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Monday, July 6, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Miss Manners: Request for wedding gifts not ‘veiled’ at all

By Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin Andrews McMeel Syndication

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My wife and I got married around two months ago. We just finished going through all our cards and gifts, discovering in the process that there are still quite a few people who have not given gifts.

I have heard people convey that the proper window for giving wedding presents is anywhere from six weeks to one year after the wedding. What is the actual correct time frame to expect gifts, and after that time has passed, how do we go about inquiring with these people about the (lack of a) gift?

I do not want to be rude by making our guests think we are waiting for a gift (though we are), but actually our main concern is that perhaps the gift or card got lost at the venue or in the mail, in which case we and our guests both lose.

I’d like to simply send out a text message to each with something to the effect of, “Hey, please don’t feel ANY pressure to give a gift at all, but we went through our presents and did not find one from you, so we just wanted to make sure it didn’t get lost or misplaced.”

However, I am afraid this will be interpreted as a thinly veiled (and rude) attempt to “remind” the guest that they have not yet given a gift.

GENTLE READER: In order for it to be thinly veiled, you would have to be putting up a pretense of it not being your true intention. And your brief – and public – track record, as stated here, does not give Miss Manners confidence.

You should not concern yourself with (much less obsess over) whether or not each and every guest has given you a present. Indeed, a year is a reasonable time frame.

But surely you have better things to think about as a newlywed – and plenty of thank-you notes to write for whatever has already safely arrived. Guests who are worried that a present was lost, usually because thanks were not received, should contact you through a relative or friend. But taking inventory is wholly unbecoming – and not conducive to producing the feelings that lead to sending you presents in the first place.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Gift-giving has changed a lot since I was a bride. In many cases, people purchase from online gift registries and items are shipped.

But gifts can get lost along the way, and more than one of my purchases never made it to the recipient. Sometimes shopping websites have good package-tracking systems, and sometimes they don’t.

So what is the best way of checking to see if the recipient received your gift and if the correct item was sent – without sounding like you are nagging them for a thank-you note immediately?

GENTLE READER: Enlist the help of a mutual friend or relative to do it for you. “I am afraid that our present to Bridey Won’tThankALot might have been lost in transit. Would you mind finding out if she received it before I start annoying the merchant who sent it?”

Miss Manners recommends that you wait a few weeks before doing this, however, as the urgency of writing thank-you letters has also “changed a lot.” But she feels certain that the well-chosen friend or relative will at least help to alleviate the problem of not knowing.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website,; to her email,; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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