Pre-wedding Parties

Thank-yous for a work shower?

This is a multi-part question, so apologies in advance! 

My coworkers threw me a 'work' shower last night. Everyone was so sweet (and EXTREMELY, reducing-me-to-tears generous) and I really want to make sure I thank everyone properly. One of my coworkers "went rogue" (as she called it) and bought her own gift, but mostly what happened is that my boss took up a collection and based on the amount collected bought us 4 (big) gifts from the registry (and my dinner/drinks were covered, I think with office party funds).

(1) How do I thank everyone? I know some of this needs to depend on work culture, and the culture in my office for birthday gifts, going-away parties, etc. typically seems to be sending out a thank-you email to the staff list. I also would like to write handwritten notes for my boss and the one "rogue" coworker. Is there something else that I should do? I have seen advice on other sites that individual thank-yous should be written, but I don't know who to thank: some people contributed but couldn't attend, some people contributed but didn't sign the card, and presumably vice versa on both of those, and a few people outside of my immediate office were invited but did not attend and I have no idea if they contributed or even responded to the invitation.  If situations were reversed and I was unable to contribute, but my  coworker sent me an individual handwritten note, I think I'd be really uncomfortable. 

(2) My father suggested I send the staff-wide note but then also write another note, group or individual, to the people who actually came. I feel weird about this because there were 4 or 5 people minimum who really wanted to be there but had extenuating circumstances/got sick last minute/etc. It also feels like overkill. Should I be doing this? 

(3) Finally I've seen advice elsewhere suggesting throwing a bagel breakfast or something for everyone and putting it in a public area with a note. I cannot afford anything big but I could certainly bake cookies and write a nice card. Is that something that would make sense to do? And is it OK if the shower was Thursday night but that doesn't happen until Monday? I probably should have had something prepared for this morning but I wasn't sure what to expect from last night. The thank-you email will be going out this morning, as soon as I figure out what to write and to whom! 

Re: Thank-yous for a work shower?

  • 1) If you know who contributed, you should write individual thank you notes to those people.

    2) I don't agree with your dad. See #1.

    3) A TY note is plenty. You don't need to host bagels, cookies or anything else. Think about it this way - do you plan to send cookies to every wedding guest along with their TY note? 

    So I'll tell you how I handled my work shower, but my situation was a little different than most of the ones I've read here. I work in a department with out 60 people. about 25% of those people work in other states. My boss and 2 co-workers took up a collection and threw me a surprise shower. I had NO idea who contributed. I immediately wrote a TY email to the entire department in case there were off-site people who contributed. Then I wrote a physical TY note to the entire department and put it in our break room. I also wrote individual TY notes to my boss and my co-worker who organized/threw the shower.

  • Thank you so much! This helps a lot!  

    I don't know exactly who contributed, just that the list of attendees/signatures don't match up, that my boss mentioned the extremely generous outpouring of contributions (which...I mean, they were really, really generous gifts especially given that my department only has 20 or so people in it), and that a few people who weren't on either list were specifically named as contributing and being devastated by their inability to attend. 

    I think the way that you handled your shower actually sounds perfect. My coworkers are all onsite, but I work in academia and it's the summer so a few people outside the department who were invited (i.e., faculty) will be off-site until August. I would definitely write an individual note to my boss, and I was thinking I'd try to find out from her if anyone helped out. And I like the idea of putting a nice physical note in the break room area. 

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