May 15

Ask Etta: The Golden Rules of Gratitude

While we dish about the hottest trends and latest designs (aka the fun parts of wedding planning!) we also know how stressful prepping for the big day can be. So, we would like to formally introduce you to Etta, our new etiquette expert. She’s ready and happy to delve into your every etiquette dilemma.

We’ve had a lot of questions trickle in this week about thank you cards, so we’re answering them all in this special edition of Ask Etta. Wondering what to say, send and when? Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about thank you card etiquette.

Response Time

For showers, send thank yous within 10 days of the event. For the wedding, within two weeks of returning from your honeymoon. Always send bridal shower thank yous separate from wedding thank yous, even if they are to the same person.

What to Put Inside?

We know “write from the heart” may be a bit cliche, but it’s a commonly used phrase for a reason! Make it personal. If you’re really stumped, here’s a little formula to work off of:

Greet your guest(s) + express your gratitude and be specific about the gift + thank them for attending (or for thinking of you if they couldn’t make it).

  • Let your recipient know how you plan to use the gift. As in, “We use the cappuccino maker every morning. Seriously, we can’t live without it.”
  • This goes without saying, but just in case, make sure the person you are thanking for a gift is actually the person who sent it. Other than misspelling a name, nothing is more unflattering than mixing up guest and gift. A smart way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to keep a spreadsheet or write the cards as you receive the gifts.
  • Adding a photo will make it extra personal. Don’t be shy with your wedding photos! Guests will love to relive the memories with you.

Monetary Gifts

These go a little differently, but being personal is still the most important. Thank the guest for their generosity, but don’t mention a specific amount. You can even let them know what their contribution will go toward… “Your generosity will help with the down payment for our new condo.”

No Gift?

It’s still important to send a note, thanking them for being a part of your big day. After all, if not for friends and family, who would help you celebrate? And don’t forget your vendors, either–they will also play a special role on your wedding day.

Addressing & Sending

Some tips on titles and envelopes…

  • Address each card to the individual who attended or who signed your gift’s card.
  • For families, address the envelope to “Mr. and Mrs.” The salutation inside can use their first names. If it’s a more formal relationship, stick to the Mr. and Mrs. greeting inside the note. In the body, be sure to mention the other family members who attended too.
  • For an extra chic touch, use specialty stamps.
  • Remember to hand-stamp every note–prepaid postage techniques are a bit impersonal.

If you can follow these etiquette tips, you’ll be golden.


Have an etiquette question for Etta? Email us at etta@weddingpaperdivas.com and she’ll post an answer for you.

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About Jessy

Hometown: St. Louis, MO Favorite Color: Pistachio Favorite Movie Wedding Moment: The airplane scene in The Wedding Singer Jessy is a Jr. Writer at Tiny Prints. When she was seven, she declared herself "Jessy" (from her given name, Jessica) because she wanted to be a little different. Which is exactly what led her to Tiny Prints-her love for all things unique, memorable and personal! Letterpress printing makes her swoon and she has an affinity for fresh designs with a hint of vintage. In addition to her passion for paper goods, Jessy loves dogs, llamas, autumn, farmers' markets, live music, skeleton keys, extra sprinkles, beating boys in sports, running, antique stores and a book that’s hard to put down.

5 thoughts on “Ask Etta: The Golden Rules of Gratitude

  1. Lesley Notton

    Hi!

    Love the article! It’s a question we also get asked a lot and people are concerned about what to do and when to do it! Great advice, concise and helpful!

    Lesley @ Notton House Events

  2. Pingback: Miscellaneous Monday 9-17-12 | WelcomeToCoronadoWeddings.com

  3. Pingback: Ask Etta: Sending Late Wedding Thank You Cards « Wedding Style, Planning & Inspiration | the Wedding Paper Divas Blog

  4. Francie

    Question- what about people who send gifts before the wedding? Can we send a thank you for the gift before the wedding or do we have to wait until afterwards in order to also thank them for attending?

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