Receiving a mountain of wedding gifts is the funnest part about getting married! Writing thank you cards, not so much. But it has to be done. People made the effort to be there for you, so you need to do the same and thank them for their generosity and thoughtfulness.
And to help you get it right, here’s the wedding etiquette you need to follow when writing your wedding thank you notes.
You have a certain time-frame to send out each card, and you must stick to it.
Thank you cards should be sent within 3 months after getting home from your honeymoon for gifts received on your wedding day. Any that were sent to you before your wedding, you only have a two-week window to send out those out. You want to make sure they know you received your gift. Plus, it’s just good manners. If for some reason you can’t get to all the pre-wedding thank you cards, take a minute to call the gift giver so they know you received their gift, and then send them a handwritten note after your honeymoon. For any gifts that arrive after your honeymoon, you have 3 months from the date you received them.
To help you get your wedding thank you cards sent out on time, try writing a few each night or write them as you open your gifts.
Your thank you notes need to be hand written.
Yes, typing is easier than writing. And pre-printed cards are even easier. But both are viewed as impersonal. Take a couple minutes to write out your thank you notes. And remember—only use blue or black ink and keep it neat. Don’t send a card that has smudges or words crossed out.
Send thank you cards to those who attended your wedding but didn’t give you a gift.
I know, the wedding etiquette world is asking a lot from you to do this when those guests didn’t even take the time to get you a set of hand towels or salt and pepper shakers. But, they did take the time to attend your wedding, which may not have been easy for them, especially if they have kids, so acknowledge their presence with a quick thank you note.
You have to write separate notes for each gift received from the same person.
While those last few weeks leading up to your big day are busy and it’d be so much easier to wait until after your wedding to thank your aunts, cousins, mom’s friends, girlfriends, etc., who bought you bridal shower, wedding shower and wedding presents, you need to thank them for each event’s gifts with a separate thank you card. It’s the right and proper thing to do.
Don’t be generic!
Nobody wants to read a generic, impersonal thank you note. Make yours personal by addressing the gift giver by name and getting specific with what you’re thanking them for. To help you remember specifics, take specific notes when opening your gifts, i.e. write down metallic vase collection rather than just writing vases.
Below are 2 examples: the first for someone who attended the day-of festivities and gave a gift, the second for someone who sent money.
Dear Aunt Liz,
Thank you so much for the beautiful metallic vases! They look stunning in our living room! You’ll have to stop by soon so you can see them. And thanks for taking the time to attend the wedding and help out with food at the reception. You’re awesome and we love you!
Jane and Chris
Thank you for your generous wedding gift. Chris and I are wanting to put in hardwood floors on our main level later this year, and your gift puts us closer to being able to do that!
Jane and Chris
Sign the card from both of you.
No matter who’s doing the actually penning of the note, sign both of your names at the bottom. You are a married couple now, and the gifts received are for both of you.