Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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Thank you Notes from Hell

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My boyfriend's brother married his wife.  This was her second marriage, his first, and we had been told all along that it was going to be a small affair, informal.  It ended up being anything but, big meringue wedding dress, all the trimmings at one of the most expensive hotels in our city!  Anyway, I digress.  I have told my boyfriend that I will NEVER buy a gift from a wedding registry that anyone sends me.  If I'm going to your wedding, I should know you well enough to know what you want or need.  BF's brother and wife-to-be had been living together for years and had a daughter together, they were not wanting for material possessions.  We thought that cash would be the most sensible gift as they were having work done on their house, or they could have used it on their honeymoon for some nice dinners together.  We thought that $300 would be a nice amount (generous I know), but we wanted the start of their married life together to be as comfortable and stress free as possible.  

You know what they spent the money on?  We don't know, they never even mentioned they got our card with the money in it, let alone what they used it for!  We don't give gifts to them any longer. 

On the other hand, I regained my faith in brides a year or so later.  My BF and I were invited to a wedding in rural town in the center of Australia.  The Groom was an old school friend of my BF's.  I had only met him a handful of times and had never met the Bride before.  Their ceremony was simple, elegant, and something I would be proud of.  The reception was at the local golf club.  The Bride was absolutely charming, she sat down with me for at least 10 minutes to thank BF and myself for coming and had a laugh with me: she had burnt a hold in the front of her dress after she walked over a candle on the floor on the dance floor (they were quickly moved!). They had an after party at their house the next day, and once again, SHE came out of her way to thank me once again for being a guest. About 3 or 4 weeks after the wedding, we received a card from them in the mail thanking us for our gift, telling us how much they loved it and where they had placed it in their house.  She was a perfect bride! 



This is a thank you note I recently got:   Dear ___________,Thank you for attending our wedding. It was wonderful to spend such a special day with loved ones. Even though we did not register for it, we would like to thank you for the crystal vase. It looks nice in our dining room. Hope to see you soon! Love,_____________ Leah


Hint to thank you note writing newlyweds:  Never, ever mention that the gift you are thanking someone for was not from your registry.  


About fifteen years ago my cousin “Valerie” got married. My cousin “Janet” went to the wedding and gave the couple a photo album for a gift. And then Valerie never sent out her thank you cards. A few months after the wedding Janet called Valerie’s mother and nastily demanded, “Why haven’t I gotten a thank you note?” My aunt explained that Valerie was working on personal letters to everyone and so it was taking longer. But Janet never got a thank you note. (Neither did my mother and father.) Janet was outraged.

When Valerie’s brother “Leigh” got married a few years later, Janet went to the wedding without a gift, “Because Valerie never sent her a thank you note”. Like this was Leigh’s fault. Then when Valerie and Leigh’s sister “Holly” got married a few years after Leigh, Janet refused to even go to the wedding “Because Valerie never sent her a thank you note”. To this day, Janet is still furious. She often mentions that she’s “still waiting” for the thank you card and has not spoken to Valerie since.

Now, I’m not making excuses for Valerie. It was very rude of her not to get her thank you notes done. But honestly, I consider that Janet’s behavior is far worse. There are many, many complaints on here about people not getting thank you notes, and I always think of Janet’s behavior when I read them. Certainly you’re right to be upset, but is something so relatively minor really worth the ruin an entire relationship that was otherwise very good, the creation of larger family tensions, and the holding of a grudge for decades? Isn’t that worse than neglecting to send out thank you cards? Wouldn’t it be better to just to be the better person and rise above it?



We were invited to my first cousin's wedding, but could not attend because

we live too far away. I sent a nice wedding gift in care of my aunt
(cousin's mother) since hers was the return address on the envelope and the
wedding was being held at her home.
A few days before the wedding, my mother forwarded an email to me in which
my aunt briefly mentions to her that a package from me arrived for the bride
and groom that day. If not for this forwarded email, I would never have
known where my gift ended up.
It's been over a year now, with no thank you note, in fact no word at all
from the couple or from my aunt. My aunt does have my email address, so she
could have emailed me rather than my mother to let me know the package
arrived safely. Perhaps my aunt just kept our gift for herself? I suppose
anything is possible. Most likely the bride and groom (both in their early
30's) just did not send thank you notes at all. I felt it would be rude for
me to fish around asking what happened, so now I'll never know.


Page Last Updated July 30, 2007