The dances are over, the gifts are unwrapped, and the cake is gone. As you’re basking in post-wedding bliss, you do still have one task to attend to now that all is said and done: thank you notes! It’s incredibly important to send out thank you cards after your big day, but there are many important tips and tricks to remember as you put together these letters. Here’s what you need to keep in mind, as well as a sample template you can draw inspiration from.
Thank You Notes Should be Handwritten
It’s most respectful and polite to physically handwrite and mail your thank you cards for all occasions, but particularly for bridal shower and wedding gifts. An email for something as important as a wedding gift is considered tacky at best and thoughtless at worst, so be sure to get yourself some pretty stationary or thank you cards and start writing!
Adhere to The “One Year” Rule (But Try to Mail Them Within Three Months)
We’ve all heard the rule about having a full year after your wedding to send a thank you note. In reality, it’s considered polite to actually complete them all within three months of your big day, so don’t let this task go too far on the backburner after your nuptials. However, remember that getting them done at all is the most important thing, so if you’re already past the three month mark, don’t worry—just get writing now and make it happen! The most important thing is that you get them done, even if it takes you longer than the traditional time allotted.
Use the Gifter’s Name Within the Thank You Note
Of course you’re grateful for the item, but ultimately you’re thankful for the person and their thoughtfulness in giving you a gift at all, so be sure to use their name at the start of the letter. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how often folks start a letter nowadays with just “Hi” rather than “Dear [person’s name]” or “Dear [family name].” Personalizing your thank you card is essential to making the recipient feel that their time, effort, and money are appreciated.
Name the Specific Item Within the Thank You Note
It’s important to not make your thank you cards too generic, so it’s definitely essential to say the name of the actual item in your card. “Thank you for your gift” is too vague and will likely lead the gift giver to believe that you don’t appreciate their gift or, even worse, that you don’t remember what they gave you! Being specific about the item from the start shows the person that you remember them and are truly appreciative of what they gave you to celebrate your big day!
Make Sure It’s Clearly from Both You and Your Spouse
Regardless of who physically writes each note, the sentiment should come from both you and your spouse. This means that you can certainly mention you and your husband or wife enjoying the item, as well as signing the card from both of you—whether that’s one person signing for both parties or each individual signing every card. The key thing here is that it’s clear the thank you card (and the gratitude!) come from both of you.
Thank You Card Templates Are Great, but Personalize Them!
Thank you card templates are fine; in fact, one is included for you here—but it’s important that you personalize your card to fit the actual gift you received. If it’s a physical item, it can be helpful to actually take the item and place it in front of you as you’re writing so that you can envision how you and your partner might use it, or be able to genuinely specify things you like about it.
What if You Don’t Like the Wedding Gift?
Even if a present you received wasn’t your cup of tea, and even if you plan on exchanging or returning it, it’s still important to send the giver a sincere thank you note. Although it’s not necessary to say in the thank you card that you’re returning the item or don’t care for it, you should still absolutely express your gratitude for their kindness.
What if the Wedding Gift Is Money?
Should you still send a thank you card if you received a check, cash, or a gift card as a wedding gift? Absolutely! Any gift you receive, monetary value aside, should result in a thank you card. Mention in the card what you will be using the money for (on your honeymoon, perhaps? or to purchase that set of kitchen knives left on your registry?). Your friends and family will appreciate knowing what the money will be spent on (and making a note of it in the card will remind you to spend it wisely!).
Thank You Card Template
Dear [gift-giver’s name],
Thank you so much for attending our wedding! We had an amazing day and were so happy you could be there with us. We are so grateful to have received [gift item] and [example of use or compliment of item]!
Dear Aunt Cheryl,
Thank you so much for attending our wedding! We had an amazing day and were so happy you could be there with us. We were so grateful to receive the beautiful artwork for our new home and look forward to displaying it for years to come!
Trevor & Amanda