Your wedding reception is over, now only the happily ever after part follows, right? Well, not exactly. Before the final curtain falls on you big day, a little, yet important obligation needs to be addressed. Yes, we are talking about the thank you notes. Although things are constantly changing and the wedding etiquette is much more loosen than it used to be, a gratitude still has to be expressed in form of written note.
So how exactly we should write wedding thank you cards? When to send them? What are the tiny little details we need to pay special attention to? If we didn't follow the rules of ultra formal wedding code, we have plenty of room in certain parts of this final step and only some in others. This page is designed with intention to show you several options, help you to save some time and money, and maybe even ignite a spark or two of your creativity.
A photo of the happy couple, made at the event is obvious choice to consider when we are hunting for ideas for thank you cards. If we want to act quickly, we need the photo as soon as possible, right after the party, and then use it on the already made design for thank you photo cards. All the designs above offer this option with print on demand and shipping to your address. But you are only half way through.
You will still need a complete list of addressees (hopefully already made at sending save the dates-link), all written (another step which can be made before the actual reception) on envelopes with stamps, and you will of course need to write additional personal notes and sign the cards when they are delivered to your place.
You can actually do everything before the wedding party, if you already have a photo, which is sometimes done at engagement or rehearsal dinner. If you insist to use the photo from wedding, discuss this with your photographer to avoid any possible delays. The key is to send them as soon as possible.
The day after the wedding would be ideal, but if you manage to execute everything within a week, it's perfectly all right, because the memories of the event will still be fresh. People understand you have to wait photos, if you intend to use them, and of course don't expect from you to send thank you notes while you are on the honeymoon, so few months after the wedding is still appropriate time to show your thankfulness, but as we said, do it as soon as possible.
It is up to you if the thank you cards are mailed by yourself or somebody (wedding planner, printer of your wedding stationary, ...) else does it for you. It is also all right if the wording and addresses are printed (with the exception of already mentioned ultra formal weddings, where everything should be written by hand), but don't forget to sign them!
According to etiquette you should thank everybody who in any way contributed to the event, even if he or she didn't bring gift and even if the contribution was only a tip or an idea. In some cases, especially if the receiver of a thank you postcard didn't get a wedding favor, consider a thoughtful gift as well.
Many couples decide to use certain themes to add extra dimension and class to their weddings and wedding thank you notes are the final opportunity to express your gratitude in appropriate style.
The chosen stationary should always reflect your thoughtfulness as your personal style presented with a chosen theme. Above we can see how a classy rustic theme differs from more playful beach wedding theme.
Another popular theme is nautical presented on the cards below. While the style of thank you notes is logical continuation of the used style which is set from the very beginning, you have much more free hands at your wording. General direction is clear - we are going to thank everybody who was there for us and and we are going to thank for every gift (or just a card with good wishes) too.
Generic wording is not a good idea, because some of our guests will probably come without presents and there will very likely be some who will send gifts, but for some reason will not attend the ceremony or reception. If we want to do it write, we should mention gratitude for the presence and for the gifts (in that order).
It is also good idea to mention a specific given present (if there was any), so keeping record of wedding gifts is a must. The only exception is money, which should never be mentioned on thank you's.
So how to thank for given money or gift cards? In this case more generic approach like 'Thank you for generosity!' is the best way to go.
The amount is irrelevant and should never be mentioned. Don't forget to thank to people who organized the event, from wedding coordinator to the florist - your gesture will be greatly appreciated and it is also part of good wedding etiquette.
Here are few additional rules to follow when writing thank you notes:
- both newlyweds should be involved (many wrongly believe this is entirely bride's duty),
- written note is a must even if you have already thank some of your guests verbally, or if guests told you don't need to send them any thank you's,
- thank you notes sent by e-mail are just as no-no as pre-written (pre-printed in entirety) ones,
- matching the style of your wedding thank you cards with the rest of the stationary is desirable, but not obligatory, especially in specific cases like at destination weddings, presented above.
Thank you postcards with incorporated motif from a destination or honeymoon can be lovely and thoughtful gesture even if your wedding theme was completely different. Your guests, particularly the ones which haven't a chance to participate at the ceremony and reception, would be delighted to receive a nice card from distant place with a proof you didn't forget their nice gesture in this very special moment.
Like always it is the thought it counts. So instead of perfection aim at sincerity!