What to do about a partially acknowledged wedding gift?
September 8, 2010 4:56 PM   Subscribe

YetAnotherWeddingGiftQuestion: A month ago my husband and I attended a friend's wedding. We took our gifts to the reception (a cookbook and a set of pots and pans, wrapped in the same distinctive wrapping paper). Today we received a thank-you note - for the cookbook. Do I ask the bride and groom about the cookware? My motivation isn't "we got you this nice gift, and we want you to acknowledge it." When we got married, we received one set of china that we couldn't ever attribute to anyone, and it bugs me to this day that we couldn't properly thank the gift-giver. So, do I ask? Or just let it go? These folks are friends, but not close ones.
posted by killy willy to Society & Culture (20 answers total)
 
Let it go. If it starts driving them crazy that the pots and pans are unaccounted for, they'll ask around, and word will get to you (or someone else will take credit). If it never crosses their mind, then your bringing it up will only make you look petty. Yes, even if you couch it in "Well, we'd hate for you not to know, because we had that problem, and it just kills me." It will still sound petty.
posted by Etrigan at 5:01 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let it go. I've never understood the thank-you note dance that people do at their weddings and the weddings of friends. The point is that they got the gift, let it end there and let them enjoy their honeymoon phase.
posted by Think_Long at 5:01 PM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Don't ask, just send an e-mail saying, I really enjoyed the wedding and I'm so glad you guys are enjoying the cookbooks and cookware! If they just inadvertently omitted to thank you for it, they won't even notice. If they were wondering where the cookware came from, now they know. If they're confused, they'll probably say so.
posted by grouse at 5:02 PM on September 8, 2010 [31 favorites]


The only reason I would even mention the cookware is if you think there's a chance they don't have it by accident. If you've seen it, or know that they have it (or returned it or whatever) just let it go.
posted by theichibun at 5:08 PM on September 8, 2010


Could it be that they returned or re-gifted the cookware? I wouldn't worry about it, myself. Maybe if you were closer friends, perhaps even expected to, say, have dinner at their house and see the cookware in action, I would send the e-mail grouse suggests. Otherwise, let it go.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 5:09 PM on September 8, 2010


I agree with grouse. Gifts get mixed up after a wedding, and I would want to know.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:10 PM on September 8, 2010


I'd casually ask, next time you see them, if they received their pots and pans too. You can explain you asked due to your own experience of never knowing who gave you the china.
posted by bearwife at 5:15 PM on September 8, 2010


I'm with grouse.
posted by Buffaload at 5:21 PM on September 8, 2010


Count me as another one in the grouse camp, but you can also go the route of having a mutual friend check it out. I've played the part of gift-checker for several people, and the response has always been a slap to the forehead and 'oh MAN so that's who gave us the blender.'
posted by punchtothehead at 5:41 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would absolutely let it go unless a genuinely unforced, casual occasion arises in future when saying something like "Hey, so how are you getting on with those Le Creusets (or whatever)?" is perfectly reasonable. But if in doubt, say nowt.
posted by Decani at 5:46 PM on September 8, 2010


My answer depends on if the couple opened the gift(s) at the wedding or not.

If they did open them - just let it go. They probably misplaced or mixed up their note to tell who gave them what. Once the wrapping card and paper are removed, it's too easy to do this.

If they didn't open them, and it's possible that the gift was lost, I would at least follow up as grouse recommends. My worry would be if the gift was lost (is it possible a stranger could have walked off with it?) and if so, I'd want to buy a replacement.
posted by SarahbytheSea at 5:52 PM on September 8, 2010


Also agree with @punchtothehead :D
posted by SarahbytheSea at 5:54 PM on September 8, 2010


punchtothehead has it. I've done this for both sides. Nothing wrong with it.
posted by micawber at 6:08 PM on September 8, 2010


I'm with grouse. A friend had several of her gifts stolen off the gift table at her reception by someone who worked for the banquet hall. She didn't even know what had gone missing, so she couldn't thank the givers for their intention.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:23 PM on September 8, 2010


Good answers above (I particularly like the casual email suggested by grouse), and to avoid this in the future, send wedding gifts to the address on the RSVP card, if you have one to reference. You can also send gifts to the bride's address or the bride's mother's address, or whatever address is on any gift registry you use.
posted by cooker girl at 6:31 PM on September 8, 2010


Don't ask, just send an e-mail saying, I really enjoyed the wedding and I'm so glad you guys are enjoying the cookbooks and cookware

If I got an e-mail like this from a not-very-close friend I would think it was quite strange -- what, they're fishing for another thank you?

Either it's lost -- in which case, what good does it do to call their attention to this fact? -- or they got it and failed to include it in the thank you note -- in which case, ditto -- or they got it and lost the card, in which case it's possible they'd appreciate knowing who sent it. But much more likely they've forgotten about it, just like they've forgotten which friend or relative corresponds to each of the other gifts, now that they've written their thank yous.
posted by escabeche at 6:54 PM on September 8, 2010


I say find a way to float this info to them. Either you send them a subtle email, or get a third party to do it, or whatever. I've had more than one wedding gift I've given get lost/stolen, and it was only sorted out months or years later.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:37 PM on September 8, 2010


My recollection is that Miss Manners considered this exact scenario and concluded it was the perfect covert operation for in-laws, parents, and Maids of Honor. Presuming it's possible, you let one of the above know why you're worried and let them do the (subtle) dirty work for you.
posted by range at 10:02 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]



If I got an e-mail like this from a not-very-close friend I would think it was quite strange -- what, they're fishing for another thank you?


See... recently being through the whole married thing with the thank you notes, I'd think either "THAT'S where the cookware came from!" or "Shit, did I thank them for the cookware?"

There are small subtleties both sides - the couple and the guests/gift-givers - do in order to not seem boorish, maintain their manners and still get messages across during the entire wedding process.

It's not a huge deal, really, to either send a follow up email or have someone run interference.
posted by jerseygirl at 5:52 AM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the input everyone. I think I will have another friend surreptitiously inquire if they actually have the cookware set. At this point, I'm only concerned whether it made it out of the reception venue and home with them.
posted by killy willy at 8:10 AM on September 9, 2010


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