were tatalking all this over after first commentor, and agree with removing food and registry info. 
  • dznuts said:
    My mom and I were tatalking all this over after first commentor, and agree with removing food and registry info. 
    Yes, please. IMO raffles are a no-no as well. You can't dictate guests what to bring or do. I'd include the books you'd like to the registry.
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  • If you are concerned about etiquette, the preferred gifts and side dishes should be left off. If you don't want gifts at all, omit the registry info from the invitation. If you have a starting time for serving food (even if it's an all day thing), I would try and time gift opening during dessert. You don't want to open gifts as you greet people because you may get a line OR someone who shows up without a gift may feel like a jerk walking in past the gift givers. You guys are probably just over thinking it
  • Thank you all for suggestions! Yes @Crystal321, I am very guilty of over thinking. Just trying to figure out how to address everything on the invite. 

    @Antoto, my mom agrees that she will just provide all the food and not make any mention of bringing side dishes. If people offer, that's fine but we won't ask.  
    [Deleted User]dufferooJennyColadafwtx5815
  • @dznuts I applaud you for taking our advice!  Your guests will appreciate it!  I hope you have a great time :)
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