Response: It is socially appropriate to have a shower for a second marriage, though it is most often a personal shower or the guests go together to purchase one larger item that the couple needs. It is not socially appropriate, however, to ask for gift cards in lieu of gifts for either a shower or a weddng. As you mention, it is just one step above asking for money. People do often give restaurant gift certificates for second wedding gifts, but that should be the givers decision, not something that has been mandated by a shower host. Do what you feel comfortable doing, particularly since you dont know the bride well but you do want to be a team player.
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