– Ask Cheryl – When should you expect to get a thank-you note for a gift?

A thank-you note is a kind gesture that confirms your gift was received, but how soon should you expect to get one?

Hi Cheryl,

When should you expect to get a thank-you note for a gift?

Thanks,
Sarah

thank you note
Custom Thank You Notes Courtesy of Etsy Seller WillowLanePaperie

Hi Sarah,

The answer depends on the circumstances. There is no exact timeframe required for sending a thank you note, and it’s more of an “as soon as possible” scenario. For a wedding gift, you “should” get a thank-you note within three months of the wedding or giving the gift.

Thank-yous “should” be mailed no later than two weeks after the event for a baby or bridal shower gift. For a baby gift given right before or shortly after a baby’s birth, you may have to be patient and give the new parents a little more leeway. Newborns can be exhausting.

I understand your concern. We are all worried our gift won’t arrive safely in this era of porch pirates and unreliable deliveries. My family has experienced gift theft and delivery mistakes this Christmas and last. If you haven’t received a thank-you note after a couple of months, reach out to the recipient and ask them if they received it.

While most people are reluctant to do so, there is nothing wrong with asking the giftee if they received your gift. Be sure to frame your inquiry in the context of “I’m worried that you didn’t receive it” rather than “why didn’t I get a thank-you note.” I think they would want to know if you sent a gift that they didn’t receive.

However, if you know they received the gift (maybe you handed it to them at a baby shower, or they mentioned it in person), I advise letting it go. Don’t take offense to a late or forgotten thank-you note. Some people are procrastinators and have good intentions, but the longer they delay, the harder it becomes. And frankly, some just have bad manners.

We wish everyone would read our blog post, A Guide to Thank-You Notes. It explains why prompt thank-yous are essential, along with the dos and don’ts of writing a good thank-you note. And if you’re still unsure of how to handle a sticky situation, check out this blog post where our team of Real Brides tackled the mystery of missing gifts and thank you notes.


If you have questions or comments about this post or gift-giving, bridal shower, baby shower, or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email [email protected]

Questions in this column are received from readers. The questions may be edited for spelling, length, and grammar or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

However, if you know they received the gift (maybe you handed it to them at a baby shower, or they mentioned it in person), I advise letting it go. Don’t take offense to a late or forgotten thank-you note. Some people are procrastinators and have good intentions, but the longer they delay, the harder it becomes. And frankly, some just have bad manners.

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