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Donna Pilato

Is this a Good Response to a Missing Thank You Note?

By June 6, 2007

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A reader in our Forum has posted the following question:

This Saturday I will be attending the wedding of a bride that never sent thank you notes to anyone that attended or sent gifts to her bridal shower. The shower was a month and a half ago so there was plenty of time to write them. My gift was shipped since I couldn't be there, so I have no idea if she even received it. I do, however, know that the folks that did attend did not receive thank you notes either. So, I'm tempted to not give a wedding gift at all but suddenly realized that maybe a few boxes of Thank You Notes would be a better idea. Think this would get the point across?

Do you think this idea is a little too harsh? Or is it too gentle a response? Weigh in with your opinion in our comments below. Or visit our Forum to share your thoughts.


June 10, 2007 at 1:12 am
(1) Louise says:

I think the response is a bit harsh. Don’t assume that just because she didn’t send thank you notes that it means she doesn’t care. She is probably just busy organising her wedding and hasn’t had the chance yet. Maybe after the wedding when she is a little more relaxed she will realise, feel bad and make sure she sends them for the wedding gifts.

June 13, 2007 at 9:47 am
(2) Ann says:

Parents, look in the mirror! Have you taught your children to write thank you notes? I taught our children that is the least they can do for someone who has spent time, energy and thoughtfulness on them. Do you think the bride will teach her children how to write thank you notes?

June 13, 2007 at 11:43 am
(3) Doris says:

I do think it’s too harsh! A month and a half is too short a time to assume that the bride will never send a thank-you note. Also, the bride probably already purchased thank-you notes. I remember when I got married, we bought our thank-you notes at the same time we bought our wedding invitations, so that all the stationery would match.

June 13, 2007 at 4:04 pm
(4) Tina says:

A bit too harsh. I personally have never heard of anyone sending thank you notes after getting a gift (I’ve only heard of sending thank you notes if there was something major done for someone… like a favor… or like if you get letters of recommendation… but not gifts). I also never sent them. I think my friends know I care about their gifts. She probably isn’t aware of such “etiquette”, I know I’m not. Are thank you notes THAT important? Geeze Lol.

June 13, 2007 at 5:50 pm
(5) Marsha says:

I think some beautiful embossed Thank you notes would be appropriate. I humbly disagree with those who feel a month and a half is not enough time to send a thank you note. It’s plenty of time. Thank you notes should always be sent when a gift is received. Yes Tina, I believe thank you notes are THAT important.

June 13, 2007 at 11:20 pm
(6) michelle says:

Todays youth weren’t brought up with the same etiquet expectations as were our elders. The bride might have thought that her thank you at the wedding shower was enough. Some people really get affended by this and others don’t care at all. I think that if your a close family member that you should tell the bride how you feel, and if your not than send along a book of etiquet with your wedding gift. I think that if you go to the wedding you should bring a gift no matter how you feel. Your enjoying the food and entertainment that they are providing you.

June 14, 2007 at 1:04 am
(7) tina nicor says:

I think it’s hars you we should not expect anything in return if we give something, the thought that she/he remember to invite you is a sign that you are special person/friend to her. It is always better to give than receive.

June 15, 2007 at 3:43 pm
(8) Mandi says:

I think Thank You cards as a wedding gift is appauling. I agree that gifts should be given from the heart and not in anticipation of something in return. Although it is good etiquette to send Thank You notes, I also know people who view this as a “formal” act and view their showers as something shared by family and close friends so therefore, less “formal” than maybe the wedding itself. Love should be the center of your intention and not something that could potentially be hurtful to someone.

June 25, 2007 at 1:13 am
(9) Sandi says:

I personally like to receive a thankyou note, because I would like to know that the gift was received and whether they liked it (not that they would say they didn’t) I put a lot of effort into choosing and nice, appropriate and thoughtful gift. I would like to know that the recipient feels the same way. At a shower however, when the gifts are opened up while you are there, you can see and hear first hand what she thinks of your gift. Consider that your “thankyou” note. Give the bride the benefit of the doubt, send her a wedding gift. If you haven’t heard from her about the gift, just ask her what she thought, then say, “I just needed to know if the gift was received and what you thought about it”. Don’t let it spoil your fun at the wedding!

August 25, 2007 at 1:16 pm
(10) Julie says:

You should probably just get over it. Did you give her a gift because you wanted a thank you note? i didnt think so. maybe she forgot, maybe she remembered but didnt feel like taking the time, either way- she probably invited people she thought really care about her a lot and aren’t stupid & PETTY.

January 31, 2008 at 2:57 pm
(11) Carly says:

I believe it is too harsh. As a bride that was planning her own wedding AND was thrown six different showers within two months of my wedding (and graduated that same month as most of the showers!), I was way too swamped to do thank you notes after each shower. I waited until after we got married so I could use my new stationary, and because I knew I could put off writing the thank you notes for the wedding gifts for another few weeks.

I realize it is not up to most generations standards, but most people understood how busy I was, and understood it is better to give than to receive.

February 16, 2008 at 2:48 pm
(12) Sheryl says:

I taught my children to send thank you’s before they were allowed to use the presents. The very least (not most) you can do when someone is kind and generous enough to present a gift is to send a handwritten note thanking that person. I cannot believe that is considered giving a gift in expectation of a thank you. It is simply rudimentary manners, something that seems to be failing an entire generation.

February 19, 2008 at 5:29 pm
(13) Maria MM says:

I agree that sending thank you notes is a very important part of appreciating the generosity of another person.

I have taught my children the importance of this practice though I probably get a chance to follow through about 80% of the time only.

I would like to know if it is acceptable if the thank you notes is not hand-written. I am getting married in a couple of weeks and I am already overwhelmed with this task since I have a medical condition which restricts me from writing a lot but not everyone at the wedding knows about this.

April 17, 2008 at 1:31 pm
(14) kristina says:

I believe that thank you notes are nice, but shouldn’t be expected 100% of the time. I do them but recently didn’t because I have so much going on. Isn’t that why they gifted me to help out, not expect something in return? I think it’s pretty harsh to not let one slide once in a while. Dont’ be so greedy for a thank you through the mail. I’m sure they meant it when they said it from their mouth!

May 28, 2008 at 9:28 pm
(15) darren says:

My nephew got married. Had 140 people. Did not send anyone a thank you.

Now his mother is hosting a baby shower for him.

Any comments?

May 28, 2008 at 9:31 pm
(16) brenda says:

I must have gone to the same wedding re no thankyous were sent to anyone.

I did hear that they thanked everyone in their speeches for the presents and for coming.

Now they are having baby showers for the same couple.

May 28, 2008 at 9:34 pm
(17) miss manners says:

Thank you notes are mandatory when it comes to wedding presents. No getting around it.
To eliminate this is insulting.

July 24, 2008 at 5:49 pm
(18) Janine says:

I never sent thank you’s for my wedding. It wasn’t because I didn’t intend to. I wrote over half of them out about a month after the wedding, got the flu, then it was the holidays so they got put on the back burner so to speak. I could have sent the ones that I had finished, they were even stamped. But I thought it was a bad idea so send some not all. I also became pregnant and was SEVERLY sick and put on bedrest. So that was that, I never got to them. They are still sitting in a shoebox. My entire family and all 200+ guests were very understanding about it. They KNEW I was appreciative. They all attended my baby shower as well with no hard feelings. So I guess it all depends on how your relationship IS with the person to begin with. If you really love them and they really love you, a thank you card is unnecessary!!!!!

July 30, 2008 at 1:17 pm
(19) Chassah says:

I just got married and wasn’t sure what to do about shower gifts. I read contradictory advice. My wedding was just a few weeks after my shower. I sent thank you’s for my shower gifts, but one was returned. Instead of re-sending it, I just sent a wedding thank you mentioning both gifts in one note.

My thinking is that maybe she’s planning to send them out after the fact.

No matter how rude it may seem that she hasn’t sent out thank you notes, I say don’t hold it against her. Especially not until you know the whole story, because won’t you feel a little bit foolish if you got fumed for nothing at all. Give her the benefit of the doubt. Remember postage changes price all the time, people have different rules of etiquette, she may still be sending them out…etc, etc, etc,

August 5, 2008 at 11:57 am
(20) entertaining says:

Chassah, you did acknowledge and express thanks for the gift, even if it was part of the wedding thank you. I think most people get upset when there is NO acknowledgement of the gift ever, I think your approach was reasonable considering the fact that the note had been returned.

I do agree, however, that one shouldn’t judge until they understand the reason. And in the case of illness or other difficulties, people do understand.

February 12, 2009 at 4:34 pm
(21) You're Welcome Cards says:

What you really need to do is just send her a “You’re Welcome” card. “You’re Welcome” cards are great to give with gifts when you know you won’t get a “Thank You”, and they’re even better to give/send when you have given a gift the deserves a “Thank You” that you never received.

So don’t give a box of thank you notes. Just give a “You’re Welcome” for the bridal shower gift.

February 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm
(22) The SofaKing says:

You’re Welcome Cards, Those are great! I have sent out You’re Welcome Cards to people and its always a great response from them. People always find them humorous because they are completely unexpected.

I sent out some after Christmas time when people had sent me “Thank You” Cards for our gifts. We Sent them Back these cards – http://www.yourewelcomecards.com/products-page/youre-welcome-cards/original-retro-design/

Very Funny and a perfect Response!

September 9, 2009 at 3:40 am
(23) Jennifer says:

Quick comment for Janine: You were on bedrest? You couldn’t do the proper and right thing and thank 200 people for being generous to you?? You were just lying there anyway! What a thankless clod you are!

Simply put, people who cannot even spend one minute of their life to write a thank you card to someone who took time out to buy a gift for them, does not deserve a gift at all! These people are takers!

I think the box of thank you cards is absolutely perfect for these greedy so and so’s! I wish I had thought of this. This is the gift I am sending out to all those rotten selfish gift grabbers from now on!

May 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm
(24) Kris says:

I have been on both sides of the question and still have to agree that thank you cards are THAT important. If someone has taken time out of their lives to select and present you with a gift, you should have enough respect for them and their time to make time in your life to send them a thank you.

June 15, 2010 at 2:12 am
(25) Lindy says:

I really hate it when I send a gift for wedding or graduation and never hear if they even received the gift, let alone send a thank you note. Apparently, the young people haven’t been taught by their parents or teachers that it’s important to send a thank you note after receiving a gift. I’ve also had relatives attend my children’s weddings and not send a gift. I found it very hurtful, and I always make sure I send a gift – even after the slight to my family.

June 20, 2010 at 11:46 pm
(26) Chee says:

Yes it is kinda harsh. Remember whenever someone says ‘Thank you’ for something you have done for them, I think that alone is enough and when you answer them back, ‘Don’t mention it’ this means that you are not wanting anything in return. So why even hurt yourself to even bother to think of something that you want the bride to do for you in return for the gift you sent? After all, she may have said thank you during the party after inviting and welcoming you in her Shower party. Making a list of people to invite during a shower party is not at all that easy, and is and should be very exclusive-ergo special people and close friends are the ones who are only invited. That alone, should therefore one feels honored to be invited in a much well-prepared and thought of party. Someone who has been running around preparing for a wedding after the shower isn’t at all having an easy task. So you could give her some slack and try not to be bothered too much by a simple thank you note. Sure you can still opt to wait for one, but perhaps a few weeks after the wedding wouldn’t be so bad after all. The thing is, it’s the thought that really counts. So thank you notes or nothing… at least you get to see her off till her last moment as a single lady before she becomes married. That’s something in our culture should be happy and delighted about – to be part of such wonderful stage in someone else’s life.

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