Things that make you go hmm

I don’t intend to appear ungrateful, but I just have to relate the following:

The RSVPs for the wedding are coming in.  One of my family members checked “declines with regret” on the response card, and enclosed a personal check. 

No note or personal message written anywhere on the card.

Just a check made out to “Mr. and Mrs. Matt HisLastName.”

Is this a common practice? 

Stumble it!

18 Responses to “Things that make you go hmm”

  1. S.X.R. Says:

    Were they a close family member? Or just a family member you expected to attend? I’ve helped very closely with several of my friend’s weddings and in opening RSVPs together they would often tell me they were surprised by the people that declined.

    One friend was even surprised/frustrated/mad/ungrateful when friends/family gave her checks when she thought they could “afford to give more.” I was pretty appalled by that reaction from her. One of the checks was for $50! That’s a pretty standard/customary/generous amount to me….but I guess everyone’s standards are different. I’m sure you’re grateful for all gifts, tho. :) It’s pretty tough economic times right now too, so I’d imagine many people are giving smaller gifts at occasions like weddings…

  2. Heidi Says:

    @SXR - I wasn’t expecting a gift or anything else from this particular couple (they are part of my large extended family), and I appreciate their generosity in sending anything at all.

    It’s not the amount of the gift that I’m questioning - it’s the way they chose to deliver it.

    I was surprised to find a gift in with a RSVP - it was just in the envelope - and they didn’t include a personal note, just the RSVP card. It never occurred to me to do that. I am wondering if this is something that’s commonly done and I just didn’t know it?

    I suppose it saves them the cost of a card and stamp(since we pre-addressed and stamped all RSVP cards) - and that’s one way to practice frugality!

  3. MrsMoney Says:

    I think it is rude. First of all, they should have sent a separate card. I don’t think you’re being ungrateful at all. When I got married, one of my cousins (she was about 25) gave me a card with $10. She and her boyfriend both came. I could understand if she was dead broke, but she wasn’t.

    I think there’s proper etiquette and that’s not it. I would just send them a thank you note telling them you really appreciate the money and then leave it alone. :) Good luck!!

  4. guinness416 Says:


  5. Meg Says:

    I’ve never heard of anybody doing that. I wouldn’t necessarily be offended that they used that opportunity to send their wedding gift, but I would feel a bit slighted that there wasn’t even a note in with it or personal message of some kind.

    Of course with weddings there are plenty of opportunities on both sides for guests and the couple to be offended. Wedding guests feel an obligation to give, even if they don’t know you well or don’t want to attend (not saying this is the case with your relatives); the couple can’t help but feel slighted when gifts are small or seem impersonal.

  6. SavingDIva Says:

    I would just write a nice thank you note and forget about it. I think it’s a little awkward, but I guess they saved on the cost of a stamp!

    I think people get too caught up in the whole wedding thing anyway. My sister is getting married next summer, and it’s already a disaster.

  7. BW Says:

    Maybe they don’t have the income at this point and are ashamed to write something out. That was my first impression. As you said, they did end up saving the cost of a stamp, which is nearly half the price of something on McDonald’s dollar menu!

  8. S.X.R. Says:

    Ah gotcha, sorry I misunderstood. I thought you were surprised they declined. Perhaps they threw the check in with the RSVP because they felt bad for not attending? ( i.e. guilt made them do it?) That was my first reaction to it anyway.

    It’s best not to get caught up in it, like others mentioned, and at least they were nice to return the RSVP instead of leaving you hanging! (I’m trying to be an optimist, can you tell?)

  9. Debbie M Says:

    My dad used to do stuff like that when I was in college. I would tell him that a deposit was due, and he would send me a check with no letter or anything. I thought it was weird, but you know what? That’s okay. I needed the deposit, and he got it to me.

    I’m thinking this person is very happy to have made a decision, to have let you know about the decision in a timely fashion, and to have given you a little something to help you celebrate. And now it’s all done and nothing will be forgotten. Are there some more niceties that could have been observed? Of course. But so what?

    What would be more shocking is if everyone observed every imaginable nicety! People are unique, and I expect you’ll get a wide range of responses (and lack thereof).

  10. Bonnie Says:

    Debbie, my dad sent “just checks”, too. :) Banker Girl, I’m a bit shocked by the check with the RSVP, too. I agree with SavingDiva that the best thing to do would be to take the high road and send a nice thank-you note. Was the family member older or younger, male or female? Not to be stereotypical, but I think in this case those things could make a difference. In my experience, older people don’t realize they’re being rude. They’re just being practical and doing things their own way.

  11. So Cal Savvy Says:

    We had this happen too, but it was with someone we weren’t as close to (they were a parent’s friend).

    It’s also not unusual in my husband’s family to do this. Normally it’s an older man who does this and we’ve recently talked to him. He was thinking of us and so he sent a check in the mail- without a note. His sentiments are already known, so why reiterate it?

    It’s not my style- but hey- I appreciate every monetary gift I get!

  12. Helen Says:

    We had that happen! The best part was that they did not even send back the RSVP envelope until well after the wedding. So we got our transparent glassine self-addressed envelope, no reply card, and a check wrapped in yellow notebook paper. Not even congrats in the memo field. It was my husband’s uncle’s wife who sent this. We were grateful but surprised at the delivery. I guess why waste a stamp?

  13. katy Says:

    yes. that’s the way it was for me at lst marriage. i gratefully cashed those checks and paid our first months rent.


  14. Wedding Etiquette Says:

    I am always looking for good information and latest news about wedding etiquette. I like reading posts related to it like Things that make you go hmm and what people think. Thx

  15. Colombian Coffee Says:

    I got married first and we have now sent announcements/reception invitations, so my deal is a little bit different.

    However, yesterday we got a card in the mail with a $100 check. I was happy and i’ll be sending a thank you card.

    Not everyone is versed in Wedding Etiquette, so I would just send a thank you note and happily deposit the check

  16. JHP2 Says:

    It seems to be more common than it used to be. We had the same experience with our daughter’s Bat Mitzvah recently. Several responders did exactly what you described.

  17. Exprophet Says:

    BG, I’ll channel my inner zen and say “You can’t control others, only yourself.”

    There’s a way we’d like or expect folks to behave - and then there’s what really happens. They cared enough to send a gift! Now, channel your inner Emily Post, send a thank you and deposit the check!

    Many thanks for an excellent blog and best wishes for a happy marriage,

  18. katy Says:

    yes it is. and you’re lucky you got $$$!

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