Monday, March 5, 2012

What's with all the MISSING WEDDING GIFTS


Hi ESB,

So piggy backing on the thank you card podcast question: I have a friend that didn't give us a gift, and that is not like her at all. We've had various conversations prior to my engagement and wedding about how she is always worried about making sure she "covers her plate" (apparently a Long Island wedding rule). But we didn't get a gift from her and her husband and I'm afraid it might have been lost. I don't want them to be offended that they didn't get a thank you card, but thanking them for coming when they likely did give us a gift seems odd.

I think you answered this question a while back and your advice was to try to get a mutual friend to help delicately ask the friend.* I tried that and the friend was like "Oh yeah, they would have definitely gotten you a gift. You should ask them about it, even though it's awkward." 

Any advice on how to handle this situation? I haven't seen them since the wedding (October) so we don't see each other all that often.

Thanks!

*****

ACKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK THE PODCAST. Here's me officially putting the podcast on hold. (Ever feel like you've bit off five more projects than you can chew? Four of which involve begging/nagging your husband to do a shitload of work for you?)

Anyhoo.

I think your best approach is to LET. IT. LIE.

Asking your friend "Did you get us a gift?" sucks. If she did get you a gift and she's roiling with anger that you haven't sent her a thank-you note, that'll bust out sometime, won't it??

xoxoxxx.

Once upon a time by Luis Cornejo
______________________________

*This was Rachel's advice, of course. Rachel of the thank you ninja skills.

28 comments:

  1. Maybe she hasn't gotten around to it yet. Or maybe she is getting you something special that requires extra time (art, photo gift, etc.). We got married in October and received two gifts last week.

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  2. Oh, yes, agree, don't ask directly, unless you're both "ask culture" people (tm ask.mefi). The "guess culture" way of indirectly inquiring: send them a thank you card...but make it a "thank you for coming/we loved having you at the wedding b/c so rarely get to see you" card. You're right that it is odd to only thank them for coming if they got you a gift--that oddness is what will clue them in that something is up with receipt if they *did* send a gift. And if they didn't get you a gift, well, it's nice to express that "thanks for coming" sentiment anyways. As someone who flakes on giving wedding gifts from time to time, I've always been impressed when I get those kind of thank you cards.

    ...Just noticed that your wedding was a while ago. But it's conceivable that you'd be going down your guest list, and sending errybody a thank you card at this point.

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    1. Regardless of whether you received a gift I still think you should thank a person for attending your wedding. My close friend, who was in the bridal party, didn't get us a gift (or even a card) but he did fly 2,000 miles and spend his Labor Day weekend with us and he still got a thank you card. [I just chalked the non-gift up to the fact that he's in law school and the non-card to the fact that he's a guy. Plus, who knows, maybe he'll send something later -- guests have a year, right?]

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  3. You could send out an email to all your friends saying something like, "We received some wedding gifts that were not labeled with the giver's name. If you gave us a gift and you haven't received a thank you card, please let us know so we can send you one!" This way you're not putting your friends on the spot if they did not give you a gift.

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  4. i like molly's idea!

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  5. ick, who cares really, like, at all.

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  6. I would just send a generic thank you - like thank you for coming to the wedding. The email idea isn't bad either and the only reason I think it would be worth bringing up is because my BFF had gifts stolen from her present table...

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  7. per Molly's suggestion: we actually had a couple of unlabeled gifts that showed up in the mail - had no idea who they were from, and asked my mom to help get in touch with some of the likely suspects who we knew would probabl be giving us a gift anyway (Grandma, etc.). It felt a little awkward but at the same time cleared up the confusion of why there was no card from Granny--did it get lost??-- ("oh, no, it wasn't me, I'm waiting to find the perfect XYZ...") as well as helped us figure out who sent the gorgeous, unmarked pie plate.

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  8. In the last two years, I didn't receive a TY from 3 brides. None of them are people I see real often, so the topic never came up. I know it's not that big a deal, but to this day I wonder if my gift was lost, stolen, or in the case of the very boring/cheap pantry shelf (on the registry, and I'd already gotten her expensive lingerie) – deemed a crappy gift and not worthy of a TY.

    My point is, just ask her. "It's totally cool if you didn't because I just wanted you at the wedding, but I want to make sure we didn't lose something you spent time and money on."

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  9. I think you should just ask or get your friend to ask again/properly. The same thing happened to me where I bought a good friend a wedding present online, where it was to be wrapped and directly sent. Never got a thank you card, which I thought was weird. Finally turned out a year later that the transaction had never gone through and so I had effectively never bought them a present. Once I found out, I was horrified, and madly bought her a new present, but there could have been a million glitches that she just isn't aware of it. Especially if you are sure she would have bought you one, I'd go with your instinct. If she's good friend, she won't think badly of you, you're just trying to do the polite thing. I wish i had found out sooner in my case.

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  10. Yeah I have a cousin that I never got a thank you card from, and I flew a few thousand kms (it's a Canadian thing) for the big day, plus gave water glasses off the registry and a card. Even if the card got separated from the gift and she didn't know who it was from, a TY for flying out to the coldest place on earth in the middle of March for a weekend would've been nice.

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  11. In 2010 I sent 3 wedding gifts and a baby gift and got no thank you cards, I seriously worry if they ever arrived. What to do then....

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    1. Follow up on them!

      Scenario A - Something went wrong. They got the gifts but no note and are agonizing about who sent them and would be grateful to hear from you.

      Scenario B - They are being lazy about sending thank you cards and deserve to be called out.

      It's a win-win. I wouldn't call people out if you know they had some sort of major crisis right around the gifting time, but I'm guessing that isn't the case in all three of these situations.

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  12. my stupid brother and his wife sent out the good ol' Costco generic photo of them with the text thanks for sharing our special day! regardless of gift.

    now, coming from someone who handmade a fancy pants, time-consuming gift for those knuckleheads, that did not feel like a thank you card. you've got to ask your friend if they got you something (they'll understand! you're just trying to make sure you thank them properly, which is of you!)

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    1. Seriously?! No handwritten note at all? So not okay.

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  13. Get that friend that said they totally got you something to ask anyway.

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  14. I attended a wedding last July and have still not received a thank you note for either my wedding gift or my shower gift. the shower gift I KNOW she got because they used it during the ceremony and the wedding gift was off her registry so it's unlikely that she doesn't know I purchased it (and there was a place to write a short note).

    Do people still think they have a year to write thank you notes? I personally think that's not acceptable, but I don't want to ask her (plus I am really upset now) and her think that she is within the acceptable window of time.

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    1. Sometimes they are waiting to get their photos back so they can do personalized cards, but I think for a July wedding they could feasibly have done that by now.

      I have to agree that a year just seems ridiculous. And who wants to be writing thank you notes A YEAR after their wedding? Getting them done promptly is better for everyone.

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    2. yep. write the fucking thank-you cards when get back from the honeymoon.

      WHAT'S. SO. HARD.

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    3. Ya, the whole 1 yr rule on either side (for giving or thanking)... I just simply do not understand.
      I think it's kind of rude to not at least send a card to someone-- so I'd assume if someone didn't at least receive a card that the card/gift was lost or that the person is just kind of rude and inconsiderate.

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  15. I would let it lie. Once my husband and I bought a gift for friends getting married and realized we couldn't bring it with us (we were flying to the wedding) and decided to ship it later. It took a while to actually send it out--but we also let our friends know it was coming. Stuff happens, and if they're generally reliable friends I wouldn't stress about it.

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  16. Your mutual friend is not getting the point. Perhaps you need to try another mutual friend? They need to be stealthy and ask something like "oh, did you get your thank you note from so and so?" or just casually bring up the fact that you are having trouble with a couple of unidentified gifts (whether or not this is true is beside the point).

    I think in this case the thank you for coming note could be a good idea. It seems clear that your main concern is your friend not feeling slighted, which is great. Sending a note that thanks them sincerely for coming is sweet and it also gives them a window to ask you if you received their gift, in the event that they sent one and it went missing.

    It is an awkward situation, you just have to decide which path is least awkward/most likely to get you a resolution.

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  17. I was married last May, and one of the couples who never gave us a gift JUST gave us a gift a couple weeks ago. A truly wonderful, extra thoughtful, fantastical gift, too. We were completely floored. It is possible your friend is spending extra time making you a gift or finding the perfect thing. I have another friend who always says the official amount of time allowed to give a gift is a year. So... you never know. If that mutual friend of yours could find a way to bring it up, it sure would be nice.

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  18. We had something similar happen at our friend's wedding. We got them a gift and never got a thank you card...but I could see the gift was delivered. I asked a few months later if they received it, and they said they hadn't. Turns out they had used their old address for their registry and moved right after the wedding. I ordered their gift after the wedding and the new home owner kept had kept it! They knocked on her door and got quite a few gifts that she had held on to!

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  19. We were also missing wedding gifts from an entire table of my husband's close friends... we traveled to all of their weddings (3), paid for 2 nights in a hotel as well as gave a gift. we had our wedding in the city we all live in, and didn't so much as get a card from any of them (and they didn't have to incur any of the travel costs that we did for their weddings.) I'm still pretty floored that we didn't even get a card from all of these "close friends."

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