Approximately four months ago I attended a wedding. It was an early morning wedding, the lunch reception was lovely and all in all it really was a special day.
The bride was a good friend of mine, we initially met through a mutual friend and hit if off wonderfully. Upon asking her what she would like for a wedding gift (her invitation did not include any note about a registry or wishing well) she stated that anything “housey” would be appreciated (her and her hubby-to-be had just purchased their first home), but if I could not find anything I thought suitable, a gift voucher or money would be fine. I looked around for weeks before the wedding until I finally found something – a hand-blown glass vase at some markets near where I lived. All the vases and other items in the stall were very individual, I knew a gift like this would be a one-off, no-one else could possibly get the same. So I decided to purchase it, but as it only cost $30.00 I added a gift voucher for a shopping chain to it, for $80.00 so their wedding gift totalled $110.00
I’m not 100% sure of etiquette rules when it comes to the giving of wedding gifts, this was the first one I had attended on my own, all other weddings had been attended with my parents when family members were married. However, I was informed that the “general rule” is to approximate between $50 and $100 per plate for the reception and purchase a gift that equates something around that value. As I was single at the time of the wedding and did not have a plus one, I would say that my gift was appropriate if following the “general rule” (please correct me if this is wrong).
Shortly after they returned from their honeymoon (about two weeks after the wedding), the new bride and I had a falling out. We are both straight-forward and to the point people, which is why I think we butt heads, but it was part of our friendship. We had had disagreements before, but this particular one started after the topic of divorce came. It was during a discussion while we were having lunch with other friends, but perhaps it was something to do with just being married, or the fact that her parents are divorced (for about 10 years) but something I said triggered her, and now she won’t speak to me. I have tried contacting her several times, to apologise and explain that perhaps I was being insensitive, but at the time, I was in line with the discussion and didn’t mean to offend anyone especially her. But she won’t speak to me.
As yet I still have not received a thank you for the gifts I gave them on their wedding day. I know that they have been sent (earlier mentioned mutual friend said she received one) but I haven’t gotten one. So my question is: even though we are no longer friends, should I still be thanked? I did not extend my budget in my purchase, and feel that though the gift voucher is nothing special, it is what she asked for and along with it was a unique vase that couldn’t be replicated. We were friends at the time of her wedding and though we have since stopped talking, surely just a generic “thank you for the wedding gift” would be better than nothing wouldn’t it? I would be interested in hearing your advice. 1219-11
Thank heavens the invitation did not include any registry or wishing well information. That would have been intolerably rude. And your “understanding” that a wedding gift should be of equal value to what the per plate reception costs are is quite inappropriate. Unless you and other guests have acquired powers of ESP or divine omniscience to know for certain what has been spent on a reception that has not occurred yet, you really have no way of knowing except to speculate and that is just rude to contemplate what your host is spending on you. (Conversely, it is wildly inappropriate to speculate, guide, direct or expect one’s wedding guests to give XXX amount of money or cash value of gifts.)
Yes, a Thank You note is required for all gifts one is given regardless of the state of the relationship at the time of the writing of the note. At the moment the gift was given, it can be assumed that all parties are congenial enough to give and receive gifts among themselves so a note of gratitude is in order. However, I’m not sure what the letter writer would want to do with that information. One cannot demand to be given a Thank You note or hint around for one. My best advice is to wait it out for a few months or a year, try to reconcile the relationship again and if all fails, just chalk it all up as a life lesson and move on.