No Thank You (Note)!

A FOFriend who bought an engagement gift three months ago, for a couple of 30-somethings (they sent out a link to their registries about eight months before their nuptials), hadn’t received a thank you note.

The store confirmed that the gift was delivered, so my friend asked me if I thought she should email the couple asking if they indeed received the gift. I said “sure.”  My mother taught me  the importance of sending thank you notes back in the 1950s, so I’ve considered them part of the code of polite behavior ever since.


The unapologetic response from the future bride thanked my friend and explained that she hadn’t had a chance to go through their gifts since they haven’t regularly visited the relative’s house to where the gifts were sent. She assured my friend that she would let her know about her gift when she got a chance to check.

Hmm, I thought. They invited people to buy gifts well before their wedding, and didn’t really care enough to thank those who went through the effort to buy them. To what end?

I decided to ask a young man who is close in age to the engaged couple what he thought about the situation.  He said my friend and I were totally wrong to expect and want a thank you note. “You don’t buy a gift for someone so they can thank you. You buy it because you want to give them a gift,” he said.

“As a rule, thank-you notes for engagement gifts should be mailed within two or three weeks, and early wedding gifts should be acknowledged before the big day. Besides the fact that it’s good manners to respond promptly, there’s a practical reason for this: The work won’t get a chance to pile up,” according to

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