Self-addressed: When the bride asks you to address your thank-you note

Q: At a wedding shower, the hostess handed each guest the envelope for a thank-you note and asked that we address it to ourselves.  The idea is to save time for the bride–but isn’t this really rude?

A: I’d call it inappropriate.  Sure, this makes life easier for the bride, but it also shows a lack of consideration for the guests and implies that thank-yous are a real chore.  That said, refusing to comply could embarrass the host.  So address your envelope–just don’t ask guests to do the same the next time you throw a shower!


  1. Barb

    We did this at my daughter’s baby shower. This accomplished a couple of things for us.

    1) We collected the addressed envelopes and put them in a basket & drew door prizes.
    2) Some of the guests were given a personal shower invitation at the work place. Now we have their home address to send them a thank-you note.

    If this turns out to be a time-saver for the mother-to-be, then it’s an added benefit. But that was not our intention. If any of our guests were offended by the request, it didn’t get back to me (grandma-to-be) & I’m sure I would’ve heard of any negatives. I personally overheard, “Oh! That’s a good idea!”

    I don’t think brides & mothers-to-be look upon sending thank-you notes “a chore” unless they are convinced of such by an overbearing parent, other relative or friend. On the whole they are excited about this new milestone in their lives, excited to share it with others, thrilled that friends & family share it with them, totally appreciative of gifts they receive & happy to express their written thanks.

    Perhaps the person that finds this practice rude was in a particularly bad mood that day or maybe just didn’t want to attend the event in the first place and wanted something to complain about. : )

    • Alicia

      It would have been very very rude to voice the complaint that it is rude such that you the hostess would ever hear of it. It is also rude to make any negative comment about the hosting of an event such that the host would ever hear of it. It is rude and there are other ways to do prize drawings and get addresses. ( a guest book for example) However, you did not know so now you do know the perception and can do things differently next time you hostess.

      • Just Laura

        I must agree with Alicia.
        Somehow the invitations to the shower managed to find the intended guests – why couldn’t the thank-you cards?
        I do, however, like the idea of the drawing for prizes, but I remember being a little irritated (as was my friend) when we found out that we could be bothered to find/buy/wrap presents, but our host couldn’t be bothered to address thank-you cards to us.

    • Noblebutterfly

      Yeah, it can be a cultural thing too. Like for instance for a Filipino wedding, we don’t dare ask anybody part of the entourage to pay for anything; their bridesmaids dress, shoes, tux, etc. The husband and or bride’s side pay for it all. We don’t believe if we ask you to be part of our wedding you being there is an honor for us. And to ask you to “pay” to be in it is a dishonor. What if the person you asked was broke, it wouldn’t be fair for them to spend a couple hundreds to be on your wedding. We believe if you want a big fancy wedding make sure you can afford it, and don’t financially burdon anyone.

      • Chocobo

        In a perfect world, this is the correct course of action in Western/American weddings as well. Bridesmaids and groomsmen are asked to be a part of the bridal party based on closeness to the bride or groom, and asked to wear a dress or suit appropriate for the time of day and formality of the occasion, not dictated exactly what style or color to wear.

    • Abbie

      I actually agree… this can be valuable especially today where a lot of invites are electronic and you may not have all the addresses in one central location (if you even have their address at all!).

  2. Ha! This happened to a girl friend and I when we attended a baby shower for a coworker. The grandma-to-be handed out envelopes for us to address.
    The best part? None of us (there were around 35 people in attendance) ever received a thank-you card.
    Not even verbal thank-yous.

  3. Rebecca

    I disagree with Barb. I think this seems lazy and the thank you will seem less sincere. But at least everyone will be getting thanked!

  4. Sara

    I have to agree with the commenters saying this is not polite. While I’m not sure I would say it is rude, it’s not the best practice to get in the habit of. If the hostesses want to help out the mother-to-be (since lack of time is really not much of an excuse for a bride) they could assist with the addressing. But, don’t ask the guests to do so.

    Personally, half of the fun of getting a thank you note is having some mail arrive in your mailbox in someone else handwriting in my opinion. I personally always see something in my own writing and think it’s a notice from the doctor’s office.

  5. Barb

    “However, you did not know so now you do know the perception and can do things differently next time you hostess.”

    I’m hearing opinions of a few people who do not like the idea of self-addressed thank you notes. In my opinion, this does not make a hard and fast rule that it should or should not be practiced. The general concensus from our shower guests was that it was a good/interesting idea. And of course people will make negative comments at functions and the walls do have ears. I was told of a couple negative remarks that had to do with the party not starting quite on time. I took responsibility for that and apologized to the guests.

    Re: self-addressing an envelope for my doctor’s office. If the office is short on personnel, I don’t see a problem with this. But for any other reason, THAT would be lazy and inappropriate. They collect a wage for the work they do.

    Should I host an event again, would I do it differently? It depends on what the guest of honor wants. It’s her day, after all.

    You ladies have a great day! I wish you all well and happy planning your next event!

    • ann

      In the world of etiquette, there is NO “her day”. There is only kindness, politeness and good manners always. As this website states, thank you never goes out of style. If the bride cannot find time to write and send a thank you, why are we spending our time buying a gift for someone who thinks so little of us? After all this is not a charity function, but a bridal shower for someone we care about.

  6. Jody

    I’m with the group who believes it’s rude of a bride/honoree to ask guests to pre-address thank you note envelopes. If the guests take the time and effort to purchase a gift and attend the party, the honoree should still take the time to write a note.

    Why is it rude when a doctor’s office asks you to self-address an envelope but not rude if you ask party guests to address them?

  7. Barb

    “…but I remember being a little irritated (as was my friend) when we found out that we could be bothered to find/buy/wrap presents, but our host couldn’t be bothered to address thank-you cards to us.”

    I’m just curious. If it’s a bother to find/buy/wrap presents, why would one bother to even attend the function? It rather sounds as if the invited guest didn’t like the honoree in the first place.

    Is everyone on here equally offended by computer address labels adhered to birthday card envelopes, holiday card envelopes or other greeting card envelopes received in the mail?

    • Just Laura

      I’m sorry that my sarcasm in using the word “bothered” failed to translate well in this setting.
      Of course we were happy to drive to the store, pick out presents, buy them, take them home to wrap them, then transport them to the party. My point is that we spent time and money to do this, and the person couldn’t be troubled to fill out our address (which takes 2 minutes? 3?) Of course, as I mentioned, we never even received the cards we filled out for ourselves, but that enters into another complaint realm entirely.

      I have never received a computer address label in correspondence from friends/family, so I guess I can’t say for certain that I’ve been offended by it. But I think the reason none of us do it is because all of us would be disappointed that our dear friends/family couldn’t simply take a moment to hand address the envelope. Unless you were talking about the return address labels – that doesn’t bother me a bit.

      • Lana

        I DO find shopping and wrapping a shower gift a bother! I do it because I want to support the recipient and I don’t want to hurt their feelings. I think the least the recipient can do is address their thank you notes.
        Here’s an old fashioned way to deal with it – downsize to what you can handle. Smaller shower = less work for planners, less of their time, easier faster cleanup. For the honoree it means fewer notes to write and less running around making returns.
        Of course it means fewer gifts…but it would be poor etiquette to invite people just to get presents, wouldn’t it?

    • Becky

      I know this is an old email string, but to add 2 more cents. If the shower hosts really wanted to help the honoree…instead of asking guests to address their own envelopes, the hostess can give the honoree a stack of envelopes that they’ve already addressed.

      Yes, I am also put off by computer address labels for personal cards (unless they are from a business such as my banker or dentist – yes they send Christmas cards). But having me address the envelope is still more off putting that the label.

  8. H. Smith

    As the grooms parents, we have been asked to pay for a portion of the flowers. I am fine with that except when presented with the list of flowers we are paying for were three bouquets! Brides ceremony bouquet, throw and portrait. Is this normal or excessive? I have a problem with the portrait bouquet. What do you think?

    • Graceandhonor

      I, too, see that three bouquets are excessive, and have never heard of a bouquet specifically for throwing, and thought, until this moment, I’d attended some tony weddings! Because you state you’ve been asked to pay for a portion of the flowers, stipulate to your son that you will pay $XXX and let them apportion it as they will. Traditionally, the groom should pay for his bride’s bouquet, and you might want to point this out to him. I do hope you will be listed as parents of the groom on the invitation, since you are participating in the wedding hosting by contributing financially. (And, if this is your expectation, state it to your son and ask that he approach the bride’s parents). I wish your son much happiness.

      • Alicia

        H. Smith,
        I have seen all three. Ceremonial, throw , and portrait before. If the bridal portraits are being done a different day the flowers will wilt. I would ask what they intend to do with the bouqut that they do not throw as the throw bouquet is the easiest to eliminate. Either by not throwing a bouquet (something often dreaded by single adult women) or by throwing the real bouquet (What exactly is going to be done with it later anyway in many cases nothing)
        However, if you are willing to only pay for one or even less that is your own right and you simply have to let them know what you are willing to pay for and they can adjust their budjet and expectaions accordingly.

      • NuttShell

        We paid for the flowers at our son’s wedding but our names were not put on the invitation because we were not paying for any of the reception.

  9. Barb

    First of all, I’d like to “back up the bus” so to speak. A catering question brought me to this site. After browsing I stumbled upon the original post on this thread regarding the SAEs.

    My initial post was a statement to reflect the originally posted question. We did the SAE thing at the shower– this is why, this is how it was beneficial, etc. I thought I was helping the originator see a different side of the situation. I apologize to the group if you feel I mislead you thinking I was seeking approval for this apparent horrid act we committed. I was not. We did it. It was acceptable to our guests. It’s over & done. The handful of 80+ year-old women at our party (who undoubtedly have encountered numerous etiquette/social faux pas in their collective lifetimes) were happy to oblige & thought it a wonderful idea. Not one of them suffered the “vapors” & had to be revived. If I needed approval for what we did, these women are the ones I would look to for guidance and not a passel of individuals who “haven’t been around the block.” No offense intended.

    I also would not, and did not, saturate this quorum with an abundance of supportive “dear friends/family” to drive home a point. However, I have shared with them the comments on this topic. Their questions include: “How old are these people?” and “Where are they from?” to “Are you kidding me?”

    And ~Just Laura~ If one hails from a very large, loving, immediate & extended family that is spread across the nation, sometimes one or two of them might–just might, mind you–make up a holiday mailing list on labels, affix them to their greeting card envelopes and mail them out. Should you ever receive such a card from a family member or friend addressed in this manner, I hope you overlook the fact it wasn’t handwritten and hold the contents dear to your heart.

    Lastly, your use of the word “bothered” in this context in no way could be construed as sarcasm. (Fair attempt, but it didn’t work.) It definitely relayed the impression you WERE bothered, put out, inconvenienced, annoyed and resentful of the fact you were someplace you did not want to be. Using sarcasm is an art. Those that use it, recognize it. There was no sarcasm there.

    Now. I’m very anxious to see how all of you help out H. Smith here with the flower situation.

    • Sara Z

      I certainly read the sarcasm in the statement about being “bothered”. She was simply saying, if I can take the time to do it, you can take the time to do it. Perhaps it is a generational difference, but by saying “I could be bothered to walk down the street for her, but she couldn’t be bothered to was ten feet for me” does not mean that it was bothersome to do so, but that one was willing to do so.

  10. Barb,
    Respectfully, I felt the sarcasm was utilized appropriately, and did make a full apology when I realized that it did not translate well for you to understand. Perhaps we will agree to disagree.

    My family hails from across the planet, what with my choice to attend East Coast college far from my Oklahoma home, while the rest of the family serves our country in the military in multiple countries. Not once has anyone sent a pre-made label. Does that make us better people? Of course it does not. It is simply my personal experience, as I pointed out originally. The card inside is most important, as you pointed out. I’m not sure what age has to do with anything, but my family consists of people over the age of 25 and under the age of 92.

    Interestingly enough, I polled my coworkers and they believed that a person who can’t write addresses on thank-yous is seeking the ‘easy way out.’ I even pointed them to this website so they could see both sides of the proverbial coin. I made certain to check with one woman in the deaf community, as they are an entirely differently culture (I won’t repeat what she signed…).
    Obviously, if this is the norm in your family/social circle, then you have nothing about which to concern yourself. Evidently all enjoyed your party, and really, that’s the objective in having a party.

  11. Allison

    In their purest form, cards sent for the purposes of extending gratitude, well wishes, get well thoughts, and condolences are sent at the whim of the sender purely to express the thoughts at hand. To have someone address their own card to be sent at a later date turns this “thoughtful” gesture into something preplanned, expected, and indeed a “chore” instead of a show of gratitude. It says, “I will be sending a thank you card because it is expected of me, so please fill out your own address as to make this less of a burden on me.” If it worked for whomever, fine, but I would be put off by the practice if it were asked of me as I think most people of good manners would be.

    • Allison

      Thank you both, but Laura, don’t be ridiculous. You made your point perfectly. I even detected a trace of sarcasm. 😉

  12. Barb

    There is no blame/shame directed to anyone involved in this topic. The matter of utilizing SAE’s is a choice; how it is interpreted is an opinion. “. . .but I would be put off by the practice if it were asked of me as I think most people of good manners would be.” I interpret this statement as Allison having the best manners above all others. PTL & good for you, Allison! I so applaud your accomplishment! (Now THAT was sarcasm).

    The bottom line is, if you receive absolutely no acknowledgement for your kind efforts, then that is the time to be offended. How it was addressed, by whom it was addressed, when it was addressed, the color of ink it was addressed with, is secondary.

    The geography statement. People in different parts of the US have different customs, social norms, etc. I was trying to guess general vicinity where the majority of these contributers were from. Oklahoma was not one of my guesses. I am originally from St. Louis and now live in northern Indiana.

    The majority of families have loved ones serving in the military. I pray for my family and all others that they are kept from harm and return to us safely. My heart breaks for those who have lost their soldiers. My extreme gratitude to your military-serving family, Just Laura.

  13. Alicia

    Making guests adress their own envelopes is not the biggest gaff possible. However it takes a measure of the elegance and warmth of a thank you note out of the action. It takes the thank you note and makes it not “Oh I just had to write to tell you how wonderful you are for giving me this” but instead “manners means I must write to thank you and now I have checked you off my list” Yes it is much better then not sending out thank you cards but much worse then real expressions of thanks. Not worth being offended by but still significantly less nice then a true thank you note.
    Also showers are generally the closest folks to the bride or mother to be and in those cases I find it surprizing she does not already have their addresses.
    It may not technically be rude but is a social gaff. I know you did not mean it as so and as such now that you know that it is considered by some to be a gaff you know to do things differently in the future. We are all always learning how to go about things in a better way.
    p.s. I have been to showers in MA,NY,NJ,IN,OH,IL,FL, CA,DC,VA, MD,WV,DE, AK,ME,CO,NH,KY, TX,PA and NC. That is 42% of the USA and accross a wide variety of metropolitan vs rural and different socioeconomic ranges. Yes there are folks that would not view it as a gaff but there are also lots of folks that would in all of those situations. Why not just avoid it in the future even if only a small number of those that you are trying to show your gratitude to would be annoid these are folks you are thanking.

  14. Barb

    An SAE does not take away from the heart-felt sentiment written inside the thank you note; the true expression of thanks. And SAE or not, do you not cross off the list the cards that were sent?

    Again. Our use of the SAEs was for door prize drawings. Not because we didn’t have grandma’s address.

    The overwhelming “nays” on this site against the practice of SAEs is interesting. However, most seem to want to be sure I have “learned my lesson” and will “do better in the future.” Ruler to the knuckles. Nose in the corner. Off to the principal’s office. Tsk, tsk, tsk. This discussion is near comical when one considers I wasn’t asking for advice in the first place.

    Have a great day!

    • Graceandhonor

      Barb, as an observer, I can understand your feelings. I bet, had you collected the names and addresses on slips of paper, rather than envelopes, this back-and-forth would not have ensued. Sometimes we participants on this blog incorrectly zero in on the wrong issue, and as you pointed out, no one at your party was offended, and you weren’t asking for advice. I do hope you will continue to participate in this blog, as it is good to hear varying opinions. Best wishes, G&H

      • Delilah

        I have to agree with Grace here. Everyone is attacking Barb, based on her opinion. We’re all entitled to our own opinions! I personally would not ask my guests to fill out their own envelopes, but why do I care if someone else does? If I was at a shower and was asked to fill out my own envelope (and I have been), I would have a fleeting thought of ‘well, that’s kinda rude, but whatever’, and then I would move on. I wouldn’t go on about it, and I would never mention it to anyone else for fear of offending the party honoree. It’s really NOT a big deal. It’s a ‘who cares’ thing for me. Rude? Probably. Would I do it personally? No. Do I care if other people do it? Not really. If I care for the person whose shower I’m attending (and why else would I attend?), I can forgive a lot more than a simple bad manner. Let’s all stop attacking Barb! She threw a shower for her daughter and grandbaby. That was a nice gesture. Let it go.

  15. Mel

    I see this issue as being very similiar to the ‘rule’ of paying for an outing when you invite others. I understand that if I invite people to an outing that I should pay in full for the experience as the host, however, in my close knit social circle we go dutch more times than not. I do often “break the rules” on this one.

    If the outing were more formal in nature and extended beyong my close friends maybe I would look on the event differently and apply the more general rule of paying, but my friends don’t mind, I don’t mind and we rather like our arrangement. It allows us to spend more time together.

    As long as we agree that this is a logical, well-intentioned, respectful means of conduct then it is. Much of social grace is simply an agreed means of conduct. If your friends like it then there is nothing wrong with it. Etiquette, to me, is a guideline not a hard and fast ‘rule’.

    • Just Laura

      First of all, Mel, I agree that the point of a party is to make sure everyone had a good time. It sounds as if those attending Barb’s party enjoyed themselves.
      That being said, you mention that this would be acceptable among close friends. Again, I think you’re right, but as Alicia pointed out above – if they are close friends, why do you need their addresses?

    • Delilah

      I think the whole ‘paying for an outing when you invite others’ is definitely not a rule. If a person asks another out on a date, then I think the asking person should pay. If I invite A friend to lunch, I will often pay. However, when a *bunch* of friends and/or family (in my social circle) go out, we NEVER expect the person who initiated the gathering to pay for all of us! I always attend outings expecting to pay my own way.

  16. Lu

    Thanks for some welcome relief and laughs. The back and forth on guests addressing their own thank you envelope was quite enjoyable. With all the problems and troubles in the world this is quite a problem; and I didn’t even know. I would not be offended or put off if the hostess asked me to do it. Gee, who cares? Roll with it. My husband has severe health problems and I deal with much more than worrying about thank you cards; like putting food on the table every week.

  17. Barb

    Graceandhonor, Delilah & Mel–
    Thank you for your kind words; they are much appreciated. I must admit I was beginning to feel a trifle battered. : )

    “I bet, had you collected the names and addresses on slips of paper, rather than envelopes, this back-and-forth would not have ensued.” I’m sure you’re right, G&H. I was thinking I probably shouldn’t have posted anything at all. But in the end, maybe we ALL learned a little something.

    “Much of social grace is simply an agreed means of conduct. If your friends like it then there is nothing wrong with it. Etiquette, to me, is a guideline not a hard and fast ‘rule’.” I agree with you, Mel; and you worded this very nicely.

    “Gee, who cares? Roll with it.” Exactly my thinking, Lu. You are right, of course. Beating to death a trivial matter can be exhausting, frustrating & energy-wasting. One of my sayings is, “I’ve GOT problems & I’m not making this one of them.” On the other hand, I looked forward to reading the comments on this topic because it put my attention somewhere else for a little while.

    • Daniel Post Senning

      Hello Barb,
      I would also like to thank you for posting. We have these types of discussion all the time at the institute. A willingness to examine and re-examine the finer points of personal conduct can be a great way to reach consensus and build a practical understanding of etiquette. Thanks again for wading in, I think we all benefit from your contribution. Take care,

  18. Barb

    Good morning, Mr. Senning–

    Thank you for your kind comments. I did indeed “wade in,” didn’t I? With blinders on, I think! : )

    It seems this thread is about exhausted but I did want to mention something else we did at the shower. Again, it’s just another idea to share.

    Once we were under way with the shower, my daughter, “Sally,” and I made some introductions to the group. I introduced the 2 great-grandmas-to-be and Sally went to each woman and gave them a rose & hugs. Another great-grandma-to-be (my mother-in-law) passed away 2 years ago & Sally & I wanted to acknowledge her as well. As I “introduced” my mother-in-law (Betty) to our guests, Sally presented a rose each to Betty’s 2 daughters.

    I think the Emily Post site is very informative & I plan to access it frequently for ideas & etiquette guidelines. And maybe–just maybe–I’ll make a comment or two on other topics that arise.

    Thank you again, Mr. Senning. I appreciate your input. ~~bb

  19. Rae

    I read this thread with interest. The first time I was asked to address my own thank you note envelope was at the baby shower for a member of my husband’s extended family. I’ve noticed since that pockets of my family and friends do this, while others don’t.

    I have never been offended. I find that often the envelope I addressed is filled with a warm, heartfelt note, which means the world to me.

    The original poster asked if this was rude. I don’t think it qualifies as rude. Is it proper etiquette? No. Is it a horrible breach of etiquette? No. As Mel pointed out, we often bend the rules of strictly proper etiquette when dealing with family and close friends–the very people who should be attending a shower.

  20. MOG

    My question is not related to the discussion. I am considering hosting a day after wedding brunch for the out of town guests who attend my son’s destination wedding. Is it ok to just host our guests and not the bride’s out of towners?

    • Just Laura

      Never worry that your question may/may not be related to the conversation. All questions are welcome.
      My stance on this would be to please not exclude them. The bride’s family is your family now, and all wedding guests are guests of your son as well as your daughter-in-law. Why are you wanting to exclude half the wedding guests at a wedding function?

  21. Liz-a-B

    I have to say Barb that I agree that this is perfectly acceptable in some situations. I saw this done at a baby shower recently and thought it was such a lovely idea. I have attended functions in the past where there are parent friends, or friends who move around frequently who may not be getting their invitation through the mail but perhaps through a phone call, a thoughtful email, or passed to them by a mutual friend. It can sometimes be difficult keeping track of some of these addresses and awkward to call to ask for it. It is therefore a thoughtful gesture (in my opinion) to ask for the address of their guests to properly thank them for attending. If this is by addressing an envelope then so be it. I feel it would be much ruder to ask a mutual friend to give them the note the next time they see them or to skip the note entirely and email or call them. The intention is a good one and do not think that the host is not implying that ‘thank you’s’ are a chore, just trying to collect information to better thank the attendees.

  22. Kristin

    I think self-addressed envelopes give off the impression that the thank you is only being written because it has to. I feel the same way when I get a thank you note from one of my husband’s brothers (both in their 20s) addressed in my mother in law’s handwriting. whether intentional or not, I end up feeling like they’re lazy and only wrote because their mother made them.

  23. Patti

    Wow! I live in Arizona and have attended many showers — both bridal and baby. I have been asked to self address an envelope and did not think twice about it. I have also been to numerous showers where the gift recipient sincerely thanked the gift giver after opening the gift and then generally thanked everyone again after all gifts were opened. She then mingled a bit with everyone and made sure to say how thoughtful the gift was and how she couldn’t wait to use it! This is not only acceptable but common behavior. As a matter of fact, the invitations to these showers were done by E-vite using email. I know Arizona is considered “laid back” compared to other states but I say give Barb a break. I bet she throws a great shower!

  24. Concerned Bride

    Dear Emily,

    I have a new question but don’t know where to submit it, so I’ll do it here. I *know* having a “B” list for wedding invitees is undesirable. I am expecting a harsh (and even potentially rude) response based on other advice columns I’ve seen on the web. However, my fiance and I are between a rock and a hard place. The wedding business inflates costs so much that a $50-60 meal with drinks will cost us at least $175 + 10% sales tax + 21% service fee per person. Then there is the cost of renting the venue, the dress (the budget for which I’ve already slashed so we can do this), and the flowers. However, when all is said and done, we will likely spend $280-350 per person. We can’t pay for many people more than we’ve budgeted for, and we can’t stomach spending $1000’s of dollars for the inevitable portion of people who won’t want or be able to come to our “local destination,” which is drivable for many but would most likely require a hotel stay. I was thinking we could send invitations to relatives first, then to groups of friends by location, so no one compares notes or feels like they got their invitation late, which would also hopefully allow us to send more invitations out as we get “no” responses. Then I wouldn’t have a “B” list, but more like a rolling process. I understand that in an ideal world, you would have your list and whoever came came and that’s great, but the wedding business charges such an awful premium if the numbers are off that it is really unfeasible to guess beyond a small percentage. If you think the rolling invitations idea is a bad one, then please present another solution. We have no way of knowing how many people would decline based on the locality. Thank you, Bride Who’s Wracking Her Brains for a Good Solution.

    • I hope no one here is flat-out rude to you. We are proud of being more… delicate in our responses.
      I’m a bit confused (and please correct me where I’m wrong).
      I thought that the “RSVP by Date, 2011″ meant that around Date, 2011, you call your caterers with the head count based on RSVPs, adding a few for your lazier family members. At this point, you know pretty much how many people are coming, and won’t be paying for people who don’t show. Is that not how it works?
      Also, if you cannot afford, say, 300 people, why would you plan such a large reception? I understand that you want nice wine and great food, but then perhaps invite fewer people. I will be serving a very specific brand of wine and bourbon at my reception (along with oysters, which aren’t cheap I’ve discovered), but to afford it, we can only invite approximately 50 people. So we’ll invite about 65, understanding that not everyone will make it.

      As for the cost of your dress, I found a woman who would make my dream Lazaro sherbet dress (retail: $6,500) for $500, and my friends can’t tell the difference – it’s hand embroidered with Swarovski crystals, and fully boned/lined. Have you considered finding a talented seamstress in your area? It’s amazing what these professionals can do, and they don’t have to worry about designer overhead.

      • Alicia

        How about instead of stating at the ideal event and then working backwards to the guest list as you propose you figure out who you wish to attend and then figure out how you can afford to host that many people. That way if you get declines it is people you are sad can not attend and a cost savings. However there are certainly ways at several hundred dollars a person where you could cut back some without your guests ever noticing

  25. Mother-of-the-Bride

    New Question: In this age of computers, would it be considered rude to use printed address labels for wedding invitations? We have used this time-saver to keep track of our Christmas Card list and it’s very helpful. One could imagine printing multiple labels for save-the-date, shower invitations, wedding invitations and thank you notes.
    Of course, the invitation inner-envelope would be hand addressed, and a thank you note hand written, but would printed labels for the addresses be okay?

  26. Lana

    I’m not sure that this is proper in society yet. The times are changing and there will be a day when no one thinks a thing of address labels, but I’m not sure it has happened yet.

    It may not be a big gaff, however. I have arthritis in my hands and practically any type of handwriting is out of the question. I type everything and so far no one has even noticed!

  27. Nicole

    My brother is getting married next year. We have a family friend that he would like to invite, but we are unsure about how to address the invitation. She was a widow until this past year, but when she remarried she decided to keep her former married last name. Would we address it to Mr. John Doe and Mrs. Jane Smith or Mr. John Doe and Ms. Jane Smith?

  28. Tisha

    I feel as though if you are an invited guest attending a baby shower, than you are considered a friend of the mother to be and as a friend you would be willing to do just about anything to make her transition into Motherhood as easy as possible! Lets face it, as a new mother time is tight and something as simple as taking a bath is a luxury, then to be expected to address Thank you notes… I believe is asking a bit much. I think the time should be spent in the writing of the heart felt words on the inside of the card not the address on the outside.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      1) Baby showers occur before the baby is born (usually far before) so the time restraints of motherhood are irrelevant.

      2) If someone doesn’t have time to write thank-you notes, she also doesn’t have time to attend a shower in her honor. Writing thank-you notes, including addressing the outside, will take less time than the entire shower. Having guests write the envelopes says “I have no problem taking from you, but I couldn’t possibly be bothered with saying thank you in a gracious way.”

  29. Mary

    Wedding Shower Invitation to Out -of -State Relatives?
    Is it appropriate to send invitations to my daughter’s out -of- state aunts or cousins? We do not expect them to travel to the wedding shower, but at the same time want them to feel included. We also don’t want it to look like we are expecting them to send a gift even if they cannot attend. (my neice sent me an invitation to her wedding shower out-of-state…).

    • Mary

      continuing inital ? for bridal shower invitations to out-of-state guests…these relatives are invited to the wedding a few months later

  30. Jenn

    I believe it is totally fine for the bride to ask people to do this. Taking less than a minute to write your name and address on an envelope could save the bride a lot of time. It’s not like she is asking you to write the thank you note that is inside. The bride will still be planning and stressing about her wedding, and the truth is thank you’s are totally a burden! Sure you want to thank your guests, and sending a note is a must, but it just saves time to have guests write the address for the thank yous. My bride will have 50+ people at her wedding and this will save her a lot of time, figuring out addresses and writing them just takes time. I personally think if you are upset you have to write your address on an envelope you are only thinking about yourself…like i said the bride will be taking time to write the thank you’s that go inside of the envelope, while planning the wedding, keeping up the house, working…etc. Get over it.

    • Alicia

      Well if the bride does not have time to write a proper thank you to her guests then wow what a burden you are placing on her to have her go to a shower for a few hours and horror of horrors accept these gifts. Writing a thank you note including addressing takes about three minutes. It is easy to do and people often spend more time complaining then doing it. Do five in the morning five at night. The morning five can be done over coffee the evening ones during commercial breaks. (I bet your bride is still watching tv and playing on internet)
      It is not that hard just do it without insulting the guest that the gift that they shopped for and used their hard earned money for is not even worth the time to say thank you. In my mind it is a bigger offense to make guests write own thank you then to fail to write thank you.

      • Elizabeth

        I agree, Alicia, 100%. Alternatively, the groom could address the envelopes while the bride writes the notes. The gifts are to them both, after all. Plus, the couple should already have these addresses since they’ll be inviting these people to the wedding in short order. If they don’t have them, it’s double the incentive to acquire them!

      • Agree, agree, agree!! Asking guests to address their own thank you note envelopes is tacky. Yes, brides are busy. But no one is too busy to show gratitude and appreciation–and doing so certainly should never be considered a burden.

        I think EPI is correct in saying that presented with this at a party, you should just comply and save the host the embarassment, but I would certainly think twice about giving another present to someone who will only think it burdensome to be grateful for it.

    • Becky

      I had over 250 at my wedding. We addressed all our own envelopes (and worked, went to college, planned the wedding, kept up the house….) I think I’d have to save your bride the burden of writing me a note for a gift by just not giving a gift. God forbid, but I think I’d be less insulted if the note was addressed with a mailing label.

      • Winifred Rosenburg

        Mailing labels are actually considered acceptable now that letters go through the postal system instead of being personally delivered. The note itself should still be handwritten though (unless the person has a medical reason not to).

  31. Anne

    Even better. We were just at a WEDDING (not a shower) where we were asked to fill out envelopes when we signed the guest book! How presumptuous of the bride to assume that every guest brought a gift!!! I was offended, and I was not the only one. Instead of talking about the food or how beautiful the bride was, many guests were overheard discussing what a tacky practice they had to endure before they were even seated at the ceremony!

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