Thank-You Note Etiquette (For That Wedding Guest Who Didn't Bring a Gift)

Updated 01/04/16

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Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates. For her Brides.com column, Jen tackles a bride's burning question: Do I have to send thank-you notes to guests who didn't bring a gift?

You've checked your stack of envelopes twice already trying to figure out if some of your guests forgot to give you a gift or perhaps you just misplaced their card and check. Either way, it's thank-you note time and you're wondering what to do about the list of people who you're pretty sure didn't give you a gift for your wedding.

There are two ways to go about this. First, you can opt out of sending them a thank-you note. But what good does that do? A giant part of you should still feel thankful that they came to your wedding and celebrated with you, even if they came empty-handed. In the end, there's no set in stone rule or law that they must bring you a wedding gift. While it's the proper thing to do, sometimes people, for their own set of reasons, don't. Other times, it's as simple as a guest just forgetting to give you the gift.

I have left many weddings with the card and check for the bride and groom still in my purse. Sometimes by sending a thank-you note, saying you're so glad they were in attendance on your special day, will spark them to remember to put some postage on the envelope and send you your gift.

Either way, I think it's the right thing — and the best thing — to do. Send everyone who stepped foot in your wedding a thank-you.

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