(Closed) Thank-yous for guests who didn;t bring a gift or card

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
789 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I still can’t believe that people will attend any kind of wedding-formal or casual-and can’t even bring a card.

If I go to someone’s home for dinner I bring something. If I’m a guest at someone’s home out of town (even family) I bring a gift and send a thank you gift when I get back home. I can’t afford elaborate but just a thoughtful gesture ( a cake or a book etc). I’m older so maybe that makes a difference? My children (16 & 22) still write thank you notes for gifts.  

We had a party a month after our Destination Wedding and many people brought nothing, not even a card. I was hurt and disappointed that, as you said, they couldn’t even pick up a card at a drugstore. Many of these people I’ve known for years and have attended their family’s and children’s functions (always with a gift in hand). I didn’t send thank you cards to those who didn’t bring a gift. I had thanked them individually for attending at the party.

Post # 18
1732 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

If you want to send people thank-yous for coming and being part of the day, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you shouldn’t feel as if you’re being rude for not doing so. People go on and on on these boards about how you’re hosting everyone, so their comfort at your reception should be your primary concern. That’s all well and good, but as long as you’ve done that or a reasonable facsimile thereof, I think you guys are square. They traveled to see you and spend time with you, and you gave them a lovely evening.

I wouldn’t wait a year on thank-yous, but I would wait a few months. You might be surprised at what rolls in! My husband and I have been married for nearly six months now, and a family friend just sent us a check as a wedding gift! (She had been an enormous help over the course of the day, and so we had already sent her note — such a surprise!) You may be surprised about what turns up around or after Christmas.

Post # 19
2653 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@lmk227:  Maybe I’m wrong about this, but do people not have a year to give a gift? I would send cards to thank them for their attendance. You will feel bad if you don’t thank them and they give you a card/gift later. 

Post # 20
2389 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

You don’t need to thank people for coming.  In fact, I think it’s weird – would you send someone a thank you note for coming to a dinner party at your house?  

Also, as a pp mentioned, it could serve as a reminder that they actually DIDN’T bring you anything, and that you obviously noticed.

Post # 21
3080 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

It’s just mind boggling to me that people can’t go out and spend money on a card. You can get them for $0.99 at the store. They can’t spend $0.99? That’s totally outrageous. It’s just really disrespectful in my opinion to come to a wedding (or any party for that matter) without a card. I would be embarassed to go without a card. 

Post # 22
3302 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’m sorry OP, I can’t believe people come to a wedding without a small gift or even a card.  That is seriously rude.  As far as thank you notes go, I’m a huge thank you note writer, as are my children, but I do think that a thank-you for attending the festivities is overkill.  YMMV

Post # 24
74 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I would not send a thank you card, as the reception is the thank you in itself. You are providing food, drinks, entertainment: that is enough for a thank you.  That is a big disappointment so many people showed empty handed, that is just plain disrespectful and rude. Everyone knows that one has to bring something to the wedding, I would not show up to a dinner without anything, let alone a wedding. How about a card “ thank you for coming to celebrate with us and not bringing anything, even a card”

Post # 25
2997 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

cards are 2 for 1 at the dollar store…come on people!! That’s just rude!  Although, I do have a friend who doesn’t do cards in hopes people will think “it got lost” instead of giving a card with no money and looking stingy.  Pretty pathetic!

Post # 26
1075 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Maybe you could keep it brief in your message and send thank you cards to all. 

“Thanks for taking the time and effort to share in our special day! Love, Mr. And Mrs.”

Post # 27
2481 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I only sent thank yous to those who brought a gift or contributed to the wedding in someway besides earring my cake! lol

Post # 28
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I had the same question because I too was shocked at how many of our guests didn’t even bring a card.  I mean..  I would never!
It’s just a yucky situation because you feel crappy that they didn’t care enough to be thoughtful, and then people make you feel crappy for feeling that way.  But I totally understand where you’re coming from!

Miss Manners says:
Hosts do not write to thank guests for their attendance, even though they may respond to their parting thanks with thanks. It is guests who must write letters of thanks to those who entertain them, although this is not necessary for ceremonial occasions.

Of late, Miss Manners has had a number of inquiries from brides who have suggested doing this as a way of prompting guests whom they deem remiss to send presents. While not accusing you of any such motives, she warns you that the suspicion will arise.

That last line is why I’ve decided to not send thank yous to those who didn’t give gifts.  I don’t want anyone to think I’m having a dig at them for showing up empty-handed. Of course I’ll send out thank you’s for any gifts that may show up later, but honestly, I think once the wedding is over, people move on, so I’m really not expecting anything more.

Post # 29
12 posts
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’m also in this situation.  We had a group of about 15 couples that didn’t send/bring a gift or a card.  A few of these couples, we attended their wedding the year before and gave them a gift.  None of these people are in a tight financial situation.  And so yes, I feel a little bitter.  No gift and not even a card when we’re spending $300 for them to have a seat?!  My firs thought is immediately screw these people- they don’t get a thank you card.  But some of them, that I’m actually shocked didn’t send a gift….maybe sending a thank you card is a little a reminder to get your gift to us?  Maybe I’m the only horrible sounding bride….and it probably doesn’t help ALL the no-gifts, were from my husband’s low-brow side of the invitation list.

Post # 30
126 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2016 - Bridgewater Place

View original reply
@phoebephoebo:  From “ettiquette” that I’ve read, people do have a year to get you a gift just as you have a year to send out thank yous.

I’m on the fence about thank yous for all or just for gift/card givers. I know there’s going to be a ton of people at my wedding who won’t even bring a card. Most people are going to be travelling from several states away – for which I am very thankful. I feel like it would be nice to thank them for coming (even without a gift) but I don’t want to be patronizing. I like the idea of including a picture of them at the wedding as a cool momento.

I honestly don’t think anyone is going to hate you either way as long as the gift and card givers get a thank you.

Post # 31
3354 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I thanked everyone, gift, card or none.

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