You should start thinking about thank-you notes as soon as you finalise your wedding guest list. Collect all the addresses of your friends and family members you want to invite to your event and keep them in a spreadhseet. Some guests might start sending presents prior to the wedding and etiquette suggests that they should receive their thank-you notes before your big day. Thank-you notes for engagement and shower gifts should be posted within two or three weeks, while presents received after the wedding must be acknowledged within three months.
It is best to stick to a general rule and start mailing thank-you notes as presents are arriving because you don’t want them to pile up. Use the guest list with names and addresses to keep track of gifts and write down dates when they arrived, brief description of each gift and dates when thank-you notes were sent. Keep in mind that you must send a separate note for each present you received, even if they are from the same person.
Traditional wedding etiquette suggests that you should use simple and elegant ivory paper along with blue or black ink for your thank-you notes. Traditionally, they should not contain any decorations, but you can add a personal touch by including your monograms or a motif you used for other wedding stationery. Many brides love to show off their married name on thank-you cards, etiquette says you should not use it before the ceremony. If you want to include monograms, make sure that you use your maiden name on notes sent before the big day.
The wording of thank-you notes is very important. It shouldn’t be very long, but you must mention the gift. Be very specific when speaking about the gift and include a brief description of it. If you received money, make sure to state what you intend to do with it.
Each thank-you note should be warm and personal, so make yourself comfortable and think of people you are addressing. The wording should reflect your personality and good taste which is why you should make an effort with each card. According to etiquette, cards should be handwritten, while printed ones are considered as inappropriate.
You should post thank-you notes to all the guests you received gifts from. You should also address friends and family members who attended your wedding but didn’t send gifts. Those who hosted your engagement party or shower for you should get special attention, so send them a thank-you card along with a small gift. And remember to thank anyone who entertained or hosted some of your guests, wedding suppliers who exceeded your expectations and friends or neighbours who offered help to organise your wedding, collect your presents while you were on honeymoon etc.
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