Wedding thank you cards are the final piece of the stationery puzzle when it comes to your big day. Writing these cards comes with quite a few questions as to what’s polite and proper. Thankfully, there’s a few guidelines to follow to ensure that you’re on par with wedding thank you card etiquette.
1. Mail the Cards One to Three Months After the Wedding
There’s an old myth stating that thank you cards should be mailed within a year of your wedding, but that might not be the most polite rule to follow. In fact, a more acceptable timeline for writing thank you cards falls within the range of one to three months after your wedding. This provides a solid amount of time to order, write, address, stamp, and mail your cards—even if you do so at a slow pace. It’s soon enough, though, that guests won’t feel forgotten. Since writing thank you cards takes quite a bit of time and effort, write them in several sessions to give your hands a much needed break and to ensure that your cards each have a meaningful and personal message.
2. Include Personal Messages to Your Guests
Especially when you have so many thank you cards to send, it can be tempting to use a pre-printed note that you simply sign your names to as the message. However, that can come off as generic and lacking appreciation. Instead, incorporate a personalized message that specifies what your guests gave you as a gift or highlights some other detail. For instance, you could write: “Thank you for traveling from California to celebrate our wedding with us! We love the picture frame and look forward to showcasing a wedding photo in it for many years to come.” This statement is much more personalized than something like: “Thank you for coming to our wedding and for the lovely gift.”
Including a personalized message demonstrates recognition of not only the exact gift they gave, but also shows appreciation for the lengths they specifically went to in order to celebrate your big day. Taking the time to write thank you cards that are personalized will certainly make a big impact on your friends and family and will undoubtedly be meaningful to them.
3. Still Send a Card Even if the Guest Didn’t Bring a Gift
There could be an instance in which someone attends your wedding but doesn’t bring a gift. If this happens, a common question is whether or not you still need to write a thank you card for that individual. Another subsequent question is what to write in the card. To answer those questions, you should definitely write a thank you card to recognize the fact that they celebrated your marriage. A sample of what to write in the card is, “Thank you so much for attending our wedding. We know that the travel from Chicago was far, and appreciate the distance you traveled to be a part of our day. We loved celebrating with you and hitting the dance floor together!” This does a good job of expressing gratitude without pointing out that they didn’t bring a gift.
4. Send Separate Bridal Shower Thank You Cards
If you received bridal shower or engagement gifts prior to your actual wedding, you need to send separate thank you cards for those items. It is not proper to combine a thank you card for multiple gifts for separate events into one card, even if they all were in celebration of your wedding. Send thank you cards for your bridal shower gifts two to three weeks after receiving them.
5. Thank Your Wedding Vendors
Don’t forget to thank your wedding vendors with a card, too! These are individuals who were a big part of making your day special, and they deserve the same gratitude that you show to your guests. A thank you card will undoubtedly make them feel appreciated and special, so don’t forget to include them in your list.
6. Don’t Forget the Envelopes
When it comes to addressing your thank you notes, be sure you don’t make any mistakes! For the envelope, use the same titles you used when you sent your wedding invitations for consistency. On the inside of the card, you can be more informal and address them to the recipients by their first names if you know them well. If you don’t know them as well, use more formal titles inside the card, too.
Wedding thank you cards may seem like a bit of a pain to write, address, stamp, and send, but they’re an important part of wrapping up your celebration and expressing appreciation for those who mean the most to you as you start this new chapter of your life.