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Pregnancy Etiquette

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Dear Ms. Etiquette,
It seems that a lot of my family are having babies and I would like to give them showers to help them out. I am confused as to how to word and address the invitations. For instance, if it is a couple’s shower, should it be addressed to Jane & John Doe, or Mr. & Mrs. John Doe? Is it proper to put where the mother-to-be is registered on the invitation? I’m stumped.

Dear Stumped,
You are right, many women are pregnant right now and most of them are having boys! Having showers is certainly a good way to help out a friend or family member. However, an immediate family member should not give the shower, instead it should be a friend, aunt, cousin, sister-in-law or a distant relative. The reason for this as well as for any other gift-giving event is you do not want to send an invitation that obligates the recipient to provide a gift to a direct relative.
Baby showers are usually given before the baby is born but some future moms with difficult pregnancies may want to wait until after the baby is born just in case there is a chance that something might go wrong. So follow the mom-to-be’s feelings. The point of having baby showers is to shower the mom-to-be with gifts for her first baby so she will know what she needs to purchase or borrow, but opening baby gifts is so much fun it can be done anytime. Usually it is not appropriate to give showers to second or third siblings since they usually have hand-me-downs. but if it has been several years since the last baby was born, it’s okay. Invitees should be very close friends and family members or people who were not invited to the shower for the first baby.
As far as how to word an invitation, you can make it cute, let your imagination run wild so long as the mother’s name, the date and time of the shower, a request for a response to an R.S.V.P. is mentioned. You should not include a list of things the future mom might need, rather you could include an enclosure card from where they have registered.
Address the cards as Mr. & Mrs. John Doe if it is a couples shower. You would word it Mrs. Jane Doe if it was women only.
Happy Planning!

Irma Wolcott

Irma Wolcott

Irma Wolcott is the owner of Fun With Etiquette. Call her at 956-492-4762 for more information. Website: www.funwithetiquette.com e-Mail her at: funwithetiquette@aol.com

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