I’m a big believer in the art of saying thank you, and I’ve written a lot about the importance of thank-you notes, like how they’re good for your marriage and how to write a unique thank-you card, but today I want to get down to the nuts and bolts of wedding thank you card etiquette: when to send your thank-you notes, what to say in them, what they should look like, and how to put them in the mail so they stand out from the bills and junk mail upon arriving at their destination.
When to Send Response time is key. If your thank-you note isn’t sent out in a timely manner, it’s likely that the sentiment inside will sound hollow. The bride and groom should send wedding thank-you cards within eight weeks of the ceremony.
One way to stay on top of your thank-you notes is to begin sending them out as the gifts come in – even if it’s long before the wedding. Make sure you set up a bulletproof spreadsheet to track gifts given and notes of thanks sent. It’s not only important that you thank people within a window of two months, it’s imperative that you thank the correct person for each gift.
If, after the wedding and honeymoon, you find that you have 100 or more thank-you notes to write in six weeks, you have to pace yourself. Do some simple math and figure out how many notes you have to write each day, then stick to it. As long as you make a realistic plan for getting your notes in the mail, the process will be easy – and you might even enjoy the chance to reflect on what the presence each person at your wedding meant to you.
It’s a great idea to order your thank-you cards when you order your wedding invitations. Not only will you have the opportunity to choose matching stationery, you’ll know your thank-you cards are there waiting for you whenever the gifts start rolling in.
What to Say There’s a good formula for what to include in a thank-you note: greet the person you’re addressing, express gratitude for what you were gifted, make it specific to the gift your received, then thank them either for attending your wedding or – if they couldn’t make it – for sending their well wishes.
And while this formula is a good one, I always think the best way to approach a thank-you note is to use the formula as a guideline, but still challenge yourself to let your authentic voice come through. Friends and family members who know you well will recognize your manner of speaking in the words you choose to write, and your thank-you will come across as that much more gratifying if it sounds like it’s from your heart.
If you were gifted money, you’ll want to suspend the “be specific” advice when it comes to a dollar amount. It’s considered crass to be perceived as counting your cash. Instead, say something nice about how their generosity will help you and your spouse (or spouse-to-be depending on when you’re writing) do something meaningful.
What to Show Even if a guest did not present you with a gift, it’s important to express your gratitude that they were there on your big day. And if someone who wasn’t invited to your wedding gave you a gift, it’s still essential to send a thank-you card. A thank-you card that includes a photograph or a collage of photos from the wedding is a wonderful way to share a taste of what the event was like for those who couldn’t be there for one reason or another. Consider placing a formal wedding portrait on the front, with more casual candid shots on the interior or reverse of your thank-you card.
How to Send In general, you’ll want to use the same level of formality in addressing the envelope of your thank-you notes as you did for the envelopes of your wedding invitations. Handwrite each name and address to ensure that your thank-you feels personal.
For the same reason, you’ll want to hand stamp each envelope. The USPS usually offers a special stamp with a love or wedding theme that’s perfect for thank-you notes. Or choose a novelty stamp that’s meaningful to you as a couple. Guests who know you well will appreciate the touch. And everyone will notice – even if subconsciously – when their thank-you note doesn’t look as if it’s gone out with a hundred others.
Just remember, ultimately it’s not the length of the note you send, it’s the emotion that comes through. Short, sweet and perfectly personal is the way to go with wedding thank you cards, which is yet another reason to make yours completely one-of-a-kind with Mixbook.