Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


Main Page/Home

The Faux Pas Archives
Wedding Etiquette

Bridesmaids and Beastmen
Bridal Showers
Bridezillas and Groomonsters
Faux Pas of the Year
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
Guests From Hell
Tacky Invitations
Wedding Rugrats
Just Plain Tacky
Tacky Toasts
Thank You Notes From Hell
Tacky Vendors
Wedding From Hell
Wicked Witches of the Wedding
Perfect Bride
Bridesmaid Dress Incinerator



Everyday Etiquette

Baby Showers
The Dating Game
Ooops! Foot in Mouth Disease
Funeral Etiquette
Gimme Hell
Holiday Hell
Just Plain Tacky
It's all Relatives
Every Day RugRats
Road Rage

Business Etiquette

Bad Business Etiquette
Merchants of Etiquette Hell
Bad Bosses

Faux Pas of the Year




Press Room/Contact


Thank you Notes from Hell

Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jul-Dec 2000 Archive
2000 Archive
2001 Archive
2002 Archive
Jan-Jul 2003 Archive
Jul-Dec 2003 Archive
Jan-Jun 2004 Archive
Jul-Dec 2004 Archive
Jan-Jun 2005 Archive
Jul-Dec 2005 Archive
2006 Archive
Jan-Jun 2007 Archive


I am 20, and have always written thank you notes.  My parents had a rule when I was a kid that if I received a gift or money, I was not allowed to used it until the note was written and in the mail.  That said, I'm a stickler for thank you notes. 

I went to a wedding when I was 17 for the youth pastor of my church.  It was a smaller wedding, mostly family and close friends of the bride and groom.  I was one of two students to be invited from the youth group (the other being a very good friend of mine who was around my age, also in high school), so I was very touched and honored that I was invited.  The two of us went in on a present together, about $30 each.  I know it's not a lot, but we were high school kids, so for us, it was.  (If you want to use the standard of buying a gift the same price as a plate at the reception dinner, I would say we overpaid, but that's another story...)  The gift was heartfelt, and we both attached personal notes to both the bride and groom.  (We got them two board games, some kitchen things and a gift card to Target, all on their registry.)

After the wedding (which was in August), I went to college out of state, and the groom began seminary nearby, so we lost a little contact--maybe a monthly e-mail or so. While home from school over Thanksgiving break, I was going through my mail that had come to the house, expecting to find a thank you.  No such luck.  Again at Christmas, there was nothing.  I met up with the friend I went to the wedding with for coffee, she had never received a thank you either, though was far less concerned about it.  Then she said the words that almost made me sick on the spot: "I mean, he did send us that e-mail thanking us for coming to the wedding and saying that we should come over and play Scrabble."  THAT was my thank you note?  A casual e-mail?  Sent to the both of us at once?  When I got home, I re-opened the e-mail.  Reading it again, I knew that was it.  I still have it, as I still can't believe it.  

"Hey guys!  What's up?  Thanks for coming to the wedding.  It was great to see you two again.  Sorry we didn't really get to talk or anything, sort of busy.  You guys should come over to our apartment some time and play scrabble [sic] sometime!  Have a good one.  (Groom's name)"  

Nothing more, nothing less. Maybe they thought we wouldn't expect a formal thank you card because we were young, that an e-mail would suffice.  I don't know if other, older guests got cards in the mail or not.  Maybe it was because we were the groom's guests and he just didn't know better (though I highly doubt that) or didn't think it was his responsibility.  Maybe they ran out of stamps and couldn't find any they liked at the post office.  I don't know, whatever the reason was, it was completely inappropriate to not send a card.  Three years later, I still haven't received a real thank you.  (Nor did he ever respond to my acceptance of a Scrabble game.)



 I recently helped a friend of mine plan her 10th Anniversary vow renewal.  I made centerpieces, favors and various décor for her.  I also lined up a DJ, caterer and photographer for her.  I did these things simply b/c she is a friend of mine.  The day of the service arrives and b/c I’m the contact person for all of the vendors I end being her personal slave.  The ceremony was at this nasty, old, gross motel on the beach and most of the guests stayed there.  The morning of the ceremony nobody is making any effort to set things up so I get a couple friends together and we do it.  We spent all morning and afternoon working on getting things set up perfectly while the happy couple and their families lounged on the beach.  Some even had the nerve to comment on how hard we were working but none offered to pitch in and help. 

The event went off perfectly and then time came for clean up.  Of course the same people who set up were expected to also clean up while the family sat at a table drinking.  We were tired, hot and annoyed by the time we finished.  And then she had the nerve to criticize the way things got cleaned up.  At that point I decided I was done and left.  We went to a nice, clean hotel a couple miles down the road b/c we were too tired to drive the 1 ½ hrs home. 

Fast forward 2 months and I get the tackiest Thank You note ever.  It was obviously made on her computer with a generic printed message in it.  Inside the card was a photo from the event that was printed and I know for a fact that it was a copyrighted image that she stole from the photographer’s website.  I found out that there was a disagreement between her and the photographer b/c she couldn’t understand why didn’t own the images to her event.  And she wasn’t happy that when she tried to print the images off on her own a watermark showed up.  The photographer is protecting her material and copyright.  To top it all off she not only used pre-printed labels on the envelope but also didn’t even bother to sign the card. 

For all of the hard work I did and the expenses I incurred to make her day perfect she could have at least taken the time to handwrite a note.


This is my bad, for which I'm willing to put myself out there in hopes that maybe some of the people who may have been offended by my lack of actions will read it, and be understanding! 

I had the difficult task of planning a wedding while in full treatment for cancer.  Chemo does not give you memory boosters, and instead will kill your memory.   I had a beautiful wedding, with many generous family and friends giving gifts and cards.  I did get some cards out, but not all of them.  I still feel bad about this, it's been almost 3 years from the wedding.  If you read this, and know you attended my wedding and didn't receive  thank you, I'm very sorry and really did appreciate the gifts!  After a year of trying this, I finally gave up.  Not to mention that over that time, cards, lists, and addresses were misplaced.

I've sworn after this, that I will never put it off, and force my dear husband to participate.  We will only have a baby shower next, and guaranteed that all will receive thank you notes within 2 weeks.


I recently visited my dad, and I happened to notice an interesting photo card in his workshop.  When I pointed it out, he shook his head, laughed and held it out to me.  It turned out to be a thank-you card for a wedding gift.  On one side was a picture of the happy couple in wedding attire while the other side had a message that  read something like this

Thank you for being there for Jack and Jill’s special day.  It meant a lot to us.  Thank you for the____________.              

and Jill

In the blank space it had been handwritten “Money”.    My dad’s name never appeared, nor did the couple sign the card.    I guess they printed out a slew of these, identified a present for each one, and just mailed them out.  I was pretty taken aback but my dad says that they were young and “country” and probably didn’t know and at least they sent a card...a card worth keeping.



When my second husband and I were married, it was a small City Hall wedding with a reception at our house, so we sent out announcements rather than inviting tons of people.  In response to one of our announcements, we got the following note:

I wish you all the happiness in the world.  My husband died the day of your wedding, but I'm sure he would have joined me in wishing you all the best.  Love, Jane Smith

Um, thank you?


This is not so much tacky as it is sad. Apparently the decedent and his widow had enough of a relationship with the bride and groom to be sent a wedding announcement but not close enough that the bride and groom knew of his death except by note from the widow.  What was a widow to do?


Made a beautiful handmade quilt (approx. $500 value) for the bride and groom, shipped UPS, had to call to make sure it got there. About 1 year after wedding, here comes a preprinted with photo, generic thank you note, not even signed!! And of course it did not mention what the gift was.   When they had a baby, we sent a gift, same results....They're family, so we love them, but they are definitely etiquette challenged.


I was maid of honor for my best friend at the time of her wedding, we had two other attendants, one was matron of honor and the other was just a bridesmaid.  All of us were excited, we planned a very nice bridal shower, all of about 15 were in attendance.  The matron of honor was pregnant at the time, she made a deal with the bride that she would write the thank you notes in return for some diapers, but the only ones she wouldn't write were the ones to the ones who threw the party, her in-laws and her relatives, the bride agreed.  The shower came and went, a week later the 7 thank you notes were given to the bride to put a stamp on and mail out.  It took her a month to do this, and the rest of us still have not gotten any form of a thank you note to this day, the shower was in august 2007. 

Another faux pas with the same bride occurred with her family,  again all of bridesmaids and our parents attended the family shower by request of the bride, she didn't want to go to this alone.  We all went had some fun, watched her unwrap 100 different little things needed for a house, that were individually wrapped, very annoying.  Now we bought another gift, drove 45 min. to this shower and then comes the killer of the entire shower.  Her aunt decides to announce that there are Thank you notes in a glass bowl, would everyone please put your address on the envelope and that they were taking up a collection for the postage.  Most of the work was done for the thank you notes at this point, the shower again was in the beginning of august 2007, I received mine after the new year which included not only just that one shower gift but a thank you for being in her wedding, I thought that would have been put in with the one for the wedding gift I gave them 2 months before the wedding. 

Also, the wedding was in September 2007, everyone who attended is still waiting for those thank you notes, which will never come.  Thank you notes are not that complex to write, do a couple a night and you will finish them in no time.


I have read the stories about people not getting thank you notes from the newlyweds for the gifts that they gave. One thing that I would like to add to this is to make sure that make sure that your name is legible on the gift so the newlyweds would send the notes to the right people. I have sent out thank you cards about 2 to 3 weeks after my wedding, except for two people because I could not read their handwritings. One was a signature, which I couldn’t make out the name of the giver. I had people show up at my wedding that I didn’t know. Maybe the gifts were from them, but I’ll never know.


On July 21, 2006 my husband and I were married. We had about 150 guests attend. I spent weeks preparing the thank you notes. I gave a stack of them to my husband to get addresses from my mother in law. I guess I just assumed that he mailed them afterwards. These were the majority of the thank you notes that went to his side of the family.   Well, to my horror, a few weeks ago (we are now in May 2008) I found these notes in the bottom of a box that I was unpacking. I feel absolutely horrible, and embarrassed. His family must think that I am so ungrateful.   So, would it be acceptable to type up a note explaining that I found these and how embarrassed I am that they were never sent out, and enclose this in an envelope with the original thank you notes? I definitely would make no mention of blame on my husband. I was thinking that I could also mention our house that we bought and how excited we have been to have all of our new wedding gifts, and that we have made good use of them.   Is there a better way to approach this? Like I said, I feel so embarrassed about the whole situation.



It happened six years ago, when one of my friends was getting married. She was the perfect bride and had a perfect marriage, nice, elegant, great timing, perfect venue (the groom's family castle in Provence, complete with a small chapel), the priest/caterer/DJ all did their job perfectly, the family on both sides was there, supportive and helpful. Even the weather cooperated.

We were (still are) three friends : the bride "Camille", "Alice" was a witness and I helped her choose the music and readings for the ceremony.

She had class enough that she invited my then boyfriend (even though I told her it was HER marriage and she should invite who she pleased). She also never mentioned gifts (actually I had to call her mother to get registry information - one registry for china and silverware, and another for furniture). I chose a nice couch off her furniture registry as a gift.

Two weeks after that perfect wedding, I get a long letter from Camille describing how I was a great help, how happy she was that I had come to her wedding, that she hoped we would have our next get-together soon, and assorted news of herself, her husband and her family. In the process of choosing a date to get together, Alice mentions that she also got a touching letter from Camille.

So, where is the tacky part of the story?

Well, another three weeks later, I got a strange thank-you note, emblazoned with the furniture store logo, saying (rough translation) "Camille and Edouard thank you for the couch you chose to offer them as a wedding gift. This is a complimentary service from XXX society."

My first reaction is, who sends two thank-you notes? And why did she choose to have this stupid thing sent to me after she wrote that nice letter? And why would she have this sent to anyone?

I was close enough to her that I could call her and ask her outright was this meant. And I learned...

... that the store sent those... things... without ever informing her of this "complimentary service"! Yes, you read it. The store sent thank-you notes on behalf of the bride and groom without their knowledge!

It's too bad I threw it away instead of framing it or whatever... That must have been the greatest laugh I ever had!


Page Last Updated October 11, 2008