We've all heard horror stories about newlywed couples that call out their friends and family for giving them a "subpar" gift to celebrate their nuptials. While those stories are unbelievable, I've noticed a far more silent — but just as jaw-dropping — trend among couples: the lack of thank you cards.
I'd say out of the past 10 weddings I've attended in the past year, only four of the couples sent me an official thank you for the gift I took time and effort to pick out and purchase.
Annoying? Absolutely. It's almost enough to go full Emily Post on my friends and family with a much-needed lesson in tact and etiquette. Further, the move away from formal, handwritten notes is a growing problem — and I’m not alone in feeling that way.
"For the past few weddings we attended, in which cash gifts were provided, no thank you card was sent… not even an email or social post of acknowledgement," Erin Tselenchuk, a San Francisco-based events planner, tells SheKnows. "Due to the value of the gifts, I had to check with someone — the bride, groom, parents of either — to ensure that the gift was received and not stolen. Even after the inquiry was made, there wasn't a verbal thank you either."
The reason? Some couples feel that providing a lavish party is good enough.
"There is an expectation of entitlement and that the thank you to their guests for the gift is being able to attend a lavish wedding," adds Tselenchuk.
According to Tselenchuk, official, handwritten thank you cards should be sent within three months of the wedding. With most couples, life gets in the way and they just forget to send cards.
"Between work, social media addictions, creating a new home together, it falls into the 'I'll eventually get to it' category and it never gets done," she adds.
I couldn't get any couples to actually admit that they forgot to send thank you notes to wedding guests. I did, however, talk to several newlyweds who took on their thank-you writing duties like a full-time job.
"When I got married last year I took my thank you cards very seriously," says writer Terri Huggins. "I sent them to people who sent me gifts, those who attended the wedding and those who couldn't attend but still sent my husband and me well wishes. I wanted people to know that whether or not they spent money on us, their support was still appreciated."
Some even take the time to get personal with their cards — very personal.
"We conceived our daughter, Milla, on our wedding night which spawned 'a Milla thanks!' homemade thank you cards to all who gave us gifts," says Kate Lacroix, creator of the event-planning website The Kollective.
So, the thank you note isn't completely dead, but it's seriously struggling. Maybe my next wedding gift will be an etiquette book instead of bath towels.
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