Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Baby Shower invitations


Should you send baby shower invitations to people from out of town, knowing they will NOT come the shower?

Would a birth announcement after the baby arrives be more appropriate?

Also, my son lives out of town and I am flying to host the shower.  Two of their closest friends are having babies around the due date of this baby, so friends have not offered to host a party.  Is this ok that I host the party?  

Awkwardly, the location of the baby shower will be at my son's home as their community center is not available during mid-day (which is the time they have chosen for the shower)

Thank you so much for your advice.

Dear Marian:

Thank you for your question.  Proper etiquette dictates that family members shouldn't host showers (either baby or bridal) because by the very nature of them, they are gift requests.  Regarding whether you should send invitations to people you believe won't attend, the answer is found by thinking like the possible recipient.  Would you feel insulted if you were a close relative or friend and didn't receive an invitation?  Most people would be insulted.  Whether they attend in their mind should be their decision to make not assumed.  

The location of the shower really doesn't matter - whether it is in a home or a public building rented for the occasion.  

Finally regarding birth announcements - they should be sent to those attending and not attending the shower.  The shower and the birth are two distinct occasions. Your family and close friends should know of the happy event and the particulars - name, date of birth, gender, etc.

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Cynthia W. Lett


Proper manners with friends,family,colleagues,neighbors and everyone else you know.


I have been an etiquette expert teaching and consulting on the subject worldwide since 1983. I started and serve as the Executive Director of the International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals and am considered a leader in the field of etiquette and protocol training and execution. I edited "Etiquette for Dummies" and have recently written "Lett's Talk - Everyday Etiquette Dilemmas and What to Do about Them". My book, "That's So Annoying:An Etiquette Expert on the World's Most Irritating Habits And What To Do About Them" was published in 2009 and is available wherever books are sold. I taught the Business Protocol class to Master's level students at the George Washington University, Washington, DC for seven years I served as Chief of Protocol for MCI Telecommunications for three years.

International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals, ASTD, PCMA, National Speakers Association

I have been quoted over 700 times in the past 5 years worldwide. Publications include Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, NY Times, Washington Business Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, London Times, Newsweek Japan edition, Newsweek US edition and many many more.

I am a Certified Etiquette Professional (CEP) and Certified Protocol Professional (CPP) earned by examination through ISPEP. I have a Master's degree in hospitality law and undergrad degrees in Restaurant & Hotel Management and Public Relations/Interpersonal Communications from Purdue University.

Awards and Honors
Who's Who Worldwide,Who's Who of American Women, Distinguished Darden Professor (Purdue University).

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