How to (Politely!) Ask Guests to Ship Gifts for a Bridal Shower

This simple step ensures convenience and ease for all involved.
Woman opening up box on couch with partner
Photo: Ryan J. Lane Photography / Getty Images
Jenn sinrich headshot
Jenn Sinrich
Jenn sinrich headshot
Jenn Sinrich
The Knot Contributor
  • Jenn writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a speciality in planning advice and travel.
  • Jenn also writes for a myriad of other large-scale publications, including SELF, Women's Health, and more
  • Prior to becoming a freelance writer, Jenn worked as an on-staff editor at, American Baby, Fit Pregnancy and FreshDirect.
Updated Apr 10, 2024

The topic of gifting can be uncomfortable for many—both guests and honorees alike. But when it comes to your wedding, it's important to be upfront, honest and, well, practical. For starters, hosting a bridal shower often involves inviting out-of-town guests. While their presence is cherished, the logistics of transporting physical gifts can pose a challenge.

Luckily, there's another solution: you can ask them to ship gifts before the bridal shower instead; a thoughtful solution that ensures both convenience and consideration for all involved.

In this article:

Do You Ship Bridal Shower Gifts?

In fact, it is becoming more common to ship bridal shower gifts, even for local guests, as it is also much more convenient for the couple. "Rather than having to lug gifts to the shower that the couple then has to play Jenga within their vehicles afterward, you can just opt to have it delivered to their home, making their bridal shower a more enjoyable experience for both yourself and the couple," explains Colton Simmons, photographer and owner of Colton Simmons Photography. And if gifts are shipped, you can easily keep track of who got you what using The Knot's Guest List Tool, rather than risk losing a handwritten list after the shower.

While physical gifts (toasters, espresso makers, fine china, etc.) can be wonderful, they can also be difficult in today's day and age when many couples start their married lives in apartments where space is limited. Also, Simmons points out that most couples usually live together before getting married, so they may already have everything someone typically gifts at a bridal shower." If the couples have moved away from their home states and their parents host their bridal showers back home, traveling with physical gifts could become extremely challenging and expensive," he says.

How to Ask Guests to Ship Gifts for a Wedding Shower

Here, wedding pros share their best tips for how to politely ask guests to ship gifts for your wedding shower.

Set Up Your Registry Accordingly

Simmons recommends actually setting up your registry so that the gifts people order are automatically sent directly to your home. You can even opt to include a note that describes why this is preferred. You can also opt to use the wedding shower registry on The Knot, which offers a user-friendly platform where couples can easily create and manage their wedding shower registry online. Couples can quickly browse through a wide selection of gifts from various retailers and add items to their registry with just a few clicks, making the process quick and convenient.

"Our registry is set up to ship our gifts directly to our house. Pick a gift from the list and never worry about gift bags or a wrapping paper nightmare."

Provide Gifting Guidance on the Invite

Consider including actual information about where to send the gift on the invite itself. Kevin Dennis, owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, recommends keeping the mention graceful but firm, letting your family and friends know that they should not be traveling with any physical gifts.

"While we so appreciate the gesture, we unfortunately have limited space and cannot travel home with any gifts."

Explain How Shipping Makes Things Easier for Your Guests

Not having to lug a big, bulky gift to your shower will make things easier for your guests, so feel free to remind them of that added perk.

"Please ship the gifts directly to our home for your convenience and yours. It'll make your travel to our shower simple and help us after the shower. Thank you so much for understanding and your generosity."

Let Guests Know You're Not Opening Gifts at the Shower

Dennis also recommends letting guests know that you won't be opening gifts in front of everyone at the shower. "Most people can feel uncomfortable accepting gifts in front of a crowd (and vice versa, having their gifts compared with others), so share that you'll be eliminating any awkwardness by preferring that everyone ship their gifts instead to be opened at a later time," he says.

"Don't worry—we're not opening any gifts at the shower anyways, so you won't miss out on anything by sending it by mail!"

Be Direct If Anyone Asks Questions

If any family members or friends approach you and ask when they can give you your gift or what to bring to the shower, Dennis recommends being direct with them and letting them know that you'd like them to ship the gift instead.

"There are a lot of moving parts to stay ahead of during the planning process, so we're opting to keep things as simple as possible and have gifts sent directly to our home. Thanks for understanding!"

How to Let Guests Know to Ship Wedding Shower Gifts

Here are some tips for how to let your guests know ahead of time how to get their wedding shower gifts to you.

Make an Announcement on the Invitation

The easiest way to communicate to your guests that you prefer gifts to be shipped is by making an announcement on your shower invitations (we've got some great options on The Knot Paper) and/or your wedding website, according to Simmons.

"Thankfully, most registries have the option to have the gifts shipped directly to an address of your choosing, so there isn't much room for error when it comes to accidentally having a guest ship a gift elsewhere and bring it with them," he says. "Make your preferences clear on gift-giving early on, and bear in mind that it should be easy to reference."

Include Shipping Info on Your Wedding Website

You can also include a paragraph explaining your choice if you have a wedding website. "It's an easy way to update one location and communicate it with all your guests simultaneously," says Dennis. "Here, you can include preferences for shipping in case your area has special shipping instructions."

Delegate the Task of Explaining Shipping Info

Simmons recommends giving the person hosting your wedding shower a go-to response so that they can also field inquiries about shipping gifts if you're having a maid-of-honor or a person other than yourself planning the party. "This will cut out much of the back-and-forth of folks asking for your address if you have a secondary person to help with communicating your preferences with guests," he says. "Additionally, they can offer alternative gift ideas if you're running low on registry items that can be shipped."

How Do You Politely Ask for Money for a Bridal Shower Gift?

Requesting money in lieu of physical gifts has become pretty common in recent years, according to Simmons, especially as we consider that most couples will already have everything they need in terms of traditional gifts like kitchenware and similar housewares. "The best rule of thumb for this is to give your guests a 'fund' to contribute to so that they know what it's intended for," he says. "If you're planning a nice honeymoon or saving for a new house, guests will feel like their donations are much more meaningful when there's a purpose!"

"Your presence at our upcoming shower means the world to us, and your love and support are truly the greatest gifts we could ask for. However, if you're wondering how you can contribute to our new journey together, a monetary gift would be greatly appreciated."

"We're requesting monetary gifts in lieu of physical gifts that we will use to start our union together such as furnishing our new home or taking our dream honeymoon. Your generosity will be cherished and put to good use."

Up Next
  • Last-minute bridal shower gift ideas
    The Best Last-Minute Wedding Shower Gift Ideas