Do We Have to Send a Thank You Note to ALL of Our Guests — Even If They Haven't Sent a Gift?

Our experts weigh in..

Updated 04/04/17

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There’s a lot to remember when it comes to writing wedding thank you notes, from when you should send them to how long they should be. But what if your wedding has come and gone, and a guest didn’t give you a gift — should you still send a thank you note because you’re happy they came? Here’s what our experts have to say.

Sending a thank you note to a guest who didn’t send you a wedding gift can be tricky. On the one hand, letting them know how much you appreciate that they took the time to come celebrate with you is a really sweet gesture. On the other? It can seem like you’re reminding them that they didn’t send a gift — definitely not sweet! So when you’re writing those post-wedding notes, keep a few things in mind.

If you’re going to send a thank you note, the best way to avoid suggesting that you’re asking where your gift is, is to make sure the note is heartfelt. More than just saying “Thanks for coming!”, include a moment from your wedding day that you and the guest shared, something like “It was so fun to see you on the dance floor with our sorority sisters!” or “I’m so happy we were able to chat over a slice of cake.” Keep the note as personal as possible to make sure your guest knows you really are thankful that they were there to join you.

Of course, there’s the etiquette myth that guests have up to a year after your wedding to send a gift. Nowadays, that timeline is shortened to about three months, so you’re not stuck waiting until your first anniversary to send out those remaining thank you notes. Instead, you may want to wait a month or two until you send them — giving the guest in question enough time to send you a belated gift, if they so desire.

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