If you receive an invitation to a bridal shower, it means you are expected to participate by showing up and enjoying the festivities. Life gets in the way sometimes, so if you can’t make it, it helps to know what to say to avoid any hard feelings.
It’s an important event where the bride celebrates this new chapter of her life with her female friends and relatives. They play games, share advice and stories, and just celebrate the meaning of the moment.
Usually a bridal shower is organised by the maid of honour, bridesmaids or family members rather than the bride herself. Sometimes it’s even a surprise for her. When you can’t attend a bridal shower, it’s important that you let the maid of honor/bridesmaids/family member know ahead of time. Usually, a lot of planning goes into these events and it can mean wasted money on food and other purchased items.
Then there’s the disappointment aspect when you can’t attend a bridal shower. She’s expecting everyone she loves there, so when you figure out what to say, it had better be good.
We have compiled 17 examples of what to say when you can’t make it, and some guidelines you should follow to make sure the organizer/bride doesn’t feel slighted by your decision. Here are the examples of what to say when you can’t attend a bridal shower you’ve been waiting for:
What to say when you can’t attend a bridal shower: 5 sweet notes for when you have a schedule conflict or work on that day
The reality is, we all have busy lives, whether it’s with work, home life, school, hobbies or what have you. The bridal shower may fall on a day when you can’t miss work, or you may have a schedule conflict to contend with.
When this happens, be sure to explain your reason for not showing up. Here are some examples of what to say when you can’t attend a bridal shower due to work or a scheduling conflict:
What to say when you can’t attend a bridal shower: 4 sweet notes for when you don’t know the bride that well
When you don’t know the bride well, you may not feel like making a huge effort to be there, especially if you think it may be awkward. Her maid of honor/bridesmaids/family member may have invited you because you’re related to her groom, and they didn’t want you to feel left out.
If you don’t want to be there, please don’t make it obvious. You don’t want to create an unnecessary rift.
Instead, come up with a good enough excuse for your absence. This is what to say when you can’t attend a bridal shower but still want to make her feel good about her day:
4 sweet notes for when you don’t want to spend your day with a bunch of people that you don’t know well
Most people wouldn’t want to go somewhere with people they don’t know or like. It can be uncomfortable and the tension can ruin the mood at the bridal shower.
Sometimes, the best thing to do is just eject yourself from the situation. This is what to say when you can’t attend a bridal shower because you don’t want to be uncomfortable:
4 sweet notes for when the bridal shower destination is too far
The most important thing is the wedding, and if you have to choose between the bridal shower and the wedding, the answer is clear. It’s just not practical to attend both in some instances, especially if you live far or need to jump on a flight.
It can be difficult to be there if you’re on a tight budget and have other obligations. These are examples of what to say when you can’t attend a bridal shower because it’s too far away:
Bonus: Ideas for what you can say in your tailor-made note when you can’t make it to the party
The bride will very likely be disappointed you won’t be able to make the bridal shower, so make sure you express how sad you can’t be there in person. It helps to have a good excuse, otherwise, she may think you just don’t want to be there for her on her special day.
Be sure to thank the maid of honor/bridesmaids/family member for including you in her celebration. They didn’t have to, but they chose you because your presence is important to her.
Use your note to wish her the best on her special day, and show your support as best as you can. If possible, offer your assistance with anything she needs before or after the shower.
Perhaps you can support her in another way, for example, following up with the caterers, making sure thank you notes are sent after the shower or creating activities for her guests to do on the day of the bridal shower. Sending a gift is another way to get back in her good favor, especially something you know she needs or will enjoy.