(Closed) Thank You card for no gift?

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
190 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I don’t know about any of the "rules", but for us we plan on sending a thank you even if there was no gift, especially since we are having a destination wedding, their presence to us is gift enough.

Post # 4
Member
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

After reading all of these comments on the most recent boards, I’ve had a change of heart and will send thank you’s to everyone.  I may still be bitter about the no card, no well wishes, but eh, I don’t want to lower myself just out of spite. 

I don’t know where this shower gift = no wedding gift concept came from, but I’ve never thought that was the case.  I guess you just send a thank you for attending (especially if you already sent a thank you for the shower gift).  I have that situation too, and that’s what I’m doing.

Post # 5
Member
484 posts
Helper bee

To my etiquette knowledge, you do not have to write a thank you card for someone who just attends the wedding.

Most etiquette is common sense so think of it this way, if someone comes to your house for dinner, you wouldn’t send them a thank you note the next day.

However, I think prettykitty has the right idea if you are having a destination wedding. If your wedding guests are going to (or have) incur extra costs than what a normal wedding would cost them, a note is a lovely idea.

And as far as the shower gift vs yes/no to a wedding gift…I’ve never heard of that before but judging from the boards today it appears to be a regional thing? I’m inclined to say that it’s not true but I’m from the NYC area and we give gifts for everything!

Post # 6
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I might feel differently if the majority of our guests brought no present, but there were only a few.  A couple of friends, who we know are having some serious financial difficulty, just gave us a very nice card.  A couple of other friends are working on some mysterious crafty present that is yet to be finished.  And there was one couple who just didn’t give us anything.

We wrote a nice thank you note to everyone.  If there was a card but no gift, we just thanked them for coming and told them how much we appreciated their good wishes.  If there was nothing, we just told them how happy we were that they could come.  If you think about it, it costs you something like $1.50 (including postage) to make the gesture.  Plus about 15 minutes of your time.  We gave everybody 30 days (during which gifts still trickled in, and we wrote thank you notes to everyone who did bring or send a gift).  My theory is twofold:  First, it’s entirely possible that somebody sent a gift and it went missing in the mail.  In that case, the thank you note that doesn’t mention any gift is a nice way to let them know you didn’t receive it.  Second, at least they got dressed up and gave us an afternoon and evening of their time, and really that’s all you ask for when you send the invitation.  I wouldn’t wait a year – if their gift is lost in the mail, they probably need to put in a claim much sooner than that, and so they should know it didn’t show up.

No, you don’t have to send a note thanking people just for coming. But if you have the note already, it’s a really nice gesture, so why not?

Post # 7
Member
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

We plan on sending thank you cards to everyone. Given that I was only able to say "hello" for 30 seconds to some people over the course of the evening, I want to make sure they know I appreciate their attendance. I also agree with others that it’s a good way to acknowledge to people you did indeed receive their gift. You needn’t write an essay length note, just a few sentences will be a nice gesture.

Post # 8
Member
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Here is a rule we can all agree on.  Nothing precludes you from just sending a note if you want to.  I just sent a ton of notes to people who declined to attend-it was just too weird getting their check mark and leaving it at that.  I just wrote that they would be missed at the same time I was sending out thank you’s for people who send checks

Post # 9
Member
12 posts
Newbee

As suggested by many readers and bees, we pre-addressed thank you card envelopes as RSVP’s came in. Not only did it make writing thank you notes seem less daunting, but a lot faster as well. Because of this, we found that there were a handful of envelopes, with not matching gifts. We still wrote “thank you for attending and celebrating with us” thank you notes. 

I read some responses and am ashamed to see that some brides are expectant of gifts, that brides are bitter when they don’t receive one. A wedding is a celebration of the life commitment you are making together as a couple. When you invite people to your wedding, you are the hostess of an event. It is a nice gesture to bring a gift but NOT required. As a hostess, it should be that their mere presence is all that you are asking for. A note of thanks for celebrating with you, and how nice it was to see them is a genuine note of gratitude, regardless of the gift.

Yes there is appropriate etiquette for writing a thank you card for gifts received, but notes of thanks should be sent out of appreciation, not etiquette. It’s ok to thank your guests for more than just gifts. I thanked people for helping cut the cake, for traveling so far, for taking care of elderly guests and giving them a ride, and for their infectious celebration attitudes.

Please remember as a bride. Be grateful. Gifts are not expected, or required, nor should they be. Also remember other etiquettes, that it is rude to put registry information in an invitation. Why you ask? Because then it tells the guest that they are only welcome with a gift. That a gift is expected.

Cards filled with gratitude are always ok. No matter what you are grateful for.

Post # 11
Member
12 posts
Newbee

skiv – actually I didn’t think you were bitter, I thought you had an honest question. I was refering to other posts on this and other questions that recently came up. I’m apologize if you misinterpreted my post and you thought it was a lecture. I admit it may be a bit of a soapbox, but only because I hear so many brides refer to what they are entitled to and what is expected. My response was not necessarily an answer to your question, but a reflection on the attitudes of our culture and of many brides. I apologize for offending. That was not my intent at all.

Post # 12
Member
90 posts
Worker bee

I plan to send thank yous to everyone, regardless of gifts.  I think it’s a very nice thing to do, and it shows that you really appreciated their presence at the wedding.  Also, on another board, someone mentioned a relative who didn’t realize the bride didn’t receive a gift she gave, so you never know if there might even be a misunderstanding.  If someone who gave you a gift gets a thank you note that doesn’t mention a gift, they might say, "Oh, didn’t you get my gift?"  You just never know.  In any case, you did, I’m sure, enjoy their presence at your big day, so yes, a note is quite appopriate, very gracious, and just plain nice 🙂

Post # 13
Member
20 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I’m going to switch gears and address the shower gift/wedding gift question. I am not getting married for about a year, so I can only tell you what I have heard from others and done myself as a wedding guest. Just in case it matters, I live in the South.

I was a bridesmaid in a dear friend’s wedding. Though I did not throw a shower for her myself, I attended every shower thrown for her (3, I believe). I took a small personal gift to each one. I did not take a gift to the wedding. And I don’t see anything wrong with that. Neither does she. Nor will I when it’s my turn.

My fiance’s sister got married this past May. She had a total of eight (eight!) showers thrown for her. I attended about five of them. I took a gift to all but one shower, and I did not take a gift to the wedding. I was even encouraged by her mother (my FMIL) not to give more than one gift total, but I chose to give her four (again, small but personal).

A couple years ago, I attended a wedding but had not been able to attend showers to which I had been invited prior to the event. I took a gift. This summer my fiance and I attended a wedding for a couple who had not invited us to any showers beforehand. We took a gift.

I don’t feel it necessary to give more than one marriage gift, regardless of when they are given. Maybe it is regional, but I’ve always understood that the only people who brought gifts to the actual weddings were those who did not come to showers. When I get married next year, I certainly will not have expectations for more than one gift total from each party, regardless of when it is given.

Post # 14
Member
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

An acquaintance of mine shared a philosophy which may be an alternative way to look at gifting. Whether she is only invited to the wedding, to a shower and the wedding, or to multiple showers and the weddings, she sets a total budget. The gift budget is based on her closeness to the bride and groom. She chooses small gifts for the pre-wedding events and spends the remainder of the budget on a wedding gift. This way, she doesn’t feel like she’s being gouged and spends what is felt to be an appropriate amount for that particular friend. Personally I like this perspective since I never like to show up empty-handed unless the host specifically indicated "no gifts."

Post # 15
Member
90 posts
Worker bee

jenn-dig – I’m just curious….is it customary in your area to attend multiple showers like that?  Gosh, I can’t imagine how you do it!  I’m very impressed!

Post # 16
Member
20 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Gracielou, I’m with ya! Honestly, before my FSIL’s engagement, I was under the impression that people had one – maaaaaybe two – showers, not eight! She and her fiance had all these different "types" of showers thrown… a shower for each side of her family (and his), a lingerie shower, some church showers, a "pantry stocking" shower, and a couples’ shower. Madness, I tell ya! I attended as many as I did because we’re close… I’m marrying her big brother, so she’s kind of like a little sis to me already. I just hope we don’t have that many showers thrown for us. That was just too much. Could you imagine the thank you notes? Oh my word… poor girl. Okay, I’m rambling… I guess the point is that her case was a bit extreme. However, I am noticing more and more couples inviting the same guests to multiple showers. I don’t like showing up empty handed, but I don’t believe you should be forced into bringing a gift to every shower that’s thrown in the couple’s honor either.

 

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