by Ryan Conner
Karley Osborn is a bride-to-be living in Plano. Her fiancé proposed in March. They’re getting married in July. No, she’s not crazy, and yes, she’s confident she will be able to order a dress and have it triple-fitted in plenty of time — no matter what the experts have to say about it. Karley also happened to intern for D Magazine and work as a social reporter with People Newspapers. Every Wednesday, she’ll be documenting her planning process. From flowers to fittings, she will use her first-hand experience to help other brides in the event of a last-minute love affair.
When groups of people band together to fête a bride-to-be and her fiancé at a wedding shower, the couple should be thankful. When groups of people band together to fête a “hitched in a hurry” bride-to-be and her fiancé at a wedding shower, the couple should be ecstatic, over the moon, bouncing off the walls, [insert every other over-the-top cliché here].
Last week, Fiancé and I were given the chance to exhibit all of the above emotions (and more) at our adorable Raleigh shower. The scene: Picnic tables, pulled pork, a big fire for s’more roasting, and the yummiest mini strawberry cupcakes of all time, all set up right next to a field dotted with grazing horses. It was picturesque, and it was perfect. Especially considering the fact that our dear host couples had such a limited time frame to work with, which is mostly due to the fact that everything about our wedding timeline is limited.
As this post explained so fantastically, bridal etiquette is still alive, well, and very much expected by all parties involved in the average girl’s wedding planning process. But hitched in a hurry brides are not average. We are, in fact, the Olympic sprinters of the wedding world, meaning niceties such as writing thank you notes and gifting hostesses become even more—not less—important to accomplish in a timely manner. So, without further ado, I give you the HIAHB’s (for the record, that’s shorthand for “hitched in a hurry bride”) Guide to All Things Gratitude. Follow me after the jump.
1. Smile. Often.
Sure, it can be semi-uncomfortable to open gifts in front of your assembled shower guests (Fiancé can testify to this one—I think he broke into a sweat at one point during this portion of our joint shower). But people love to see smiles when you tear into that spatula set you registered for, so give the people what they want and give it freely. After all, it’s the first spatula set you’ll use as husband and wife. If that isn’t enough to make you smile, I don’t know what is.
2. Gift your hosts/hostesses with something fabulous.
For the record, fabulous doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. I mean, I’m sure your shower hosts would appreciate a spa day at the Mansion for their efforts on your behalf…but if you don’t have that kind of cash on-hand, here are a few thoughtful alternatives:
- Coffee Combo—I think that literally everyone in the world loves coffee, and if they don’t, they should. So how about some flavored grounds, a stirring spoon, and packets of flavored sugar accompanied by a handwritten note? (FYI, Fiancé and I went this route. Our picks: Holy Grounds for killer coffee beans and cute stirring spoons, and The Spice & Tea Exchange for scrumptious flavored sugars. Hello, heaven.)
- Wine and Dine—It takes a lot of time and a lot of work to plan a wedding shower, so why not help your hosts unwind by gifting them with a night out? In my mind, I’m seeing a wine bottle with a restaurant gift card dangling from wrapped twine or a pretty ribbon.
- Anything Etsy—At blog post time, there were 2,931 items listed under an Etsy search titled “bridal shower hostess gifts.” We’re talking everything from customized wine tags to handmade soaps and pretty tea towels, people. Peruse, purchase, and win. Big.
3. Say “thanks” in person, mean it, and utilize eye contact.
No, this doesn’t constitute a free pass to skipping post-shower written thank-you cards. It’s just another way of expressing the sentiment of, “I realize you did this in a short period of time, and that you didn’t have to do this for us, and that you went out of your way to make us feel special, and I am very appreciative of that effort.”
The consequences of failing to do so may include, but are not limited to:
- Tears, anguish, and turmoil for guests, hosts, and your ashamed mother.
- Declined wedding invitations.
- Dirty looks while walking down the aisle.
And, perhaps most terrifyingly…
- A thank-you note pile-up that will only increase with every additional shower, bachelorette party, bridal tea, and wedding gift given in your honor.
So, if you’re tempted to think that limited time = limited expressions of gratitude, think again. The equation goes more like this: Short engagement + willing hostesses = extra meaningful outpourings of love, enthusiasm, thankfulness [insert every other positive reaction here] for all involved. We’re not the only ones on a time crunch, after all.