self-addressed thank you cards

dee456July 12, 2005

A huge pet peeve of mine is after spending hours on a hot summer's day going from store to store to find just the right gift and spending a nice amount of money, only to arrive at the bridal shower and have someone hand me an evelope I am to address to myself.

My response is to hand it back and say nicely with a bit of humor,"the only thing I self-address is a postcard from my gynecologist."

Am I completely old-school in thinking this is the height of crassness? The bride-to-be can't take the time to write my name and address on an evelope? After spending $$$ and time I get to receive a thank you that I filled out?

Sorry to vent, but I remember my wedding 25 years ago and being thankful that Emily Post said I had six months to send thank-you's. That way, I had the time to write each and every person--in my own handwriting.

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You're right- It's tacky. No excuses.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 10:39PM
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Oh wow! Really? Its July, my wedding was in Arpil, and I JUST finished my Thank you cards a week ago...I'm sorry about your experience that is very rude I think.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 1:31AM
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Wow, I can't believe that. The bride really expected guests to fill out their own envelopes?! Talk about being lazy. You were absolutly correct to hand it back to the person. I probably would have been more direct in saying "I took the time to shop for _______ (fill in name)special gift. She can take the 10 seconds of time to write out the envelope." I don't know what is getting into brides now a day. Seems being thankful or graciousness are becoming a bit harder to find. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 7:06AM
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I've heard of this but have never seen it personally. The argument (and NOT a good one) is that "the bride is so busy." Yeah, right. She's not too busy to spend an afternoon at a party that's all about her, getting gifts, but can't spend an hour addressing thank-you notes to the people who spent their time and money shopping, getting her a gift, and attending her shower. Unbelievably rude.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 10:31AM
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Thanks so much everyone. I was beginning to think I had to accept the new ettiquette (rather lack thereof). This must be a Southern California thing...and from the tone of your responses this lazy practice will hopefully never cross the state line.

NancyLouise, you're absolutely right--I should be more forthright. I will certainly practice your response before the next shower (as this summer is chock full of them).

Thanks again, Dee

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 11:24AM
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Oh, yuk. Just unbelievable. Maybe it was the hosts' idea, not hers, in an attempt to help her out? Even so, I wouldn't like it.

But: I don't think I'd refuse and hand back the envelope with a snappy answer (probably not even to the person responsible for this idea). No reason to respond rudely or to try to teach them a lesson in manners. I'd just bite my tongue and do it -- and then probably never be able to forget how obnoxious this bride or host was. No one at the party would know how I felt -- but you do (and so would my husband, my friends -- I have to admit I probably wouldn't be able to resist telling about this, because let's face it, it's pretty funny).

So beware! Often we see people posting on this forum that "nobody thought it was rude/tacky/pushy" when they did something, um, controversial. Remember: just because people are polite enough not to criticize you, and even to tell you everything's fine if you ask, doesn't mean they aren't actually insulted, disgusted, amused, or appalled.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 12:28PM
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I, too, struggle with what would be a gracious response--hence the reason I tried using humor with the gynecologist scenario (which happens to be true anyway). I thought if I did it that way, the message would be there but with laughter, not venom. By the way, everyone of these showers with this practice have come from our church with one exception. These are wonderful, nice and gracious people, who apparently don't realize this is offensive.

I also applaud NancyLouise's directness. That's something I have to practice because when I'm direct off the cuff it can come across a bit harsh (according to my kids and hubby) unless I practice beforehand.

The issue here is if nobody says anything, this practice will become standard, and people addressing their own thank-you envelopes will become a thing of the past. I would rather receive a computer printed label on a thank-you than one in my own writing.

There are times a gentle nudge will help get the point across without embarrassing anyone.

Thanks again for your input, I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 1:36PM
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Maybe it was the hosts' idea, not hers,

I think this is something to remember--most brides aren't all that involved in the running of the shower.

But I agree w/ Nancy Louise--I think it's best to actually matter-of-factly state what the problem is:

"Oh, I'm sure she'll be able to find the time to address the envelope, especially since I spent so much time and money to purchase a gift for her." Smile, and walk away.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 2:53PM
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I don't know ladies...when I was a bride I bought my own thank you notes and envelopes. Unless the person handing out the envelopes purchased them also how would the bride not know this was going on and approved of it? NancyLouise

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 4:49PM
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"Maybe it was the hosts' idea, not hers"

I have to agree with Talley Sue on this one. I recently went to a surprise baby shower and this was done.

I am probably in the minority here, but I think it's a great idea! The one problem I could see is if the person was not able to attend, but sent a gift anyway.

I am sure there are those that would say using labels is in poor taste as well.

Personally, I think the reply means more than who addressed the envelopes. jmho

All the best ~~ katclaws

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 6:45PM
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I have also seen this done. The hosts have been the ones who purchased the thank you notes and handed out the envelopes, not the bride or the mother-to-be. The reasoning that I have heard is that the honoree is more apt to send out thank you notes in a timely manner (how many young women today actually take the time to send a note as they should) if she has no excuses. It is compensation for bad manners and being overly busy, but at least a thank you is received. I tend to agree with Katclaws on this - better to get a thank you of some type than none at all.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 3:22PM
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I do so appreciate your input SweetPea. I'm inclined to agree with your reasoning, that the hostess just wants to make it easy on the bride-to-be. As I stated before, these hostesses are really wonderful people.

You are absolutely right that this is compensation for bad manners, but it is probably more a reflection of our culture; everything comes easy or has a short-cut, like a drive-thru thank-you. Hopefully it will never come down to the actual note being included so we can write it ourselves and all she'll have to do is just sign it. :-)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 6:04PM
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I am 26 .... and I totally agree with you!! I got married last October and spent a lot of time on my thank you cards. I hand wrote them all including the addresses on the front. The only thing I didn't hand write was my return address but I designed my own label with a black/white photo of us that was so cute. Anyway!!!
You know what.... if you get a bride that does this, just remember her at her baby shower! I know that's mean, but really. I wouldn't spend as much the 2nd time around. It's rude and tacky and I don't think there's anything wrong with your response - as a matter of fact, I applaud you for doing that. Good for you!!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 5:17PM
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Thank you for responding Cekimon. Your wedding picture is stunning and congratulations on your beautiful new home (I checked out your page). Thanks for putting those pictures up.

It is refreshing to hear your views on this; my daughter is 24 and also completely agrees that this is rude, but then I raised her! She's in a wedding coming up and very tactfully suggested to the bride-to-be that they NOT do the envelope thing at her shower. The BTB also thought it was tacky, so it's looking very encouraging.

Bless you and your new husband and have fun fixing up your house.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 6:55PM
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This happened at a bridal shower that I went to several years ago, and it was the hostess's idea. Apparently my niece said something to her about it because when we recently were invited to her baby shower, the same hostess did not do this again!

At that bridal shower where we were asked to put our names and addresses on the envelopes, those envelopes were placed in a basket and used as drawings for prizes. So at least it wasn't TOO offensive.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 2:49PM
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Well.....I don't think it the best thing to do, but I'm not nearly as offended by it as the rest of you. Yes, I do think it is nice for the bride to be or mother to be to address the thank you envelopes. But I also agree that many times this is something the hostess does.
I just don't get my bloomers in an uproar over this one. I just don't think it is worth that much energy. I think the gratitude the honoree displays upon receiving the gift is far more indicative of her appreciation than self addressed envelopes. Do I prefer to see someone address their own envelopes - yes. Am I over the top offended by it? Nope.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 10:25PM
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I've seen this, and the reason for it then was not so much laziness as the bride didn't have anyone's addresses.

It was a bit of an odd shower anyway... I'd never met the bride before and had gone to elementary school with the groom, but the groom's best friend is a friend of mine, and SHE had invited me because the bride is from another country and had no friends here yet. I don't recall if I even took a gift. (It was a shower first, then bachelorette party later without the older generation.)

But in a normal situation, I think I'd prefer to see the hostess with a clipboard with everyone's addresses on it and double-check them (if they're doing it because of not being sure). If invitations to the wedding have already been sent, then they wouldn't need to do this at all.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 4:46PM
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I've witnessed this Thank You procedure two or three times in the last year. The hostess was responsible in every case. It seems like people are always coming up with new little ideas that are meant to help or are just another nice gesture/cute idea. However, I don't find it cute. I personally think this is in bad taste BUT don't believe anyone's doing this realizing it's tacky. I have to laugh remembering my husband's reaction to the Couples Shower...... "Men don't go to showers. Who thought of that!" (new idea in recent years). This was something new to us at the time and it was for our daughter and her intended. I thought it was a nice social time for people not knowing one another to become acquainted AND great for the groom who doesn't get this type of attention regarding gifts, other than the many wedding gifts young people receive as a couple.

Becky, Kentucky

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 1:35PM
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Just coming back with a thought or two. As a couple of you have stated, this is usually something instigated by a very well meaning hostess, yet people are saying they wouldn't spend as much on a baby shower gift if they had to address their own thank you note envelope from a bridal shower.
Call me really nuts here (many do on a daily basis), but isn't the really IMPORTANT part what the recipient writes in the INSIDE of the note what really counts? If a well meaning hostess hands out envelopes, yet you receive a lovely, proper thank you note inside said horrid envelope, what is there REALLY to be offended by? A well intentioned, yet poorly executed idea by the hostess?
It is not the best thing in the world to do, but I'm far far more interested in what the recipient puts on the inside than I am about who addressed the envelope!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 3:38PM
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Nanaof2, I do agree that we shouldn't be so petty and rude ourselves that we miss the obvious--at least they're sending a thank you. Most of us here though think it is tacky and there have been some great suggestions on humorous and gracious ways to either avoid it or not fill out the envelope at all.

I think if more hostesses got gentle feedback, there may be less of this. If no one says anything it will become part of our culture, which I believe would be sad.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 4:22AM
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I find the "at least they are sending a thank you" depressing. How sad that it's come to that.

What bothers me about the self-addressed cards is that it's part of the "Bride as Queen for a Season" entitlement mindset. It's "Her Special Day," she's "so busy," yadda, yadda, yadda. What happened to the fact that someone honored at a party and given gifts should take it upon herself to graciously thankt he attendees/gift givers? Yes, it's often the hostess who comes up with this unfortunate procedure, but that doesn't make it okay.

Look, I'm not saying I'd complain to a hostess or blame the bride. I'd just think it was in poor taste.

Lots of people rail against the burden of "traditional etiquette." But often those same people plead etiquette when they complain about late/missing RSVPs, etc.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 10:35AM
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Yes, I would have to be a odd person out.

ALTHOUGH I DO agree that it is polite etiquette to hand address thank-you notes yourself FOR ANY OCCATION. That being said, some addresses are hard (if not impossible) to get if they donÂt give them themself.
Way out here in the boonies where I live where even the phone book is of no use because most have East of town or South of City, same name listings, and I could go on.... for some this is the ONLY way to get a address and I rather have them address one envelope then NOT receive a Thank-You at all!!!
I have given many baby showers and as the guests come into the room I have them write name/address on a envelope ---then later in the shower I draw 3-4 of them out of something and they win a prize......

Now this is a two fold answer....Although I do think some help is needed and appreciated in getting address I DO NOT think there is any excuse what so ever for her (the Mother-to-Be / Bride / whatever) to not hand write a special note inside describing what the gift was and how much it will be appreciated!!!!!! You can bet your bootie if someone can take the time and use hard earned cash to send a gidt the leat you could do is sit down for a afternoon and say Thank You!!!
Im sure everyone will agree.

I was taught as a child that it didnt matter the cost or even if it only a card or short letter sent back a Thank You.
I have a 16 yo son & a 14 yo daughter and they know I would break fingers if they didnt send or if I had to remind them to send anyone! I dont care if it's only a Christmas card, B-Day, or How ya doing Grandchild letter....NO EXCUSE!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 11:08PM
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I don't understand the idea that it's necessary to get addresses from attendees - presumably the host(s) sent them an invitation, so don't they have the addresses? Presumably, the host(s) could just print up a list of attendees with addresses for the guest of honor, who could then use it to write thank you notes.

When I have given a shower, I print up a list like this, along with a space where the recipient can write in what gift was given.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 1:57AM
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Never heard of such a thing!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 12:37PM
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I think that if I am ever in this situation, I will self-address my envelope to "The Incomparable Ms. _____ "! Choose your own adjective to suit. Or perhaps style yourself "The Honorable" or "Her Most Serene Highness." Or "My Idol, Ms. ____."

Sometimes humor can be a good response to rudeness when we don't want either to be rude back or to let it seem like we approve (same as when someone says something racist or mean).

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 10:36AM
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LMAO..... @ Her Most Serene Highness!
Good one, gellchom! LOLOLOL

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 4:13PM
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I think that's what they call the Prince and Princesses of Monaco.
I guess we who try to unravel wedding etiquette in America can at least be grateful we don't have to worry about proper forms of address for royalty!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 4:51PM
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Wouldn't it be innovative to use "fill-in-the-blanks" Thank You notes in those self addressed stamped envelopes :)

Dear ________,
Thank you so much for the _________. It will look so beautiful on our bed/table/mantle/counter (circle one). It was so thoughtful of you, Mr./Mrs./Ms. _______. We so appreciate the time and effort you spent in order to give us this wonderful _________.

Sincerely/Love/Luv Ya, ________ & ________

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 3:14PM
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LOL, thanks for a great laugh. No doubt in about 10-15 years we just may be filling in the blanks!


    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 9:25PM
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It seems to be the way things are being done in this area. The shower guests are handed a blank envelope which they address to themselves. Then the bride-to-be hand writes a personalized note, inserts it and then mails it to the gift giver. I can understand this if the bride has umpteen showers with over 150+ gifts to write cards for, but if it's a small wedding with only 25-30 gift, she should be able to address the cards herself.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 11:30AM
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I just recently had my first exposure to this practice. I was offended but didn't say anything, though I probably should have. The baby shower was for a lady I knew but wasn't close friends with. I sew for a hobby and made two baby quilts with embroidery celtic knots on it for the coming twins. I was pleased with the effort I put into them and I believe the mother-to-be was very pleased to receive them (these were the only hand-made gift she received). I was shocked that I was given my own thank you card to address after the effort I put into this gift! In the mother-to-be's defence, I'm sure it was the hostess who decided the self-addressed envelope was appropriate, but I would never have allowed this at an event in my honor.

I was just married last year and made the effort to hand write all the thank you cards, and even addressed them myself! I think a computer generated label is fine, but having the guests fill out their own self-addressed envelope smacks of rudeness, tackiness, and laziness after a guest took the time and effort to buy or make a gift. Whoever came up with this idea needs to be flogged by the etiquette police!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 6:30PM
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I am hosting a baby shower for a friend who is expecting twins.

I agree the self-addressed envelopes are TACKY! But would it be inappropriate if I addressed them for her? I have a little more time than she does right now. Otherwise, I could just give her the list.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 8:23PM
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I would just give her the list and let her address her own letters. The different handwriting and maybe ink will be obvious. It doesn't take more than a few seconds to address an envelope. The only time it takes more is when you have to look up the addresses -- and you will be saving her that time with the list.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 9:54PM
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I just read an article on shower planning that appeared in the latest issue of a national magazine. Would you believe, the author recommended that hostesses hand out envelopes for the guests to address. It could be that we will see more and more of this. Perhaps the author was more concerned with novel ideas for her article than with etiquette.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 11:36PM
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I would love to know the name of the magazine so letters to the editor can be written. Lots of letters.


I echo your sentiments. When time, effort and money have been lovingly and laboriously been put into a gift, it is extremely offensive to be asked to write your own thank-you envelope.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 12:00AM
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The article was in the USA Today magazine supplement that comes in our Sunday newspaper.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 1:07PM
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Oops, I should have said the USA Weekend magazine supplement.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 10:28PM
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lpunko, I respectfully disagree with the others.

I think that you're offering to help address the envelopes for her is a very thoughtful and kind thing to do. As I said earlier, I think the personal reply is more important than who addresses the envelopes. And, afterall, she is having TWINS. Hopefully, the shower comes before the babies or she won't have any time to herself after the little ones are born.

All the best ~~ katclaws

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 1:58PM
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In my opinion, I think it would be ok for the hostess to help with the addressing of the envelopes for the mother-to-be, as long as the gift recipient was the one to write the message inside the thank you card. In the case I mentioned in a previous msg, I would have been fine with this or even a computer generated address label. I just found offense at the self-address issue. That was just too much. Maybe I should bring my own stamps next time, too? ;-)

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 3:39PM
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I, too, think it's a very sweet and considerate gesture on the part of the hostess to offer to help address the envelopes. That is completely different than handing them to the guests to fill out.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 5:05PM
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It's certainly better than having the guests self-address the envelopes. But I still would like to see the recipients addressing their own envelopes. It only takes a few seconds per envelope. No one is THAT busy. If you really want to help her/him/them save that amount of time, perhaps do some other chore or errand instead. If I were the guest of honor at a shower, I would feel embarrassed to have the recipients of my thanks see that I couldn't be bothered to address the letters myself.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 6:14PM
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The best case scenario is yours, but if the hostess must, I would rather receive a thank you in her hand than one in mine.

There's something about our current culture that avoids personal responsibility and opts for the easy way out; which is probably why hostesses are handing out envelopes to guests. If anyone out there has any other reasons for this rudeness, I would love to hear it.

All the hostesses at showers I've attended are really sweet, nice people who seem unaware of how rude and offensive this practice is. The sad thing is, here in California we've had a rash of bridal and baby showers this summer and fall and EVERY one of them handed out envelopes (except the one my daughter hosted).

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 12:30PM
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It occurs to me that these busybusybusy brides and moms to be somehow seem to have time to attend the showers in their honor. For that matter, the 30 seconds or less that it takes to address an envelope is approximately the same amount of time to as it does to unwrap a gift. When is the last time you heard a bride or mom to be decline a gift because she was too busy to open it?

Actually, now that I think of it, I recall that when I was in law school, a few of us gave a surprise baby shower for a classmate, who really WAS too busy for it (especially because her mom and mother-in-law flew in for it) -- you could see through the smile on her face that she was panicking and mentally reorganizing her study time as we said "Surprise!". But she was completely gracious and made up the study time somewhere (I guess we all had to do that). And she wrote and addressed her thank you letters, too.

So often, we hear people complain that people should realize that as newlyweds, they are too busy to do things like write letters or make other considerate gestures within a reasonable time. I don't buy it. EVERYONE is busy. (So were the guests who shopped or wrote a check.) We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Most newlyweds and new parents to whom I've given gifts wrote nice notes of thanks promptly -- and they were every bit as busy as the few who didn't bother (just less self-absorbed). Even at the busiest times of my life, I was able to find time to knock out three or four decent notes each evening; at most, it meant staying up 10-15 minutes later (it's something you can even do in front of the TV, for heaven's sake). Not bothering with basic courtesies tells others that considering their feelings is a low priority.

So I still say that if I were a guest asked to address my own envelope, I'd just bite my tongue and do it, even though I'd think it was silly at best and not in great taste -- no need to respond to rudeness with more rudeness (although if I were the honoree, I'd be so mortified I'd probably beg the hostess to say, "Just joking!"). And if I were the host, I would neither ask the guests to address the envelopes nor do them myself. I'd provide the addresses and let the honoree write and address her own letters, and I'd find some other way to help her out -- run an errand? -- if I really were so worried about her time.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 4:56PM
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I have never heard of such a think! Tacky, I agree.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2005 at 12:16AM
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lord spare me from the computer generation of quick, get it done...

i was appalled when ds1 and dil approached me to address their wedding invatations...they might not have liked it but i refused! their answer? you have the best handwriting...still, turned it over to them to do...

now if the host provided a GUEST book to sign and include the mailing address, that i can understand...

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 3:19AM
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If the shower guest also recieved an invitation to the wedding.....and it would be really really tacky to invite someone who wasn't invited to the wedding, the bride should have their address in her files.
And for a shower, which I attended and saw the bride open the gift, I would rather recieve no thankyou ( other than verbal!) than one I had addressed myself!
The convention is that one doesn't send a thankyou note because you "have to"....even to the point of addressing your own envelope, but because you are so moved and appreciative of the gift that you feel compelled to communicate those feelings to the giver.
If presented with an envelop to self address, I would say, "oh! don't bother sending a thank you to me, save the stamp....just knowing you appreciate and like my gift is more than enough for I tried so hard to find something I think you will just love!"
But never, EVER would I address my own thank you note!
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 11:21AM
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Your response and insight concerning those who would ask you to fill out a card is so very gracious and far more wise than my own attempts at trying to get a message across. I'll remember that the next time I am handed an envelope.

Thanks for the wisdom.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 11:53AM
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I recently hosted a shower for a cousin. I provided her with the mailing list I used to send invitations, with all the attendees marked. Her bridesmaid had a copy of the list and marked the gift next to the givers name.

She said that made her Thank You Cards very easy to manage

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 3:20PM
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Wow, such strong responses. I don't think I've ever attending a shower where this Wasn't done. Usually, they choose several envelopes and give out prizes or gifts. I never thought twice about it and was thinking of doing this for my daughter's shower. After reading the responses here, however, I'm wondering if any of our guests would feel so negative about this practice. I guess that I have never felt it to be any big deal that I was addressing my envelope. It only takes seconds for me to write down my own (familiar) address but much longer for the gift recipient to write out a hundred of them. Perhaps it's a regional thing. I live on the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania. Just my two cents.
Becca :)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 4:44AM
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Well, Becca, as you see from the responses here, there's a very, very good chance that at least one of your guests won't like it. So if I were you, I wouldn't risk it. Your daughter knows how to address an envelope.

By the way, I live in Ohio, your part of the country, and I've never seen this done, so don't count on regional custom. If I ever did, I wouldn't be "offended," but think I would laugh at a bride and groom or expectant parents who were either so spoiled or so incompetent that they had to have their mommies help them write letters. Or worse -- I'd think the mom was being pushy because she was afraid they didn't have the manners to write their thanks if she didn't write the envelopes out for them as a hint.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 6:03PM
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And as gellchom's post shows (and as I mentioned upstream), she's blaming the guests of honor.

But many times, the person who had this great idea is the person actually*running* the shower--the hostess.

So instead of giving her guest of honor a helpful thing, the hostess trashes the mom/bride's reputation.

and another thing to remember--Most of the people who don't like it, aren't going to necessarily say anything.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 9:44PM
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I have not had this happen, but would be highly offended if I were asked to fill out my own envelope. I would also be appalled if a shower host did that to my daughter!

My daughter has always been very good about sending thank you notes in a timely manner. She hand writes everything but the return address. We bought an address embosser from Horchow for the return. However, I know as the wedding gets closer, she will be more stressed for time so.....

I am going to suggest to my daughter that she use the party guest list, to address her gift thank you notes ahead of time. This way, half the writing is done before she ever receives a gift. Sure, she may have a few that go to waste because someone doesn't come or send a gift, but she should have a pretty good idea of who will come/send a gift. She can also start writing to her party host ahead of time, and add a few lines about the party after the actual event. Once again, the addresses can be done pre-party.

What do you think?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 5:46PM
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Newhomebuilder -

You might want to suggest those ideas to your daughter. However, if you were to suggest them to me, I wouldn't take you up on them. If I can easily find an address, I find I spend less than one minute actually addressing an envelope. He best bet would be to ensure she can easily lay her hands on all the addresses - complete with zip codes. It is also possible for the groom to do the addressing as the bride writes the letters.

I would much prefer to compose a letter in one sitting rather than start it without plans to finish it for hours or even a day or two later. I wouldn't be able to make it flow smoothly, which would just lead to frustration and writer's block. This idea might work for her, or it might not. Put it out there and let her decide.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 6:59AM
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I already did, and she loved the idea of pre-addressing the showers list and hostess envelopes. I didn't say anything about writing the hostess thank you notes ahead of time. I had already decided that was not a good idea.

I don't think the groom should address the envelopes. They would be in different handwriting, however the groom is going to be doing SOME writing. :)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 4:54PM
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Ages ago when I was a new bride, one of my mother's dear friends hosted a shower for me. The custom in that social circle was for the hostess to present the bride with a nice little address book with the names and addresses of the attendees already filled in. I know I appreciated it when I was writing all of my Thank You notes.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 6:24PM
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I have one of those, also. My mother-in-law put it together for me. :)

Today we give the hostess the guess list AND the addresses, so we will already have those. Plus, with the computer age, it is so much easier to keep address list in word or some other form.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 8:41PM
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I was asked to address my own thank you envelope once at a bridal shower, several years ago, and it left an indelible impression on me. I specifically remember it and the bride. Yes, they did a drawing for a prize from the envelopes, but I was still appalled. I agree with those above who found it rude and can't understand why, if the honoree has time for a shower, she doesn't have time to address the thank you notes.

I have two sons who I taught early on to write thank you notes. As soon as they were able to write legibly, they wrote their own notes and addressed the envelopes. I used to get thank you notes from friends' kids where it was clear that the mom had addressed the envelope. This bugs me; if the child can write the note why can't s/he write the envelope as well?

As a gift giver that I want to feel that the recipient appreciates my effort and gift. I don't want to feel that the recipient feels that taking out the few seconds to address my envelope is an inconvenience.

I like Linda C's response the best and will keep that in mind if/when I'm presented with an envelope to address.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 1:32PM
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Lindac's answer was great! She also brought up another subject that I use to agree with, but lately have been seeing more and more of.

"If the shower guest also received an invitation to the wedding.....and it would be really really tacky to invite someone who wasn't invited to the wedding, the bride should have their address in her files."

I have recently been invited to two parties for friends son's. One a gift shower, and one a very nice Italian dinner. For the shower, I took some nice wine glasses that were on the couples gift list. We were not invited to the wedding because they were limited to whom they could invite. I did not send a wedding gift.

We also were not invited to the wedding of the couple that the dinner party was given for. Once again, we were told that there was limited seating. I am however, sending a wedding card with a BBB gift certificate to the couple.

Now, this brings me to our wedding...we are also limited on who we can invite. We want to keep the number to 350. Because we live within 20 minutes of the grooms family, and we both have many friends and relatives that will be able to come that short distance, there would be too many people if we invite all our friends. I thought it would be nice to include those that we will not be inviting (but would like to,) to come to one of the parties given for my daughter and her fiance'. Is this definitely a no, no? Opinions?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 6:39PM
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newhomebuilder, I see your position, but unfortunately I think there isn't really a good way to do this. I, too, would feel bad that I couldn't invite all my friends, but that's how it goes if you are lucky enough to have a big family that likes to celebrate together. It would be different, maybe, if the wedding were on the other side of the globe or it were a very, very small -- like, immediate family only -- wedding, but you have 350. In many communities, that would be considered an ENORMOUS wedding, and in most, it's bigger than average. So although I understand your reasoning, I fear that there will be people who won't feel "included" so much as "tapped." You don't want even one person to think, "Huh! I'm not within the 350 most important people, but I guess they want to score a gift from me anyway."

Maybe one of these not-invited friends will offer (don't ask or hint) to host an engagement party or something. But I don't see a way for YOU to give a big wedding and also host a party for non-invitees without it seeming like a B-list event for those who didn't make the cut.

Who gave those parties you attended? How big were those weddings? "Limited seating" to 10 and to 350 are very different things. EVERYONE has limits on how many they can invite, so that fact alone doesn't make it okay.

Even if someone else gives the party, yes, it's a no-no to invite people to a shower if they aren't invited to the wedding (at least if you or the bride supplies the guest list; it might be better if, say, all the work friends or PTA friends or something had a shower for just their group).

It would also help -- not completely, but better -- if it were some other party where people aren't expected to bring a gift. The reason I said "not completely" is that many of them will still feel they probably should, or, worse, might still wonder if it isn't a prompt for a gift. A recipe shower or something like that might do.

Congratulations on your daughter's upcoming marriage! And may having more wonderful people in your life than you can entertain all at once be the worst problem you ever have.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 11:57PM
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As usual, I agree completely with gellchom. I think it's wrong to invite people to a shower or other kind of party where gifts might be expected before a wedding to which they will not be invited.

This happened to me one time, a long time ago. The bride was from another country and after I went to the shower I found out they were getting married out of state and I was not invited. I wrote it off to the bride not knowing our customs and I liked her so no biggie. But under normal circumstances I wouldn't think very kindly of being asked for a gift, as that is the very purpose of a shower, but not being thought important enough to be invited to the wedding.

As gellchom says, EVERYONE has limits on how many they can invite. Everyone has to decide whom to invite and whom to leave of the list. No one invites everyone they know.

In addition, if I were invited to a shower or any kind of prewedding party, I'd expect to be invited to the wedding and would just feel weird about not receiving an invitation.

Now, if you wanted to host a party a few months AFTER the wedding, just to have friends over who missed the wedding and want to meet the bride & groom, I think that would be ok. However, I would just call it a party or get together without intimating any purpose related to the wedding or the couple. This would give the couple a chance to meet and mingle with some of the folks who didn't get invited but are still your friends, and it would also not be a situation where it seemed that you were asking for gifts or raising expectations for any of the guests for an invitation to the wedding.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 5:03PM
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gellchom and lowspark - You misunderstood! We WOULD NOT be inviting friends to a shower or other party where a gift is expected. Horrors! That's why I mentioned being shocked that I was invited to a shower, and not the wedding. We would only invite extended friends to a cocktail party.

Also, we are not sending out 350 invitations. We would be expecting 325-50 guest - half of which will be wedding party participants and extended family members. In our area and in our circle, that is actually a low number. (: The reception venue that we have chosen near the church, will not hold much more.

"In addition, if I were invited to a shower or any kind of prewedding party, I'd expect to be invited to the wedding and would just feel weird about not receiving an invitation. "

That's how I felt, but it seems to be the new norm. That's why I was asking opinions on here. :) The problem is coming from our close-knit Sunday school class. We have some friends that we are closer to than others, and have planned to invite those. However, others are also friends, but not dear friends. We are just trying not to hurt feelings. Gosh, this is so hard!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 8:09PM
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Maybe it's regional, but it is a definite "no"-no here (in New England) to invite someone to a pre-wedding party of any type and not invite them to the wedding. The only exception I can think of is a "work shower" where people at work have cake and maybe a few gifts for the bride (I've never seen this done for the groom). If I was invited to an engagement party, shower, jack and jill, whatever, I would expect to be invited to the wedding.

Lots of things may be the "new norm", but that doesn't make them right.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 8:21PM
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newhomebuilder, I guess we didn't understand completely -- but we didn't misunderstand completely, either.

In your first post, you wrote
"I thought it would be nice to include those that we will not be inviting (but would like to,) to come to one of the parties given for my daughter and her fiance."
This time, you wrote
"We would only invite extended friends to a cocktail party."

Unfortunately, I think you still have the same problem, because it is still a party YOU are giving (or at least for which you are making up the guest list).

Also, even though it's not A Shower, it's still a party given in honor of the bride and groom around the time of the wedding (I assume). People may still feel like they should bring a gift.

And even if there is somehow no expectation or thought of gifts, it's still the B-list event.

I do understand that in many communities, 350 isn't an unusual size for a wedding, and many people have large families that expect to be invited. But nowhere is 350 considered a private ceremony, either. 350 = 350 wherever you are.

I think lowspark's is the best suggestion:
"Now, if you wanted to host a party a few months AFTER the wedding, just to have friends over who missed the wedding and want to meet the bride & groom, I think that would be ok. However, I would just call it a party or get together without intimating any purpose related to the wedding or the couple." I wouldn't even limit the guest list for that party to those who weren't invited to the wedding.

If your real purpose is to have all your friends meet the couple, that will do the job. It will not serve to "include" more people in the wedding festivities themselves, though, which is what you said you wanted. And I just don't think there is a way to "include" people without inviting them to the wedding itself. No one can do that for everyone they would like to have, and no one does.

Yes, you're right, it's really hard, but you will make your guest list and move on. Those who aren't invited will understand -- they've been there, too.

Listen, EVERYONE has the same hard problem! My son and his girlfriend aren't even engaged yet, and I'm already worrying about what we will do about the guest list. I have NO idea how we will manage it, but I am sure we'll figure it out when the time comes. And so will you!

So although I'm sorry I cannot help you feel better about what you would love to do, I think in the long run you will be happier if you don't complicate things by trying somehow to include everyone. Lucky you to have so many dear people in your lives.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:03PM
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Sorry I didn't respond until today. I came down with the something last night, and went to bed early.

"If your real purpose is to have all your friends meet the couple, that will do the job. "

Just to make clear...we would never invite anyone to a party, or the wedding to meet the bride and groom. EVERYONE on our guest list, already knows either the bride or the groom. In most cases, they know both. Nothing chaps me more than getting an invitation to someones wedding, when we have never even met the wedding couple! Worse is being invited to a wedding when you barely associate with the parents,,, and don't know their children. LOL

My husband and I talked during dinner last night, and even though others seem to be doing so, we WILL NOT be inviting non-wedding guest to any pre-wedding parties. That settles it, and we just hope that we don't hurt feelings and that our extended friends understand. However, I am sure that there will be talk, feelings hurt, etc..

Now, lets change gears with another question. Do you think it is wrong of me to send a wedding gift to a couple if we were not invited to the wedding?

dee456 - So sorry that your thread has taken a different direction. :)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 2:57PM
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"Do you think it is wrong of me to send a wedding gift to a couple if we were not invited to the wedding?"

Not knowing the situation, I'd say that sending a gift is fine.

I can think of a few, odd situations where sending a gift could be improper, such as where the receipt of the gift could cause the couple or their parents pain (for example, you had an affair with a parent of the bride or groom). Not saying that is the situation at all, just putting it out there.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 10:10PM
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LOL Nope. no affairs! Just good friends in our SS class that couldn't invite everyone to the wedding. I have always liked the grooms.

I also sent a gift to a bride that is the daughter of past friends. We are not as close since they divorced and the mother moved away. Some other friends were invited, and even my daughter, but we weren't. I don't know if the invitation got lost (we have moved and the bride may have sent to wrong address.) Her father is one of the host giving my daughter a party, so under the circumstances, I went ahead and sent a gift.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 11:55AM
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I think you've made the right decision. Any prewedding party, gift giving or not, implies that the guests will be invited to the wedding. At least that's how it has always worked in my experience.

we just hope that we don't hurt feelings and that our extended friends understand. However, I am sure that there will be talk, feelings hurt, etc..

One thing I learned from my first wedding many years ago was that no matter whom you invite, there will be some who wonder why they didn't get invited and some who wonder why they did. It's the nature of how weddings work. So you just have to do your best on the guest list and leave it at that!

Do you think it is wrong of me to send a wedding gift to a couple if we were not invited to the wedding?
I would think it would be just fine to send a gift, but here again, I'd do it after the wedding has occured simply because I wouldn't want the couple to then think I was expecting an invitation. In other words, if I were the bride and I received a gift from someone who I didn't/wasn't planning to invite, I'd feel weird about not having them on the list and unsure as to if I should add them. That's just me...

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 2:19PM
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Too late...I mailed a card w/BBB gift card to the couple this week. Their wedding is out-of-town this weekend. ;)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 8:28AM
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I agree the practice is somewhat tacky but probably isn't a hanging offence. The idea of returning presents for cash is, though, yet some might think nothing of it.

What about sending a self-addressed rsvp out with the invites? I'd see that as convenient if I received one (and may have)

I wouldn't be so offended by being asked to address my own envelope but it's not ideal either. Best practice would be one of the organisers taking everyone's address, even if there was no gift involved, to thank them for coming.

The paradox of handwriting being nicer is, there is nothing nice about my handwriting, and I type far faster than I can write, which is quite illegible.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 4:24PM
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