Ask Natalie by Natalie Bencivenga

How Long Is Too Long for Wedding Thank-you?

DEAR NATALIE: I am curious in the turnaround time of recognizing one's wedding reception guests. It has been six months and one day from the event, and no one to my knowledge has received a thank-you card. I have been asked by two family members and reply that etiquette is up to one year nowadays. Even with that, the bride had her shower thank-you cards delivered within days.

It seems somewhat embarrassing to have not received an acknowledgement before six months. It's almost as if the bride and groom are ungrateful. I am not allowed to be a meddling parent-in-law. -- FEELING EMBARRASSED

DEAR FEELING EMBARRASSED: I would be feeling embarrassed, too. You don't have this imaginary grace period of a year before people start wondering what happened. It actually should be closer to three months. (How can you not have thank-you notes sent out within three months? Come on!)

If you don't want to meddle (but kinda want to meddle), bring it up casually to the bride and groom. Ask them, "Have you sent out thank-you notes, yet? I haven't heard anything from Auntie so-and-so, and I know she would call me the minute she gets one to gush about the wedding again." If they murmur something about "being busy" (aren't we all?) gently remind them that people took the time to get them gifts and come to their special day and that the clock is starting to tick on good manners. At this point, you are doing them a favor by meddling instead of having everyone gossiping behind their backs about how ungrateful they are. Plus, isn't meddling what in-laws are for?

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to nbencivenga@post-gazette.com or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)