Recently, I received a wedding thank you note via email from a bride whose destination wedding I attended. The couple got married in Mexico and it was beautiful – the resort was fabulous – and expensive. My husband and I paid over $2500 to attend the wedding and sent a nice gift from their very expensive registry at Neiman Marcus. So I was surprised the bride sent me a generic thank you EMAIL. I felt cheated because she required so much of her guests but it seems she put in little to acknowledge them. What is proper wedding thank you not etiquette?
-Sincerely, Frustrated in St. Louis
Dear Ms. Frustrated!
I have an etiquette book at my bridal boutique in Chicago. It gives our guests something to peruse as the bride tries on different wedding gowns. You be surprised how many helpful hints they tend to pick up.
According to Peggy Post, author of Wedding Etiquette, The Definitive Guide to Your Wedding Experience, she has Ten Do’s and Don’ts of Thank You Notes.
- Do personalize your notes, making a reference to the person as well as the gift.
- Do be enthusiastic, but you don’t need to gush. Avoid saying that a gift is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen, unless you mean it.
- Don’t send form letters or cards with preprinted messages and just your signature; don’t use email or post generic thank-yous on your website in lieu of personal notes.
- Don’t mention that you plan to return or exchange a gift or indicate dissatisfaction in any way.
- Don’t tailor notes to the perceived value of gifts. No one should receive a dashed-off perfunctory note.
- Do refer to the use you will make of money gifts. Mentioning the amount is optional.
- Don’t include wedding photos or use photo cards if this will delay sending notes.
- Do promptly acknowledge receipt of shipped gifts, either send your thank-you within a few days or call or email the sender – following up with a written note soon.
- Don’t use lateness in writing as an excuse not to write. If you’re still sending thank-you notes after your first anniversary, keep writing.
- Do remember that a gift should be acknowledged with the same courtesy and generous spirit in which it was given.
Now we know for sure that the bride had several etiquette missteps. Don’t hold it against her. Take the high road – remember you went to celebrate her union not to get praise for your gift.