20-40-60 Etiquette: Thanks, but no thanks

20-40-60 Etiquette: Expensive gifts with no word of thanks prompt one reader to ask for etiquette advice.
Oklahoman Published: December 30, 2013

HELEN'S ANSWER: Brides should thank people who have taken time and money to help celebrate their day and who have helped get their marriage off to a good start. I don't blame you and your friend for wanting to know if the couple got the wedding or shower gift and/or if they liked it. Ask the bride or the groom about it. That way you don't have to bother your friend. The couple needs to be held accountable for their actions and need to know that a thank-you is definitely in order. Worry about the baby shower whenever it happens. You might change your mind and want to send a small gift.

The bride's mother-in-law cannot make her write the notes and probably is mortified that this much time has gone by.

GUEST'S ANSWER: Hilarie Blaney, etiquette and international protocol consultant: Emily Post's Etiquette says “after three months, you are free to ask if the gift was received and you may ask the couple — or one of the parents — if you know them well.” In addition, “be sure to inquire in a tone of concern, not annoyance.” Your story says that the mother of the groom is your friend, and if asked with concern, she would not think you are a “complainer.” You will be doing her a favor; imagine how many others were treated the same way.

Although I have always received a thank-you note for a wedding gift, I have not been thanked, or acknowledged for baby gifts, ones that took time to mail to other states. I have decided not to send gifts to baby No. 3!

If the mother is a good friend, I would send a small gift, and if you are not thanked, I would tell her.

Callie Gordon is 20-something; Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email helen.wallace@cox.net. For more 20-40-60 etiquette, go to newsok.com/blogs/parties-extra.

by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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by Callie Gordon
Freelance Writer
Callie Gordon, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, is working at Chesapeake Energy in the Environment, Health, and Safety Department. She was previously an event coordinator for Chesapeake Energy.
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