It’s finally spring, and you know what that means—it’s wedding season. If you’re part of a happy couple tying the knot this year, you have a lot of planning and organizing on your plate. And once the big day and the honeymoon are over, there’s one last task to wrap up the wedding celebration: sending out the thank you notes.
Even if you don’t regularly send thank you notes (I’m hoping that’s only a small percentage of you!), post-wedding is one of the times in your life to really step up your game. So, let’s go over the basics to make the daunting task easier.
First things first, order them early, preferably when you order your invitations. That way you’ll have them on hand for any gifts that come in early or for vendors who go above and beyond for you as you’re planning your wedding. The cards themselves can match your invitations, but they don’t have to. Feel free to go with something completely different, if you want to use them post-wedding as well. I love the idea of using a photo card for your thank yous with a photo from your wedding, but if it causes delays sending them out, it’s best to go with a non-photo option or use an engagement photo instead.
WHAT TO WRITE
Wedding thank you notes follow the same formula as traditional thank yous. In addition to your thanks, point out an aspect of the gift you particularly love, what you will use it for, or where you will place the gift in your home. For a gift that isn’t your style that you plan to return, focus on the thoughtfulness of the gift. No need to gush about something that you aren’t in love with, complimenting someone’s generosity works just as well.
When it comes to monetary gifts, share with your guest how you intend to use it. If you plan to use the funds you received toward a down payment on a house or to take an international trip on your first anniversary, your guests will love knowing that they helped contribute. Whether or not you mention the amount is up to you, but it’s just as easy to say “Thank you for your generous gift. It will help us put a down payment on our first home this year.”
WHO TO SEND TO
A wedding gift isn’t the only gesture that warrants a thank you note after your big day. In the weeks leading up to your wedding, make note of anyone one who has helped out or gone above and beyond for you. Whether these are vendors, family friends who aren’t attending, or co-workers, it’s important to acknowledge your appreciation of their help and support.
Now, for the tough question: Do you send a note to a guest who didn’t get you a gift? The answer is yes. It’s important to thank your guests for being there to celebrate with you. More often than not, your thank you note will prompt them to send a belated gift, since they technically have a full year to send it.
TIMING & OTHER DETAILS
You’re given a bit of an etiquette free pass after your wedding, so you can send out your notes gradually. Aim to have them written and mailed by three months after the wedding. That might seem daunting depending on the size of your guest list, but try tackling them a little bit at a time. And unlike in days past, both newlyweds should write and sign the notes.
And go ahead and mail them as you get them written. There’s no need for everyone to receive your thank you at the same time. If you have gifts that arrive before the wedding, go ahead and write the note but leave it unsealed. Once you’re back from your honeymoon, you can quickly check those notes, add any details from the wedding, and pop them in the mail.