Correspondence among my sister (Beck), my work friend/go-to etiquette consultant, and sharer of culinary secrets, Aunt Tam (Tam), and myself (me) with regards to the shower invitations I am creating for my soon-to-be-sister-in law’s shower that my sister, my mother (mom), and I are hosting on April 7.

Me to Tam: HELP! My sister was supposed to get the invitations for the bridal shower we are hosting BEFORE she had Emily, and now she really doesn’t have time. So I now have 2 days to order, with hopes of receipt by early next week, for mailing next week.
Tam: I like the swirls of ivy one, however, I think you should just go to Bering’s (the one on Westheimer) or Confetti’s (Memorial at Kirkwood, next to Los Tios) and really look at something before you buy. If you can’t find something you just love that is perfect for the occasion between those two places, I’ll eat my hat!
Me: But do you think they will have SIXTY invitations of the same thing??
Tam: You are right – your choices will go down exponentially needing 60 – this is BRIDAL shower? Where are you holding this extravaganza? Reliant?
Me: Yes. 60. We’re Mexican, remember?

Beck: Menu – I told mom I didn’t think that we shouldn’t do the same menu that we had for my shower. So far…everything is the same which is why I mentioned doing an Italian theme. It’s totally up to you guys but I just thought it would be nice to do something unique for Tricia. Plus mom said the only reason she was picking those items was to get Lydia to make her potato salad to she could eat it! Should we invite the other bridesmaids?
Me: I don’t know if we are ‘supposed’ to invite the bridesmaids (that aren’t already invited). I don’t think they get invited to EVERY shower, plus, the rest of them aren’t even in San Antonio . Should I ask Tricia if she wants me to send them an invitation? I can also ask my etiquette consultant (Aunt Tam) here at the office and see what she thinks. Mind you, I already made her pass out ONCE when I told her the shower list was SIXTY people. When she regained consciousness and picked herself up off the floor, she said “Where are you hosting this event, Reliant?”
Beck: Poor Aunt Tam…I guess Mexicans and ettiqute are oxymorons, huh! 🙂 Maybe ask Tricia but I’m ok leaving them off. I just don’t know what we’re supposed to do.

Me to Tam: OK, knowing the RULES HAVE ALREADY BEEN BROKEN with regards to shower attendance—and YES, all 60 are invited to the wedding—is there any obligation to invite the bridesmaids to my brother’s-side-of-the-family shower?
Tam: I don’t think it is required, especially if they won’t know many people — although some use the opportunity to break the ice between families, and some brides designate the “list keeping for thank you notes” as one of the duties of their maid/matron of honor. I would ask the bride and do what she asks. Just don’t pass around thank-you note envelopes for guests to address to themselves – the single-tackiest move I’ve ever experienced at a shower/party of any kind – my apologies if the efficiency of this maneuver outweighs the “tacky factor” for you or someone you love – I think you should work harder at thank-you notes than that!
Me: OK. That comment about the passing-around-thank-you-envelopes-for-the-guests-to-address-themselves just made me feel better about being a Hispanic-former-catholic. I can’t believe someone would DO that! That totally just redeemed me. As for ice breaking…so not necessary: Beer will accomplish the same thing–at the reception. But I’ll ask Tricia nonetheless.
Tam: My former aunt by marriage did this at a baby shower for her daughter. My side of the family was stunned into silence, while hers clearly knew how the program worked. They whipped out pens and quickly filled out their envelopes while we held ours like they contained anthrax and cast quizzical, raised eyebrow glances at each other – how’s that for an awkward moment?
Me: Do you have/can you find 3 sheets of clear address labels, Avery 5160 (the 3 across, 10 down style)? (PLEASE don’t tell me that I have to HANDWRITE each one). Also, for return address, is it tacky to put those return address stickers on the back fold of the envelope? Or should I put nothing at all?
Tam: I don’t have any clear labels but I will check with Richard. No, you don’t have to hand write the addresses, and yes return address stickers are fine on back, or even the front I think, if they are pretty. And if the envelope has any kind of design to it, I would go with whichever location interfered the least with the design.

Me to Beck/Mom (2:22 p.m.): I need your final blessing on the wording by tonight so I can print tomorrow.
Beck (3:27 p.m.): Print in peace – you.
Me (4:27 p.m.): The shower IS at 11. Right?
Beck: Yes, Tricia wanted a morning/brunch type.
Me: Good, because I already printed.
Mom (5:17 p.m.): Can we start at 11:30?