No, You Actually Can’t Just Hashtag Your Wedding Thank You Notes


Because ungrateful never looked good on anyone

by Stephanie Kaloi, Content Manager

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I’m not sure if it’s because I was born and raised in the southern US, because I’m over thirty, or a combination of both, but when I recently found out that people have decided it’s okay to text instead of sending the traditional post-wedding thank you note, I thought it was a joke. So when I was chatting with a friend who told me, “No, seriously. [Mutual friend] asked if she could just text her aunt and thank her for the toaster,” my face did this:

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Because guys, I don’t care if it’s 2016 and we all live on our phones or not. If someone gifts you a physical object (money counts), you write them a physical thank you note for it. No further discussion.

At this point, I assume about half of you are nodding along (Hi: Are you also over thirty?) and the other half are feeling like this:

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…and I can live with that.

Let’s talk about a few reasons why I’m not going to give you a pass and tell you that it’s okay to thank people via a hashtag on Instagram.

1. no one actually has to spend money on you

Newsflash: No one actually owes you a gift because you chose to get married (and they certainly don’t owe you extra cash if you think their £100 check wasn’t enough). Crazy, right? No, it’s not.

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A department chain store is credited with inventing the first gift registry in the 1920s. And up until the 1920s, wedding guests weren’t expected to contribute anything to the wedding… and color me cynical if you must, but I find it telling that registries were brought the forefront by a department store who stood to gain quite a bit of business if they took off. For me, although registries are still quite in vogue, and even though it can be extremely helpful for new couples to receive a ton of gifts, it still doesn’t mean anyone has to choose to drop $50 on the towels you really want. In fact, this brings me to my second point.

2. YOU NEED TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE GESTURE

So, sure, I get that you might not actually feel a lot of thanks for the set of wine glasses your cousin picked out. You might enjoy them, but there may never be a moment in which you stop, gaze serenely at the sky, and feel an abundance of gratitude toward your cousin for gifting that particular set (even if it’s the one you asked for). But you know what would be nice to acknowledge? Your cousin’s gesture. Because it’s just really sweet.

Apart from the fact that your cousin didn’t have to spend the money in the first place (see point number one), she also didn’t have to get you what you wanted, but she did, so that’s extra nice.

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3. Choosing gifts takes about as long as it will take you to write a note

Thank you notes don’t have to be long, and no one is expecting you to send them six handwritten pages waxing poetic about how pumped you are to use that new waffle iron. However, even if your registry is online and wildly user-friendly, your guests still have to spend time choosing your gift. I have personally spent anywhere between fifteen and forty-five minutes on someone’s registry, poring over my options, deciding whether or not I want to gift cash or an item, and, if we’re being honest, seeing what you picked out and what other people have already bought.

If you take a divide and conquer approach to your thank you notes, there’s no reason why two adults can’t slam through a hundred or so notes over the course of a week. You write some, your partner writes others, and you make sure they get sent to where they need to go. After all, fifteen to forty-five minutes is probably how long it’ll take you. And forty-five minutes is if you’re going really slowly.

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4. A note makes sure your relationship is reciprocal

One of my favorite Sex and the City episodes is “A Woman’s Right to Shoes.” To summarize, Carrie’s shoes get stolen at a party and when her friend fails to offer to compensate her for the shoes, Carrie realizes how many times she’s bought gifts for the friend (engagement gift, wedding gift, baby shower gift, birthday gifts for the kids) and how, as a single, child-free woman, her friend has yet to reciprocate. She then decides to register for the shoes—as in, she creates a wedding registry for herself. With one pair of shoes on it.

I know it’s TV, but I think this is genius. I doubt many of us consider how little we reciprocate gift giving when our friends don’t follow traditional life paths. A thank you note is a sweet way to acknowledge that hey, you really dig that rug they picked out, and those coffee mugs are totally being used everyday, so thank you, friend.

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5. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it

Here’s my final bit of advice. You don’t have to be prepared to throw down hundreds of dollars on really nice, expensive thank you cards. Between Etsy and Amazon and Target, there are tons of people around the world producing incredibly adorable, and affordable, stationery. Also, there’s no statute of limitations on when you say thank you, so there’s nothing stopping you from sending out thank you cards to half of your guests one month, restocking your card supply, and sending out cards to the second half a month or two later. And hell, there is no rule saying that thank you notes need to be on fancy paper. Really, any paper will do.

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If the cost of stamps is insurmountable (currently 49¢ a stamp in the US, but maybe you got a whole lot of gifts), I think sending a digital thank you is perfectly fine—as long as it’s individualized and sent via a service or email. (Seriously, don’t send a thank you note to their Facebook inbox.) Also PS: Not everyone who attends your wedding will actually bring a gift, but you still need to write them a thank you note just because they showed up and spent time celebrating you and your life choices.

And no. You can’t text it. Sorry. (But never fear. Next week we’ll have templates for all of your thank you note needs!)

did you write thank you notes after your wedding? would you ever send a thank you text? if so, what would it say?

Stephanie Kaloi

Stephanie is a photographer, writer, and Ravenclaw living in California with her family. She is super into reading, road trips, and adopting animals on a whim. Forewarning: all correspondence will probably include a lot of punctuation and emoji (!!! 😊 🎉 🎉).

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  • Sarah

    Thanks for writing this.I just bought two packs of thank-you notes at the dollar store (14 total notes an envelopes for $2.00). This is doable….and are any APW readers really thinking texting thank-yous is OK?

    • stephanie

      This young generation, I tell ya. ;)

    • Jenny

      So, my older relatives would certainly NOT think email is an ok way to send a thank you note, but since email is pretty much the way I primarily communicate, I totally think it’s fine for thank you. I think for a younger generation who text more than email, that’s probably a fine way to do it. If I got a text message from my younger cousins, of friends little sisters saying, exactly what a card or email would say, I’d think it was nice. Honestly it would take longer to type on a phone than an email.

      But I’m not a thank you note person. I’d way rather receive a quick text saying, just got x, thanks so much can’t wait to use it, than have everyone waste the time money and paper. All I really want to know is that the thing arrived.

    • lfar

      Yes!
      My STDs were emailed.
      My invitations are going out over email next week.
      Why would I contact everybody after the wedding to get their mailing addresses and send a thank you note in the mail?

      Think of all the meaningful, sincere, huge life moments you have shared with friends using online methods. Texting a friend about a breakup. Sharing good news in an email. Facebook chatting somebody in their waiting room of a medical appointment. Like, this is how we communicate. It’s not only a medium for meaningless chatter. As a society, we value online communication!

    • Eh

      We bought thank you notes to match our invitations for our wedding but for our bridal shower, housewarming and baby shower I have just bought thank you cards from Target (when we had Target in Canada) or the dollar store. Thank you notes do not have to be expensive and there are lots of cute designs.

  • guest

    I’m with you on the thank you notes vie email or paper for all tangible gifts received. I even understand why a thank you note would be appropriate for someone who played a significant role (however you define that) in the wedding. However, I’m not going to send you a note just for showing up. Nope.

    • Amy March

      I agree. I don’t think thank you notes are supposed to be sent to people who did not give a gift. You are thanking them for attending your wedding by hosting them at your reception. I think thank you notes for coming can feel like a passive aggressive dig at people for not sending a gift. At the very least, I would say you can if you really want to, but I think *need* is too strong here.

      • stephanie

        So, the reasoning here is that people potentially spend a lot of money (that they might not even really have) to get to a wedding—finding something to wear, travel, etc. I do agree that the reception is also a great way to say thank you, but if you’re already writing 100 thank you notes for gifts and there are like 5 people who didn’t bring a gift, then you might as well write them a note, too.

        • Ashlah

          I agree with guest and Amy March here, but I can see your point if you have guests who traveled significantly to celebrate with you. But what about a local, casual wedding that should really cost guests nothing but a few hours on a Saturday? Would you send them a thank you card just for showing up?

          • stephanie

            I mean, I would. But guys, I also send my wedding couples (I’m a photographer as well as working here at APW) thank you cards with their photo USBs. If they send me a thank you note back, I have been known to send them a thank you note for the thank you note! It’s a sickness.

          • Ashlah

            Haha! Well, I suppose it’s not a bad sickness to have. I’m sure no one ever wishes they hadn’t received a thank you card! The more the merrier if you enjoy sending them.

          • Elizabeth

            Personally I find it weird to get thank you’s when I buy things from someone, because I feel like it reinforces the attitude that they owe me something beyond the thing I set out and bought from them.

          • stephanie

            I feel like wedding photography is a little different? It’s more than a product that is sold. I usually thank my couples for including me in their day, talk about a part of the day that was really amazing, etc. I really, really love my people and usually become friends with them after we work together so it all works.

          • Elizabeth

            That may well be very true and you are in a position to know that much better than I. I know so far in my brainstorming of what I want out of a wedding photographer does not correspond with what a lot of people are looking at, with regards to that personal connection.

          • Jess

            Our photographer sent us a thank you note and bottle of fancy grenadine for cocktails w/ recipes and a little handwritten note to take some time and enjoy being engaged when we signed our contract.

            It was sweet and adorable, and since her philosophy is totally about getting to know us and being a friend on the day we get married it made sense.

            We *did* sent a thank you in an e-mail for the thank you note, but we also used that as a time to schedule some engagement photos. The e-mail was my bargain with R to stop the thank you madness for fear that we would be trapped in a cycle.

          • Lawyerette510

            I have a huge note addiction. At our wedding, I was so moved that these 60 people were coming from all over (between a 1.5 hr drive and 10+ hours of travel time between flights and driving) that we wrote notes to each guest (we did one note for the couples, so it was more like 35 notes) thanking them for coming and put those inside of envelopes that had the guests’ name and table number on it. We clothes-pinned them on twine tied between two redwood trees that you had to pass to walk from the ceremony area to the reception area. Writing those notes was one of my favorite parts of the wedding process. It brought me such joy to sit down and put into words what it meant to have those people there as we made this commitment. By-the-by, my husband loved the idea and jointly participated.

          • Stephanie B.

            “If they send me a thank you note back, I have been known to send them a thank you note for the thank you note!”

            My husband and I got into a thank you note (mock) battle with his nephews, when they sent a thank you note for our thank you note, so we found a card that plays music to thank them for THAT thank you note, which they replied to with one of those GIANT cards in the top rack of the card section. I think the battle ended when we threatened to respond by sending them a card full of confetti that said “thank you”. :)

          • Mrrpaderp

            Is it really just “a few hours on a Saturday” though? Maybe your wedding will be the exception, and if it is then maybe this doesn’t apply to you, but most wedding nowadays take up enough of the weekend that guests really can’t do anything else with that weekend. That applies even for a local wedding, without factoring in things like travel and getting a new outfit.

            If the ceremony starts around 5, guests should be trickling in around 4:30, so even if you’re local, you get in the car at 4, which means getting ready at 3, which means the only thing I’m doing with my Saturday is maybe going for a run in the morning. And then you have to get a hotel room because you and your friends will be drinking and the couple REALLY WANTS you to dance all the way through the afterparty and come to the brunch the next morning. Which, speaking of brunch, won’t be over until like 1 p.m., so now most of Sunday is gone too and I have to sleep off my hangover for the rest of the afternoon.

          • Elizabeth

            Yes, but see the ‘your wedding is not an imposition’ post… I don’t consider being invited to a wedding a burden. I’m present at the ceremony and reception to party with my awesome friends who are getting married and I want to be happy with them. If they want to thank me for it, is that nice? Sure! Do I think they need to thank me for coming? Not at all. They’ve invited me to celebrate this step into their joint future with them, and I’m touched and grateful for that opportunity.

            I went to a wedding last weekend. It meant I couldn’t do anything else on my Saturday night. Yeah, I was tired on Sunday. But I had a fantastic Saturday night. If my friends invite me out to a bar Saturday night, they don’t owe me a thank you for me showing up, even if I will still be tired Sunday.

          • Mrrpaderp

            A gift isn’t an imposition either, you still thank people for it. Just like you thank people for the gift of their time.

          • Elizabeth

            Didn’t we gift each other our time and attention? (Note, I say this as someone who hasn’t planned a wedding, just attended them.)

        • Eenie

          How do you do this without keeping a tally of who gave you a gift? I purposefully didn’t put the gifts on my attendance spreadsheet for two reasons. I have a separate list.

        • Greta

          I sent thank you notes to everyone for coming, but most everyone came from far enough away that they had to buy a plane ticket, and we had a whole weekend reception. I really did feel like our guests did a lot to celebrate with us, and for the few people that didn’t send a gift, I wanted them to know that I really appreciated all that they did to travel to our wedding. BUT I was also really concerned that in doing this I would be perceived as passive-aggresively pointing out that they did not get us a gift… ugh! I really really wasn’t, but… yea…

          • Michela

            I would worry about this too!

          • Ebloom

            There are so many ways that people show their support and appreciation that goes beyond gifts. I don’t think that sending a thank you card that says something like,

            “Dear Alison, Thank you so much for attending our wedding last summer! It was so wonderful to see you and we are so appreciative that you made the journey all the way from Connecticut to celebrate our love. It means so much that you were able to spend the whole weekend being our ally, and I’ll always remember how you showed up for us. We can’t wait to see you next year at the high school reunion! Lots of love, Name + Name,”

            could ever be misconstrued as, “I’m mad that you didn’t get me a gift.”

            It’s all in the wording. When writing thank you notes for anything I go by the rule that over-appreciation is better than playing it safe. I also just assume that everyone wants/needs a thank you card.

        • Michela

          I can see myself sending thank yous to people who travelled great distances to be with us or those who I know made sacrifices to be there, but from a pragmatic perspective, how do I know everyone who actually attended?? We’re having nearly 200 guests and I already know of 3 who RSVPed yes but are currently unsure if they’ll be able to make it due to recent medical issues. The idea of having to remember whether or not 200 people attended makes my 3.5-weeks-till-wedding brain want to explode.

          • NatalieN

            Yup. it could be perceived as a passive aggressive way of saying “thanks for coming!” when they didn’t… I *mostly* remember everyone who came to our wedding and everyone who didn’t, at least people that I know personally, but distant relatives and distant friends of husband who I never met? Not so much

          • SuperDaintyKate

            We had the same thing happen– 210 yes RSVPs, about 6 day-before cancellations, and 3 or so straight up no shows. Chances are, they will email day of or before to explain, so it will be on record. And if you just plain can’t remember, you can ask your parents, siblings, your new spouse and friends-of-friends. Between all of you, someone will know. You have enough to worry about– don’t stress about this. This one will work itself out. Good luck!

        • NatalieN

          I think that depends – especially when guests may not have brought a gift to the wedding but may bring one after. For example, we didn’t bring a gift to a wedding, but got one about a month later for the couple. A week or so after giving them the gift we got a “thanks for coming” thank you note that they must have written before and didn’t update when they got our gift (we hand delivered, so yes they got it). That was a little sad because we put a lot of work into handmaking the gift.

          • Eh

            I agree. (I mentioned somewhere else, only one guest did not get us a gift and we used the cards to make the list for the thank you notes so she was excluded.) I wrote all the thank you cards within a month of our wedding. If I had wrote her a thank you note for coming and then she sent me a gift a week later she would not have got another card from us.

      • Keri

        I agree – I think a thank you for not-a-gift in this instance where gifts are often given could be misinterpreted as passive aggressive.

      • Sara

        I will say, that my friend who did send thank you cards to people just for attending was surprised to find out that two had sent checks that had been misplaced. They only reached out because they received that thank you note and assumed they were just holding the checks for some reason. So sometimes, better safe than sorry?

      • anon

        Agreed.

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        I think it depends on how the note is worded really. I don’t think a note thanking someone for their support and presence is passive aggressive and I would never view a note I received that way. But I’m not going to think that deeply about it and second guess myself. If I want to send someone a thank you note for attending an event for me, a wedding etc, I send it.

    • emilyg25

      Miss Manners and I agree with you.

      • sofar

        Well, Miss Manners does not agree on one point: According to her, you do NOT need to send thank-you notes to people who attended and did not bring a gift. I just read her wedding books cover-to-cover. You offered hospitality. They came. Would you send a thank-you note to a house guest who stays with you for a weekend?

        There’s also a more practical reason: Thank-you notes serve as a confirmation you received the gift. If no thank-you note arrives, that’s your signal to contact the bride and groom to make sure you got a gift. A ‘thank you for attending’ note confuses matters, as people might think it’s just a generic, lazy, unpersonalized note sent to the gift-givers. Thus, they have no indication their gift was lost.

        As someone whose gift (to my cousin) got lost in the mail, receiving no thank-you note was a crystal clear signal that I needed to contact her.

        Sorry to hijack your post, but it was the most closely related to what I wanted to write. :)

        • La’Marisa-Andrea

          I don’t think Miss Manners runs the universe and I don’t actually have that many people in my life who care about what she says. A thank you note can serve all kinds of purposes. It’s all on what you write in the actual note.

          • sofar

            MM never says “don’t send thank-you notes for people who don’t bring a gift.” She just says you aren’t being rude if you don’t (and that people shouldn’t be upset if they don’t get a thank-you note for showing up).

            This column suggests that thank-you notes for all guests who showed up is “required” because “etiquette.” In reality, they’re just a nice gesture and only required by etiquette standards if the person brings a gift. That’s why so many people are correcting the advice.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Got it. I have problems with “etiquette”‘rules and using Miss Manners as an authoritative source but that’s a discussion for another time!!

    • Jess

      yeah, I was caught off guard by that! I am on board with thank you notes for all kinds of things – Thank you for helping me change my tire and also, here are some cupcakes! Thank you for bringing me a fruit basket while I was recovering from surgery, and also, have some cookies! Thank you for coming up to visit me and bringing a lovely bottle of wine!

      But I have never in my life heard of sending a thank you note for attendance.

      Seems like that one would have warranted a gif and a paragraph, since that’s waaaaay less common.

    • emmers

      I wrote notes for a few people who didn’t get us gifts, but did help us with some stuff, like one person who volunteered to press play on our music. But I never actually looked too much to see who didn’t get us gifts, partly because I really didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to feel judgy about whether or not they got us a gift. Sure, there were some folks I noticed, but I’m sure there were others who I didn’t.

      • Lisa

        This is what I did, too. Some of our musician friends didn’t get us a gift beyond the gift of their services at our ceremony. I sent them notes to thank them for their participation. The few guests who didn’t bring gifts and didn’t donate a service didn’t receive a thank you note.

    • lildutchgrrl

      For me, the thank-you note was to express my gratitude for this person in our life showing up and supporting us on our wedding day. Since we were clear beforehand that gifts were not expected, people who gave us one got an extra couple lines about how we would use [thing] and think of the giver. But I wouldn’t want to ignore the people who scraped together gas money to travel to us, or pinch-hit as venue decorator, or snapped candids of moments that the official photographer didn’t get, just because there wasn’t a box or envelope from them. There wouldn’t have been the wedding we wanted without them.

    • Alexandra

      I sent thank you’s to everyone, including people who came but did not bring a gift. I also send thank you’s when people invite me to a dinner party. I sent a thank you note to my now-husband when he took me to a nice restaurant for our first date. He still has it. I really like writing thank you’s. It’s never a wasted gesture.

      • Eenie

        How did you know who came but didn’t bring a gift? Did you check off your attendance list as you got the gifts?

        • sofar

          OK, not that I’m carefully watching who gives gifts or not, but I (and I’m guessing other brides) have a masterspread sheet with the names of the invitees, their addresses, their response to the invite, their dinner menu choice, and the gift they sent (so that you can send a thank-you note later and then check off on the spreadsheet that you did so).

          If someone has such a spreadsheet and is sending thank-you notes to everyone, they’d check the sheet if they needed to thank that person for a toaster or for showing up.

          • Eenie

            That just seems like keeping tabs though! I don’t care if people didn’t get a gift or a card. And I don’t want to know either.

          • Lmba

            Hm.. If you really don’t care, then why does it matter whether or not you know? I think if you want to be properly gracious and grateful, it really pays to actually KNOW WHAT PEOPLE GOT YOU. Nothing more awkward than the post-wedding convo in which you can’t remember whether or what the person you’re talking to gave you as a gift, especially when they are probably specifically wondering what you thought of it and whether it was appreciated. If they didn’t get you something, you can set their mind at ease by saying how happy you were to see them, etc. and you don’t have to feel that awkward worry in the back of your mind like, “Wait, did they give me a gift and I’m totally forgetting it? What if they ASK what I thought of it? AHHH.” If they did give you something, it means a lot to be able to say in person, “By the way, we love the ________. It fits perfectly in our living room!”

          • Lisa

            But “keeping tabs” like this makes it easier to write thank you notes. We had a huge influx of gifts from our registry in the two weeks before and after our wedding. If we hadn’t made it a point to separate out all of the items by the invoices they came with, we would have had no idea who got us which present and for what we should thank them. It was easier to store the gifts as they came and record them in the spreadsheet so our house wasn’t a mess of presents. Then we were able to go back through the spreadsheet and mark whose thank you notes had been sent and which ones were still missing.

            I think of it the same way my mother kept a list at my childhood birthday parties. As each gift was opened, she’d write down the person’s name and what they brought so I could send the friend a thank you note later. I just did the 21st century version of that paper notepad.

          • Eenie

            I’m with you, but I did this on an actual sheet of paper, and at no point did I compare this with the original guest list. I have a list, but it’s just a list of each what the present was or if it was a card/giftcard/check and who gave it. I didn’t compare it to the invite list.

          • Lisa

            I understand what you’re saying; I found it easier to keep it on the same spreadsheet where I already had the information instead of creating a new list. I just created another column in Excel for presents and color coded the guest’s name by whether their thank you note had been written or not yet. I wasn’t using it to say, “Oh, Betty Draper didn’t get us a gift. How awful is that!” It was just a natural flow of information when it was all in one spot.

          • Eenie

            Yeah I guess in my heart I know I don’t care at all, but I know my head will think about it next time we are in a spot to get them a gift.

          • Spreadsheets are easier for me to share with my partner. Like, a pretty sweet Google Drive share-able folder with vendor info, guest addresses, gift lists (when they were sent a thank you, etc.), budgets, etc…Keeping tabs on EVERYTHING.

          • Lisa

            YES. Sorry, when I say Excel, I mean the Google drives version of it. That wedding spreadsheet (saved currently as “Wedding Guest Thank Yous”) functions as our address book every year for Christmas cards now. I should probably rename it at some point…

          • rg223

            I am also using our wedding guest list as a Christmas card list! Though a huge portion of my friends have moved so I then have to track their new addresses through email. Gotta update it!

          • sofar

            I see it more on keeping tabs on the guest list rather than on presents, though. We are inviting a lot of people, so tracking RSVPs is a must (so we can give the caterer an accurate count, have enough chairs, etc.). We jotted down presents on the same sheet, to avoid having multiple separate sheets.

            So, when it’s time to write a thank-you note, I scroll down the ‘gift’ column, scroll over to that person’s address and then write the note. I don’t have to go, “OK lemme take out my list of gifts/dig through all the cards and then try to find this person’s address.” It’s all right there in one spot.

            Just saying it’s more of an organizational thing for me than a “who didn’t give me a gift” thing. Honestly, I don’t care if people don’t bring gifts, as it’s one less note to write! I’m not going to be bitter when I see them next, and honestly, I’m going to forget who gave what a year from now anyway.

          • Lisa

            I’m not going to be bitter when I see them next, and honestly, I’m going to forget who gave what a year from now anyway.

            So true. I think the only thing it colored for us was that we had a couple of guests get married within the year after we did, and we tried to express similar levels of generosity towards them. I honestly have to really stop and think about what people gave us for the most part.

      • Alexandra

        We didn’t really keep tabs, so maybe we actually missed some people. We just had two guys that we invited to our wedding–one was homeless and the other was a guy from our small group who lived in a community home–and we knew that both had come but neither had given gifts. Oh, and our missionary friend who had nothing but did come all the way from Indonesia. We thanked them because we knew it had been challenging for them to come, but they made it, and that was their gift to us.

    • Mrrpaderp

      Your guests blocked off an entire weekend and paid for a hotel room (and maybe plane ticket and outfit) to celebrate you. Their presence is a present and you should thank them for it.

    • Eh

      While I was reading this post I realized that the only person that did not get a thank you note was the (local) person who invited herself to our wedding (by telling my MIL that she was offended she was not invited to my BIL’s wedding) and did not give us a gift (and her husband, who was not originally invited because my MIL did not put him on the guest list, no-showed).

      We made our list for thank you notes based on the cards we got so since she did not give us a gift she did not give get a thank you note. We did not keep track of the people that came to our wedding (and we had 10 no-shows/people that canceled last minute that we know of). I may have made an effort to write a card to an out of town guest who did not get us a gift.

  • Amanda

    I get this for weddings, but are physical thank you’s still necessary for other gifts? I had my daughter’s first birthday a month ago. I plan to send physical thank you notes to all of my older relatives, but do I need to send them to my friends under 30? It feels like such wasted hassel when I have to nag them for their mailing address and then it gets tossed in the recycling 5 seconds after opening. I don’t want to be rude but I do want to spend my time wisely.

    • Amy March

      I think yes. If they sent a gift, they should get a thank you. And mine go on the fridge not into the recycling!

      • stephanie

        Same, we always keep ours!

      • Sara

        Oh mine stay out on display for way too long. I think I have one from a shower at Christmas still up.

    • stephanie

      So! The way I solved this by getting an old school address book and asking people for their address once and just… storing it in there. That way we can use it for birthday thank yous, holiday cards, anything down the road, etc. I know some people store this stuff online or use address services like Postable, but I like to have it somewhere physical. When it comes to birthday party gifts, we have gone back and forth. Some years we send them, some years we don’t – like this year, we totally failed on it.

      • Jenny

        At Christmas we always send out a postable link to our digital address book. This way we can keep our addresses up to date, but it’s not a huge hassle for us. Typically we send an email and a link on facebook that says. We are updating our address books for Christmas cards. if you want to receive one from us, please go to think link if your address has changed in the last year or if you didn’t receive our card last year. Then we just have to follow up with 10-15 people who didn’t update or who we didn’t get. Works great!

        • NotMarried!

          Please tell me more (technically) about this digital address book. Is it a particular service? how does it work? i keep an excel spreadsheet that I update year-to-year for my Christmas Cards with my relevant addresses, but am all about updating the system.

          • Jenny

            Oh man, postable is the BEST!!! You can also download is as a csv/excel sheet.
            https://www.postable.com/address-book/

          • Jenny

            The link below explains how it works, but basically you sign up on the site (free), and they give you a link to email, or post on facebook. People go to the link and fill it in. It’s the best for so many reasons. It’s fast, free and easy. Plus since people are entering their own names stuff is spelled correctly, it has their preferred honorific and names. And people can add their birthdays too and postable will send you a reminder so you can send them a card. It’s awesome!

        • Sarah McClelland

          Yes. Inquiring minds want to know about this digital address book…

      • Sara

        I updated all my google contacts with their physical addresses (which syncs with my phone). This way, I can always look up their address if I want to send a post card on vacation (which I’m very into) or can plug their address into google maps if I’m coming over. I’m a huge pest about being updated too, because I love to send birthday cards – I’m just into physical mail I guess.

        The funny thing is around Christmas time, everyone knows I’m up to date with address so I get a lot of emails/texts from friends asking about other friends’ addresses so they can send cards.

      • emmers

        I have a googledoc with our wedding guest list addresses, and I’ve used that a ton. I look it up through Google Drive on my phone. If/when we do holiday cards, I’m just going to update and add to that.

    • Saxyrunner

      I’ve only ever gotten wedding related thank you notes, and I saved those with birthday cards and the like in my shoebox of sentimentality.

    • emilyg25

      If they were there when you opened the gifts, I assume you just thanked them in person. If they mailed the gifts, yes, please send a physical note.

      • stephanie

        Oh, yes, this.

    • Greta

      Other than my wedding I haven’t had an occasion where I received gifts from any friends – birthdays are usually just parents, and maybe my grandma (who always requires a thank you note, that she asks for in the card with the present. She’s boss.) But of the baby showers and birthday parties for friends with kids I have attended I always got a thank you note. I really appreciate them, and think they are a very nice and sincere gesture. No one is going to get mad at you for sending them a thank you. I just kept a giant excel spreadsheet with my wedding addresses and then update it from there as people move!

      • Sarah McClelland

        mine does the same thing.

    • KC

      I vote email or anything, if you haven’t thanked them in person and especially if you don’t have their address. Physical thank you cards are nice, but with highly-migratory friends, getting physical addresses can be enough of an obstacle that it’s just not going to actually happen. (I say this having had lots of friends have small children; the ones who had higher standards for thank-yous often have *never ended up getting them out* and have felt guilty ever after – yes, it would have been lovely to see a photo of your child in the outfit I crocheted in a physical thank-you card, but I’d rather have a two-word email than either 1. have that task looming over you and making you feel guilty or 2. never hear that it arrived by mail at all).

    • NotMarried!

      Yes. And don’t assume they’ll get thrown in the trash. Even more so as your daughter grows up …. There are few things cuter than a small child’s “Thank You!” complete with misspellings and mark-throughs. I have some from years ago which still make me smile when I see them.

    • JLily

      I’m 29, so maybe I’m stuck in my “old” ways, but I always do for birthdays, etc. I don’t love writing them but I do love getting them when I give a gift, so I will continue to do this forever. I think wedding etiquette is really just…every day etiquette? Or at least it should be. Why should we only worry about politeness once in our lives?

      • Sarah McClelland

        Right! I’m 27 and I feel the same way… I’m trying hard to make it part of my day to drop physical notes in the mail.

    • Sarah McClelland

      We plan to make the kids draw pictures and sign their names once they’re old enough, but that might just be my Southern-ness showing… This might be the place for the email with a cute birthday girl picture.

  • emilyg25

    Seriously, it takes less than 5 minutes to write a thank you note.

    Dear So and so,

    Thank you so much for coming to our wedding and for the waffle iron. We use it to make special breakfasts on Sunday mornings. I can’t wait to see you at Christmas!

    Love,
    Emily

    • Amy March

      I think sometimes people get caught up in wanting thank you’s to be deep and meaningful acknowledgments of how important a relationship is, and that takes a long time. When in fact people just want to hear that the toaster did in fact arrive and that you like it.

      • Keeks

        I told my husband this more than once when he was writing out *drafts* of his thank you notes. They don’t need to be more than 3 sentences! There’s a formula even! He’s just especially thoughtful. :)

        • Kayjayoh

          My husband agonizes over his side of thank you notes, whereas I pop my side out in less than five minutes.

      • Michela

        I read an etiquette column once that said thank yous should never say “thank you” in the note directly. Think more along the lines of “We so look forward to using the waffle iron to make breakfast on Sunday mornings, and are so touched by your thoughtfulness” versus “Thanks for the waffle iron!” Combine that terrifying advice and the fact that I’m a writer, and we have a recipe for thank you note paralysis. It just takes me longer than most to write thank yous and that’s ok- I write them anyway!

        • Mrrpaderp

          Wait what? Didn’t that etiquette columnist’s mother ever teach her to say “please” and “thank you”? Imho it is confusing bordering on rude to not say the words “thank you” when thanking someone for something. I really can’t fathom any reason it would ever be rude to say “thank you”.

          • I mean, if this really were something people cared about it, you could pretty much avoid “thank you”. But I think the main point is to not just say “thank you for the waffle iron”, but instead, “thank you for the waffle iron, we love using it on Sunday mornings.” That +content is super necessary.

        • Mayra

          The rule is that the OUTSIDE of the note shouldn’t say “Thank You”, which so many thank you cards do.

        • Riot

          I thought it was no “thank you” to start off the first sentence. So the first line could be, “How thrilled we were to receive your waffle iron!” followed by line 2,”We just want to thank you so much”. I think I read it in a biography about Winston Churchill. So, old advice :) But I understand the writer/thank you note paralysis thing when you hear these random bits of “etiquette”.

      • Jenny

        Except that’s not all they want apparently, or a text message would be fine.

        • M.M.

          No, they want someone to take a few minutes to write a thank you just as they spent the time to pick out the gift, spend the money, wrap the gift, and attend your occasion. Is it really too much to ask? Or perhaps it would be OK with you if instead of buying a gift and attending your event, someone just sent you a text message congratulating you.

          • Jenny

            I think it’s fine, but you just said it, you want someone to take the time to write a thank you. I was responding to Amy’s comment that “When in fact people just want to hear that the toaster did in fact arrive and that you like it”. If that were all people wanted then a text would be fine. I don’t have a problem with people wanting a thank you note as a reciprocal gesture (payment of sorts), as I’ve stated all over this comment thread. I wish it could just be framed as that, I took the time and I *want* someone to spend the time to write me a physical thank you note that gets mailed to me. Not as a moral right and wrong (in the article it’s framed as a you *need* to, not a you should). It’s a desire to want a physical thank you note, and sending one is the polite, nice thing to do. But let’s be real about what we are getting mad/offended about when we don’t get one, and it’s not just that you wish you knew your gift arrived safely.

            And in fact etiquette says that if you don’t attend, you don’t need to send a gift and that a congratulations is fine and in fact several people in my circle emailed, texted and left messages that they were thinking of me, and congratulated me. I was touched.

    • Ashlah

      Yep. And once you finish the first one, you’ve got a tweakable template for the rest.

    • Kayjayoh

      Exactly.

      “It was so great to see you. Thank you so much for your generous gift. I look forward to the next time we can all get together.”

      Etc.

    • Eh

      Yep everyone got a “form” thank you note personalized with their name and what they got us. One version for people who came and another for people who couldn’t and just sent a gift.

      • Lisa

        We did this, too. I think, if they attended, we said thanked them for their presences, and if they couldn’t be there, we said, “We missed having you at the celebration, but we know you were with us in spirit!”

      • Cathi

        I had a funny reaction to an actual form thank-you note from some friends a year or so ago.

        Like, I really couldn’t care less if I get a hand-written “Dear Cathi, your presence meant so much, thank you for the lovely gift. Love, Married Couple”. I know writing unique thank you notes is nearly impossible and I was just pleased they took the time to write me a note.

        But the one I got from these particular friends was literally a form–obviously just mass printed out and sent to everyone on the guest list. It wasn’t addressed to myself or my husband (beyond the address label on the envelope) and it wasn’t even signed by the couple, 100% typed up. THAT miffed me for some reason. I likely read into the “gesture” WAY more than the couple intended, but it still bothered me.

        • Amy March

          It miffed you because it was rude, thoughtless, and impersonal.

          • Eh

            Exactly! it annoys me when people send out picture collages with the word “Thank You” and their names. At least write a short note on the back or something. It’s nearly as bad as my BIL/SIL’s favours as thank yous (at least with the picture collages you get wedding pictures).

    • anon

      I hate, hate, hate when people trot out that “it takes less than 5 minutes to write a thank you note.” I have processing issues and poor coordination – it makes handwriting difficult and slow and messy. Every holiday my mother would sit me down, insisting each note would take two minutes – ten minutes later, she’d take a completed note, deem the handwriting too ugly, and make me start over. Notes, even ones as short as possible, as generic as possible, with the same template over and over – “Dear X, thank you for Y, I will use it often, hope you are having a wonderful holiday” would take hours. And be completely impersonal and insincere.
      I wish the idea of a nice long phone call, thanking someone and having a personal conversation for an hour, was acceptable, but that’s considered lazy and dickish and morally reprehensible compared to a note.

      • Riot

        I would certainly consider a personal phone call to be the same as a card. I’ve been to three weddings in the last few years, and none of the couples sent out thank-you cards OR acknowledged the gift. It made me wonder whether they card had fallen off the present. Them personally thanking me for it in person/on the phone would have been as nice as a thank-you card.

      • M.M.

        I think in a situation where you have a physical handicap, an exception can be made. If you’re going to take time to call everyone and thank them personally outside of the event, I think that would be acceptable.

  • HT

    Stamps actually went down to 47 cents last month (found that out when I purchased stamps for my Save the Dates! Win!), so you know, even cheaper to send that snail-mail thank you!

    • lildutchgrrl

      I went with photo postcards – even less on postage, and about as much as I would’ve written in a folded card.

      • Yeah, I think this is what we’re gonna do for our post-wedding thank yous. Depends on photographer having a quick turnaround, though, which I think we’ve got.

        • lildutchgrrl

          (We cheated a little and took our “thank you” photos as part of our engagement shoot, which meant I was able to have the postcards printed before the wedding, and wrote a few of them at a time afterward.)

    • I just bought thank you postcards on Amazon (60/$10). The postcard stamps of the moment are GORGEOUS coastal birds. And cheaper.

      • Lisa

        We did postcard STDs because it saved us about $25 in postage and several more by printing in postcard style instead of a card with a matching envelope. Yay for postcards!

        • We also did postcard STDs…mostly because FI wanted them to be turned into origami cranes. Needing a perfect symmetrical square, we printed them ourselves on our home printer. “We’re both the bride” strikes again: http://byov.blogspot.com/2016/02/how-to-origami-crane-postcards.html

          lol.

          • Lisa

            Ok, that’s just too cute!

          • It’s too cute, until you have to watch the 15 minute ‘how to video’ of him + (a video-shy) me making an origami crane. FIFTEEN MINUTES.

            On the bright side, my extended family now knows what he looks like and what his voice sounds like. And that I’m a total weirdo in front of a camera.

    • lfar

      Stamps are $1 in Canada!

  • Elizabeth

    I found this article a bit patronizing, but maybe I’m the target audience. I am under 30, after all. (Imagine me rolling my eyes here — I might be under 30 but I don’t use a lot of gifs.)

    My grandparents and people I don’t frequently correspond with get thank you notes, a phone call, or an email, depending on how timely each will be, whether or not I’d like to communicate beyond the thank you, and their level of comfort with technology. People that I frequently correspond are generally those whom I’m used to getting to open things in front of, and express my thanks then, and so I mirror that level of formality with a mention in conversation next time we talk or (oh no!) a text or email.

    I am, I will say, planning to write physical notes for any wedding-related gifting regardless of my relationship with the giftee. But I’ve been thanked via text for a wedding gift I gave and it was great. I knew right away that they’d gotten it, that they liked it, and that they appreicated it. It’s not an innately disrespectful mode of communication. It felt weirder to get a formal note without any real personal touch from my brother & sister-in-law than it was to get a text from a friend.

    • Amy March

      To me texting a thank you (without following up with a note) just feels lazy. Like you couldn’t be bothered making the effort to write a card, purchase a stamp, and deliver it to a mailbox. I didn’t just text you “happy wedding,” I purchased a gift/wrote a check and made sure it physically made its way to you, and I want the same courtesy in return. I’m 32 though, so practically an ancient :)

      • Elizabeth

        I guess that I’d say that like with so much else, it depends a lot on the relationship I have with someone. A wedding is (generally) a formal occassion, so I understand why a formal response is (generallly) preferred. But like most of etiquette, it’s not that someone’s actually a rude/thoughtless/etc person for not following the general guidelines.

      • Jenny

        Also, that’s not the only way to give a gift, it takes way less time for me to go online, click a button and have amazon ship it to your house than it does to mail a physical thank you note. I’m not saying notes aren’t nice, but I think a text message or email is often just as much work as buying a present or writing a check.

        • Amy March

          Except a text message is free and the gift I got you wasn’t.

          • Elizabeth

            A thank you isn’t about reciprocating costs, it’s about expressing gratitude. My personal stance is that that can be done effectively with a text.

          • Sara

            Yes, but a thank you should be done with sincerity. And for some, a text feels like an afterthought not a sincere gesture of gratitude.

          • Elizabeth

            Sure, for some. Like I said, it depends a lot on my relatonship with a person.

            For me, a text can, depending on the circumstances, feel more sincere and genuine than a written thank you note.

          • Sara

            This is a definate ‘know your audience’ situation, but I do think what feels right for you may feel like shortcut to a friend even if you believe you’re on the same page. Honestly the difference is really just buying a stamp and handwriting instead of typing something and hitting send. You can write the same thing on a note or in a text, the medium is just different.

          • Elizabeth

            I mean, I’ve said a couple of times on this page that I do written thank you’s myself, but I would honestly rather receive a text in most circumstances. I’m not advocating for text thank you’s because I’m lazy.

          • Sarah McClelland

            My close friends sent the best thank you notes… like, go on the fridge awesome.

          • Jenny

            Right, but for some a template thank you note feels less sincere, but no one is “allowed” to get offended with one of those. I just think, like with most things, people have different preferences for how to be thanked. Yet this topic always has those who prefer a physical thank you note claiming the high ground, rather than acknowledging that maybe there are a lot of ways to express gratitude, there isn’t a right way, but there is a standard way.

          • Sara

            I guess in my eyes, a written note – template or not – shows you sat down, saw the person’s name and gift took five minutes to write a note that says ‘thanks for the blender” and put it in the mail.
            A text is seeing the blender on the counter and going – “Oh shit, I forgot to write a thank you note to Sara. I’ll just text her”.
            But to each their own. Like I said, know your audience.

          • Jenny

            And to me that would be like, oh that’s awesome she’s using her blender and thought of me!
            The note to me just means, oh she checked this off her to do list (which I’m not offended by, but i’m also not thinking that it was a nice and thoughtful thing to do.)

          • Michela

            I agree. But how do couples in the position of needing to thank others possibly determine the unique thank you preferences of a large number of people? I mean that as a sincere question! I prefer receiving written thank yous and that’s what most etiquette recommends anyway, so I’m writing thank yous because, to be honest, I don’t have the brain space to think about how 200 people prefer to be thanked. But I would be so sad if my people thought I wasn’t grateful in the “right” way because I misinterpreted their preferred way of receiving thanks. Curious how to tackle this.

          • Elizabeth

            Write written thank you notes all you want! I would never actually get offended myself and will be writing written ones myself. The main issue in my mind that people feel ‘justified’ in being offended at getting a text thank you, or considering that the person sending it is lazy, rather than that there are other factors, like them seeing it as a more effective mode of communication.

          • Jenny

            I don’t think there is a right way. That’s why I get annoyed with the position that claims physical notes are the right way to to it and anything else is just millennials/people being lazy or ungrateful. I think ultimately there are many ways to say thanks, and people prefer different ways. Because of tradition no one is offended by a written thank you note, even if it is just a template, but some people are apparently offended by a personal text thank you, so to avoid offending (the purpose of etiquette), physical thank you notes are the way to go.

          • anon

            I am a note-writer, and over 30, but I agree that gratitude –even authentic appreciation — can be expressed well via texts. Several people noting the importance of hand-written notes are also saying that the writer can basically copy the same thing. That has as much potential to take the authentic gratitude out of the whole situation as a text does.

          • Jenny

            Well technically text messages do cost money (I know most people have unlimited texts, but that does cost money, I still pay per text since most of my “texting” is done via messanger, certainly more than email, which is free. But it sort of rubs me the wrong way that someone who got me a gift wants me to prove my gratitude by spending money on the card and thank you note. If the purpose of the note is to express gratitude, it seems to me the medium shouldn’t matter. If the purpose is to prove I’m grateful, then ugh, I’d like out of that game.

          • lfar

            Jenny– I agree! My response was meant further up this thread (to Amy March). New to disqus, sorry for the error!

          • lfar

            Except inviting the person to my wedding wasn’t free… wasn’t free at all. And yet I still don’t demand a gift from every attendee

          • the cupboard under the stairs

            The text message might have been free, but the food and drink you consumed at my wedding certainly wasn’t.

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        I wonder if this is a generational thing. I grew up writing thank you cards. This was a thing I was taught about having good manners. I wonder if this hasn’t been emphasized as much to younger folks. I’m 36.

        • Elizabeth

          I grew up writing them too, was required to by my parents etc. Still do it. That doesn’t mean I see huge value in getting a hand-written note as a form of thank you. Could be generational — but it’s not about my generation not having manners, it’s about how I think of communication. I’m 26.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Let me be clear: I’m not in any way implying or saying your generation doesn’t have good manners. What I’m saying is writing thank you notes was something that was taught as part of having good manners. Not the same as saying not writing handwritten thank you note is bad manners.

          • Elizabeth

            I was just confirming that I was taught the same thing when I was growing up.

      • NatalieN

        Opinion question: What about a picture of you using said gift or with said gift in a text? For some close friends we sent them a picture of us opening their present, with silly grins and a “we’re so excited!’ and did something similar for people who got us ‘events’ on our honeymoon – we sent them a picture of us at the whale watching excursion etc.

        We did follow up with thank you notes, but thinking as a gifter, I’d probably appreciate a quick picture of “here’s the breakfast we made this Saturday with the waffle iron you gave us – we love it!” text message over a “Thanks for the waffle iron, we love it,” handwritten note.

        • Amy March

          Awesome! Would love to see a picture of you using the gift! But I still want a handwritten note.

        • Totch

          I love texting photos of gifts in use! My mother once put polka dot duck tape in my Christmas stocking, it’s hilarious sending her photos of taped up camping gear.

    • Jenny

      “It felt weirder to get a formal note without any real personal touch from my brother & sister-in-law than it was to get a text from a friend.”

      YES! exactly! I’d way rather get a nice text than a template thanks so much for the nice gift.

    • Elizabeth

      And to add to this — a text that’s impromputu ‘hey, we just used that blender you sent us and were thinking of you because it’s fantastic to have one, thank you so much’ is an awesome thank you in my mind. It’s timely and it’s personal, and it’s about the opposite of ungrateful – at least in my mind! It can be individual and meaningful in part because of the medium of delivery.

    • JLily

      I agree with the text to say I actually got the gift, and thanks! but (maybe I’m greedy) I want an actual note, too. I would be ok with a very heartfelt email, I suppose. I guess for me it is all about the effort.

    • Keri

      I think a phone call is an appropriate thank you for a lot of gifts in life, especially when it’s a less formal relationship. I always used to call my grandma instead of sending a note, for example, because then you have an excuse to chat for a bit and tell them how much you like whatever it is.

    • Totch

      Not that we’re keeping score, but you’re the first person who has made a case for a texted thank you that I agree with. I know thank you notes are daunting and some level of template is needed, but I would prefer a personal text (or, tbh, a picture of the waffles you made with my gift) to some of the impersonal thank you notes I’ve received.

  • NotMarried!

    I’d like to add that i’m a big proponent of Thank-You cards for actions as well. When someone goes above and beyond for you … write them a note!
    Examples:
    – whenever someone lets me stay in their home, I always pack TY’s and try to leave one behind upon my departure
    – a friend who took the initiative to mow my grass during a particularly busy week recently
    – another friend who see’s to my animals while I travel or work late

    • Sara

      Ditto to this! Isn’t it always better to err on the side of “over” thanking people? Plus, who doesn’t love getting notes in the actual mail?

      • JLily

        This is my actual question too. Like, if you are in the hashtag/text/email thank you camp, would you actually rather RECEIVE a text/email/hashtag than a physical thank you note? Because if not, I think you are probably just allowing yourself to be lazy when you say its just as good.

        • Elizabeth

          Hasthag to me is way different from text/email, but there are times I would rather receive a text/email… Actually, while I don’t give them, tending towards the written note, I would nearly always rather RECIEVE a text or email, because it generally lets me know right away that my gift got there and that they like it (or are willing to pretend they do) and it reads to me as a more ‘excited’ response than a thank you note does, which reads more to me as checking a box of etiquette. (Probably because I grew up being told to check that box.)

          • NotMarried!

            I feel like we somewhat recently had a discussion on here about the risk of creating comparisons by hashtaging thank yous. No-one else needs to know what I bought you or how much I spent on your gift.

          • Michela

            Sigh.. See here is where I worry that writing thank you notes and sending them after the wedding isn’t enough. Are people worried I didn’t receive the gift, or is it coming off as ungrateful to wait to send a thank you note until after the wedding? Should I text/email people when I receive it AND write a thank you?? We have approximately 85 families coming to the wedding. That combined with gifts from multiple showers and parties would mean I’d be sending texts/emails for every thank you I write, which is somewhere in the range of 200 at this point!

            This gets tricky because of course we are so grateful! I prefer receiving written notes (they feel more special because it’s intimate- someone’s handwriting!) so I want to send written notes. But am I not doing enough by failing to acknowledge the gift when it arrives??

          • Amy March

            You’re fine. When you get a gift, write a thank you note and mail it. If that gift comes more than a couple weeks before the wedding, send it before the wedding. If it comes right around the wedding wait.

          • Elizabeth

            I would never demand or want or request both, personally. I understand, like most people, that weddings are busy times. The question was who would rather get a text/email than written, and I’m in the category. That doesn’t mean I think people inadequate if they don’t do that, but if some people are allowed to say they’d rather get a written note, then I’m going to say that I’d rather get a text. Doesn’t mean I think people are ungrateful.

          • Michela

            True. I was also reading Sara’s comment about erring on the side of over-thanking, hence my concern I wasn’t doing enough.

          • Sara

            To clarify, I don’t think you are obligated to text and hand write thank yous to everyone. I don’t think most people expect immediate acknowledgment of receipt of a gift when you are in the throes of wedding prep! I just meant that if you are questioning whether or not a situation/gift/gesture merits a thank you note, it never hurts to send one.

          • Michela

            Totally agree.xo

          • JLily

            I’ve gotten a few in the mail already and I don’t even have the thank you notes yet–and was sort of waiting because I want to include a wedding photo. So my plan is to text/thank in person those people that send it WAY in advance, just so they know it wasn’t lost or stolen. But for the rest, I would say its not necessary. Like Elizabeth said, people understand that you are super busy before the wedding.

          • emmers

            As long as you do a note within a few months, I wouldn’t feel obligated to email/text too. That is a lot!

        • NotMarried!

          I’m squarely in the physical, handwritten note camp, but I do think that a combo can be EVEN BETTER! such as a texted photo of me wearing or using whatever the gift in question is in real time. But I’d only support that In ADDITION to the formal “TY”.

          • Sarah McClelland

            YES! I sent pictures of first uses to all friends… AND the thank you notes.

          • emmers

            You get special bonus points! Though immediately my dirty mind goes to what kind of pics you’d send for some gifts, like the bedspread or towels, haha. But you sound like a thoughtful friend.

          • Sarah McClelland

            haha a lot of our gifts from close friends were kitchen things… It seems to be where people always end up in my house

  • clarkesara

    To me, there’s a huge difference between a text message on in-person thank you vs. a “hashtag on instagram”. The former are comparable to a written snail-mail note: they’re person to person contact expressing your sincere thanks. In fact, they’re probably better than a snail-mail note because who mails things anymore? They’re not getting me tack for my horse and buggy as a wedding gift, so it makes sense that my thank you would be equally 2016. But yeah thanking people in a mass social media update doesn’t work, because it’s not a person-to-person communication.

    Also, FWIW I’ve received exactly one written thank you note for a wedding gift, ever. So I can’t be the only person who feels this way.

    • april

      I’d keep in mind your audience as well. If the gift giver is a young person and also someone that you frequently communicate with through text message, then maybe a texted ‘thank you’ is ok ( … maybe). But your aunt or your partner’s cousin that you only see once a year? I’d send a note.

      • joanna b.n.

        THIS. We’re in a cultural transition here, folks. See the back and forth above/below. Which means maybe there really aren’t any “right answers.”

        What I learned from this post is that 1) you should send thank you notes in the mail to EVERYONE over 30, to be safe, and 2) consider whether your under 30 gifters would find a texted, personalized thank you to be meaningful or rude, and send accordingly. (And 3- so glad I’m done with this stage of life!)

  • Eenie

    Well, about those thank you notes we’ve put off for a month…ugh. All presents received pre-wedding weekend are already done though!

  • Keeks

    Apropos of yesterday’s discussion – physical thank you notes can be yet another way of reinforcing your preferred method of address. I actually signed all of mine, “Sincerely, Ms. Keeks Birthname and Mr. Husband Hisname.” Hard to do that via text without sounding awkward.

    • Eh

      Exactly! This is what we did instead of “at home” cards.

  • Bsquillo

    Okay, okay, okay…I generally agree on thank-you note etiquette, and texting a thank-you is a little absurd…however, I’m just here to vent a little bit that wedding thank-you notes were SUCH. A. PAIN. Not because of the action of sharing gratitude (because I do genuinely want to tell people I’m thankful!), but because some gifts arrived at our door without any information about who sent it; and other people had mailing addresses that bounced back; and there were a whole slew of gifts given to us at a shower hosted by my husband’s parents, but because they were his parents’ friends and not necessarily folks who attended the wedding, we didn’t even have addresses for those people.

    Long story short, we tried our best to thank everyone, but some thank-yous languished because of these issues, and after so much time had passed…we kind of gave up? So that’s my confession for today. Hopefully that doesn’t make me a terrible person, and hopefully I’m not the only person in the world who has had this experience.

    Also, FWIW, as a millennial, I would honestly not even think twice about not receiving a thank-you note for giving someone a wedding gift. Sure, it’s always nice to receive one, but I don’t suddenly assume my friends are ungrateful jerks if I don’t get something back in the mail. Plus, I hate paper clutter so…live and let live!

    • emmers

      Truth. The worst was the 1 gift we couldn’t figure out the gifter, and the other gift we knew we had been given (thanks to a pic of the gift table by our photographer), but we never actually received. I found wine and tv helped with thank you notes in general.

      • Bsquillo

        We received a super nice set of Wusthof knives for our wedding and NEVER figured out the gifter, even two years later. We’re talking like $300 worth of knives! We have asked every family member, every close friend, and no one has fessed up. So we’re just chalking it up to some benevolent knife fairy, I guess…or a BB&B mix-up.

        • emmers

          Yikes! That’s the worst. We had a lovely tablecloth from BB&B that came with no name. We figured that out by posting on facebook. So awkward!

          • Bsquillo

            Right? Because you have to ask people “Hey, did you get me this really nice and expensive gift? Oh no, you didn’t?” And then they might feel bad that they DIDN’T get you that thing but you kind of expected that they’re the type of people to buy expensive gifts? Ugh.

        • Eenie

          OMG. We bought some knives with a Williams Sonoma giftcard (we didn’t register there) and they are the bomb diggity.

        • Lisa

          Not the point, but we got our Wusthofs from my husband’s ex-uncle. (He couldn’t make the wedding so justified the expense as less than he would have spent on travel.) THEY ARE THE BEST THING EVER.

      • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

        We legit. guessed on one present because we didn’t know who had brought it (based on ones we’d already written). Luckily, we guessed yes.
        Also, one of my favorite Thank you Card memories was (while talking to a friend) when friend told me “Just write THANK YOU on mine–you don’t need to write a note with it. I could have kissed her.

    • sofar

      Hey, you did your best. It’s not like you threw up your hands and said, “Screw thank-you notes.”

      A bunch of people gave gifts at the huge engagement party my in-laws threw us. The next day, I had to sort through a pile of gifts and cards strewn about and piece together the mystery of who gave what. It took hours. It was a pain.

      Also, I wish more wedding guests knew to NEVER EVER EVER bring gifts TO the actual wedding. Cards get lost, stuff gets misplaced while being loaded into the car at the end of the night, and things get stolen. It is such a pain on the couple’s part if you bring the toaster to the wedding. If you love the bride and groom, mail the gift to the address specified on the registry and make sure to include a note with your full name. Or contact the couple/their parents and ask if you can drop the gift by their house (and tape the card on with duct tape if you have to).

      • NotMarried!

        This is SO SO cultural! I am with you … NEVER bring gifts to the actual wedding.

        Back in the fall, I went to a wedding almost exactly in the middle of the country where the bride/groom actually opened gifts AT the wedding. Needless to say, I was floored. To each their own.

        • sofar

          Good point! I know that gifts are almost always bought to Mormon weddings, as well.

          I’ve also heard people say, “I feel bad arriving empty handed.” To those people, I say “Dude, you KNOW I have to fly in for the wedding because I live out of state. How am I supposed to take a blender on a plane?” Obviously, I wouldn’t actually say this (I’d write a thank-you note, have my mom return the blender locally after the wedding and then use the store credit from the return to buy the same blender online and have it shipped to me).

          • People who don’t want to arrive empty handed can just bring a congratulations (p.s. the gift is in the mail) card. No one’s gonna cry over a lost congrats card!

        • Carrie

          I’ve never been to a wedding where gifts were not physically brought to the wedding. We opened gifts at our wedding reception. The larger gifts that we had registered for were sent directly to our house beforehand, but a lot of people just brought stuff with them. We weren’t planning to, but the parents/aunts/uncles/grandparents that brought gifts wanted to see us unwrap them and take photos, so we did. Not a big deal.

          When did this “never bring gifts to the wedding” even start? I swear I’d never heard of it until we started planning ours, and all of our relatives were really confused by the concept. To them I think it seemed really sad to have a reception without the physical representation of support in gift form. Maybe this is one of those East-coast things that us middle-class mid-westerners haven’t quite figured out yet?

      • Lizzie

        YES! God yes! So much extra, unnecessary stress. We lost a gift that way and never found it.

        I also, because I live in NYC and have a less-than-great shipping situation (we both work all day and have no vestibule for leaving packages in), really cringed whenever people sent us gifts to our home address (which is not the address we had listed for our registries – those all went to my parent’s house for safekeeping until we could take a Saturday and go get everything in one batch). We had probably 3-4 gifts sent to our apartment, which means they automatically get rerouted to the main post office, which means that for every gift sent to us, one of us had to wake up at 8am on a Saturday, walk 20 minutes to the post office, wait in a 20-minute line to get the damn thing, and carry it 20 minutes back to our apartment.

        (And half of those gifts we ended up returning anyway, which means another 30-45 minute NYC subway schlep – either to the store, or to my office, where I can ship things for free.)

        I reeeeeeeeeeeeeally tried to stay grateful and thankful, but if I’m being honest, I was pretty irritated by the end. I felt both frustrated at the hassle, and frustrated at myself for having such a negative/irritated reaction to someone trying to do something nice for me/us. It just sucked a lot, and put a grey cloud over the happiness of gift-giving and -getting.

  • SuperDaintyKate

    A completely selfish reason for sending thank-you notes, but a super valuable one: they reinforce all those nice, warm, fuzzy post-wedding feelings. We make memories by remembering. For me, sitting down and spending a few minutes reflecting on every person who attended, how they contributed, the gift that they gave, and writing out a nice memory of a moment that we shared– seeing them dancing to a certain song, exchanging hugs at the bar, being in the bathroom together while I was changing– all helped to reinforce those memories, and let me feel all that love all over again. There’s something about physically taking the time to write it out that reinforces all those good memories in a very real, deep way.

    • Totch

      …and I’m crying.

  • sofar

    Probably an over-30s thing (although tons of my peers — I’m 32 — don’t do thank-you notes). Probably not a southern thing, though. I was born and raised in the midwest, and my mom forced me to sit down and write out thank-you notes every time I received gifts. I had to maintain a little address book, and she even made me call people I knew had moved since my last birthday to get their new addresses. This all started when I was …oh… five or six? Everyone thought it was adorable. And they still do! When I sent out thank-you notes for all my engagement gifts, it really started things off on the write foot with my in-laws’ fancy family.

    • Greta

      Yes! My brother and I had to finish all of our thank you notes on Christmas Day(!) for our christmas presents – basically weren’t allowed to play with our toys until the thank you notes were done. It was probably a bit over the top, but it did instill a sense of duty to send thank you notes, despite how much I loathe them.

    • Carrie

      Ha! You could be me (31 and so midwestern) except that my mom eventually gave up on the physical thank you notes and just called people to thank them instead. As a consequence, I have a great-aunt that has refused to send any gifts for any occasion since I was about 10, and another aunt who claimed that things “must have got lost in the mail” for years before finally giving up the pretense. (Said great-aunt has some money, and is very generous towards said aunt and her children and now grandchildren, because despite being entitled brats they always send thank you notes.)

      Basically, I’ve learned as an adult that sending a note matters. Everyone likes getting mail, and being acknowledged, and it’s such a small thing that spreads around all kinds of good energy there’s no reason not to do it.

  • Kim

    Any
    acknowledgement is nice in the age of Amazon Prime, but a card
    will always make me feel more appreciated, and I’d feel slighted not to receive one after sending a wedding gift. Besides, I think it also feels better to WRITE a real card. Writing thank-you cards lets you consciously think about the gift-giver and reflect on the gratitude you feel for the gift and for the thought that was put into the gift. (Not to mention the fun you had with them at the wedding, hopefully!) And it feels good knowing that the thank-you card is something special that will put a smile on your loved one’s face. :)

    Of course, this goes along with guests who don’t think they have to RSVP, or that RSVP means “respond if you’re coming, ignore if you’re not coming or if you don’t feel like deciding until the day before”…

    • sofar

      I feel like Facebook events (and general rudeness) make people think like it’s OK to reply “interested” for a dang wedding. It’s like, no — I need a yes or no response by the deadline on the RSVP card. You can’t wait until three days before to see if something better comes up. There have been times when my schedule was up in the air (grad school!). And there was a chance I’d be able to come but wouldn’t know until 2 weeks before. So I replied “No” to several wedding invitations because I didn’t want to leave the bride and groom hanging.

      • Kim

        Oof, yes, the Facebook! I haven’t talked about wedding planning at all on Facebook for the last 10 months, but I did make one single joke about it (not even a me-centric joke), and one of my old college friends commented “Let us know when the wedding’s going to be.” Um, what, no? I was planning to invite her, so at least that wasn’t awkward, but I can’t imagine ever telling someone to “let me know” when their wedding would be unless they had already told me (1) they were having a wedding and (2) I was invited. And really never as a public Facebook comment.

  • Bsquillo

    Slightly off-topic…but I wonder how many men in the world have EVER worried about thank-you notes? Like, I realize they often help write them, but I have never heard of a dude fretting over the proper etiquette of thanking someone, or saying, “Well isn’t it SO RUDE that I gave Greg that toaster, and he hasn’t sent back a note yet? I can’t believe that guy!”

    EMOTIONAL LABOR STRIKES AGAIN, Y’ALL. (And this is seriously frustrating to me as someone who doesn’t identify as very sentimental, but is expected to take care of these kinds of tasks.)

    • Nailed it.

    • ART

      Only on HIMYM. Sigh.

      • Greta

        yes! I was totally thinking of that episode with Ted and Marshall. Hilarious.

    • stephanie

      TOTALLY mentioned in the post next week with templates! I promise. We’re all totally in agreement with you guys on this, trust.

    • Keeks

      I mentioned this downthread, but my husband was really into writing the most meaningful note possible, while I was more worried about getting them done quickly. My goal was to have them sent out a week after the wedding. I told him there was no way I was going to family Thanksgivings (3 weeks after our wedding) if they hadn’t all been sent by then because I didn’t want The Judgements to fall on me.

    • Kim

      My fiance does, but then again our slogan is “we’re both the bride” (i.e., in all things it’s our wedding, not my wedding).

      • Bsquillo

        Um, this is an amazing slogan, and I’m pretty bummed we’re already married because I totally would have stolen it.

        • Kim

          Thank you! :)

    • Yeah, my husband was really worried about sending them all at the same time and as quickly as possible. He got really stressed out when he thought I sent the ones to his brothers before the ones to his parents (as in, mailed the sealed envelopes from the table–he wrote all the ones for his family) because he wanted everyone to get their thank you notes at the same time and was worried they would be upset if they got them a few days apart.

    • Cathi

      Probably not many, unless they’ve been shamed in the past for not sending thank you notes.

      I had to give myself a LOT of pep-talks when my husband procrastinated for months on writing thank you notes to his family, telling myself “this is HIS family, this is HIS problem” and then subsequently pep-talks with tequila chasers when his mom admonished ME for not sending his grandparents a note. Husband didn’t worry about sending the notes because he has never been shamed for not sending one, or felt the crushing disappointment from his elders for neglecting them. All that negativity was going to fall on my head.

    • Eh

      My MIL was upset with my SIL that thank you notes were not sent out after her baby shower and the baby was born. My SIL went back to school as soon as she was cleared (two weeks post-C-section) and my BIL stayed home with their daughter. My MIL said that my BIL could not be expected to take care of a newborn and write thank you notes.

  • “Also PS: Not everyone who attends your wedding will actually bring a gift, but you still need to write them a thank you note just because they showed up and spent time celebrating you and your life choices.”

    Um. No. The reception is the thank you to your guests for attending your ceremony. I mean, you can send guests who didn’t bring gifts a thank you card for attending the wedding, but some might view that as a gift grab. It’s really okay to just not send thank you cards to guests who didn’t bring you a gift.

  • Wait, OMG. There is no way in hell that ONE PERSON should be writing all the thank you notes since it takes two people to get married. Put your partner in charge of writing all the thank you notes for gifts from their friends and family. NOW THE JOB IS CUT IN HALF. If you are married to a man who expects you to write his thank you notes, you can probably still get an annulment!

    • stephanie

      OH, I agree 100%! This will be specifically addressed in the templates post next week!

    • raccooncity

      We traded ‘people’ to write cards to. I wrote the ones to his friends and family and he did the ones for mine.

      • ART

        I REALLY wanted to do that and my husband looked at me like I had two heads. Glad you made that work!

    • Bsquillo

      This is exactly what my partner and I did- he wrote to his family, I wrote to mine. It was still a pain. While I’m certainly not anti-thank you note, I am firmly in the camp of “person with a burning annoyance for tiny pieces of paper.”

    • rg223

      My husband and I actually each wrote a note on every card for this reason. Many people commented on this, with several saying they had never seen that before. It took longer than dividing them up obviously, and we only had 70 guests, but it really didn’t take long at all.

    • Eh

      This would work if my husband did not have hand writing/printing that was illegible. I wrote all of the thank you notes in a weekend (we had 70 guests).

      • My husband has terrible handwriting, but I told him his relatives wouldn’t mind; they would think it was sweet.

        I have certainly had previous boyfriends try to get out of household tasks by claiming to be incapable. “Oh, you are just SOOO bad at doing dishes that you really shouldn’t even try? Then it looks like you’re not qualified to do the job of being someone’s domestic partner.” Done.

        • Eh

          My inlaws were upset about my BIL/SIL not sending out thank you notes so making sure people could read them was important.

          My ex would also do a crappy job at things to get out of it. My husband tried that one time and learned that doing a crappy job (on purpose/not trying) resulted in remedial training. My FIL encourages his sons to do crappy jobs to get out of housework and my husband and BIL have told him that it doesn’t work with their wives.

      • LadyWoman

        I was in the same boat so mine just added his signature and then did all the stuffing and stamping :)

    • Yup, exactly. We agreed that I would write the thank you notes to his people, and he wrote the thank you notes to my people. He griped a bit about having to do it, but it didn’t even take that long (we only had 85 guests). Why should I have to shoulder the burden?

  • BDubs

    If you can’t be bothered to send someone a physical thank you letter, don’t invite them to your wedding.
    Don’t be lazy and don’t be a dick.

    • Ebloom

      YES! THIS! Just be a decent human.

    • lol

      Conversely, if your relationship with someone is so shallow that you’ll go from celebrating their marriage to thinking they’re a lazy dick over a piece of paper, maybe don’t go to their wedding.
      Thank you notes are polite but everyone could stand to be a little more gracious and forgiving.

  • Kyle

    I’m 38, and honestly I’d rather get a thank-you text than a thank-you email. Maybe this is yet another case of “know your audience”?

  • Rhie

    My work is a very celebratory place so we almost always have showers for weddings and babies and such, and part of the deal is that during the gift opening, someone from your section will sit next to you and your significant other writing down who gave what so that you can then send thank you notes later. And yet somehow of the four showers I’ve attended and brought presents for, I’ve only ever gotten one thank you note and it irritates me so much. It’s like how can we make this any easier for you?? Argh. Especially when it’s your coworkers who spent their time and money on getting you a gift, not your friends or family members.

  • JC

    After all of the nuance surrounding invitations in yesterday’s post and comments, I find the tone of this post and comments to be sadly narrow-minded. If one wants to argue that paper thank you notes are the most expedient given their one-size-fits-all nature (that is, someone who is fine with a text thank you will also be fine with a paper thank you, while the reverse might not be true, so paper fits most needs), that’s a perfectly valid argument, but it seems naive to me to assume that expressions of gratitude are not also wrapped up in all of the emotional trimmings that come up in other contexts too. There just simply isn’t a single, universally accepted expression of gratitude, and after receiving an incorrectly addressed invitation to my own sister’s wedding, I would have much preferred a sincere text message to an incorrectly-addressed paper thank you to boot.

  • lfar

    Question then: our save the date and invitations are both going out over email (saves money, saves paper, is a totally normal way to invite people to things in 2016). I won’t even have people’s addresses. Can I just send personal emails to each person?

    • gonzalesbeach

      seems totally reasonable given your paperless (yay trees!) approach

  • La’Marisa-Andrea

    Reading these comments make me sad. I’m at the point where I will take a text expressing gratitude for a gift since so many people I send things to don’t acknowledge I sent anything at all. My expectations are extremely low lol

  • SL

    We sent thank you notes to everyone we invited (for building us into the ppl we are, supporting us as we start our marriage, etc) regardless of if they came or not. It was a good cover for when we got gifts with no card/ way to identify who sent them. Might be perceived as passive aggressive from people who didn’t come/send gift but oh well. Our thank yous also had 2 pictures of us from our wedding so was nice for people who couldn’t make it to see what the pictures turned out like.

  • Scalliwag

    I’m going to gush a bit on this topic, but totally understand that not everyone is in the same camp as I am.

    Stationary is definitely a thing for me, and I get real pleasure out of writing and sending it, so even if the receiver only glances at it and then recyclesome, I enjoy. It’s probably a good thing too, because in terms of etiquette, my family is solidly on the physical notes are a must side. My mother very thoughtfully threw me a surprise bridal shower. As a gift for that shower, she also gave me thank you notes that matched the invites she’d sent with ‘thanks from scalliwag’ on it.

    I was really proud of our wedding thank you cards. We used MOO, and you can get sets of 50 with 50 different pictures on them. We had about 100 people, many of whom were couples so that worked well for us. Once we had our wedding photos in (super fast thanks to Smitten Chickens!) We chose a specific photo for each person/couple. Many were of those people, and if we didn’t have a good one, a specific one of the two of us. Yes, it took time. But we figured if they were at our wedding, they were worth it. Husband thought I was a little nuts, but went along with it. And definitely wrote his half of the cards!! We got lots of compliments (even a thank you for the thank you), and it’s fun going to people’s houses and often seeing the card on the fridge. Our fridge isn’t magnetic, otherwise it’d be covered.

  • JennZed

    My cousin had a destination wedding, and since my parents were unable to go, my mom sent a very nice gift. The only thank you she received was a Facebook wall post that said, “Thank you for the gift!” No personal touch, no mention of what the gift actually was, just…a Facebook post. Wow.

  • Christina Helen

    A few different recently-married cousins and friends just sent us a 4″ x 6″ printout of a wedding photo with the words “Thank you” printed on it. No mention of the specific gift we got them. No personalisation at all. In spite of myself, I felt a little miffed. Even a text message would be better than that! At the very least, I want to know that you actually received my gift.

    It’s happened three times now so it seems to be a new trend.

    • ART

      This is part of why I don’t like the wedding photo on the thank you card thing (although the examples you’re talking about are a whole ‘nother level of…nope). I know it’s becoming more popular, but that means you have to hold off on writing and sending them until you get the photo you want to use, design the card, and have it printed and shipped to you, which causes some delay that is clearly a result of you wanting a photo of yourself on that card. I know not everyone gets their thank you notes done in the month after their wedding/honeymoon, but if you’re sending cards several months after the wedding BECAUSE you needed them to have your photo on it…it just seems self-centered to me when the thank you note should be centered on the gift giver. But on top of that, if you can’t even take the time to write one single word of genuine thanks on it, yikes!

      • tr

        Oh my gosh, yes!!! Photo cards in general kind of bother me, because they just inherently feel self-centered, but the thank you cards take it to a whole ‘nother level!

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  • Eh

    My BIL/SIL never sent out thank you notes for anything (baby shower, gift after baby was born, bridal shower, wedding) and it really upset my MIL/FIL since they were getting grief from other family members. They asked that we send out thank you notes promptly (which I would have done anyways). My SIL made it clear that she was actually not grateful for the gifts they received for their wedding because they had asked for money and my in-laws extended family prefers to give physical gifts, and she also felt that having “Thank you” on the wedding favour was sufficient.

    • Amy March

      hahahahahaha thank you on the wedding favor. I can’t believe people continued to get these rude ungrateful people gifts.

      • Eh

        She refered to them as “the thank yous”. And said that it was a lot of work to pick the stickers that said “thank you” on each of the bags.

        • Lisa

          I just… I… what?????

          • Eh

            and she had the wedding party help…

          • Lisa

            Sorry, I’ve somehow gotten the impression your SIL was fairly innocent in her interactions with your husband’s family, but that’s a pretty large breach of etiquette to me. It seems especially out of touch that she doesn’t understand that a thank you sticker doesn’t convey the same level of sincerity as a heartfelt message.

          • Eh

            She was treated badly in the five years leading up to their wedding (mostly because she had children from previous relationships and was seen as a gold digger). Part of her behavior around her wedding was to get back at them for it. That said, I think she does not get the etiquette around gifts/thank you notes at all. (Note: she is in her mid-thirties so it’s not a under-thirty issue).

      • Eh

        and the wedding was the last of the four events (which all happened within a year) so I was surprised too. People did get snarky with the gifts (a number of family members got them toasters).

  • Carrie

    Ok. Tiny rant. So, my husband’s cousin got married last year. His aunt and uncle are the wealthiest members of his side of the family (like, ginormous house + lake house + other vacation home in Cabo, blah blah blah, very different from how my husband and I grew up) and this wedding they threw for their daughter was true to that lifestyle. I suppose all the money spent technically doesn’t have any bearing on whether or not they send physical thank you notes… but it seems strange to me that they did not. And after I freaking MADE THEM A QUILT as their gift. A few days after the wedding I posted a photo of said quilt on Facebook, because bragging rights, and the bride left a comment on the photo saying thanks. And I guess she felt that was sufficient? I mean, what would have happened if I hadn’t posted the photo? Would there have been any thank you at all?

    I feel weird about being upset about this. I’m not hugely upset, because in the grand scheme of things it’s really not a big deal. I enjoyed making the quilt, I was happy with how it turned out, and I really hope they use it and enjoy it. I am confused by the lack of a formal note, especially when the rest of the wedding was so over-the-top and formal, and honestly I’d probably be a little miffed at them no matter what (even though the couple that got married are seriously some of the nicest people) just because of my personal issues with money/privilege/etc. Anyway, this post made me feel a little less weird about how I feel about it.

    End of rant! :)

    • Amy March

      Ummmm no it is a huge deal that they did not bother sending you a thank you note for a hand made quilt. Do not feel weird or bad at all about being miffed.

    • Rachel from MN

      Yeah I would be super judgy and annoyed–that seems super rude and ungrateful. Like, you couldn’t at the very least PAY someone to write a bunch of thank you notes?!? LOL… Don’t feel weird. Although I guess I have personal issues with money/privilege/etc. too so maybe take my opinion with a grain of salt ;)

    • tr

      Ugh, how could they not send a thank you note FOR A HANDMADE QUILT?!?!?!?!
      I mean, yeah, I kind of *get* how people skip the thank you notes for $10 gifts (truth be told, I feel sort of guilty when I receive thank you notes for gifts like that), but a freakin’ quilt?!?!?! You are totally right to be miffed!

  • Sarah from NH

    I agree with all this, but am I the only one harboring resentment towards the implication that people from the Southern US are taught better manners than us Northerns? I’m from New Hampshire, sent out timely, handwritten thank you notes after my wedding, and received handwritten notes for all wedding gifts that I have given.

    • Rachel from MN

      yeah, I’m a 28-year-old born-and-raised Northerner and although I’m not married, I’ve sent plenty of handwritten thank you notes for other occasions and I don’t see a text as an acceptable wedding thank-you (and have never heard it suggested by anyone I know). I keep having to remind myself this isn’t worth getting offended over, LOL… but seriously! We have manners too!

      • tr

        As a northerner who now lives in the south, I can honestly say that both places have manners, but the manners are different. In the north, by and large, the rules seem to be seen as fairly flexible. People tend to just intuitively do what makes sense for the context, and although there are a few missteps, by and large, things generally work themselves out. In the south, the rules of etiquette are so rigid that Moses might as well have carved them into stone himself, and breaking one of the rules is viewed less favorably than murdering puppies.

        One way isn’t inherently better than the other, but if you define etiquette as doing things exactly the way Emily Post would have done them 75 years ago, then yeah, the south wins.

  • the cupboard under the stairs

    “I think sending a digital thank you is perfectly fine—as long as it’s individualized and sent via a service or email. (Seriously, don’t send a thank you note to their Facebook inbox.)”

    Why is a Facebook message a total no-no while an email is acceptable? This seems completely arbitrary to me. An inbox is an inbox. A thank you is a thank you. Love is love.

    This under-30 would much rather receive a personalized text with an inside joke and a bunch of heart emoji than a physical thank you note that’s clearly written to a template used for 100 other guests. Save the writing-induced hand cramps for your grandma, newlywed friends!

    • Eh

      I think if it’s a PM and not on their wall, and if it’s to them directly and not to a whole bunch of people (note: I am over 30). I think if you are going paperless especially that personal email/FB messages are fine. And I think it’s also about knowing your audience. I sent individual FB messages to my cousins to say I was pregnant but we called aunt/uncles/grandparents.

      • the cupboard under the stairs

        Yes, agreed–totally not advocating for a posting-on-the-timeline approach. Private messages all the way.

    • Amy March

      Because Facebook messages are notorious for getting lost in random “other” inboxes, and Facebook will let you send a message to just about anyone without you knowing whether or not they ever look at those messages. (ETA: if this is someone with whom you regularly FB message, I don’t think it is any worse than email).

      • Eh

        I think if you regularly talk to the person that way (i.e., that’s how I communicate with my cousins; I probably do not have an up to date email address for them) then a private FB message is fine since you know they do look at them.

      • the cupboard under the stairs

        The author is clearly arguing against using FB messaging because she thinks it’s gauche, not because it has practical limitations. I agree FB messages come with their challenges, but I strongly disagree with the author’s sentiment.

        • Amy March

          Although really, with your screen name, you should obvi be using owl post :)

  • LadyWoman

    Admittedly I’m a gal who loves organization and paper products, but it’s totally do able and worth it. We had about 100 guests and sent thank yous to everyone, not just those who gave us gifts. I bought 2 packs of 50 cards at Target ($10 each and they were beautiful). Because I have nice handwriting (and don’t mind writing) I wrote the cards and addressed the envelopes. Hubby inserted, stamped and sealed them, and we were done in approximately one really long coffee shop sitting. It can be a little tedious, but overall it was fun to think about our friends and family and how much we enjoyed our wedding.

    If all your guests are techy 20-somethings who would totally think a thank you text was sweet and sufficient, it’s up to you, you know them best. But maybe they’d be tickled to get some actual, physical mail :)

  • LadyWoman

    Just saw this post http://www.etiquettehell.com/?p=4841 right after reading this one! Mass printed, non-personalized thank you cards mean less than a personalized text or call. And while I love getting physical mail, I 100% agree. Nothing (mail-related) annoys me more or makes me chuck something in the recycle bin faster than a card that clearly indicates someone couldn’t even be bothered to scribble their signature or hand write my name.

  • M.M.

    Thank you so much for writing this. I not only agree with all of the points you made but especially like that you included the reference to sex and the city. That was a genius episode, and Derae say I had discussed something like that with my friends several years before it aired. As I was approaching age 35, not yet married, no kids, one day at lunch with coworkers I wondered aloud if it would be socially appropriate for me to register for gifts for my birthday. Even though I was joking, it was made clear to me that others were not amused. Dare I even say they felt entitled to all the gifts they had received for their wedding showers, Bashlor showers, weddings, baby showers, baptisms, etc. furthermore, and many of these events that I attended for friends they not only expected gas, but would often ask their guests to bring a dish to pass. So, you’re having a party where you expect people to not only buy you gifts but supply the food as well? Super tacky!