Thank You Card Etiquette

Just when you thought all of the stress of wedding planning was behind you, the daunting task of writing thank you notes looms in front of you. There’s nothing more exciting than returning from your honeymoon to a room full of beautiful presents all for you, but with every gift you rip open, a thank you card needs to be written. Here are a few tips for proper thank you card etiquette:

  • First things first, a personalized card is a must! We know it’s tempting to consider preprinting a couple hundred generic thank you notes, but when it comes to your wedding, only a handwritten, customized message will do. No emails, no phone calls, no fill-in-the-blank cards, and no generalized post on a website/blog/social networking site.
  • Address the gift giver by name, include a few words of appreciation, and acknowledge the gift specifically. A generic “Thank you for the gift” won’t do (unless the gift in question was money). If an actual gift was given, acknowledge it in the card.
  • A thank you card is required for every gift you receive, even if it’s from the same person. If your cousin Susie buys you a toaster at your bridal shower, then a month later gives you a place setting of china at your wedding, proper etiquette requires you to send two separate cards.
  • High-quality, formal stationery should be used for your wedding thank you cards. Often, you can purchase thank you notes to match your wedding invitations.
  • Monogrammed stationery with your new married names/initials is a great choice for thank you cards, but should not be used until after the wedding. Do not use stationery with your new name/initials for gifts that were received prior to the wedding.
  • All thank you cards should be written in blue or black ink. We know this rule seems silly, but we didn’t make it up.
  • For gifts that were received prior to the wedding, thank you cards should be sent out within two weeks. If a gift was shipped, it should be acknowledged as soon as possible. Follow up with a thank you card immediately, or, at the very least, a phone call that is followed up by a written note.
  • For gifts that were given at the actual wedding, you have slightly more time to mail out a thank you card. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have an entire year to send out thank you notes. Thank you cards for wedding gifts should be sent out within three months of the event, but the sooner they’re sent out, the better.
  • Thank you cards should be sent to the following: anyone who purchases you a gift, whether given at your wedding/shower or mailed, even if you’ve thanked them in person; anyone who gives a monetary gift to you; participants/attendants in your wedding; individuals who contribute towards a group gift; anyone who organized a shower/party/celebration for you; individuals who house or entertain your wedding guests; wedding suppliers/vendors; anyone who offers favors/service to you leading up to your wedding or on the wedding day; and the person/people who host your wedding (typically your parents/guardians).
  • Thank you cards should be sent via postal mail. Be sure to include your new address as your wedding guests will be grateful to have it!