Punctually Perfect: When to send a thank you

by epi on December 26, 2011

Q: How long do you have after you receive a present do you have to send a thank you note.

A: You should write promptly, especially if the gift was mailed or delivered, so the giver of the gift knows you received it — and appreciated it!  Within a week of receipt is a good guideline, two weeks at the very outside. The exception to this is a thank you note for a wedding gift when the bride and groom have up to three months to write, although as with any other thank you, sooner is better than later.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Terri Duggan December 31, 2011 at 9:43 am

If you do not receive a thank you for gifts given to your nieces’ 2 small childen for their birthday after 9 months, should you mention something to her? It’s really bothersome to me.

At the birthday party none of the gifts were not opened.


Robin February 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I understand that a bride and groom have three months in which to write their thank you notes as proper etiquette. What if for whatever reason they can’t get them out within that time and you have a relative that constantly asks when is she going to get her thank you? It was my son that got married and it is a sister that keeps asking about the thank you note. I politely say they are working on them which is true, but still she insists on making a big deal about it and relaying it to other family members that she hasn’t received her thank you yet.


Just Laura February 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm

There is no “three month rule.” Thank-yous are to be sent out ASAP (as soon as the honeymoon is over, typically). There are two problems I can see here:
1) A person should never demand a thank-you. This does nothing for family peace and goodwill.
2) Really? They are still “working” on them after three months? If they had thousands of people to thank, or if they had some terrible hardship befall them right after the wedding, then they should be given leeway. Otherwise, they are a bit tardy, and I understand the frustrations of givers who managed to purchase and send a gift to the new couple on time.


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