(Closed) Thank yous for gift-free guests

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
8066 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I sent thank you cards to everyone, gift or not. I wanted to thank them again for coming and celebrating with us.

Post # 3
714 posts
Busy bee

Cordellia:  don’t listen to your friend. be the bigger person and send a thank you regardless of a gift or not. 

Post # 4
2815 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I always understood Thank-you’s as being for presence, not for presents.

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by  urchin.
Post # 5
1188 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Cordellia:  I think it would be extreme for someone to assume that a thank you card was sent in a passive agressive capacity!! I agree with you and PPs – send her a thank you for making the trip and coming to celebrate your big day with you. I’m sure it would be appreciated 🙂

Post # 6
1638 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

urchin:  ooh I like that! 

Personal notes are always nice to receive.  send a thank you for making my day more special because you were there note. 

Post # 7
451 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Cordellia:  Your friend is correct. It is not proper etiquette to send a thank you note to a guest just for attending your wedding. The reception is your “thank you” to your guests for attending your ceremony. I know you mean well, but it does come across as fishing for a gift.

I would absolutely send the gift to the friend who helped set up, however. Her gift was her labor.

Post # 8
9183 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

technically the big party with free food and drink is your guests’ thank you for coming to the wedding. I think it’s nice to send a thank you note if you want, but not necessary. (except for the person who helped all day, of course send her one!) I intended to think everyone who attended, but after writing 100 notes I called it good and skipped the few guests who didn’t bring gifts.

Post # 9
6554 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Cordellia:  you must send a thank you to every guest, whether they came with a gift or empty handed. THey took the time out of their day to be there for you. 

Post # 10
2381 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

“Thank you so much for traveling to see us and celebrating our wedding! We loved having you there, and hope we can see you more often.”


Post # 11
1264 posts
Bumble bee

Cordellia:  According to Miss Manners, you should only write thank you cards for people (whether they’ve attended your wedding or not) who gave you a gift. Writing thank you cards for guests who attended, but did not give a gift, can give the appearance of solicating for, or shaming them into a gift. The reception is already a “thank you” for all who have attended. 

Post # 12
330 posts
Helper bee

I struggled with this myself, but in the end I did end up just writing thank you’s to those who gave gifts or cards. I did think that the free food, drinks, party, cake and take home goodie bags (that said “thank you” on them) were enough for those who didn’t.

Post # 13
2460 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

j_jaye:  urchin:  agreed.

I sent thank yous to everyone who came, gift or no gift/card. They are all family and quite a few of them travelled a substantial distance to attend. I don’t see it as passive aggressive or soliciting a gift, and don’t think there’s a limit in expressing gratitude and appreciation.

Post # 14
247 posts
Helper bee

I have to disagree with Miss Manners on this one.  If someone has to travel for a wedding and pays for a hotel room to be there with you I believe you should write them a thank you note. When you are invited to a wedding and you accept it is showing the bride and groom that you support this marriage and that you will be there to support the couple in the future.  I have paid upwards of $500 – $1000 to just get to a wedding that is kind of required for FI and I to go to since they were close family members.  I may not get you a gift right away because of how much I just put out to get there but an acknowledgement of the effort we put in to show our support would be nice.  I plan on sending a thank you to everyone who attends just saying thank you for coming to celebrate our special day and for showing us that you support our union. If they give a gift after that I will just send another thank you note.  I feel like it takes 2 minutes to write a thank you, place a stamp on it and toss it in the mailbox and overall cost is $2. I would rather be known as a gracious bride than someone just following proper ettiquette.

Post # 15
36 posts
  • Wedding: August 2014

I had this issue with my bridal shower. I had a guest who after I opened all my gifts told me in front of all my guests she was in such a rush she forgot to grab her gift for me and she would give it to me next time we see each other…no big deal. She then drank about 5-6 glasses of wine and started going out into the garage of my MOH home getting beers from the fridge out there and got completely beligerent drunk (thankfully the person she came with didn’t drink) but while intoxicated she told a bunch of the girls while outside how she didn’t even get me anything. Now like I said I didn’t EXPECT everyone to get me a gift, but don’t lie to my face when you know you plain out didn’t get me something. Even though she and her husband make good money, if she would have said I just couldn’t afford it I would have said no worries and not thought twice about it. But the fact she came empty handed without even a $0.99 card, lied to my face and got wasted and ate at my moms expense just rubbed me the wrong way, so I did not send her a thank you for her presence. Had she kept her mouth shut and let me think she really did forget it then I would have but I didn’t like the shadyness of it.

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