Addressing Your Own Thank You Note Card at a Shower

Have you ever been asked to address an envelope when arriving at a bridal or baby shower? How did you feel about this? Sometimes the addressed envelopes will be used in a game later. One or two envelopes will be pulled from the basket as “winners”. Then you will be given a random prize that you may or may not want!

Reactions to being asked to address an envelope can vary. Some people think this a great idea and other people hate it. Sure it will save the bride or the soon to be parent some time later but is it worth it?

Please read the comments below, as many have shared their thoughts on this. Asking for an address may be ideal/easier when paper invitations were not mailed or you don’t personally know guests from the other side of the family.

Some will be very happy to know they are getting a thank you note and will happy to put their name on an envelope. You better follow through if you decide to go this route! People’s expectation of receiving a note a will be even higher than usual since they’ve already addressed the envelope for you.

While some may like it, there are enough people that are put off by it that I recommend not asking people to address an envelope.

Behind the “nice idea” and smiles some people are very annoyed by this. Here are a couple of comments I’ve received about this activity:

[color-box]”I hate, hate, hate when I’m asked to address my own thank you card. It feels cheap and lazy and I always want to say “you figured out how to send me an invitation so you could get a present from me. Don’t you still have my address?”[/color-box]

[color-box color=purple]”While I do appreciate receiving thank you notes, I don’t feel as warm when I get a thank you note addressed to me in my own handwriting. I’ve been to baby showers and wedding showers where it is requested that you write your address on an envelope. While this is an efficient solution to my biggest problem with writing thank you notes (assembling addresses), it still feels somewhat cheesy to get an envelope addresses in your own hand. “[/color-box]

I agree that It can be a bit weird to get mail addressed in your own handwriting. When it arrives it may seem like you mailed it to yourself. There is a disconnect when the handwriting on the outside doesn’t match the handwriting on the inside.

Some people will think you are lazy.

Perhaps you admit to being lazy and are okay with that. Maybe you didn’t know people were thinking this and not telling you. The guests do not want to be rude and will likely play along even if they hate it. Remember that the guests spent their time and money to give you gift and attend your shower. In return, you should write a thank you note and take the time to address it yourself.

But what about the addresses?

How long does it take you to address and put a stamp on an envelope? Not long. Maybe 10 to 20 seconds if someone has a longer address. You should have the addresses already from sending out invitations to the shower. Be organized and have your return address labels and stamps nearby as well. If you are stuck on an address you may have to ask the person. Also, you can check out these 8 tips on finding addresses.

If people were invited to the shower online, such as with Facebook, you can ask them to send you a message with their address. Or sign up for the free online address book at Postable.com. Then provide people with a link to your address book and then can enter their own address.

I’m not organizing my own shower – I didn’t know that was going to happen:

If you really don’t want people to address an envelope, tell the organizers upfront. Say “I don’t want to ask people to address an envelope”. If they try to talk you into it, resist! Maybe they did this at their shower and feel judged because you don’t want to have your guests do it. Nicely share that you’d rather do it yourself.

What you should do instead:

One idea is to address the thank you note envelope the same time the invitations are addressed for people that are very likely to be giving you a shower gift. The drawback is having to keep track of the already addressed envelopes for a few weeks. And you may address an envelope to someone that does not come to the shower.

The best idea is to keep track of who gave each gift as they are opened. Have a friend write down the person’s name and what the gift was. Then you will have a list when it comes time to write the thank you notes. You should then have their address from the address list used for sending out the invitations. If someone else sent out the invitations for you, be sure to ask them for the address list.

My recommendation is to not ask people to address their own envelopes. But, that is my preference. If having people address their own envelopes is the difference between sending them a thank-you note and not sending the thank-you note, go ahead and have them address their own envelope.

How do you feel about being asked to address a thank you note card envelope at a shower? Are you for it or against it?

You may also like:

How to write 100 or more thank you notes without feeling overwhelmed.

About The Author
Heidi has been writing thank you notes for more thank 30 years and is the author of A Modern Guide to Writing Thank-You Notes. Her goal is to help people write better thank-you notes by provding tips and examples.

31 thoughts on “Addressing Your Own Thank You Note Card at a Shower”

  1. I am one who does not like to receive thank you notes addressed to me by me.
    Seems to me the polite thing would be for the person who receives the gift to write the address and the note. It isn’t a party committee function to give the thanks. A person gives time and money to attend the shower so let the receiver give the thanks. It doesn’t take long to write an address and thank you note.

  2. I have been to showers where they have asked the attendees to write their address on an envelope; I never really gave it a second thought – until reading your post today! It does seem a bit weird to receive a thank you note with your own hand writing on the outside – but I always thought more of what was written on the inside than that fact. Still following you…I haven’t written much in November either – except a couple of poems, the Sunday Reflection, and Five Minute Fridays (which I should get a word soon so I can get it done tonight!!)…Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  3. I’ve never heard of such a practice… people actually think this is okay?

    The organizers of the shower should keep track of who gave what gift, and if the shower was a surprise, provide stamps for the giftee so she can send thank yous… and a list of addresses she might be missing.

    But no, the gift giver should never have to provide an envelope in her own handwriting. Sorry, but that’s just appalling.

  4. I am definitely against it. It seems like you are making your guests do the work of thanking them for you. Might as well just email thank yous if you are going to be informal about it! Great topic though – it is interesting to see how people feel about different little rituals at showers and weddings! I have been truly shocked before and then learned that something was common practice, aka “money trees”…to name one. lol, thanks for sharing!

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked to address my own envelop. I took me a while to understand what you’re talking about. I thought, “What, people do that?” I don’t think I will mind too much, but it does seem like a strange ideas.

    • I took the photo of the basket of thank you note cards at a bridal shower! I went with out, but I could see the look of confusion (and possibly annoyance) on other people’s faces when the basket was given to them. I did receive the thank you note in the mail in about a week!

  6. Totally weird to address your own thank you note. This tendency should be completely removed. Yet, at least they are writing the thank you on the inside. Or are people even saving time and asking the gift giver to do this too!!
    Thanks for sharing this with #thankfulthursday xS

  7. Geez, a little scared to ask but….what about when you’ve done the party invites on Facebook? What about then…..? I know it’s a bit weird but maybe a sign in sheet…..?

  8. I totally do not have an issue with it. The recipient of the gift writes their own thank you note, and I think that is much more important than an envelope that has the gift giver’s own handwriting.

  9. I love the idea…. sometimes, we have people that missed an event because of wrong addresses… and would not like to miss giving thanks and blessings for their presence… :)

  10. I LOVE THIS IDEA! As far as I am concerned, the fuss is being made over receiving the envelope and not so much focus on the main bit – the actual letter (which hopefully is handwritten and not generic but again each to their own!). I am using this idea for my sisters baby shower as
    a) all guests were invited both on facebook and through mouth by the pregnant mother
    b) invites were then handed to the pregnant mother to hand out for 3 different kinds of groups that she is involved with ie: church, work, school

    I wanted the guests to write their addresses onto the envelope so I don’t miss anyone and so that I have it readily available . If this annoys people as much as Ive read above I may even use a white label to cover the address and write in my own handwriting but thats just more work – and not much people would keep or even think about an envelope lol!

    Great ideas raised thank you!

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      I can see how asking people for their address at the shower would work out for well when invitations were handed out rather than mailed. Most likely in that case, the addresses are not already known. I think it is lazy when people are able to mail out invitations and then want people to address their own envelope.

      I also had someone tell me in person, that we she got married, there was a bridal shower for her with her future husband’s family. She didn’t know many of them and did not have addresses and asking for addresses at the show was ideal.

      I will update the post to make sure people are reading the comments for others viewpoints on this topic!

      Thanks!
      Heidi

  11. I think this is incredibly lazy! I went to two baby showers for the same person recently, and both of them had envelopes they expected me to fill out. I received a thank you note today; she didn’t even mention the presents I painstakingly picked out for her; just mentioned it as “the loot”. Uncouth if you ask me.

    • wow. I haven’t gotten a note that sounds “the loot” yet! Maybe she didn’t make a list of who gave each gift, but seems like by second shower would have figured out making list is the way to remember who gave what.

  12. I think this is totally fine. I’ve done it at showers and asked people to do so at showers for years. I usually make it more of an activity though, requesting / allowing those that self address the envelope to include a note card with a note of congratulations, fun memory, or bit of baby advice inside. That way the gift receiver can read a sweet note from the giver right before writing the note. I’ve never heard comments against it like those above including at showers thrown by others where this is requested. Most want to help and see it as a neat idea to help the bride or mom-to-be.

    Also if someone doesn’t want to participate they don’t have to, it’s a very off to the side activity so usually most participate but it isn’t required and it is expected some will miss it.

  13. I think all these people who are saying they don’t want to address an envelope to themselves are selfish. I always do this when I throw showers. If you think of all the things that a bride and groom have to do preparing for a wedding or parents-to-be getting ready for a baby. Obviously these people have never had a wedding or baby of their own to know what it all involves. The host of a shower (which is usually thrown by a friend not the bride and groom or parents-to-be) asking you to fill out an envelope is helping out the couples, making it one less thing they have on their plates. Besides if they put a printed address label that is not very personable. So your complaints are invalid.

  14. I personally think this is a wonderful idea. I’m not planning my shower and my mother in law can be a bit difficult when it comes to wanting information. She wouldn’t even let me have the addresses when I was filling out the ones for my family. She wanted to do them herself. I’m having 100 guest and I only know 30 people coming. So the other 70 are people I’ve never met and don’t have their addresses. I don’t expect to have my mother in law to write my thank you notes. It’s not lazy when you have so many people coming. I honestly think i’s a tremendous help, especially for someone about to have a baby. It’s a lot of work, especially when it’s your first. It’s not just 10-20 seconds writing the address, it’s actually very time consuming personalizing each thank you note with individual gifts, unless it’s a generic thank you card you’re sending to everyone. Hopefully no one gets offended.

  15. 2018 is the first I experienced/heard of this “address your own than you envelope”. I initially thought it it was an excellent idea; though those around me did not like it at all; I’ll note we are all seniors- 60’ plus. For me, the last shower we attended within this family, upon myself following up, the thank you was received months later and was vague – thank you for attending, it was nice seeing and your gift is appreciated and will be useful. The gift an item from their registry included money. The note seemed insincere. So, maybe addressing the envelope, the thank you will come without following up and be a bit more personal and sincere.
    In the future, I’ll go to these events with a decorative address label.
    Thank you for writing and the opportunity to read how others feel. LucyGirl

    • Hi Lucy,

      The vague note may have been due to the person not making a list of gifts and items when opening them or losing the list completely since it sounds like they took awhile to getting around to writing the notes. That makes a thank you note much harder to write in a sincere way!

      I like your idea to bring a decorative address label!

      Heidi

  16. Everyone is different!

    It would be great if people attending a shower (or other parties) don’t expect a thank you – seems as if giving a gift is irrelevant if you expect to be thanked. (Personally, this is one of the main reasons I ask people not to give my kids gifts.)

    However, if a person receiving a gift feels they want to show gratitude by not only providing you with delicious food, parting gifts and saying thank you in person at the party but additionally following up with a thank you card – well, that is just amazing.

    I think people attending parties seem to forget that they are likely spending less on the person than the person is spending on them. Maybe they could send a thank you to that person for inviting them and hosting them.

    I was surprised that people are appalled and upset by taking 10 seconds to help the gift receiver go the extra mile to thank you once again! I personally feel upset by people being so judgmental – it just contributes to the hatred in this world. But everyone is different!

    Try not to judge, accept people and spread love!! Maybe we could help make the world a better place if we do that!

  17. If someone thinks a bride or mom-to-be is lazy for having someone else complete a meaningless and tedious task, I think her heart is in the wrong place. Did you only give a gift to receive thanks? I’m grateful to receive thanks, because I certainly didn’t buy my loved one a gift just to hear about how generous and wonderful I am. What is wrong with you people? Catty, catty, catty. This is why I have male friends.

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  19. I find this “self-addressed envelope” practice to be extremely rude. I have been a guest at two bridal showers in the past month. In each instance, I took the time to carefully review the brides’ gift registries, to go shopping, to creatively wrap the gifts, to drive over an hour each way to each four-to-five hour long event, to be a well-behaved guest, and generally to “shower” the brides with attention and well wishes. I work a demanding, full-time job that requires long commutes every day and I have very limited “free time,” so all of the above takes a lot of planning, not to mention expense. In my opinion, the very least the brides can do is take five minutes to jot a handwritten note of thanks, mailed to the very same address to which the shower and wedding invites were addressed, preferably within a month of the shower. On the basis of their social media activity, the brides seem to have a lot of free time to tackle such annoying tasks…..

  20. I’m doing this at my upcoming baby shower. The hostess sent out Facebook invitations, and I don’t have a physical mailing address for 90% of the guests. It’s either a.) Use a blank address book as the “guest book” so that I can collect the needed info OR b.) Have guests self address an envelope on their way in/out. Either way, my guests would have to write down their address, so why not do it on the envelope? The beautiful stationery and thoughtful message inside will still be a surprise.

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