• Alicia

      The bride and Groom(yes both should be writing the thank you notes) have the time to open and use the gifts so they have the time to send out the thank you notes. Seriously a stash of thank you notes and a bunch of stamps and it is easy to write a thank you note during each commercial of your favorite tv show. So they have plenty of time to accomplish this. All thank you notes should be mailed within 2 weeks of gift receipt or 2 weeks of returning from honeymoon whichever is later.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      People like to talk about time limits for thank-you notes. Really, there is no time limit; you are expected to send out thank-you notes as soon as possible. (When pressed to give a number, Miss Manners has said you have 20 minutes.) However, I will tell you that in the case of a wedding or other event where I assume there are a lot of thank-you notes to be written if I don’t get a thank-you note within three months, I start to wonder if they got my gift.

    • Lilli

      I’ve never understood why people want to find out how long they can put off thank you notes. First – don’t you WANT to tell your loved ones that you appreciate their gift? And if not, don’t you want to get a tedious task out of the way so you can stop worrying about it?

  1. Richard

    My brother-in-law and his wife (who are separated) have been treating my wife very poorly for the past six months. I recently took the family out to eat for my wife’s birthday. I invited my brother-in-law, only because he is a member of her family, feeling we should hold to family traditions and include him. As for his wife, we said that she was welcome if she apologized for her poor behavior first. My brother-in-law also owes my wife an apology, but he got a “family” pass on this one. The reason I write is that under the circumstances my wife is uncomfortable accepting their gift and wants to know if it’s ok to give it back to him with a note of explanation.

    • Alicia

      Refusing a gift is a huge insult. It is a relationship ending move. Of course one can do so but it is hard to do so given that she is still on socialization level with her brother. The much better option would be to send a thank you note for the gift and then separably call and talk to her brother and see if the two of them c an work out what differences they have.
      So yes she can do so but if her brother ever forgives her the insult and she does not burn her bridges and ruin chance of reconciliation that is another issue.

    • Country Girl

      Without knowing the details of the situation, a few things sound a bit off. First, it is counterproductive to invite her brother to dinner with intentions of keeping family peace and then turn around and insult him by giving his gift back. He would have been better off not being invited in the first place, as Alicia is right, returning a gift is typically a relationship-ending move.

      Second, if BIL and his wife have decided to separate, perhaps it is time for your family to separate from her as well. Unless she is the mother to young nieces and nephews, there does not seem to be much reason to involve her intimately in your lives by including her in special events. She and her husband made the decision not to be together, so I doubt they want to attend parties together anyway.

      Third, giving conditional invitations by demanding apologies is a bit childish. Would someone really want to attend a dinner that they had to grovel to attend?And is a forced apology really going to make things right in your minds? In the future you’ll likely see more success keeping the settling of arguments separate from joyous events. Arrange a discussion before issuing any invitations. If you aren’t able to come to an agreeable resolution, then refrain from involving BIL in your events until you are. If you are able to work things out, great! Everyone should be able to have a wonderful time at the party.

  2. Jody

    I understand the temptation to refuse the gift, but as Alicia says it could be a relationship-ender to do so. I think the best thing to do, although difficult, would be to write a civil thank you note for the gift. Your wife doesn’t have to do anything with it, she can stick it in a closet and ignore it for awhile; who knows, she might change her mind later and want it. If the gift is a card, check to see if there’s an expiration date. She can use the card now for something she really wants, or use it later if she feels like it.

  3. Annie

    I have a wedding attiquette question. Our daughter is getting married in a month, in the city she lives in, with a reception following the weddding for 160 people ( we are hosting the reception). My husband wants to host another party in our hometown 6 weeks later, and invite the local friends and aquaintances we did not invite to the weddding. I am not comfortable with this. My daughter moved away 7 years ago, she does not know most of these people and they do not know her. My thought is that if these friends were that close and important we should have invited them to the out-of-town wedding, and that this party may look like sloppy seconds to them. Most of the guests to be invited to the party are really golf buddies of my husband, he sees the husbands every weekend, but outside of maybe a dinner once a year, we dont socialize as a couple with them and their spouses. Thoughts, please? Is it appropriatento have this other party, or not?

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      If you would like to, you may certainly have a party in honor of the newlyweds. So long as you don’t treat like a second wedding reception, there is no reason for anyone to feel like they are getting sloppy seconds.

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