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20-40-60 Etiquette---Still no thank you


By Callie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace

QUESTION : My daughter and I gave a wedding shower for a family member in November 2014. It was a Christmas shower theme with the house decorated. We served numerous food and pastry items. We planned this for months.

We received no thank-you at the shower, no note. I went to two other showers with gifts and gave a gift for wedding. Still no thank-you, text, phone call or note. What is wrong with these people? Other family members and guests have said the same thing. This one is hard to ignore. Should we ask them why we have not heard from them?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: Chalk this up to bad manners. Move on and get over it.

I would not ask them why you have not heard. That could be seen as rude, too.

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER : That’s odd that you haven’t even heard anything by phone or text, even though a note is better. (I fall short of timely notes sometimes and hate that I do, but I try to, at the very least, thank people in person.)

You aren’t wrong to wonder, and it’s nice that you went to all that trouble to do something nice. But you can’t control how they respond; I’m sure, or at least I hope, they appreciated it all and then fell short of good etiquette in thanking you.

If you need to ask whether they received a gift, then ask them or their parents.

Maybe that will prod them into responding, but other than that, you can’t do much.

HELEN’S ANSWER: Hopefully by now you have heard from the couple or the family member.

It used to be that the bride could take a year to send a thank-you note for gifts received after the wedding, but really, two to three months is time enough.

Shower gifts should be acknowledged within two weeks after the party.

This is another way to build good relations with family members and friends, as they have gone to the trouble of gifting or showering you.

If you don’t receive a thank-you note, you might ask the mother if the bride/groom received the wedding gift.

As for the shower, I am sorry you were not thanked properly.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Christina Nihira, journalist and local community volunteer: It is unfortunate as well as disappointing that your family member chose not to acknowledge the good will and effort that you all put forth.

As you are aware, a lot goes into planning a wedding. Yet, the simple thank-you card is often the most forgotten after showers and that all-important big day.

Initially, try to not personalize the slight of not receiving a proper note and take the "benefit of the doubt" attitude.

Consider that there may be some underlying circumstances at work that you or others are not aware of causing the delay.

If it’s really upsetting or bothering, you owe it to yourself to tactfully confront the newlywed and express your concerns.

You can diplomatically convey that Emily Post writes on her website that anyone who hosts a party or shower deserves a thank you.

It states, "Each host or hostess should be thanked individually with a note and a thank-you gift."

If all else fails, wait until the couple reaches their first anniversary. I recommend giving them an etiquette book as a gift and enclose a stamped thank-you card with your name and address.

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Helen Ford Wallace

Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for... Read more ›