When Gifts Come Before Wedding – Send Thank You's Before/After/Both??

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: When should we send a Thank You?
    Only Before Wedding : (23 votes)
    49 %
    Only After Wedding : (13 votes)
    28 %
    Both! : (11 votes)
    23 %
  • Post # 3
    2562 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    You don’t need to thank anyone for attending… you invited them, after all!
    Do you send thank you notes after you invite people over for a BBQ? 🙂

    Unless it’s like your great-great-aunt who would appreciate the thought, then I think it’s OK.

    In terms of the gifts, my personal rule is to write notes as soon as I get something. I cannot use a gift until I write a thank you note.
    But you could also note who it’s from and what it is (Aunt Mary sent a toaster) and put it on the “master list” for thank-you notes down the line.

    Post # 4
    531 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    I think if you have a ton of guests it will be an overwhelming amount of work to send 2 thank you notes.  Personally, I don’t really care that much about thank you’s from weddings as long as my gift is at some point acknowledged.  If you don’t want to send two notes I would probably just put something in the thank you note about how excited you are to see them soon/share your special day etc

    Post # 5
    1466 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    @lisaelanna:  +1! That should be sufficient. 

    Post # 6
    11772 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I wouldn’t worry about sending two– just stick “And we look forward to seeing you at the wedding” in your thank you card!

    Post # 7
    3635 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I did both, but we had a small wedding – it was 20 TY’s, tops.  The ones for the gifts that came early were “thanks so much for the serving platter, can’t wait to use it!”  The ones after the wedding were “It was so nice to see you, thanks for making the trip to celebrate with us, and thanks again for the platter!”

    Post # 8
    3806 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @Maurasaurus:  I’ve received 2 gifts so far and my shower isn’t until July 27 and my wedding is in August. I sent a thank you card immediately after receiving the gifts. The card lets the gift giver know that the gift was received and there’s no reason to wait to say “thank you.” Neither of these people are attending the wedding, but if they were, I would send another thank you card after the wedding to thank them for their attendance. 

    Post # 11
    2571 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    We’re getting gifts and we are not having guests so I am planning to send thank you’s as soon as the gifts are received or no later than a week after the shower.

    Post # 12
    225 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I had this question myself recently. Based on the responses and also a NYT etiquette Q&A I came across, I’m going to send just one thank you note for the gift and let that be it, no second note after the wedding. 

    Post # 13
    3806 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @Maurasaurus:  it is! and the anticipation of not unwrapping them… i hate that part. lol FI and I agreed to leave them wrapped.

    Post # 14
    3806 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    double post…weird.

    Post # 16
    1644 posts
    Bumble bee

    @Maurasaurus:  A marriage is not like Christmas which takes place on a particular day and then is over. A marriage is a change of life, for which the couple needs to prepare, and the gifts are intended to help the couple establish their new life. Proper form is for guests to send gifts to your home before the wedding, so that you mayset them up in your new marital home, ready for use when your groom carries you across the threshold on your return from your honeymoon.

    And yes, I know that in most cases nowadays couples aren’t really changing a whole lot, let alone setting up a brand new home, but “correct form” hasn’t yet come to grips with modern sexual mores and I am trying to protect it’s innocence.

    So you are supposed to unwrap the gifts as soon as they arrive, and ideally write your thank-you notes before you go to bed on that very day. It’s a good idea to check them for damage at the same time, just in case they were bought on a 14-day return policy that will have expired by the time your post-wedding gift-opening orgy rolls around.

    After the wedding (or in fact after any substantive social entertainment) guests are supposed to write thank-you notes to the hostess for her hospitality, not the other way around. Etiquette’s nickname for those thank-yous is “bread-and-butter notes.” Do not hold your breath waiting for them, but you may get a few. Of course, you may certainly send little social notes at any time you like, such as after your wedding when you get a stack of photo-cards from your photographer that you are just itching to share with everyone. Of course, you can use those cards for the people whose lack of forethought meant they did bring gifts to the wedding reception since thank-yous for gifts are mandatory, but if you want to send one to someone who already got a thank-you, feel free to jot a friendly note into it and send it. Just know that those notes are not an obligation, and ideally should contain a little wit and a little originality beyond the stilted “Thank-you for sharing our special day” that betrays the bride’s sense of drudgery, when she does mistakenly believe such notes are on obligation.

    Gifts that you receive at your wedding reception are not technically “received” until you come home from your honeymoon and have time to open them. I recommend opening only as many as you can write thank-you notes for in a day, and stretching it over as many days as it takes to ensure that the notes get written while your gratitude (and memory of who gave what) is fresh in your mind.

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