Monday, December 23, 2013

Once the wedding and honeymoon are over, there is still one wedding task that must be attended to. The thank you cards must be sent out to every person that graciously sent you a gift for your showers, parties and the actual wedding itself. There are some myths out there on proper etiquette for wedding thank you cards that should be avoided so you don't seem ill-mannered or disrespectful.

Time Frame for Sending Thank You Cards

    Any gifts received for the engagement party or bridal shower should have thank you cards sent within 1 to 2 weeks. Every other aspect of these thank you notes follows the same guidelines as the actual wedding gifts. Gifts that are received before the wedding should be acknowledged immediately. Send out the thank you cards for these gifts within 2 to 5 days of receiving the gift.
    For gifts that you receive on the day of your wedding, the thank you cards should be sent out within 2 to 4 weeks of returning home from your honeymoon. If you have a large number of thank you's to wriite, try writing 10 percent of them each day for 10 days. That way, you'll be able to send them all out within the proper time frame and it won't be such a burden, like writing 100 thank you cards at once.

The Actual Thank You Cards

    Preprinted, generic thank you cards must never be sent for wedding gifts. Each card should be written entirely by hand. This also means verbal thank you's are not enough. Emails and websites or blog posts are not proper either. Many invitation companies offer thank you cards with the invitations. While it is not required that the cards match your invitations, it does keep things simpler and cleaner looking.
    While colored ink is available and interesting, black or dark blue ink is the best to use for wedding thank you cards. It looks more elegant and is usually easier on the eyes. Address and stamp the envelopes by hand, just as you did the actual invitations. These little personal details on each thank you card let your guests know that their time and generosity are truly appreciated. Make sure you add your return address, especially if your address has changed since the wedding.
    While certain timelines are deemed appropriate, go ahead and send out your thank you cards even if you're late. It is better to receive a late thank you card than none at all.

Wording for Thank You Cards

    Thank you cards should be addressed in a formal manner for people you aren't very close to, such as "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jones," for married couples; or "Dear Ms. Smith" for a single person. For close family or friends, "Dearest Aunt June" is fine.
    In the body of your card, use the words "I" and "we" as little as possible, and try to focus all of the attention on the recipient. Also, mention the gift that was given and what it will be used for. In the event you don't like it or intend to exchange it, never mention that. If the person also attended your wedding, be sure to mention that you appreciate and enjoyed their attendance. For example, if you enjoy the gift, you could write:
    "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jones,
    Thank you so much for the silverware. It looks so lovely at our place settings. Each time we entertain guests, you will be thought of. Thank you for celebrating our special day with us.
    Sincerely,
    Jon and Jane Smith"
    For a gift that you don't particularly care for, you could write:
    "Dear Mr. Peters,
    Thank you so much for the stemware. Each time we use it you will be thought of. Thank you for taking part in our special day.
    Sincerely,
    Jon and Jane Smith"
    For monetary gifts, whether it is in the form of cash, checks, savings deposits or donations, you should always thank the gift giver. Refrain from using the terms money or checks, and it is better to stay away from mentioning dollar amounts. Instead, write something like:
    "Dearest Uncle Joe and Aunt Doris,
    Thank you so much for your generous gift. That helps us get much closer to our savings goal for a down payment on a new house. We'll be sure to invite you to the house warming. Thank you for celebrating our wedding with us.
    Love Always,
    Jon and Jane Smith"
    For anyone you receive multiple gifts from, send a separate thank you card for each gift. Acknowledge other family members in the body of your card if more than just the couple was involved or attended your wedding. Even if someone didn't give you a gift, you should graciously thank them for attending your wedding.

Who Should Receive Thank You Cards

    Anyone that sent you a gift should obviously receive a thank you card. However, there are quite a few others that can be overlooked but really deserve to know they are appreciated. Your parents, or anyone who helped to plan and host your wedding should get a card of gratitude. Anyone who hosted a party or dinner or shower in your honor should receive a thank you card. Vendors and attendants that helped make your day should be acknowledged as well. Do not forget to thank your attendants, parents and everyone else that dedicated their time and effort to make the day special for you and your spouse.
    When sending a thank you card for the hostess of your bridal shower, you can also use the same card to thank her for her gift. Likewise with the hosts of other events, one card outlining your appreciation for each specific thing you are thankful for is appropriate.


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