Are you wondering how to write thank you cards to wedding guests who don’t bring gifts? That’s the question we’re tackling today in our latest Ask Emmaline wedding advice column. A bride-to-be (who wishes to be anonymous) wrote us with a wedding gift dilemma while writing her thank you cards. She has a close friend who lives out-of-state. The friend sent her a message telling her she could not attend the wedding, but she was going to have her gift brought to the wedding by a close family member. However, the gift never arrived. The bride doesn’t care that her friend didn’t send a gift, but she was wondering if she should mention the gift never arrived, in case it got lost. She says, “We are unsure whether or not we should send a thank you card. Normally we would send a card thanking them for their presence but since they were unable to come we are very uncertain as to whether or not we should let them know the gift never arrived. Any help you can give us would be greatly appreciated.” Great question! Here’s how to write thank you notes to wedding guests who don’t bring gifts to your wedding…
Wedding Guests Who Don’t Bring Gifts
Before we tackle this etiquette question, keep in mind that wedding gifts from guests are optional. Guests do not have to bring a gift. An invitation is not a request for gift, but for one’s presence at your wedding. While it is tradition to bring a gift, some guests simply cannot or do not bring a gift. Some guests can even send a gift up to one year after the wedding, according to etiquette rules. In 8th grade, my teacher taught us you should never assume anything because you make an ASS out of U and ME — ASS+U+ME — haha). So, to be on the safe side, forget about the gift and figure there was no gift and will not be a gift. Which is totally fine. In your instance, you’re probably wondering if it was lost, or was not delivered by a family member as originally intended, and how you are supposed to write a thank you in the first place (since you were anticipating it). Since there was no wedding gift, and because your friend was unable to attend, you would skip the thank you note altogether. If the gift was lost or not handled and brought to your wedding as it was intended to, that’s really her problem to tackle. She’ll realize it did not reach you if she intended to send you something and follow-up with you on it. Don’t mention it unless specifically asked, and don’t ever bring it up. :) A wedding gift may arrive at your residence in a few weeks or months, at which point you can send a thank you card for the gift. And if no gift ever arrives, just let it go. Hope it helps!
And, just in case you run into this question, too…
On the other hand, here’s how to write a thank you note to wedding guests who don’t bring gifts but did attend your wedding. The sole purpose of writing thank you cards is in appreciation for his or her attendance first. The second purpose is to thank a wedding guest for his or her gift. Here’s an example of how you would write it:
Dear Aunt Bev and Uncle Tim,
Thank you for coming to our wedding and sharing our special day with us! It means a lot to us that you were able to spend the weekend in Chicago to celebrate. We would also like to thank you for your gift of money. We plan to use it to ___________. We look forward to seeing you at the holidays!
Love, Mr. and Mrs. Stone
… or something similar.
Hope it helps! :)