21 January, 2009

A Bridal Fiesta

OK, so I know I promised you all updates yesterday. You'll have to excuse my tardiness.

The Bridal Shower was so much fun! I think it went really well and I really appreciated everything Andy's mom did for me. Everyone got a small favor from Bath and Body Works. I thought it was a really sweet gesture. It was nice for all of the bridesmaids to get to meet one another, kind of a meeting of the tribes, if you will...
My MIL had a friend of hers bake this cake to resemble our invitations. I think this was my favorite touch. Traditionally, Brides, you won't have much to do with planning your own showers, but I think this is a good example of choosing a distinctive element of your overall theme and carrying it through.

Andy and I received some beautiful gifts from our guests. Mostly kitchenware and picture frames (I got an idea from my Martha Stewart Living that I am dying to try...more on that later). One of my bridesmaids presented me a gift to use just for myself, a gift card to one of the shops in Milwaukee's historic Third Ward. I thought this was a great gift, because it was something special just for me.

The tip.....

Brides, please try to send out thank-you notes within three months of receipt of the gift. This goes for showers as well as weddings. Sadly, happy couples are not entitled to the year's grace period mentioned in wives' tales. Remember also, being late is no excuse for not sending them at all. Ultimately, one should begin writing the messages as soon as a gift is received, but, in many cases this is just not possible. To me, these are the four most important rules to go by when sending thank-you notes:
  1. Personalize notes with reference to the person AND the gift.
  2. Every gift should be treated with the same loving spirit in which it was given, regardless of it's worldly/monetary value.
  3. Please be enthusiastic when describing the gift, but avoid gushing; don't say anything about a gift you don't mean.
  4. Do NOT say thank you electronically. No blog posts, e-mails or e-cards. Not one. For the Recessionista, make your cards out of recycled paper or send messages in postcard form. You may ask that the recipient recycle your card when finished with it. Handwritten notes are a great way to show someone that you took the time to give something back to them.
All in all, please use common sense. Do not disclose any disappointment or tell someone you plan to return their gift. Explain how you intend to use monetary gifts; do not just rattle off the dollar amount. No thank you note should ever be perfunctory. When receiving shipped gifts (UPS, FedEX, USPS), the thoughtful bride should telephone or send a small note to the sender, letting them know you've received the gift. Oftentimes, senders are anxious to make sure their gifts made it to their destination safely. It is polite to let them know BEFORE they have to call and inquire. The most helpful tip I can give the modern bride is to write a few cards each day until you reach your goal. Writing 10 cards a day is much easier than hastily writing them all in one month. Haste makes waste, as they say, and in this day and age waste is anything but stylish.

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