Planning for your wedding doesn’t end when the bride begins to walk down the aisle. Wedding planning extends far beyond the wedding itself, and couples need to consider how they will handle the traditional responsibilities that follow the actual nuptials. One of those responsibilities is sending out ‘thank you notes’ for all of the wedding gifts and well wishes you have received. While the sending out of thank you notes isn’t difficult, it can get confusing amidst all of the other wedding activities. Weddings can be hectic times, and it can be all too easy to forget to send a thank you card to someone important, leading to hurt feelings and recriminations. But to make it easier, we’ve compiled some helpful tips for the bride and groom that will simplify the ‘thank you note’ tradition.
Ordering Your Thank You Notes
Couples typically order their thank you cards at the same time as their wedding invitations. This not only makes it easier, and sometimes less expensive, to order printed thank you notes, it also ensures that the theme of your wedding invitation is carried through all of your correspondence. While the wedding invitations should carry the bride’s maiden name, it is traditional that thank you cards are monogrammed with the bride and groom’s married surname.
Get an Early Start
Begin writing your thank you notes as soon as any wedding gifts start to arrive. By beginning early, you will make the process much more manageable and it will be easier to personalize each note. As more and more gifts begin to arrive, set a goal for yourselves of writing three or four thank you notes every evening. This will help to keep the cards from piling up and becoming a chore, leading to formulaic and lackluster thank you notes. Remember, every gift requires its own thank you note. So if you receive a wedding gift and a shower gift from one person, they should receive two thank your cards in return.
Keep a Record of Your Gifts
This applies to both wedding gifts and shower gifts. During the reception, or the wedding shower, designate someone to keep a detailed record of each gift and the name of the person giving the gift. This task typically falls to the bridesmaid, though anyone in the wedding party will do. The record should include the name of the person giving the gift, and a description of the gift itself. Keep the accompanying cards which each gift as a back up in case something is omitted from the list.
When to Send Your Thank You Cards
The general rule of thumb is to send out your thank you notes as soon as possible. That being said, your honeymoon should not be spent writing and mailing thank you cards. A two week time frame is generally accepted as proper etiquette. Once you return from your honeymoon you can begin writing your thank you cards. Write them in small batches so you can keep each reply fresh and personalized, and so the task does not become overwhelming. And remember, the gifts are for the both of you, so you should both be writing the thank you notes.
The Cards Themselves
Thank you notes do not have to be extended essays, but they should be personal and detailed. Five or six lines is acceptable. Make a point to mention the gift by name, and talk about how you and your spouse will enjoy the use of it. If the person you are writing to attended the wedding, be sure to thank them for helping to make your big day even more special. Be direct and heartfelt, but short and to the point. In the case of cash gifts, it’s considered impolite to mention the amount. Simply thank them for the gift, and tell them how much you appreciate it and how you intend to spend it.
One final note, all of your thank you cards should be hand addressed. This may seem exhausting, but printed labels are impersonal, and for something as important and special as your wedding day are simply inappropriate.
Sending out thank you notes following your wedding needn’t be a chore. If you plan ahead, and take it slow, you can ensure that everyone receives a personal and heartfelt thank you for attending your wedding and for giving you a gift. Your thank you notes should reflect the joy of your wedding day, and the affection you feel for family and friends who helped to make your day so special.