(Closed) Thank yous for gift-free guests

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
8725 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
709 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 4 years, 3 months ago by  urchin.
Post # 5
1265 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
1634 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
9181 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
6529 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
2375 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
1243 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
331 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
2445 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
246 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 Fiance 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 Maid/Matron of Honor 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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