Awaiting a new arrival in the family is an exciting time for most parents, as is looking forward to a baby shower celebration. Many expectant parents prefer receiving gift cards to their favorite stores rather than gifts. If parents are waiting to find out the sex of the baby, this is especially desired, so the appropriate supplies can be purchased after the birth. There is invitation etiquette and individual style to consider when considering asking for gift cards.
It is perfectly acceptable to have a registry when having a baby shower. If the mother already has a child or children, it is generally not proper to register for gifts or ask for gift cards. Although more people are throwing second baby showers, you should simply wait until a guest asks what the parents need. If they do, you can feel comfortable mentioning gift cards, but you should also give other small item ideas.
Proper etiquette suggests that gift registries be left out of a formal invitation. Proper hosts generally wait for guests to ask whether the parents are registered and then give the information, including that the parents would love to receive gift cards. Generally, a mother does not throw a baby shower for herself, so the decision needs to be one agreed to by the mother as well as the host.
For the less formal host and mother-to-be, it is acceptable to forgo formal etiquette. Include registry information in the invitation. You can then go to the registry and register for gift cards (along with a few other items), so the guests know that you would like to receive them. You can also drop a friendly line in the invitation saying "Gift cards are welcome!" Another option is to write a little poem to be included in the invitation that asks for gift cards.
Many parents-to-be are choosing to provide details and information about their upcoming arrival on personalized websites. These types of sites are a great way to share gift registry information, including the tip that you would prefer gift cards. You can use the website for other reasons as well -- sharing the sex of the baby, having a blog where family and friends can post comments about possible names, post ultrasound photos and post photos of the new baby once he or she arrives.
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