Evite baby shower cupcakes

When someone is throwing you a shower – bridal, baby or otherwise – it’s amazing how quickly one small decision can turn your happy little shower into a nasty storm.

One of the questions that tends to stump brides, moms-to-be, family, friends and etiquette experts alike is whether to invite out-of-town guests.

Here’s why it’s such a pickle: As a guest of honor with a big day approaching, you want your nearest and dearest to celebrate with you – even if your nearest don’t actually live anywhere near you. However, inviting people who you know can’t attend could be interpreted as saying, “Hi, I know you can’t come, but I’d like you to send me a gift anyway.”

So, would it be better to stick to only inviting people who live locally? That’s okay as long as you don’t mind offending certain people who may feel hurt or left out. Some family and friends may not even want to attend but just want to receive the invitation and feel included.

So what’s a host to do? Well, don’t assume there’s one universally accepted answer. Advice is decidedly mixed, with strong opinions on both sides.

But we do have a great way to keep everybody happy. Add all of your favorite people to your Evite invitation, and once it’s sent, send each non-local a personal message letting them know that you want them to feel included but realize they probably won’t be able to attend. And let them know you don’t expect them to send a gift.

And yes, guests, it’s perfectly okay not to send a gift if you’re not attending. You can if you’d like, but it is not required. A card of congratulations, however, is always appreciated.

NEXT: For those throwing baby showers, start planning with these baby shower invitations or discover more tips to help make your baby shower flow more smoothly.