There are a million ideas out there for designing your thank you cards. You can have your picture taken at the wedding holding a “thank you” banner. You can simply print a card with a picture from your wedding and the words thank you over it. But what your friends and family will appreciate the most is a thank you card that is written promptly and with a personal message. So if your budget is blown from the wedding already, head on down to the dollar store and by yourself some plain Jane thank you cards. What matters most about those cards is what’s on the inside!
Your message should be personal. It doesn’t need to be an essay though, so don’t worry if creative writing wasn’t your strongest grade in school. Here’s a brief formula for how to write the perfect thank you:
1) Address the giver
2) Thank them for their attendance if they came to the wedding, especially if they came a long way.
Thank you for coming all the way from Oregon to be at our wedding, and for missing class to come!
3) If they are close, thank them for their relationship.
You’ve been a great friend to us both, and we were so grateful that you could be there to share in our special day!
4) Thank them for the gift, and tell them how you will use it.
Thanks so much for the awesome grill set; we’re so excited to put it to use! Hopefully we’ll get to cook some barbecue for you soon!
5) Sign off (with both of your names)
Amy & Martin
If you can, start writing your thank you notes as soon as you get the gift, it will save you a lot of time and stress later. Make sure your new hubby helps out too! Splitting the load makes it seem much less daunting, plus, it saves you from having to try to write a card to a new relative you’ve never met before.
Although etiquette experts differ in opinion on when thank you cards should be sent (from three months after the gift has been received up to one year after the wedding), here is what Emily Post (who we consider to be the ultimate etiquette expert) says:
Contrary to popular myth, the happy couple does not have a year’s grace period. All thank you notes should be written within three months of the receipt of the gift. Ideally, a response should be written on the day you receive a wedding gift. If that’s not possible, set a daily goal. It’s a lot easier to write three or four notes a day than to have to write a hundred notes in a month after the wedding!
It’s much easier to write the cards earlier when you still remember how you felt when you opened the gift (some people write them on the plane ride to their honeymoon destination!). Another reason to get them out early is that some people may worry that you haven’t received their gift if they don’t receive a prompt thank you. Set their mind at ease by getting your cards out early. It’s best to set a goal of writing a few each day, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
That being said, I need to run off and get some thank you cards in the mail!