(Closed) Settle the debate – do guests get thank you cards just for attending?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Do guests get thank you cards for just coming to the wedding if they don't bring a gift?
    Yes : (216 votes)
    52 %
    No : (194 votes)
    46 %
    Other -- I'll explain below. : (8 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 47
    3625 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I think it’s not necessary if you thanked every single person in person. For example, Darling Husband and I did our rounds multiple times and profusely thanked each guest. We didn’t send out additional Thank You cards to non-gifters. I think this would’ve been awkward since we both know they didn’t send/give a gift. If I attended a wedding without a gift (not that I ever would), I would feel weirded out if I got a card for just coming.

    That said, it seems like a lot of people NOT on the Bee forgot about Thank You cards. I’ve only ever received one from all the weddings we attended.

    Post # 48
    7200 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2015

    @TwoStatesBride:  I’m Latina from California (but have attended wedding of virtually every nationality from states in the Midwest, East Coast and the South as well). In my experience, you do not send thank you notes to people who do not give you a gift unless they helped in some way (even unofficially… like they saw that no one passed out programs and grabbed them for you or helped pack the gifts at the end of the night). 

    Post # 49
    328 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    We decided to send thank you cards to all guests irrespective of gift giving because we noticed that those guests who did not give gifts had to travel from out of state. It cost them something to attend and we appreciated them for coming.

    Post # 50
    10452 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2014

    I think the reception is the thank you. But I’d probably still send a thank you to guests who traveled to the wedding. If they’re local and don’t bring a gift, I probably won’t send one. 

    Post # 51
    50 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I kind of think you’re looking for an insult if you’re insisting that a thank you for coming to our wedding note is “rude” and “fishing for gifts”. I think it’s perfectly acceptable and honestly, really lovely to send a note to your guests, even if they didn’t bring a gift.

    Miss Manners always says that thank you notes should be written in such a way that suggests that you were so overcome with gratitude and delight that the words simply flowed out of you (even if perhaps, they did not 😉 If it helps, think of it as not a THANK YOU NOTE, but as a letter you just felt compelled to write because you were so delighted that your guests were able to share the day with you…

    Dearest Aunt Edna,

    Rupert and I were so thrilled that you and Uncle Bertie were able to come and share our day with us. We know it’s such a long way for the two of you to travel, and it meant the world to us that you were there. I had such fun singing “I Will Survive” with you… I remember when you came to visit when I was ten and we drove around with it on repeat all weekend! We’re hoping to make it out to Seattle some time in the winter, so I hope we’ll see you soon!

    All my love,


    Obviously, a somewhat over the top example, but I’d be sad if any one thought that just because a bride sat down to tell you how much your presence meant to her, she had to have an ulterior motive. That said, it’s certainly not required or rude NOT to send a note.

    Post # 52
    3967 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    I will make sure I go to every table and speak with each guest and thank them for coming and send a formal thank you note for every gift received. 

    Post # 53
    516 posts
    Busy bee

    Not sure if a PP has covered this, but if so I’m just reiterating and explaining my “no” vote:

    1) The “thank-you” for attending the wedding is done in person, with a personal moment.  This is done either with a receiving line or with visits to each table.

    2) Written “thank-you” notes are sent to people who gave gifts.




    Post # 54
    367 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I think you should send thank you notes. I was recently at one wedding in different state and we rravelled 6 hours by car… they did not send us a thank you note although SO was in the wedding party.

    Its nice to send tthank you note for all guests. They still give you money in the cards, right? Just because you want a gift, does not mean you should not thank them for coming.

    Now it remininded me that both wedding I wen to recently did not follow up with the thank you note. we gave money to them.

    Post # 55
    68 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: January 2014

    I do not plan on siffting through the guest book to send thank you cards. As we are having a registry with scattered delivery I plan to send “thank you and we look forward to sharing our special day ect.” cards to these people, whilst i will open cards and gifts after the wedding and send thank yous to these people.

    Post # 56
    4656 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Thank you cards are only for gifts. My thanks to them for just showing up takes the form of an expensive dinner and an open bar.

    Post # 58
    9044 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    Where I am from it is considered polite to send a thank you card to guests for attending your wedding regardless of if they brought you a gift or not. To me providing a meal for my guests is also the polite thing to do and not a thank you.

    Can we stop kiding ourselves, a lot of receptions nowadays are solely about the B&G’s wants and little about thanking the guests. Countless threads on this site are paramount to that- I’m not providing meals for those with dietary requirements, I am making guests pay for things, I am giving a donation to charity as a favour to my guests, I am only providing seating for 50% of my guests, I only want to play the music I like, I am not serving the cake but keeping it for me etc etc.

    Post # 59
    10651 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    @chouette:  +1 The reception is the thank you for attending.

    If it was a destination wedding, of if they helped out somehow, it would be appropriate to thank them. 

    Post # 60
    10651 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    @inspiration86:  You don’t think money is a gift?

    Post # 61
    1120 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    @TwoStatesBride:  FH and I aren’t expecting any gifts but even if we do get some, we’re still sending out thank you notes to everyone. I think it’s nice to show them how much we appreciate them for coming to celebrate our special day. We are actually having a destination wedding, but I think I’d still send thank yous even if we weren’t.

    Personally? I don’t think it matters – maybe it’s a personal preference thing.

    For the etiquette-conscious? Yeah, probably should send them out.

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