Is stepmother’s attendance required at bridal shower?

My future daughter-in-law is dealing with 4 sets of parents. I’m stepmother of the groom, and am thinking that it might be okay to skip the bridal shower but send a gift. I’m happy with my stepson’s choice of a bride, and plan to attend the wedding and know everything will work out fine there, but I thought it might be most comfortable for everyone involved if I don’t attend the bridal shower. In one of the suggested wedding etiquette books on these matters, I read that it was okay for the stepmother to skip the bridal shower. So should I have my stepson’s fiance send out any invitations to our (my husband’s & my) side of the family? Or should we just have the couple send the wedding invitations? I’ve already given her addresses for the shower, but it might not be too late to call her & ask her not to send them out.

This forum is a Godsend! I greatly appreciate the timely advice!

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites

If you really feel that not being there is best for all involved then it’s fine to graciously decline saying you have a prior engagement. If you’d like to send a gift, that would be very kind of you, however, not necessary. Let her go ahead and send the invitations to your list. You can let YOUR friends and family know that you will not be attending and let them decide if they will decline or attend. Who knows, they may want to go anyway!

In any case, please let your stepson know that you approve of his choice and are happy for him.

Jodi R R Smith, The Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting

It is very kind of you to be sensitive to your attending the bridal shower. So much of what you choose to do depends on the relationships. If you and the mother of the groom have a civil relationship, then you should attend the shower as a showing of support for the bride and groom. If however, you and the groom’s mother do not get along well, or if you were the cause of the marriage’s failure, then you should politely decline the shower. Either way, do be sure to give a thoughtful gift. Good luck ~