I had great plans of creating DIY thank you cards personalized for each of my guests, including a photo of myself, my husband, and the guest at our wedding reception. But when we returned home from our honeymoon, it was a whirlwind of moving into a new house, catching up on two weeks of missed work, and settling in to our new married life. Somehow, four months have passed, and not a single thank you note has been sent. Am I too late? Would it be better to just not send a thank you card at all, at this point?
While the proper time frame for a wedding thank you note is within two weeks of returning from your honeymoon, it is never too late to send a thank you card. Any guest that truly appreciates receiving a thank you card will know you haven’t sent one yet, and will be happy to find one in the mail (even if it is four months late). Remember, something is better than nothing, in this case. As for your other guests, if they haven’t realized your thank you cards are late, it’s likely that they don’t know the proper etiquette timeframe. Therefore, your note will be a lovely surprise for them.
The inclusion of a photo is a thoughtful addition to a thank you card, but individual photos can be time consuming. Choose your favorite photo from your wedding day of you and your groom, and use the same image for all cards to help manage your time effectively.
While we dish about the hottest trends and latest designs, we also know how stressful prepping for the big day can be. Meet Etta, our expert in all things etiquette. She’s ready to delve into your every dilemma.
My bridal shower was a few weeks ago and I am not sure when I should send thank you cards. Is there a time frame and what should be included in the notes?
You should always try to send your thank you cards for your bridal shower within two weeks. If it has already been a few weeks I would definitely get started as soon as you can. You don’t want your guests to think you forgot about them and that they were not appreciated. We know this is a very busy and stressful time for brides but try not to wait too much longer.
Usually bridal showers are more of an intimate event so it should not take you more than a few hours to write your bridal shower thank you cards.
If you are planning your bridal shower now make sure to have one of your bridesmaids or someone close to you take note of the gifts and who gave them to you. This will make the thank you card process go much smoother. You should also have all of the addresses by now since you have sent your save the date card and bridal shower invitations!
This is definitely a challenging part for some people, the contents. The basic things to include are greeting the guest, expressing your genuine gratitude, be specific and mention the gift, and thank them for attending (or if they didn’t, thank them for thinking of you).
When you make a specific reference to the gift, talk about how you are using it and how much you like it. Such as, “I am using the new robe and slippers every morning when I make my coffee. They are both so comfy!” If it is not something you extremely like you can say “I will be thinking of you every time I use it.”
Before you send the card make sure to double check you have the right person to the right gift. Besides misspelling their name, nothing is worse than addressing a gift to the wrong person.
If you are thanking someone for a monetary gift you can thank them for their generosity without mentioning an exact amount.
If you want to go a little farther you can mention how the “generosity will help with the down payment of our new house.”
Remember to also send bridal shower thank you notes and wedding thank you notes separately. Do not try to combine them into one note. If you follow etiquette you should be sending the bridal shower thank you notes before the wedding, so this should not be a problem.
Here are a couple sample thank you notes for your bridal shower:
“Thank you for not only attending my bridal shower, but for the lovely gift as well. You are a great friend. I will think of you every time I use my coffee maker. Thanks again.”
“Thank you for the lovely crystal picture frame and for coming to the shower. With friends like you, every day is truly a celebration.”
“Thank you for coming to the bridal shower and for the beautiful flower vase. It is such a beautiful color and will match our home perfectly. Your generosity is truly appreciated. Thanks again.
“Thank you for coming to the bridal shower and for your generous gift. We are putting it toward the honeymoon. Your thoughtfulness and friendship means so much to me. Thanks again.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Getting through that big stack of thank you cards may not be your way of having a good time, however it simply must be done—and I’d say the sooner the better. To help you through the process, here are a few tips on ways to make writing those wedding thank you cards pain free!
1. Writing a thank you card actually begins when you start sending out your invitations. Make sure you keep everyone’s contact information in a spreadsheet. Google has a document program that allows you to share files with others. This way, you and your significant other can keep track of your information in the same place.
2. Either mail out all of your thank you cards at the same time or do it by family. If not, you’ll run into the same issues as me and have some people calling to find out what happened to their thank you card since they heard someone else already got theirs.
3. Clarify any questions early! As you receive each gift, look for a card or gift tag. If there are presents without any name attached to it or the card says “From: The Smiths” and you have two relatives with the same name, clarify things with the gift givers right away.
4. Order extra thank you cards. I’ve made so many mistakes on my thank yous and had to throw them away. Having 25 extra ones really made a difference, especially since I didn’t account for cards sent to our vendors.
5. Do a little at a time. So that the task seems less daunting, commit to doing say five or 10 cards a day. Then, just push through the process. What I told my husband was that these people deserved a nice card for all of their efforts getting to our wedding and for their generous gifts. It was worth the bit of discomfort to get them a well-worth-the-wait thank you card!