Mystery bride and groom!

gellchomApril 29, 2004

How's this!

I just got a "save the date" letter. The back of the envelope is embossed with an address (nearby, but I don't recognize whose), but no name. The card inside (names and date changed) says on the front:

Sharon and Dave

are getting married

October 21, 2004

Inside, it says:

We look forward to celebrating this special occasion with you.

Invitation to follow

That's it. WHO are Sharon and Dave?! I assume I know one or both of their families, and probably my husband will know (he is a clergyman, so this is probably someone in the congregation that we don't know well but who will invite us as a courtesy). I assume most recipients of this card will know who these people are. But I bet I'm not the only one who opened the mail and stood there with a big question mark over my head! (The names aren't really Sharon and Dave, but they are just as common.) It's a shame that someone spent all that money -- it's a very nice card, on very heavy cream paper with a tiny gold bride and groom embossed on it -- and left out such seemingly important information as the identity of the couple!

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awww. poor things. maybe you should write them a letter. that's what i'd do.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2004 at 1:44PM
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...except that she wouldn't know who to send the letter *to*! :)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2004 at 2:34PM
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Well, I imagine their invitations will have their whole names on them! If not, there may be a lot of guests wondering who they're celebrating with! LOL

    Bookmark   April 29, 2004 at 3:17PM
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Its odd that a save the date card was sent to you when you live near the couple. Save the date cards are sent to out of town guests so that they can make travel plans.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2004 at 7:00PM
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I'd look further into this, it sounds like it may have been sent by mistake, no offense. I've gotten one like that once, and it turned out that it was meant for the person who lived in my apartment before me, but the name of the resident (mine at the time) was not put, just the was weird. So i sent it back with a note saying, congratualtions but i haven't a clue as to who you was quite funny.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2004 at 1:17AM
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That was a good suggestion, froggy, but the envelope did have our names on it, not just the address.

By the way, my husband commented on it, too: "That's it? Just the first names?" I'm not sure if he said whether he knew who it was (I was busy when I heard him say it from the other room), but I assume he either knows or can figure it out from his calendar.

I agree with you, Sweet Pea, about sending these things (if at all) just to people who need to make travel dates. But I have started to see them for locals. I think people are scared someone else will choose the same weekend for an event (or know of someone who already has) and beat them to the post office with the invitations! But this is really way early. I've never sent save-the-dates. I just call or email the out of towners I know will want to come (close relatives and friends), or mention the date in a p.s. in cards or whatever that I happen to be sending anyway.

This seems to have been an extreme example of a bridal couple getting so wrapped up in being the King and Queen that they forgot that not only aren't they the only bride and groom in the world, they aren't even the only Sharon and Dave! I feel bad for them that they went to all that trouble and expense, and even the people who know right away who they are probably giggled, exactly the opposite impression from the one they evidently hoped to create.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2004 at 11:04AM
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Send back an RSVP with no name! (heh, heh...)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2004 at 11:48AM
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Since you have the address that the card came from, you can do a 'Reverse Lookup' and see who lives at that address. That should give you the info you need.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2004 at 12:04PM
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They probably did take the time and energy to think about the card, they just didn't realize that not everyone who they sent the cards to would not know who actually sent it! I don't think that 'This seems to have been an extreme example of a bridal couple getting so wrapped up in being the King and Queen that they forgot that not only aren't they the only bride and groom in the world, they aren't even the only Sharon and Dave!' - that seems a bit harsh. It was probably just a error in judgement. I consider weddings to be quite intimate gatherings, so I am sure that someone told them that their last names weren't necessary - I was told by a few people who worked at the store we purchased our invitations at that the first names were enough for all of the invitations but the actual wedding invitations. The rest of the invitations are more casual, and the people receiving the engagement, save the date, and shower invitations/cards are usually close to the couple and their families. But, I would have erred on the conservative side - if you both have real common names, you should attach the last names to at least the first announcement. Just my thoughts...

    Bookmark   April 30, 2004 at 12:54PM
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I think AutumnBride is right that they were looking for a more intimate tone, and including last names felt wrong. A simple solution would have been to have included a name -- theirs or a parent's -- instead of just an address on the envelope.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2004 at 10:40AM
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On our Save The Date cards, we used first names only, but because I was worried about this same thing happening, I used full names (both) on the return address on the envelope so that people would know who it was from before opening...

As for this situation, I sure do hope that you figure out who the "Mystery Couple" is! If your husband doesn't know who they are, then I would recommend the "reverse lookup" plan that Lindsey7 suggested.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2004 at 2:54PM
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Thanks. I don't have to figure it out. When the invitation comes, I'll know. Besides, it's just got to be a congregant, so my husband will know by looking on the calendar to see who has that date.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2004 at 10:07AM
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Bringing up a way old thread but this (almost) exact thing has now happened to me twice.

Several years ago I received an invitation to a reception for "Mary Lynn" (actually another name but as gellchom says, just as common). The invitation indicated that she'd gotten married recently in another state and wished to celebrate with all her friends here. I wasn't sure who this was! No last name, and just as in your case, no name on the return address.

I took a stab at who I thought it might be, and went ahead and replied that I'd come. I turned out to be right, and I'm glad I went. She was a friend with whom I'd worked at a previous job, and although we'd not been in constant touch, we were still friends and I was glad to see her and her new husband.

Funny thing is, she apologized at the reception for not writing in her last name! I didn't say anything about it but I'm guessing someone else must have.

Now, just a couple of weeks ago, I received, via email (one of those e-vite things), an invitation to a baby shower with a completely unfamiliar name as the honoree. Now, this invitation came from a couple of fellow workers in my office. I had to think for a minute as to who this person could be. Well, it turns out the honoree is the name of the unborn baby. I figured out who the party was for, since she's the only one in the office who is expecting. But I just think it was weird that nowhere on the email or evite did it say Mom's name.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 5:56PM
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Something similar happened to me. I received an invitation to a bridal shower that said, "Please help us shower Mary Smith before her wedding." I don't know Mary Smith. DH doesn't know Mary Smith. Later learned that Mary Smith is a woman who is marrying one of DH's (many, many) cousins. But get this, her full name is Mary Ann Smith, and she goes my Ann. When we were introduced to her she said her name was Ann. Apparently her mother never liked her using Ann, so she had bridesmaids use Mary. A shower invitation doesn't really seem the place to make her point, but there it is.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 9:37PM
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This is one of those things that experience teaches, isn't it? I can see someone thinking only of the casual or intimate tone they want, and forgetting that the identity of the couple (or mom) may just not be obvious to all the recipients.

I mean, suppose it's for a couple with popular names like Lauren and Zachary. The people sending out the invitations/announcements/save-the-dates, whether it's Lauren and Zachary or someone else, assume that everyone will know who it is. But let's say I am a cousin or a friend of one of, say, Zachary's parents, and I get an invitation to a shower for "Lauren" -- period. I might know Zach is getting married -- but I may well not know or remember his fiancee's name. Also, I know more than one Lauren; even if this were my own niece or something, that doesn't mean that someone else wouldn't invite me to another Lauren's shower.

It seems so simple just to put the last name on a shower invitation, and, for a save-the-date, make sure a last name is on the envelope at least. But even then, if the last name is that of the person I don't know, I would still be confused.

lowspark, that invitation with no one's name but the fetus's is really beyond belief! What were they thinking?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 3:44PM
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LOL, I guess the answer is, they weren't!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 8:54AM
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I have gotten bridal shower invites for women marrying into the family whose names I don't know. I vaguely knew the groom, and might have recognized his name, but didn't know hers at all.

And since I'd heard of a couple of people marrying, some in the family and some not--in all instances I knew the groom sort of, but only him--I was tempted to call and ask the RSVP person, "now, who is she marrying?"

And they invited the huge extended family, so it should have occurred to them, that perhaps they should put the groom's name on there somewhere. I couldn't even go by the RSVP names.

The thing is, if you're going for an intimate tone, maybe you should send the save-the-dates only to the most intimate of friends!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 3:53PM
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If you can't recognize the couple by their first names, are you really close enough to "save the date" and invest in celebrating their happy occaision?

Truth is, I personally cringe when I get a wedding invitation from someone I barely know! Maybe it's different in your kind of work.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 5:12PM
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We just got ANOTHER one like this! A postcard this time.

[Note: I am CHANGING the date, names, and location, to protect their privacy -- i.e., NOT Zachary and Lauren, NOT Napa/Carmel, and obviously not August 32.]

The front says,

August 32, 2008

and it has 2 pictures of the couple, but both small; you can only, barely, recognize faces in one.
The reverse says:

Mark your calendar for a Napa Valley wedding!
Please view our website for more wedding/hotel details:
[URL of web site]
Ww hope you can join us
and we can't wait to see you
in beautiful Napa!!!
Lauren and Zachary

My husband had NO clue, and he found it annoying. I figured it out, because I had heard that my cousin "Zachary" is engaged. He is much younger (my first cousin's son), and lives far away, so I haven't seen him in several years, when he was much younger; I'm not sure I would have recognized him from the tiny picture.

neesie writes, "If you can't recognize the couple by their first names, are you really close enough to "save the date" and invest in celebrating their happy occaision?"

Maybe that's true if their names are Cuthbert and Thusnelda. But, as I wrote earlier, even if they are very close, if their names are common, you may well know more than one person by that name. And remember too that many invitees are closer to the PARENTS than to the couple, so even less common names may not ring a bell.

If I get a save the date or a shower invitation for "Rachel," I may be baffled, because I know a lot of Rachels and a lot of people who have daughters named Rachel -- and when you consider that I may not know Rachel at ALL, but I know her FIANCE'S family very well (I might even be related) -- well, it's hopeless, even if her name is Thusnelda!

The point is, it isn't just people that you "barely know" that confuse you when they don't put last names ANYWHERE on the save-the-date or invitation. (And this one didn't even have a return address, so no clue there.)

So I think it's a mistake to do it.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 1:23PM
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Ok -- I work at a college -- all of us got the mystery bride & groom save the date card... luckily - I was the person on staff that the groom had contacted to get everyone's home address... but it still took me some time to figure out who they were! Partially due to the use of their 'formal' names -- not the shortened nicknames.. One of our staff sent it back 'return to sender' because she didn't recognize either of the first names... Again a victim of the return address [of the bride - who none of us know her last name! - much less her hometown!]

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 1:46PM
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OK, on a related note, what's up with not having a return address on invitations? I posted this in another thread but gellchom's last post reminded me again. I wanted to send a card with a check enclosed as a gift for a couple whose wedding we'll be attending in about a month. Went to address the card, and there is no return address on the envelope.

The groom is the son of a friend, so I don't have their address, just the parents'. Guess I'll just carry the card with me and hand it over on the wedding day. But what if I'd been unable to attend the wedding but wanted to send a gift anyway?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 2:24PM
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LOL - we got the invitation to my cousin's wedding -- the one who sent the "save the date" postcard with no last names or return address (see above post).

The invitation is very nice, and it does have their last names (sort of -- it's not clear what the bride's is - Doe? Smith? Doe-Smith? -- with different parent last names, I'd have included hers; but you can tell whose daughter she is, and I don't really need to know her last name). But look what they did this time (names, dates, name of restaurant all changed):


Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Jane Doe
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter

Lauren Beth


Zachary David Jones

Son of Mumford and Muriel Jones

Sunday, September 32nd, 2008 at 5:00 in the afternoon in an outdoor ceremony

The Gold Door Restaurant

Dinner and dancing immediately following


WHERE is the "Gold Door Restaurant"? Not only no street address, no city and state! (No, it's not an all-local wedding; I have no idea where her family is, but no one our family, other than the groom, lives in that state.)

They do give a wedding web site URL at the bottom, so between that and MapQuest guests can find out what they need to know, but it is rather inconvenient, especially for their non-computer-savvy guests, and it sure looks strange. Also, like providing a stamped envelope and card for replies, giving guests everything they need, including information, to respond, makes it a lot more likely that they will respond promptly than if they must set it aside for when they have time to do research (and maybe lose or forget it in the meantime).

The lesson: PROOFREAD -- or better yet, have an outsider do it. I'm sure that they worked hard to make this invitation nice, and it's a pity that it gives a sloppy and careless impression. The invitation sets the tone for the event; you don't want your guests to wonder what you are going to forget next.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:46AM
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