(Closed) Family complaining of thank-you-card ettiquitte!

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 137
708 posts
Busy bee

Food for thought: these probably aren’t the only thank-yous that these family members feel were forgotten. If I saw a post like that on Facebook, even knowing that they had complained to others in the family, I wouldn’t think that grievance is entirely about me. It is a bummer to feel unappreciated, and folks tend to seek solidarity in the things that bum them out, online or offline.

We could get into a whole discussion about whether that’s a good use of Facebook, perhaps another time. I would just try to not feel quite so defensive in this case. Assuming another’s actions are malicious makes those actions a lot more powerful than they actually are, you know?

You’re sending your notes, you feel good about the timeframe within which you will mail them, and that’s good enough.

Post # 138
7365 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I couldn’t care less about photo cards. They end up in that same sacred place as invites, the trash. I think that has become a modern day excuse to postpone what many consider a mundane task. But I agree with the PP that said if my gift is good enough to use, the least you can do is acknowledge it with a written thank you card.


However if couples insist on including a photo, IMO the whole waiting for a photographer proof, yawn, its called snapfish. I’m sure there are several non pro shots, that are flattering, that can be uploaded to snapish, kodak etc and ready for pick up at a local Walgreens or CVS within an hour. So no you don’t HAVE to stretch it out. Include the photo with a basic plain note card, with a personalized message. done. Plus its cost effective, quick and convenient. It only becomes a chore when you make it into one.

Post # 139
706 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

View original reply
@hollyberry4:  dang! I wish I had that kind of time right after our wedding. 

OP: We got ours out by 3 months, and only had 60ish. We didn’t hear any complaints. we both brought work home every night, and were both in grad school with classes on the weekend, so we squeezed them in when we could, which wasn’t often. people understood.

Post # 140
1213 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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@MarriedToMyWork:  Wow, when people had complained about others being catty and snarky in these posts I hadn’t believed it until now. Based on my behavior? My behavior my whole life has shown my family I love them, thank you notes or not aside. I think there is too much emphasis placed on the formalities of weddings, and not enough on what the bride and groom actually want or need. I’ve been to plenty of weddings and given plenty of gifts and not recieved thank you cards, and know that those people still love me. Guess I’m just not the kind of person to get upset about something like that and cause a fight or drama over those kinds of little things.

Post # 141
1213 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

FOR THE RECORD, I plan on doing thank you notes, I just don’t understand the big fuss when people don’t. Like I’ve said, I know how all of the poeple in my life feel about me, thank you note or not, and they know how I feel about them, and causing drama over it is not worth it.

Post # 142
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

As the aunt who did not give me a Christmas or birthday present in the year after I failed to send Christmas thank-yous in a timely manner taught me, one can love someone very much while still electing not to engage in the gesture of gift-buying based on whether or not a person behaves as though he or she appreciates the gift not just as an object, but as an object that is a physical manifestation of a deep bond of care or friendship. 

All social acts are reciprocal and meant to either help establish or to help maintain the important interpersonal ties that allow families, neighborhoods, communities, etc. to function without needing an impersonal form or process or bureaucracy for everything.  This is why thank-you gestures that focus only on the object itself and how wonderful and useful it is are, in my opinion, missing some of the point of a thank-you gesture.  The object (or the check) is the pretext for putting pen to paper in an act that represents a deliberate pause of the type we don’t see all that often anymore and is thus invested with even more meaning than it used to have.  The discussion of the object is but a lead-in for a more thorough reflection and expression of appreciation for the social bond that the object represents. 

I understand that this can be hard–I remember my teenaged frustration when trying to think of something to write to relatives who were generous to me despite the fact that I never saw them.  I finally figured it out–almost too late, alas–and I was honest: I would write them and tell them that their generosity was very meaningful to me, especially since my family was not able to see them, and that I understood that they cared for me very much.  If I had been a more mature person in my teenaged years I would have done the even more proper thing and called these relatives regularly.  Still, I know the fact that I had to sit down and stare at paper and think about what to say and how to say it means that I did a much better job of expressing the meaningfulness of these family bonds than a dashed off email or a phone call (that, unfortunately, given the illnesses that affected these relatives in their later years, would have been forgotten, whereas I know those paper notes were saved).

I would argue that an unwanted or overly intimate gift given by someone who is trying to inappropriately barge into your social circle should either be recognized in a very perfunctory way to signal that you do not wish to establish social ties, or, in the case of someone giving gifts as a harrassing or stalking gesture, do not need to be recognized at all.  Also, I would never hold a bride responsible for a more generic-than-normal thank-you to a distant associate of her husband as he should be the one writing that note.  In the case of a gift that was malicious or very poorly selected, a more perfunctory note would also be appropriate in my opinion as the gift-giving act is reciprocal and a cruel or very poorly selected (this does not mean “small check” or “inexpensive object”) gift is making a statement about the nature of the bond between giver and recipient, namely that it is not a strong one. 

Post # 143
68 posts
Worker bee

*Starts slow sarcastic laugh at the people who complained on Facebook*

Now that that’s out of the way, etiquette says guests have until a year after the wedding to give you a gift, you have three months after receiving said gift to write them a thank you.  That being said, screw that!  Screw three months!

You JUST got married, you’re starting a new life, and we all know that some things take priority over pretty little cards that all say “Thank you for the spatula, Auntie; we used it the first time we made dinner.”  And it’s not as if you’re not working on them.  I say six months is the new etiquette!!!  So a couple of people you rarely see and a couple other people who had the very bad grace to put it online get you down or make you feel as if you were the rude one.  Their feelings are on them.  You just keep working on the thank yous and send them as you are able to instead of putting your new life on hold, and in the meantime go kiss your new husband and break open some celebrating because you’re awesome.

Anyone else up for making it six months before you have to send a thank you note for a huge event like a wedding???

Post # 144
323 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I went to 3 weddings last year and didn’t receive a Thank you card for any…so I say if you can get them out in under 5 months good to go!

I probably won’t get any out for a number of months because we will probably use a photo with a thank you sign for ours instead and my photographer isn’t the fastest…

Post # 145
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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@Rubbs: i am with you girls on this too, it’s isn’t like the world is going to end if you dont get your thank you’s out within 2 months… seriously, for people to sit around and dwell on the fact they have not received a thank you card is pretty sad.  And for the OP to be bagged out by people for not having them done is just silly.

I attended a wedding 4 months ago and have not received a thank you for the money I gave and to be honest, I do not care, I have much more important things to worry about.

I also find it funny that there is another thread on here from a bee who has waited almost a year to send her thank you’s and the comments she has received were along the lines of “I wouldn’t be too concerned just get them out when you can” “people will laugh when they get your card after all this time” all positive, no one gave her a hard time about it.

Give the OP a break.

Post # 146
215 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2005

@alicroo86:  Personally, I can understand why you are upset by this. That is super rude of your family memeber to call your mom and complain about this. I’d be upset too. I mean it may be little rude of you to not have sent out cards the second you could but at the same time calling your mom like this was just bad-behavior. 

Having said that, I don’t think 2 months is too long for thank-you cards. I think you should do them ASAP but seriously 2 months is not a crazy amount of time. I mean I assume you have other obligations and (crazy thought here) might be enjoying your time as a newleywed. 

I’ve received many thank-you cards after 3-4 months of attending a wedding. Want to know what I though? 

I though “How sweet”

I’m sure most people would not be upset by this! 

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