Planning a wedding is time consuming and exhausting, and after the madness of the big day… you still have a bit of work left ahead of you! Writing thank you notes for your wedding gifts isn’t too terrible considering that you get loads of gifts in the process, but it is important to plan how to tackle the task.
When to Write
Many guests will send gifts before the wedding. In this case, you should write a thank you note to the sender within two weeks. Yes, the months and weeks leading up to your wedding are already crazy busy, but you’ll be glad you got these done ahead of time (and two weeks is what etiquette dictates). For gifts that are received after the wedding, you should send a thank you note within three months of receipt. While guests may have up to a year to give a wedding gift, you do not have that long to write a thank you note (contrary to popular belief)!
To Whom Are You Writing?
Obviously, guests who have sent a gift are a must. Additionally, if you had a wedding coordinator or any other vendors that were particularly great, it is a nice gesture to thank them for their work. You’ll want to thank your attendants, or any other friends and family who helped pull the big day together. Don’t forget about those who hosted out-of-town guests, or bridal showers. Although it may seem oddly formal, if your parents paid for the wedding, write them a thank you note for all they did to make the day possible. Finally, some people will choose to write thank you notes to all of their guests, regardless of whether or not they gave a gift, simply thanking them for attending the wedding.
Make a List
Create an excel sheet with the names for everyone who will be receiving a thank you card (your guest list is a good place to start), add a column for their address, a column for a description of the gift they sent, and another column for whether you have written a thank you card. Keeping everything in one place will insure that no one falls through the cracks!
Get the Materials
Since thank you notes should be handwritten, stock up on printed thank you cards or stationery shortly after your engagement, as many people send gifts prior to the wedding. Stay away from stationery or cards with your married monogram or initials on it, since those symbols should only be used after the wedding. Put all of your materials in a specified area of your home and clear an area to write. Having a dedicated, clean space will motivate you to write notes and maximize your time!
Break Up The Work
Instead of devoting an an entire weekend to the task, set aside 30 minutes each night to write a few notes. Beyond breaking up the time, break up the bulk between your partner and yourself. Whether you want to split the number evenly down the middle or each tackle the friends and family you know best (or better yet, the opposite), it should be a shared endeavor!
What to Write
Thank you notes for wedding gifts are much less formal than wedding invitations and have plenty of room for personal touches. Begin by addressing the recipient “Dear ____” and then their first name or a formal title depending on your relationship.
Firstly, thank them for their gift and be very specific. For example, “Thank you so much for the beautiful engraved picture frame. We can’t wait to fill it with one of the pictures from the big day.”
If the gift was money, don’t mention the specific amount, instead use an adjective such as “generous” or “thoughtful.” Explain how you plan to use the money. For example, “You’ve brought us one step closer to buying our first car together!”
If the gift was a group gift, write a separate note to each person but mention the group aspect. For example, “Thank you so much for the amazing grill. We are so lucky to have the thoughtful friends that we do.”
A good rule of thumb is to write at least 3 sentences about the gift itself.
Secondly, thank them for their presence at your wedding.
For example, “We loved seeing you at the wedding and it meant so much to have such an old friend there.”
Mention the next time you hope to see them and, if possible, tie in the gift.
For example, “I hope you can come by soon for a cookout on the new grill!”
Thank the giver for thinking of you during such an exciting time.
For example, “It is so kind of you to think of us during such a special time in our life.”
Finally, sign both names even if one person wrote the note. First names will do!
If Time Runs Out
If the allotted three months have passed and you still haven’t written a note, don’t despair! Life happens. Just make sure that you do send one. Better late than never.
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