Post # 1
I’ve breached etiquette thinking I was doing the right thing!!
Dear Miss Manners,
Please resolve an etiquette question between me and my fiancé. My fiancé and I are getting married soon. I have purchased some pretty thank you cards so that I can quickly send off thank you notes as soon as the gifts arrive.
Recently it occurred to me that perhaps it is necessary to write thank you notes for all our guests attending the wedding even if it he/she has not given us a gift. If not for his/her presence alone, would it be required to write a thank you note if the guest has traveled to attend our wedding?
I feel as though the presence of all of our guests is a gift, and therefore everyone in attendance should receive a thank you card whether they give us a gift or not. My fiancé believes this way of thinking is excessive. Is he right?
In the midst of a thank you letter famine, Miss Manners is loathe to label any such attempt as excessive. But yes, your fiancé is right.
Hosts do not write to thank guests for their attendance, even though they may respond to their parting thanks with thanks. It is guests who must write letters of thanks to those who entertain them, although this is not necessary for ceremonial occasions.
Of late, Miss Manners has had a number of inquiries from brides who have suggested doing this as a way of prompting guests whom they deem remiss to send presents. While not accusing you of any such motives, she warns you that the suspicion will arise.
Post # 3
I have to say that it takes me by surprise. While I agree about the rational and how for parties they should “send you a thank you”, I think weddings follow their own set of etiquette rules.
Post # 4
I think you are doing the nice, polite thing, whether or not it is proper etiquette 🙂
Post # 5
Just when you think you’ve got the etiquette thing figured out, miss manners throws you for a loop! I had no idea, and I had planned on sending thankyous to everyone, too, regardless of whether or not they bring a gift.
Post # 6
This is a very confusing topic! It’s hard to know what the right thing to do in this circumstance is. I wouldn’t beat yourself up over it.
Post # 7
Meh – I don’t think that’s a big deal. I guess it’s possible, like Miss Manners said, that some people will think you’re giftgrabbing, but I doubt that many will. Most people will probably think it’s sweet.
Post # 8
This is why I hate etiquette. Why turn a thoughtful gesture into something that “may seem like gift-grabbing”?!
Post # 9
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
I’ve never considered sending a thank you note to someone just for attending a party. Isn’t the dinner and drinks you provide thanks enough for showing up to celebrate?
But I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with doing it. I’d never not give a gift to a wedding so I can’t say how I’d feel about it if I was a guest who received one, but I imagine they would appreciate it, especially if they traveled a long way for the wedding.
Post # 10
This is exactly why I think Miss Manners should mind her own. I completely disagree with that whole response.
Not surprisingly, I ignore etiquette and ask myself only if I’m being a considerate person. I find etiquette is like a religion. Everyone has their own and no one can agree which one is “right.” I think as long as your intentions are good and you are seeking to be good to others, you can ignore “etiquette” completely.
Post # 11
Well, Miss Manners’ business *is* etiquette — and she is very knowledgeable on the subject, so in this case she *is* “minding her own”. She isn’t decreeing a new rule: what she says has been true for generations — except for the bit about it being seen as gift-grubbing. That is new, and it happens because of the sense of gift-entitlement that has been fostered under the “new etiquette” of the Post Institute. In previous generations when mavens advised restrained gift-giving — for fear of being seen as ingratiating or imposing — the suspicion never arose. It would be an unkind thought, so have enough faith in your guests that they aren’t going to think it.
A nice note after an affair saying that you loved seeing your guest and wished to spend more time with them, hits a nice balance. While not literally a “thank-you” note, it could conceivably open a more extended correspondence, or a follow-up meeting for coffee, so why not? But, *guests* should take note, and consider sending their thank-you letters for their bread-and-butter — especially if they find they have been waiting in frustration thinking that they are *owed* a note for their mere attendance. Etiquette is far better employed as a light on your own social obligations, than as justification for accusing others.
Post # 12
I didnt write thank you notes for those that came and did not give a gift. Some may disagree, however, Im not going to sit there and write 120+ thank you cards when I provided 3 full meals, entertainment, dessert, open bar and wonderfully filled out of town bags! I dont disagree with sending them to all your guests if that is what you would like to do, but I dont find it necessary!
Post # 13
I think writing thanks for attending seems weird. It totally makes sense to say it was so fun to see you, while writing a note of appreciation for something thoughtful that someone gave you. But unless it’s a case of someone coming long distance…destination wedding style and which was going completely out of their way to be there, then I think it seems illogical for a formal thank you to be sent for just attendance.
Post # 14
How about a pretty blank card that doesn’t say THANK YOU on the front, and just write a note telling them how nice it was to have them at the wedding? Everyone likes getting a real piece of mail 🙂
Post # 15
hmmm, i am glad i came across this thread. i don’t know what is going to happen with regards to getting gifts or not since my wedding has not passed yet. but until now i had assumed i would be writing thank you notes for everyone who attends…but that is partly because i am having a destination wedding in Jamaica. so people will be going well out of their way to attend. of course, i know people are also getting a vacation out of it for themselves.
now i see the rationale in not needing to send one if all they did was attend…but i like the idea of sending a note saying it was nice to you see you etc. i also want to include a small wedding picture for everyone who was there, so that would be my reason to send notes to everyone.
my dilemma is that i ordered my thank you notes already as part of a set with my invitations….and they have Thank You written on the front. will that be okay to send to guests who attend but don’t give a gift?
Post # 16
I plan on writing prompt TY’s to anyone who gave a gift (at shower and wedding) or even just a card. To anyone who didn’t and would be left off the TY list, remember that you did give them a favor at the wedding (form of TY) and for our out of towners I am making special gifts to give them at the rehearsal dinner for their travel.
I’ve been strictly adhearing to Peggy Post this past year and hope this plan of mine is acceptable!