Once upon a time, families lived in close proximity to one another. When there was a special occasion to be celebrated, traveling wasn’t an issue. It’s a much different story today, however — families are spread all over the map and often can’t attend every function. It is because of this that new traditions have evolved.
Dear Wedding Guru: “Several years ago, my very closest friend moved across the country. Nevertheless, I feel as close as ever to her. She asked me to be her maid of honor for her wedding, which will be held here in her home state. I’m delighted to participate, but distance has created the first of what may be several issues. I told her I’d like to throw a shower, but it’s just too costly for her to fly home. I’d like to somehow work this out even though she can’t make it. Any ideas?”
(Our answer on next page)
The Wedding Guru says: When friends and family are far apart geographically, a proxy shower is a perfect solution. With services like Skype, guests can actually “attend” the shower virtually. Some tech-savvy couples make use of video-conferencing and Web-meeting services to broadcast the shower live and in real time; consider videotaping the event to mail out afterward as a “party” favor.
Some logistics need to be addressed of course, but none are insurmountable. You might want to ask guests to avoid wrapping their gifts, so that the bride-to-be can see the gifts as they’re presented. Then, provide wrapping paper and note cards to guests so they can wrap each gift, which you’ll arrange to have shipped to the bride. In the same way as a regular shower, someone should be delegated the task of keeping a list of gift-givers and gifts, so that the bride can respond appropriately with a “thank you” card — even if she has thanked the guests “in person” via Skype (or whatever service you used for the shower).
I heartily suggest that you test the equipment before the shower date in order to be sure that everything is working when it’s needed. The bride can, of course, still have a registry and a Web site where guests determine what the couple needs. The proxy shower may present some complications and require more planning on your part, but I have no doubt that the bride will be thrilled with all your efforts!