Writing thank you cards after your bridal showers and wedding can be a daunting task, but it’s an absolute must. It can be easy to overlook this responsibility and fall behind, but it’s incredibly important that you make it a priority. Here’s a brief lesson on the ins and outs of thank you card writing:
WHO: A handwritten thank you card should be sent to every person who gives you a gift (yes, that includes gift cards and monetary gifts), whether at your engagement party, bridal shower, or wedding reception. Gift givers should receive separate cards for each present they bestow, so if someone gives you a blender at your shower and a toaster at your reception, they need to receive two separate cards in the mail, expressing your appreciation for each. Thank you cards should also be written to anyone who helps out with the wedding prep, including shower hostesses, wedding vendors, bridal attendants, wedding hosts (usually parents or grandparents), and anyone who houses/transports wedding guests. Basically, a card belongs to anyone who gives of his/her time or resources to bless you and make your wedding a success.
WHAT: A personalized, handwritten card on formal stationery should be sent as a thank you. As tempting as it may be to purchase cheap, mismatched cards at a discount store, you should really try to find cards that match, or complement, your wedding invitations. Monogrammed cards or stationery is ok but should only be used after the wedding day. Each card should be written in black or blue ink and sent via mail. That means no typed cards, fill-in-the-blank notes, emails, phone calls, or generic “thanks for the gift” cards will suffice. If someone made the effort to purchase you a gift, you should sincerely and personally recognize the gesture.
WHEN: Any gift that was received prior to the wedding—say, at a bridal shower or engagement party—should be acknowledged with a thank you note within two weeks of receipt. Gifts that have been shipped should be recognized as soon as possible. In this case, it’s ok to place an initial phone call followed by a written note. Sending out cards so quickly can seem overwhelming, especially with all the ongoing wedding preparations, but you’ll be grateful later not to fall behind on this task. For gifts that are received at the wedding, etiquette permits you three months to send out a thank you, but the sooner you put them in the mail, the better.
WHERE: Thank you cards should be sent via mail to each giver’s home. Sending a note over email or posting a generic message on a blog or social networking site is an unacceptable way to express your gratitude.
WHY: The obvious answer is that you want to say thanks. Sending out a personal, handwritten note is imperative to recognizing the generosity of each gift giver in helping you and your spouse start a new life together.
More on Thank You Cards.