Does No Thank You Note Mean My Gift Was Lost?

A high toned burglar steals wedding presents [By H.C. Miner Litho Co, New York [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

Dear Uncommon Courtesy,

I cannot remember if you have tackled this question before, but it stands as the flip-side of the “did my friends not get me a wedding gift” post.
I have now had it happen on two separate occasions that I have sent a wedding gift via online registry and have not received a thank you note. At this point, I am mainly curious as to whether or not they actually got what I sent them. Is there any way to inquire about this without sounding snippy?  (My parents were invited to the second wedding as well, have not received a note, and my mom keeps bugging me about it. Please help!)

No note or no gift?

Official Etiquette:
Miss Manners says that it’s totally fine to inquire whether a gift was received.

Our Take:

Victoria: Okay, so I really love this question because it has happened to me TWICE! And I have handled it differently both times.

The first was like hers, I sent a gift from the registry and never heard a thing. And I basically…did nothing. Because I didn’t know what to do and I wasn’t THAT close to the couple. And it was a long time ago so I had not yet matured into the etiquette person I am now.

And the second was with YOU! And it was kind of silly because I gave you guys the gift in person so I knew you had it. But also I knew you were being prompt with your TY notes, and when I didn’t receive one I was like, hmm that’s weird. So I very boldly mentioned it to you and we determined that it had been lost in the mail.

Jaya: And then it was the USPS that cursed me!

Victoria: Hahah yesss.

Jaya: So yes, I think both of those highlight a great benefit of the tradition of thank you notes. Not only is it a thanks, but it’s a flat out acknowledgement that you got something. And since most everyone does online registries, there are just more chances that something will get messed up.

Victoria: Yeah, and that packages will get stolen from your apartment building or front porch.

Jaya: Yes! So for her, I think approaching it in just this way is great. You can email the couple something like “Hey, I just wanted to check that you received the gift I sent. I ordered it through the registry but I wanted to confirm it actually got to you”

Victoria : Yes, exactly. Maybe add something about UPS/USPS getting more unreliable these days.

Jaya: I don’t think that sounds snippy

Victoria: Did that happen to you at all? Although, I guess since you did simple registry it probably wasn’t an issue.

Jaya: Yeah, I can’t remember any instances where we didn’t get a gift and someone checked in on that. Though a couple people actually didn’t get their invitations in the mail, which we found out when we called for RSVPs.

Victoria: Hahah yeah, I feel like every bride has a story about that. There’s also the flip side to this- where you really thought a certain guest would get you a gift but didn’t and you wonder if maybe it got lost. I read a really great suggestion recently that, a couple weeks after the last TY note goes out, post on your social media pages something like “all the thank you notes have gone out, please let us know if you don’t get one, we had several invitations get lost in the mail so we want to know if our thank yous went missing too”

That way anyone who was too shy to mention that they didn’t get a note will be able to speak up and you can find out if any gifts went missing.

Jaya: Oooh that’s a great idea!


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