Posted by Talley Sue Hohlfeld, Etiquette Expert
There's an alarming new trend going around at showers -- don't let it happen at yours!
Under the mistaken impression that they are helping a busy bride, shower hostesses are asking guests to address envelopes to themselves. They then give this pre-addressed stationery to the bride, to use for her thank-you notes.
No matter how many people are saying, "Oh, how sensible!", there are many guests in those rooms who are insulted. They are too good mannered to ever say anything out loud, but they are FURIOUS! And they will blame the bride, not the hostess.
The *best* way to handle it is to head it off.
• Tell your hostess well in advance, and often, that you can't wait to use your gorgeous thank-you stationery. This will make it clear that the thank-you notes are your territory.
• Before the shower, give the hostess a list of names and addresses, and ask her to pass it among the guests to check for accuracy. This will give her "something to do with her hands."
• Bring a similar list to the shower and use it for recording gifts; mention after the present opening that you'd welcome having people check it for accuracy, and set it where they can find it.
• If your shower hostess mentions that she will do this, ask her directly not to—"It may seem like it's helpful, but I know that some people will be offended. I don't want to risk that in any way."
* If you are handed a stack of envelopes like this, thank her lukewarmly, and throw them out when you get home. If she asks about them later, say, "It was nice of you to do, but I felt uncomfortable sending people a note from me that was addressed in their own handwriting."
Have you seen this happen in your circles? And have you picked out your thank-you note stationery?