Etiquette on Who Gets Invited to a Wedding Shower
Either option is perfectly acceptable and both conform to the rules of etiquette. Apart from that, the option you choose becomes a matter of personal preference.
The one thing you should absolutely never do, under any circumstances, is to invite people to the shower who will not be invited to the wedding. All shower guests must be on the wedding guest list as well.
As for the out of town guests who you know can not possibly attend the shower, it is thoughtful of you to want to make them feel included by sending them an invitation. An invitation, however, usually does inevitably make one feel obliged to send a gift. If it is your intention to avoid having them feel this way, it may be best to simply not send these individuals an invitation, since you know it is not feasible for them to attend.
The other possible option is to send such people a shower invitation along with a note that reads something along the lines of: “We realize it’s not possible for you to attend the shower, but just thought you might like to have a copy of the invitation as a keepsake. Wish you could be there, but we hope to see you at the wedding”. This should help to make the intention behind sending the invitation a little more clear, and will help to remove some of the pressure that may be felt to send a gift. Nonetheless, the likelihood remains that many of these recipients will still choose to go ahead and send a gift even under these circumstances.
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