Etiquette Question - Long-Distance Invites — The Bump
Baby Showers

Etiquette Question - Long-Distance Invites

crbpjbcrbpjb member
500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
edited May 2015 in Baby Showers
My sister is graciously hosting a baby shower for me because I will be a first time mom. I feel strongly about following etiquette and not seeming rude, but I have run into an etiquette issue I am unsure on. She has asked me for a guest list, especially for DH's family. Should I invite long-distance relatives who I know cannot make it? I feel I could offend a relative by not inviting them even though they could not attend. I also feel I could offend them by inviting them if they felt I knew they could not come. Could it seem that I just wanted them to send a gift? I am in no way concerned about getting gifts, I just do not want to offend anyone by not inviting them either. What is the proper etiquette here?

Thank you!
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Re: Etiquette Question - Long-Distance Invites

  • I don't know that there's just one right answer in your situation.  Ideally, it would be nice if your MIL or another close relative on DH's side of the family could guide you as to which relatives would be interested in making the trip, or offended if they did not at least receive a courtesy invite.  

    Keep in mind, though, that a baby shower doesn't rise to the level of a wedding, and you don't have to invite every relative.  It's really an occasion for close friends and relatives of the MTB.
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
    soberrysweet
  • saric83saric83 member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Photogenic
    For my shower, invites were sent to my close out-of-town relatives and friends.  But if they're not people I talk to on a regular basis, I didn't invite them (regardless if they live in-town or not).  So for DH's side, that meant I only included his mom, stepmom, step-sister and SIL. 

    I agree with PP's suggestion about getting DH or someone on his side to provide a list of folks they think should be invited. 

    Otherwise, another tip could be to keep it within certain circles - i.e., if you invite DH's two in-town aunts, and he just has one out-of-town aunt, I would include her, so she's not the only one out of her siblings not included. 
  • I don't know that there's just one right answer in your situation.  Ideally, it would be nice if your MIL or another close relative on DH's side of the family could guide you as to which relatives would be interested in making the trip, or offended if they did not at least receive a courtesy invite.  


    Keep in mind, though, that a baby shower doesn't rise to the level of a wedding, and you don't have to invite every relative.  It's really an occasion for close friends and relatives of the MTB.
    This exactly!! My mother hosted my bridal shower at the Italian hall mostly to accommodate my DH's huge Italian family. I imagine she spent a small fortune. This time around for the baby shower, it will be small and intimate at her house, and I am so happy about that. The only people she invited from DH's side are my MIL, SIL and the two Nonnas, one of which was a courtesy invite as she lives 8 hours away and likely won't come because she is so frail. I'm sure there are "rumblings" on that side of the family that all the aunts, cousins and his mothers friends aren't invited but really, it's up to my mom (the hostess) who is invited. I'm happy it will be small and only with people closest to me :)
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  • crbpjbcrbpjb member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    Thank you, ladies! This answered another question of mine as well. I asked my husband to help choose relatives he wanted to invite. He thought it only mattered who was close to me, and I thought it was for his baby too so his relatives should also be invited. The other reason I brought this up was because when I gave my estimate on numbers to my sister she was surprised at how small it was.
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  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Photogenic
    crbpjb said:

    Thank you, ladies! This answered another question of mine as well. I asked my husband to help choose relatives he wanted to invite. He thought it only mattered who was close to me, and I thought it was for his baby too so his relatives should also be invited. The other reason I brought this up was because when I gave my estimate on numbers to my sister she was surprised at how small it was.

    NOTHING wrong with it being a small shower.  And while it's been answered, I do feel strongly that showers are NOT weddings!  MOST normal, sane women realize this and absolutely don't expect nor are offended to not be invited to a shower they can't realistically attend.  There are exceptions to this and really, if you know of "that person" that will be offended, then invite them.  But that doesn't mean you then have to invite "everyone".
  • delujm0delujm0 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Just invite the people you are closest to, regardless of where they live.  An invitation is not a summons; the people that you are closest to that live far away will just send their regrets and not feel pressured to attend.  That having been said, DH's closest relatives were invited to my shower as well.  But if your husband doesn't feel like that is something his relatives would be into, it's fine to not invite them.  It would be appropriate, however, to at least invite his mother and sisters (if he has them).

    Me: 36 DH: 36
    Married 5-31-14
    DD1 born 6-21-15
    DD2 born 6-11-17
    DS born 9-5-18

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