How to Gift for Mulitple Wedding Showers?

Dear Gwyn:

It seems to be commonplace as of late, that a bride- or mommy-to-be have multiple showers thrown for them by different people in their lives. Sometimes guest lists overlap, and one finds oneself attending 2, maybe 3, showers for the same guest of honor. While I believe the more celebration, the better, celebrations come with a price tag. Is it necessary to bring a gift to each shower? Or just to the first one?

Thank you for your ever-flowing knowledge of all things etiquette,

Crate and Barrelled-out in DC

Hello:

Shower season is upon us and they are such a fun way to celebrate a bride’s upcoming wedding or an expecting mom!  But you’re right, even with all of the fun, the showers add up both in terms of the time commitment and toll on the pocket book.

Showers were originally a way to help a future bride and her family pay for the wedding and evolved into a means to individually celebrate the bride.  Gifts for both a wedding shower or baby shower are now a fun means to celebrate the guest of honor and also a way to help a new bride or mom start a new part of her life.

By bringing a gift to the shower you are participating in the fun and supporting the tradition – don’t feel obligated to bring additional gifts to the following showers.  If you choose to attend a second (or third!) shower, only bring additional gifts if it feels right to you and your wallet. For those of you who know that you are attending more than one shower and feel more comfortable bringing a gift to each event, consider bringing a gift of lesser value to each, or a gift to one and small gesture to another such as a card, flowers, baked cookies.

However, as with all etiquette today, there is a caveat…some brides will have a traditional shower and a lingerie shower.  In this case, if you choose to attend both showers, plan on bringing a gift to each shower.

In the end it comes down to knowing what you are comfortable with both from an attendance and financial situation.

And don’t forget, you were invited as a friend and when the party winds down, a good friend will remember your attendance above all else!