Yves Saint Laurent knitted wedding dress 1965

i’ve always been pretty open when it comes to sharing more personal stuff. i guess i’m just not the most private person. i also find it VERY interesting when people are able to talk about the real stuff happening in our day to day lives. i’ve been wanting to explore more personal, weird, awkward, intimate, questionable, thought-provoking topics on this blog for a while now. i have to admit, before i wrote this post (which thank you SO SO much for your thoughtful comments. i read each one of them and i feel overjoyed with the response.) anyway, before i wrote that post i was nervous about HOW i would introduce it and make it look cohesive with my blog. but now, since my site is taking a bit of a turn in the road and going the more scrappy route, i feel like it’s the perfect time.

remember when katie and i ran the weekly advice column? that one was a little more focused on career stuff (which we will still touch on) but this one is going to be more casual/personal focused. let’s see how it goes! i also have a team of great girls with different opinions and i think it will be cool to introduce different points of view. okay, let’s REAL TALK.

our first topic: WEDDING GIFT & THANK YOU ETIQUETTE. do you give a gift even if you don’t go to the wedding? do you think it’s rude to not buy off the registry? thank you notes, are they outdated or always required? do you really have a year to give someone a wedding gift?….read our thoughts!


do you give a gift even if you don’t go to the wedding?
ok, let me just start by saying i am probably going to sound like the jerk of the group here. but i will do my best to explain! i think people who are more laid back about weddings and don’t really feed into the over the top craziness that surrounds them, are more laid back on what they expect (that’s me). if i was getting married and a friend that wasn’t a super close friend couldn’t make it to my wedding, i wouldn’t expect them to get me a gift. of course it would be nice, but i definitely wouldn’t expect it. am i going to send a gift, probably. but if i’m being 100% honest, sometimes it feels more like an obligation when you aren’t very close to a person. and i’m VERY into gift giving, maybe i am just a little scroogey on this topic. ultimately, i think it’s a person to person case. wedding gifts really add up!

joanie: for me, it depends on the person. if i’m close to them and their wedding is out of state and i can’t make it, i’ll 100% send a gift but if it’s an old childhood friend who i never talk to anymore, probably not.

natalie: i do, but i haven’t been in this situation more than once or twice.

do you think it’s rude to not buy a gift off of their registry?

bri: hmmm. i think because people spend so much time on their registry to find things they really want or need, it’s NICE to get something off the registry. do i think it’s rude not to? not really. but i see how it could be kind of annoying to receive a bunch of stuff that you don’t like or need. (we are supposed to be decluttering our lives, not adding unnecessary items to it, right?) but i will say, if a close friend who knew me well got me something meaningful they knew i would like, i wouldn’t be mad one little bit. registries feel a little impersonal, but hey, they sure are convenient!

joanie: i wouldn’t say rude but since i just got married i can attest to the fact that it’s really nice to get the things that you asked for and that you’re hoping to put in your home. i like to add a personal touch so i usually go through the registry and select something that i either a. love myself or b. own and use all of the time. and then add a note in there about how i use that item or a recipe i make with that pan, etc.

natalie: this one is tricky. if I’m close to a couple I’m more likely than not to give off the registry. since I make ceramics I love making personalized and functional pieces that incorporate things about the couple or aspects of their wedding like the date, location, or invitation colors. if I don’t know the couple well, then I buy off the registry. i only do this if i have a pretty good idea that they will enjoy what i’ve made for them.

thank you notes, outdated or always required?

bri: whenever i send a gift, i 100% do not expect a thank you note. they are sweet, but most of the time when someone is writing mass thank you notes they can just be generic and unnecessary. i feel like if i got you a gift off of your registry, i can assume you are thankful. i don’t need you to stress about writing me a note about it. it would be cool if we could absolve people from that guilt. i have a friend that said she will feel anxiety FOREVER for not finishing and sending her thank you notes. wish i could take that feeling away from her, because that seems awful. and then i have another friend who is mad that she never got one in the mail. it’s funny how different people are! and it’s also funny that i’m sounding like an impersonal bitch in this. ha.

joanie: i’ve got to go 100% traditional on this and say, for me, they are always required. my husband and i really wanted to send personal notes to everyone who sent us a gift for our wedding which ended up taking a lot of time but we received many enthusiastic comments from people who really appreciated the notes and it felt meaningful to write them. we gave ourselves a solid chunk of time to complete the task (about 8 months) but in the end i feel better that everyone heard from us, even if it was late. on the other hand, i do not keep track of the people who send me a thank you note or not. i love receiving them but i couldn’t tell you who hasn’t written me one out of the last ten weddings i’ve been to. and i really don’t like generic thank you’s, picky i know, but i’d rather not get one then get a three line template with my name and gift added in.

natalie: if you abide by more traditional wedding rules and expect that people buy a present for you from your registry than I think you should follow through with a traditional thank you note. if you’re more easy going with your expectations of receiving wedding gifts than it’s a nice gesture but not worth being stressing over if you don’t.


do you really have a year to give someone a wedding gift?

bri: i heard that’s true, so i’m going with it! although, if i don’t do it right away then i will forget.

joanie: i think that sounds fair. i would be thrilled to receive a gift at anytime, even three years later. but for me, i send it right away, don’t want that shit on my mind.

natalie: sure, why not. but i agree with Bri, if not now, when?

so you’ve spent money to be IN someone’s wedding (flight, hotel, dress), go to the bachelorette party, (probably in total spent around $1000!) do you buy a wedding gift on top of it?

bri: i’m gonna go with no. yours truly, scrooge

joanie: your presence is a present. a lot of our guests had to travel to our wedding and i certainly did not expect them to buy us a gift as well. if they did, awesome, if not, it was amazing that they were there to celebrate with us. i didn’t really want people to look back on our wedding and think, “man, that wedding cost me so much money” that would’ve been a bummer. also, for the record, i couldn’t tell you who didn’t give us a gift. it all turns into one joyful, jumbled mess and the gift part really doesn’t matter.

natalie: if someone has to spend money to attend your wedding they should be freed of the expectation of bringing a wedding gift. we had a destination wedding and i truly felt that our guests presence was their present.

what are your thoughts? we would love to hear you answers to our questions! ps. how amazing is that yves saint laurent knitted wedding dress from 1965?! insane.


Add your own

    Emily says:

    woahhh! Your blog is so different + I LOVE it!!! Keep up the fun work.

    Hannah says:

    I’m dyyying! I actually laughed out loud at Bri’s response to the last question. Can’t wait for more Real Talk!

    Liz says:

    Fuck thank you notes. Unless you really *feel* what you’re writing (then I’m all for it!), it does nothing for you and nothing for the recipient. Just checking a box.

    Megan says:

    My husband and I grew up five minutes apart. We have a big community that know us both and ended up having a HUGE reception with over 300 people. Needless to say we received tons of gifts!!! (We lived off of Target gift cards for like a year!) I can’t even express how grateful I was since we were so young and poor, but trying to send out hundreds of thank you notes was so overwhelming I never got it done. I wrote some, but never ended up sending them out. My mother-in-law asked me about it practically every time I saw her for the first year of our marriage (and we lived 10 min away, so we saw her a lot). I felt SOOO guilty, and still do. I’m sure there were lots of people offended (like my mil), and I feel terrible. But, I couldn’t bring myself to write a generic 3 line thank you note, and didn’t feel like I had the time to write hundreds of long, sincere thank you notes, on top of full time work and school, so I never finished. I’ll feel guilty ’til I die, and wish that they weren’t so expected. Now, sometimes when I give a gift I write on the card, “Congrats! Enjoy your new baby/spouse/degree/etc! No thank you card necessary!”

    Kayla says:

    It’s really interesting that all three of you agree you don’t need to buy a gift if you’re in the wedding! I was in a wedding recently, and it seemed to be very much expected that all of the bridesmaids should give a (generous) gift. Some people even mentioned that the groomsmen should give gifts as well, even though some of them were dating/married to a bridesmaid who had already given a gift. Um, no thanks.

    Kelly says:

    do you give a gift even if you don’t go to the wedding?
    You are supposed to, but I don’t always.. a couple times I felt like I had been invited just for the gift: like when I was invited to a wedding in Hawaii, couldn’t afford to go, and when I asked where they were registered, she said I could just send cash. ;/ …I didn’t send anything!

    do you think it’s rude to not buy off the registry?
    It’s a GIFT and you get to give whatever you want. Although, I’d say gift receipts are great when you can include them discretely!

    thank you notes, are they outdated or always required?
    Please don’t stop sending thank you notes!! They are not outdated, and they are so great to receive! Every year we give my niece a birthday gift and Christmas gift (both in December) and I have no idea if she even likes what we gave her… Please please please send them, I beg you, keep it alive.

    do you really have a year to give someone a wedding gift?
    It’s nice to get it right around your wedding, before or after. Don’t wait.

    Katryna says:

    Ahaha I love this conversation. I’ve hit the age where I am suddenly surrounded by weddings and I gotta say, I am scrooging it up with you Bri! The thing that gets me is when you are expected to get a gift for the Bridal Shower AND the Wedding. Hello, this is the 21st century! You’ve been living together for 2 years now and do not need all this stuff to ‘start your home together’.

    Josie says:

    Oh man, Bri. THIS. The expectations around weddings have gotten completely out of control. Going broke being a bridesmaid in seven weddings killed my desire to have a wedding at all. I wanted to elope and Frank put his foot down. Cue my 40 guest, bridesmaid-less wedding. I’m a scrooge with you on every point. I did make a massive effort to get every thank you note out because I knew my audience, so to speak, but even with less than 50 people at my wedding and one shower, I felt like I was writing thank you notes for ages, at a time that was already overwhelming enough. I’ve had major issues over thank you cards long before I even thought I would ever get married—the idea of someone giving a “gift”, which is by definition meant to be given with no strings attached—and then get grouchy over not receiving a written thank you card is in my mind so ungracious and defeats the purpose of the gift. The receiver of a gift absolutely should express gratitude and thankfulness, but it is up to that person to choose how—on the phone, in person, or yes, a thank you card. If the giver of a gift receives a thank you in any form and does not deem it “enough” because it wasn’t in a card, that speaks volumes about that person to me. If a giver doesn’t receive a thank you at all in any way at all—yes, feel free to feel unappreciated or offended. And if brides (in general) could break away from feeling like they need six showers, an extravagant destination bachelorette party, twelve bridesmaids and a 300 guest wedding to feel like they are getting the wedding experience they deserve, everyone would be better for it. If you have the funds, and you know your friends have the funds, fine. But you can’t ask for all that and then get upset if a bridesmaid or two can’t do it. In fact, if you have all that cash, for heavens sakes, skimp on the peonies and buy your bridesmaids that $400 bridesmaid dress YOU’RE asking for. Bitter much? Yes. Yes, clearly I am.

    Sarah Alves says:

    Love this! Here’s my wedding code.

    1. If I am not planning on attending the wedding or any of the events leading up to it (shower, bachelorette, etc.), I do not buy a gift.

    2. I always consider the registry prior to buying a gift, and always feel better about my purchase if I know it’s something they asked for!

    3. Thank you notes are a must. I send them. I expect to get them. Plus, I think so many people are used to NOT getting them that I like to “surprise” them. (I am from the south and we take our thank yous seriously!)

    4. Don’t wait to give a gift.

    5. If you are going to be in a wedding, this means you are close to the person (at least I hope so!) and in addition to everything else that goes along with being in the wedding party, a wedding gift is also needed.

    I also want to throw in that budgeting in preparation for weddings is so important! Make a list of all the expenses you expect and then plan accordingly. I often will set strict spending limits for gifts, accommodations, shower coordination, etc. This helps break down all the expenses and I don’t feel like within a one month period I am strapped with tons of wedding-related purchases.

    i’ve never looked at anyone’s registry, to be honest. i ALWAYS give money. i sort of think registries are old-fashioned, and i didn’t do one for my wedding. my husband and i had been living together for over 5 years by the time we got married, there wasn’t anything we “needed”, registering for “upgrades” just seemed wasteful, and we live in 600 SF so unsolicited gifts weren’t openly welcomed (scroogey mcscrooge). we paid for the wedding ourselves, and were saving up for a roofdeck renovation, so we told people we were saving for a roofdeck renovation, and that we would love help saving for it. some old folks got all huffy about it, but they got over it 😉 we really didn’t expect anything from anyone, we were just happy that people came!

    Jaclyn says:

    Regarding thank you notes: please please please send one. If you don’t feel you are close enough with me that I’m worth the time it takes to extend a handwritten note of thanks for my presence or my gift, then don’t invite me to the event. Maybe it’s an east coast vs. west coast thing but thank you notes really are a must, in my opinion.

    Also, almost more importantly than buying something not on the registry – don’t purchase an item from the registry at a DIFFERENT RETAILER! I registered at Macy’s for a bunch of Oxo kitchen tools and sure enough I ended up with DOZENS of duplicates because everyone bought them from different retailers. And as luck would have it, I didn’t get any gift receipts. So in the end, those gifts ended up being a big pain in my ass since they sat in a box for weeks until I had the nerve to finally start just giving them away to my friends. At at least $10 a pop, it killed me that my guests had spent a total of $100’s of dollars on gifts I had no use for.

    carolyn says:

    Thanks, Bri, for giving voice to some different perspectives here! I gotta agree with you about having a more laid-back view about weddings rather than the “over-the-top craziness” that usually surrounds them!

    Personally, I hate registries and never buy off of them — it feels so impersonal! My parents have so many interesting things in their house that were wedding presents, and I want my gifts to be special like that! Of course, I still try to get something that the couple will use and love.

    Isn’t it funny that this point of view comes off as Scroogey?! I LOVE being a part of my friends’ weddings, celebrating their special day and giving them gifts … I just struggle to understand where they’re coming from sometimes, with (as someone mentioned above) the near-universal need for a dozen bridesmaids, a big bridal shower, a destination bachelorette party, etc. The fact that it’s just assumed (with no discussion) that you will spend $1000 to be part of these things does bother me, as much as I try not to let it.

    As someone who is newly engaged and has NOT spent all my life dreaming about weddings (!), it’s really tough for me to find examples of a low-key, down-to-earth wedding that I could see myself having.

    Sarah says:

    Thank you notes are SO important! Social etiquette can often feel a little impersonal and cold, but not if it’s done correctly. My partner and I both sat down and both wrote messages in all the thank you notes we sent out (I hate when, like so many things, this becomes the BRIDE’S job). I had several people comment on how nice it was to receive personal thank you notes, and I know there have been several thank you notes I have received throughout my life that I’ve kept. They only suck if, like so many things in life, zero heart is put into it.

    But truly, aside from following social rules, I was more than pleased to send out thank you notes. I had such a big post-wedding love-hangover after celebrating that I really wanted everyone at my wedding to know they had helped me create memories (“I will always remember that you packed an emergency toothbrush for me, just in case I forgot one … which I did.”). Because of all the over-the-top expectations put on weddings, it was important to me to communicate that I felt lucky to have had the experience with all the people I loved, and not leave attendees feeling like I only wanted them there to buy me gifts.

    kirstin says:

    I totally agree with you Bri on the thank you notes. I managed to send out maybe about half of my thank you notes after my wedding and then truthfully life just got in the way of finishing the rest. But I have this see-saw feeling about it. Sometimes I don’t feel guilty because I’m also not the type of person who expects thank you notes for gifts. But then I swing in the opposite direction when I think about how some people might take my lack of a “thank you” as an insult. So I think thats a really tricky one. But it does seem really silly to me to write 150 notes that basically say the same exact thing and somehow thats supposed to make a difference in your appreciation.

    Lynne says:

    I’d like to weigh in on the thank you notes. There have been several times when I had bought a gift from the registry and had it sent directly from the store that were never received by the couple. I never got a thank you note, but I asked the couple if they received the gift I sent. I then had to work with the store to have the gift re-sent. So I would say, send a thank you note if only to let the sender know that the gift was received.

    mary says:

    Ok so I am usually a last minute shopper and do not like to buy the leftover mismatched items on the registry. To me- I guess I like to give something personal. I sell custom portraits through my etsy shop (and most people who order ARE purchasing for a wedding gift.) I guess I am biased (haha!) but I will always go for handmade and personal over leftover registry items. is my shop if anyone wants to order some personal wedding gifts! (shameless plug!)

    Also I love stationery so I enjoy getting thank you cards (and cards in general) in the mail. I would ever be mad if someone didn’t send one (I know it can be so stressful!) But I would have to send them if I ever get married.

    Lindsey says:

    Bri, I agree with you on almost all of your answers, because I’m pretty laid back too and just don’t *care* so much about all these little details, and my wedding reflected that. But man, family members can be *so* unyielding on the thank you note thing. Guaranteed, some family member will passive-aggressively ask if you liked their gift, or if you got their gift because “we haven’t heard from you!” meaning, “you didn’t send us a thank you!” It stressed me out! And they take so long to do for that many people. We kept putting it off, putting it off, and finally my mom called me and was like, “your grandma is really hurt and offended that you haven’t thanked her for her gift” which just KILLED me, because she’s my only living grandparent, she wasn’t able to go to the wedding because of an injury, AND she had been so beyond generous that i cried when i opened her gift. so i felt TERRIBLE, and i still think about that and wish i could take that moment back and just written the damn thing.

    all that to say, there are still some thank yous that never got sent, and never will. though, i think when it comes to weddings at least, you kinda have to forego what you think won’t matter etiquette-wise and just write the thank you note. i think that’s one of (if not the only) non-negotiables for many people. :/

    Sarah says:

    I’m getting married in a few months and we are not registering or setting up a honeyfund because we think that’s a great way to nudge all of our friends and family into giving us cash… That being said, my fiancé and I both keep having dreams in which we end up with 8 new toasters.

    Sarah Booth says:

    Hey ladies,
    Fun post! Bri, you are not a bitch! Its a relief hearing you are sympathetic about not sending thankyou notes as, i can relate to your friend and had some serious anxiety while sending out mine, did i forget anyone? i dont know? and i was scarred from my sisters wedding the year before when i heard my one uncle was pissed for not getting one (!!!) aaaah
    loving the new format! <3

    Shirley Rodriguez says:

    Great questions and answers! I’m getting married next year, and by all means our wedding is as easy going as we can make it. Some context: I’m 25 year old cuban born woman who grew up in Miami, and my fiancé is a 30 year old Gainesville, FL native jewish woman. We will be focusing on people having fun, paying homage to our heritage and quality music for dancing. In regards to the gifts we are also in the decluttering phase and will be forgoing the registry all together and asking people to help fund our travel plans if they can. I believe that weddings shouldn’t feel like obligations or induce so much stress (but then again I’ve never been married! Here’s hoping!).

    Debbie D. says:

    Re: gifts for weddings I don’t plan to attend – I don’t.

    Grown women wearing matching dresses, and ridiculous alteration costs for a dress you’ll wear exactly once? Completely archaic.

    A request for silver shoes to go with that dress? You monster.

    I think that asking someone to be part of a wedding party is a very bizarre way of showing that you care. I know some are saying that a gift is unnecessary if you’re participating as part of the wedding party, but I just don’t believe that. These people want their gifts!

    I hate that friendship is synonymous with the ability to dole out endless gifts for a thousand different showers.
    Like look, it’s great that you found love and all, but why I have to buy you some overpriced picture frames to show my support I will never know.

    Thank you cards: always.

    Ava says:

    What about wishing wells!? Every wedding I’ve been to recently have asked for money as a gift instead of a traditional registry. I don’t know why but I found it kinda rude and purposely give a physical present which has meaning behind it. This has become even more of a sore point when a friend admitted that all the money they received from their wishing well was used to pay off the credit card!! Not into it and never will be haha. My wedding is in October and I hope to make the registry very different and not intimidating.

    Ps… Love the blog, I’ve been a long time Instagram follower and now a first time blog lover!

    Melissa says:

    I am absolutely in ‘camp thank you note.’ We’re all busy, but people spend precious time and money to get you a gift. The least you can do is send them a short note to say thank you. It’s a huge pain in the ass, but I think people deserve an acknowledgement, even if it’s not poetry.
    Also, many people who order online have their gifts sent straight to you. I’ve had several people ask me (or my parents) if I got their gift. Receiving a thank you note provides them with the peace of mind that their gift did in fact make it to you.
    That being said, I don’t think there should be any timeline for thank you notes. I read online that you are supposed to send them out within two months of the wedding, which seems pretty arbitrary and unrealistic. It is a big, time consuming task! It has been four months since my wedding and I am still working on my thank you notes.

    As a wedding invitation designer, I fall on the side of traditional for Thank You notes. Send them. But as a guest, I appreciate getting them to let me know that they received their gift. Most of the time, I order off the registry and the gift gets sent directly to their house. When I don’t receive a Thank You note, I wonder if they even got it? And I think because Im a invitation designer, I don’t want to ask them if they got it and seem like I’m passive aggressively judging them for not sending a Thank You.

    H says:

    No! There is always that weird Aunt who thinks registries are “impersonal” and gets everyone things they will never want or use. Even if you are going off registry on the sly (because you have amazing taste), PLEASE DON’T put it out there that’s it’s ok! So many wedding gifts gone to Goodwill…

    Joanna says:

    No one should EXPECT a gift–especially if the wedding hosts know you’re broke and/or you have to travel. That being said, I always go out of my way to get a gift, either off the registry or something meaningful I know they will enjoy.

    Also, I love thank you cards! I’ll take a generic over none at all.

    I image that if I were ever to have a wedding, I would pay for my bridesmaids dresses. Also, the plethora of events (engagement party, bridal shower, etc…) requiring gifts is something you guys should also discuss!

    Kirsten says:

    On sending a gift if you can’t make it to the wedding: If you happened to get married first and that person gave you a gift you should definitely give one in return. If you got married first and they did not send a gift, then I think you’re off the hook regardless of how close you are.

    Christine says:

    I feel like I’m so non-traditional when it comes to weddings. I think how the couple interacts with their guests is a sure sign of how they are going to act during the wedding process. I never expect a thank you card. I was the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding, and did not buy her a gift because I spent so much already! And I love giving gifts on their registry. It’s so damn easy!! By the way, I’m loving this real talk! New favorite. 😀

    Cece says:

    I write for a bridal magazine and love hearing different opinions on these topics! I also completely agree that the hype and hysteria surrounding weddings is out of control. I wish everyone would chill out a little, because I love seeing the weddings with unique elements and style that simply celebrate the couple and their love for each other, their family, and friends.
    RE: Gifts from the registry*
    Couples – It’s ultimately up to your guests to decide what to give you! They don’t need to help you pay off your credit card or buy a vacation if they don’t want to, and they may choose to get you something they personally feel you would appreciate rather than something from your list. Deal with it.
    Guests – The couple has gone out of their way to highlight some things they would like in an organized way. Take the hint!
    *This one is tough for me because, while I would love to receive 100 perfectly thoughtful and personalized gifts that I absolutely adore, it just isn’t likely that everyone will be able to choose these things for me. People have different tastes. (The “gifting crafts that you make or sell as your profession” route seems like a very slippery slope as they may be less the couple’s taste and more your own.)
    RE: Thank you cards
    I am a big fan of thank you cards, mostly because it is so nice to receive something in the mail that isn’t junk. I don’t necessarily feel offended if I don’t get one (especially if the couple thanked me in another way like in person or with a phone call). That being said, I think it’s always best to send them. Why not err on the safe side? I would rather put in the effort than risk hurting someone I’m close enough with that I wanted them at my wedding. It does take time but it isn’t THAT hard. I know everyone’s crazy busy but not doing it comes off a tiny bit lazy.

    Emily Love says:

    hahaha I totally did not feel like you were a scrooge Bri, which then makes me feel like I may be a scrooge? loved this article!

    Joy says:

    Yes!! To always bringing a gift ( my son got married a year ago…awesome food,open bar, cute giveaways, photo booth, basically an awesome party with a wedding!…and some people did not bring a gift!…rude!) No to sticking to the registry. I didn’t like making my registry and I usually do something way cooler than what the couple could have asked for!! Yes!! To thank you notes! (I keep the announcement,wedding shower invite and the wedding invite out until the thank you note comes then I tie it all together for my keepsake box)….ahhhh send the gift right away and send the thank you right away!…means more if it’s all done while we are all still basking in the glow of the newlywed love! …weddings are once in a life time…right?

    Jennifer says:

    After my wedding this past spring, I felt such an overwelming gratefulness to all my family and friends –especially those who had traveled to attend (which was nearly all members of both families) and our friends who had pitched in to set up the site and make favors, etc. so my thank you cards were little novels telling each how much I appreciated them first, and then thanking them for the gift. Honestly, how often do you really tell your loved ones that you love them? It took a long time to get them all done (8 months), but i know they were appreciated and will be remembered. Don’t be generic–what’s the point of that? I believe expressing gratefulness is important, especially when people are so kind to spend money and time to choose and gift and travel to your event.

    we eloped because we wanted to avoid a bunch of bullshit and obligations all the way around. we even hired a stranger as a witness because it was only about us on our wedding day.
    we spent the proposed wedding bash budget on traveling all over europe.

    a thank you note is just courteous.

    first thought on the knit vintage wedding dress… is she wearing a knit ‘dildo costume’?

    amy says:

    honestly, thank you notes are super important to me as a wedding guest and gift-giver. this goes for baby showers, too. I don’t need a fancy card, but a thoughtful email or text message would be nice. I find it rude that – when I take the time to pick out a gift (even from the registry!) for a special occasion – the recipient can’t be bothered to formally say “thank you”. Most of the time a gift gets dropped on a table or sent directly to the couple – a thank you note tells me that the gift was received and appreciated. Call me petty – but I know exactly who has, and who hasn’t, sent thank-yous.

    Britt says:

    so….I’m kind of old school on this I guess, but a gift is not price of admission for a wedding, in exchange for food and drinks and merriment. it’s to celebrate the couple and mark a beautiful time in their lives so if I would give a gift attending a wedding, I would give it without attending. I think though that a nicely written, thoughtful card works in all circumstances that there are traditionally gifts given. Gifts are more about your relationship with the couple and what you can/want to spend. Sending actual good thoughts and sitting down to write it with intention while not as tangible as a physical gift off the old registry can be really meaningful. Also I think best practice is to send the gift before the wedding so you don’t forget, and the brude and groom don’t have to bring them home afterwards as so many have weddings in their home state or a place they no longer live.

    We had an 80 person wedding so we could really share with our nearest and dearest-no showers, no bachelorette to attend, no wedding party, and we specified on the website that we were more than grateful for attendance as many guests were coming from out of state and country, a gift was not expected. A few people who declined (after having to chase them down for late rsvp) didn’t send a card or gift which was a bit of a bummer as we considered them close but completely understood they couldn’t make it as it would be a flight/hotels involved for them to attend. We sent thoughtful hand written thank yous to those we received gifts from and send holiday cards with a handwritten note added thanking those for coming to those who attended.

    The oddest thank you note situation I have experienced is when we attended a wedding on the other side of the world and my husband was in the wedding party, we also gave expensive gifts off their registry and 8 months later received a mass computer printed note with one of those quotes on it (thank you for being our best friends, partners in crime etc etc) so I was unsure if they had even received the gifts…I think a quick email or a mention on a phone call to say hey thanks for the blank just used them last weekend or something would’ve been better but at the end of the day no one is perfect and people always have stuff going on behind the scenes so I don’t get my knickers in a knot over it.

    Jen says:

    pleaseeeeeee do one of these hilarious yet informative q&a posts around bridesmaid etiquette, wedding shower etiquette, anything bridal! i’m a low-key unmarried lady and suddenly the bridesmaid of two of my close friends next summer – the expectations and etiquette around this are so vague, i feel like it’s a secret code i’m supposed to somehow crack without offending the brides.

    Jess Zimlich says:

    I just got engaged and absolutely loved reading your answers and thoughts from everyone who left comments, too! One of my biggest fears is creating any sort of burden for my friends and family when it comes to our wedding. I don’t see us sticking to tradition and even though I know it’s going to ruffle some feathers when it comes to parents and grandparents, I’m trying to remember this is about us. Our main goal: We want everyone to have a night they won’t ever forget.

    As for wedding gifts and thank you’s…I once got a thank you note from someone with the gifted item scratched out and replaced with what I actually bought them. I’d rather not get anything if that’s what is going to show up in my mailbox. On the other hand, I’ve received thank you notes from some of my best friends just thanking me for allowing us to experience life together and those are the ones I’ll always remember.

    Caitlin says:

    haha, for the record I am even scroogier than you are, bri! I fully plan on eloping someday (my boyfriend is on board and our families are ok with this!) and I just really have no patience for most of the traditional wedding expectations *at all*. the whole thing sounds so stressful and expensive (for everyone involved).

    I lean towards the scroogey side of things with you Bri. I got married in May 2015 and my husband and I JUST finished the last few thank you notes, 8 months later. Of course I want people to know I’m thankful, but I just do not understand the intensity of this tradition of thank you notes. For some people it is like a cardinal sin to miss someone. I think this extreme emphasis on etiquette is kind of outdated. Don’t you think people who get upset about not receiving a thank you note are really the rude ones here?? Shouldn’t we give gifts without expecting anything in return?

    A couple of the last thank you notes we still had to write were my mother-in-law’s friends. Apparently one of them continuously brought it up with her, asking if we’d received the gift and wondering where their note was. She knew we’d received the dang gift. I found this appalling. What kind of an adult hounds someone about something like that 8 months later? I truly think this is more rude than not sending the note. And it irked the heck out of me that my MIL felt the need to text us about it more than once.

    As you can see this is a sore spot for me! Haha. The bottom line for me is that wedding thank you notes are still very socially expected and I would recommend everyone send them, but I really wish people would stop placing so much importance on them. Some people have a personality type where it is natural to send thank you notes and their heart is really in it. And some do not. They shouldn’t be lampooned for that. It’s not a moral deficiency. (Of note, my MIL sends thank you notes for EVERYTHING. Christmas, birthday, hell I get Valentines Day cards from her. So I’ve got that going for me. Ha!)

    I wrote that big long comment and didn’t even answer the other questions, haha.

    Do you give a gift even if you don’t go to the wedding?
    – I do, because I LOVE seeing what people have registered for and picking out something I like for them. But I don’t think anyone should feel obligated, especially if you don’t know the person well or are short on cash. That applies even if you are going to the wedding!

    Do you think it’s rude to not buy a gift off of their registry?
    – Rude? No, not exactly. But you are risking giving them something they don’t want or need, so I think it is just safer to choose off the registry as long as there is still something on it you can afford.

    Do you really have a year to give someone a wedding gift?
    – I don’t know why you would want to wait that long, but no one’s going to say no you may not give me a gift after all this time, haha.

    So you’ve spent money to be IN someone’s wedding (flight, hotel, dress), go to the bachelorette party, (probably in total spent around $1000!) do you buy a wedding gift on top of it?
    – I have been, I would say, fortunate to only be a bridesmaid in one wedding so far in my nearly 29 year old life and it was my sister’s. And I have never had to travel far for one either. When my sister, who is my best friend, got married I had very little expendable income so I literally gave her $50 and that’s it. Fortunately she’s not an ass and had no problem with this at all! They asked for Amazon cards specifically because they were about to move across country.

    I am a small circle kind of girl, so I truthfully have only one unmarried friend right now that I could see asking me to be a bridesmaid for her one day. She is also not an ass. I do not associate with asses. So I’m golden. 😉

    Firs off, I love these real talks! And second, I’m getting married this summer and found this very helpful in that it relieved all of the thoughts I’ve had. Bri, I’m with you %100 on everything lol. I have one person in my wedding party and gave her the option to spend what she wants on what she wears and she can choose it herself

    Thanks for the ease of mind ladies:)

    Heidi says:

    This shit is gold. I could read the post and the comments all day long. The current wedding culture is bananas and I think social media only fuels the fire.

    designlovefest says:

    agreed, it has gotten outta hand!


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