I went to a shower just over a year ago where I was asked to address my own envelope for a thank you card. I refused to sign it. I told the person who was giving the shower that my daughter knew where I lived. Next thing you know, they'll have a preprinted thank you note with a line so you can write in the gift you have given. I feel those same two words, tacky, tacky.
As for a shower without the bride, the first thought I had was: "Well, baby showers are given without the baby!" But, I do think that it is in bad taste to have a shower and being told to not wrap the gift but bring giftwrap cause the bride ain't gonna show up. I would politely tell them that I will bring a shower gift for the bride when she gets there.
Times may be changing but not for the good, I fear.
A good friend will bail you out of jail...
but a true friend will be sitting
next to you saying,
"Dâmn... that was fun!".