Re: Gift mystery problem

lostlkfarmMarch 15, 2005

My daughter was married recently, small wedding, but in the Northeast - "give $$" corridor. She was uncomfortable with carrying a "bag" so I made a box and kept it under our table. Upon returning from her honeymoon and writing her thank you notes she notice that six people did not give them anything be it gift or $$. She says it's okay but she's afraid that they did give something and will feel slighted with no thank you. Also they weren't people that she thought wouldn't give them a gift.

Is there anyway to find out if these are lost without being tacky??

Any suggestions who be appreciated

Thanks in advance.

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talley_sue_nyc

ouch--that's a toughie!

almost anything you could do will look like you're fishing for why they didn't give a present.

Here's the only idea I've had--make it look like you're checking up on HER.

In a few days, say, "She surely should have finished--did you get your thank-you note from her, or do I need to go jostle her along, and remind to her get them done promptly? I know she was worried that things would get confused and she'd miss people."

I'm not sure what that would tell you unless they flat-out said, "oh, no, she hasn't gotten my gift yet--I haven't decided what to give her, so of course I didn't get a thank-you note yet" OR if they said, "no, I didn't--I gave her that beautiful vase."

This seems like something Miss Manners would have answered.

Perhaps she would suggest you call these people and say, "we have a gift here that has lost its card--is it yours? we want to be sure to get the thank-yous out" and get their answer, and see if that tells you anything. And if they didn't give ANYTHING, they may assume you're fishing.

How likely is it, really, that they were lost? Really. The box was under your chair--it's not like stuff would have fallen out.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 12:53PM
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gellchom

I think Talley Sue hit it right on the head: "almost anything you could do will look like you're fishing for why they didn't give a present." Or for that matter, fishing for a present, period. I think that the strong likelihood of your call being taken the wrong way greatly outweighs the likelihood of their having given gifts that were lost.

As Talley Sue points out, how likely is it, really, that they gave checks that were (unlike all the others) lost? You wrote that your daughter did not even expect gifts from these people.

You wrote that the wedding took place "recently." Perhaps they just haven't gotten around to it yet, or perhaps they never intend to give a gift. It is certainly customary and polite to give a gift if one attends, but if people don't (and there are usually a few), that's just the way it is, and you have to let it go.

I would not say anything to them. If someone said something like that to me, even Talley Sue's carefully worded suggestions, I would take it as a not-so-subtle hint that my failure to give a gift promptly was noted, and would I please cough one up? If I had been embarrassed about not having sent a gift yet, that embarrassment would evaporate and be replaced by outrage at the rudeness and pushiness. I wouldn't think that the caller was concerned that I hadn't been thanked -- I'd think s/he was concerned that his/her daughter hadn't gotten all the cash to which she was so absolutely entitled that it could be demanded when it hadn't appeared fast enough.

The only concern on your daughter's part that you mention is her fear that they may have sent something and be offended that they haven't been thanked. If that did happen, and the gifts were checks, they will see that the check was not cashed, and THEY will contact HER.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 4:01PM
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nancylouise_gw

I wouldn't say anything either. It will look like you are trying to get a gift out of them. There is no polite way to word it or ask. Just drop it for the time being. If the guest actually did give a gift let them come to you or your daughter. They probably will let you know if they did not recieve a thank you card. And if they did not send a gift (which they are not required to do) then you won't have embarrassed them by asking. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 4:27PM
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lostlkfarm

Thank you both for your replies. My daughter also feels she can't say anything as well. And I do too. But 'the non thanks' were worrying her. Quite a few cards had cash and I know that a lot of the groom's family were giving gift certificates. My daughter won't even tell me who whas missing. We were told by someone also married at this venue that a few cards came up missing at their wedding. I think a wait and see attitude is best. Thanks again

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 4:30PM
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talley_sue_nyc

You wrote that your daughter did not even expect gifts from these people.

actually, she wrote that these "weren't people that she thought wouldn't give them a gift"--the double negative's confusing. But the bride actually thought these were the people who WOULD give a gift, and that's why she's a bit nervous.

Gellchom's got a great point about the check--let's hope that if they gave money, they used a check, and not cash.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 6:44PM
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sweet_pea10

Is there a possibility that the cards might have been placed somewhere and not given to you and could have been stolen? I'm a coordinator; I have never had gifts stolen at a wedding but I have had two people tell me about weddings that they attended where a number of cards were stolen. If guests left cards lying on the guest book table, for instance, anyone could have picked them up. But, how do you approach people when you aren't sure - that is the problem.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 8:12PM
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jennmonkey

Could she send a thank you card anyways, thanking them for attending the wedding, that way they will feel thanked whether they brought a gift or not? Just an idea.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 8:20PM
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gellchom

jennmonkey, I think that would create the same problem. Maybe even worse -- they might think that the bride is also hinting that they should have written her and her husband (or whoever was the host) to thank them for the evening.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 11:43AM
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scryn

If I was in that situation I would also send a thank-you card thanking those people for attending the wedding and spending their special day with them.
Afterall, thank you cards are not only sent to thank people for gifts but to also thank people for taking time out of their life to celebrate with friends.
The people attending your wedding have to go out of their way to do so and because of that they should be thanked, regardless if they were able to bring a gift or not.
-renee

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 4:16PM
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talley_sue_nyc

their special day

No offense, honestly, but if I see that phrase one more time, I think I'm going to run screaming down the street. It doesn't help that I have to read a wedding magazine every month for my job, and run across it there often.

I think there is the risk that touchy people will see that thank-you note as a "hint" that the gift should be coming. I have read it here, I swear to you.

But she could write them--I might personally try to avoid saying "thanks for coming" so as to keep it from being interpreted as a snippy little hint, and make it more newsy.

And if you genuinely believe that people who ATTENDED your dinner party need to be thanked for coming, then I certainly hope you believe that the bride and groom should be thanked for having INVITED them.

In fact, if you regard the wedding celebration as analagous to any other party, the people who should be thanked are the HOSTS, not the guests. In writing, actually, say the etiquette books.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 6:13PM
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gellchom

Talley Sue has it right, as usual: guests thank hosts, preferably in writing, for weddings as for any other hospitality. Hosts do not write guests to thank them for attending. I suppose the closest thing would be writing to people who attended a funeral, but that's not really analogous, is it?

scryn, honestly now, do you really write to each of your guests thanking them for attending? Have you, as a guest, ever received such a letter -- even a few times, let alone always? My guess is that the people who didn't give gifts never have, either, and they would instantly interpret such a letter -- no matter how it were worded, no matter how many chatty details were added -- just as Talley Sue points out posters here have said they would: "Dear Guest, You didn't give us a gift. Fork it over. Love, Bride and Groom."

This reminds me of a particularly obnoxious second cousin who, having received a birthday card from our great-aunt, wrote her, "Thank you for the lovely birthday card. I shook it and shook it, but no $10 bill fell out." That happened about 40 years ago, and everyone in the family not only remembers it, but it comes to mind whenever that cousin's name is mentioned. I think that speaks volumes about what people think about pushing for gifts.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 4:49PM
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lostlkfarm

Thanks to everyone who replied. I hope I didn't give the feeling that she was upset that there was no gift from these friends. (we actually carried her kicking and screaming into having a wedding in the first place, she wanted to go to Las Vegas and be done with it!!!) She was worried that they had given one and it was lost or worse and she wouldn't be sending a thank you.
She isn't doing anything with these and maybe at a later date if they did give a card it will come to light.
Thanks again to everyone

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 5:35PM
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scryn

Yes I DID write a thank-you letter to EVERYONE who came to my wedding and thanked them for attending and celebrating with us and also for the gift. I also included pictures of those people at my wedding in the cards so they can have a reminder of it. I made every thank you card personal and my mother even recieved some very nice comments from guests on how they were very happy to recieve such a thoughtful thank-you. Some of my friends had to drive 6 hours to be at my wedding and that is a sacrifice. They could have easily stayed home and sent a gift but they knew I wanted them to be there.
Of course my wedding was small (80 people) and they were all close family and friends.
I have recieved plenty of "thanks for coming and for the gift" cards. I find them rude. Couldn't people made things a little personal rather than "gee thanks" ? I would rather see no thank you than that.
I don't know, call me old fashioned (and I am not even 30 yet) I just realize it is really hard for me and others to drop everything, drive 5 hours, pay for a hotel for a half a day of wedding and a free dinner. I do it because I love and repsect my friends and know they invited me so I can be there for them and not because of a 'free party'.
Talley Sue, it is their special day! A wedding is the day everyone can see the love that the couple has. That was the day that my parents could SEE how much my husband and I loved eachother and were dedicated to eachother. Call that corny but that is what it is! :oP
(and NO we didn't JUST get married, we have been married for a couple of years)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 9:14AM
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gellchom

scryn, sorry, I sure didn't mean to imply you didn't write thank-you notes! And I agree with you -- I always thank the person not only -- in fact, not even primarily -- for the gift, but mostly for celebrating with us/thinking of us. I taught my kids to write thanks that way, too: "Dear Aunt Pitty-Pat, I was so glad you could come celebrate my birthday with us. I love the purple porpoise pus; I can't wait to use it. Have fun on your vacation! Love, Scarlett." Like that.

What I meant was, I wouldn't send a note to someone who didn't send a gift just thanking him/her for attending. It would just seem too much like a prompt for a gift.

I agree with you, though, that it's nice to acknowledge the efforts and caring of people who go to a lot of trouble to attend a distant wedding. But I think I would do that some other way than in what looks only like a thank-you note (in order to avoid the above hint). Like the next time I wrote to them anyway, on their birthdays, or a holiday card, or if I occasionally correspond with them by letter or e-mail anyway, I would include something like, "I hope you know how much it meant to all of us that you and Uncle Ashley went to so much trouble to come to our wedding. I will never forget how it felt to see your faces as I came down the aisle. And everyone loved having the chance to visit with you," in some internal paragraph. I don't think people would be inclined to see that as a hint for a gift, or even just an observation that none was received, as they might with a little notecard that was solely a note of thanks. What do you think?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 12:29PM
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talley_sue_nyc

I'm just sick of the phrase "thank you for sharing our special day"--it gets REALLY old, even if the sentiment is fine.

Every time I've traveled for a family wedding or a friend's wedding, the bride or groom or parents (usually all of them) express to me verbally how nice it was that I could come, and that they're touched I went to the trouble (since it's at least 1,000 miles to anybody I'm related to).

That's usually enough for me. If *I* wasn't getting something out of going to that wedding, believe me, I wouldn't go. But I went to my cousin's wedding, and my friend's wedding. etc., because *I* wanted to be there, to please *me*. I'm glad they were pleased I came, etc., but I was actually pretty selfishly motivated: I love them, and I wanted to be there that day because I wanted to share in that time.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 12:58PM
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