A Newlywed’s Guide To Saying Thank You: Everything You Need To Know About Wedding Thank You Notes

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As my groom and I made the rounds around our guests’ tables, thanking everyone for coming to our special day, I ran into one of my Mom’s friends. She immediately commended me for sending a thank you card for her gift before the wedding even started. She had never had someone thank her before they actually attended the event for which they sent a gift. Wedding guests like to be thanked for their gifts. Even more importantly, how you go about thanking them can have a big impact.

Figuring out who you need to send a thank you to, when you need to send the message, how to compose each and every thank you note and just what sort of medium to use for your thank you notes can be a challenge. If you are struggling to write your thank you notes or you are merely struggling to keep track of who sent you what, here is everything you need to know about your wedding thank you notes.

Who Should We Send a Thank You Note?

Who Should We Send a Thank You Note?

Photo by Kojach

While this question can be straightforward, you might be leaving off a number of people from your wedding thank you list. First and foremost, thank you notes should be sent to anyone who gifts you something for your special day, whether it is cash, an item on your registry or even something they purchased off of your registry. Even if the person didn’t attend your wedding, they still need a thank you card for sending you a gift.

In addition to guests who sent gifts for your wedding, you also need to send thank you notes to other parties involved with your special day. Suppliers and vendors deserve a little note if you were satisfied with their services. Also, anyone who hosted a wedding event for you should be sent a thank you note, from your parents for hosting your wedding to friends and other family members for hosting your showers and engagement parties.

How Do We Stay Organized When Receiving Gifts and Sending Thank You Notes?

Photo from Wed Savvy by Becca Rillo Photography

Photo from Wed Savvy by Becca Rillo Photography

One of the biggest challenges that I faced with my thank you notes was merely keeping track of what each guest sent and if a thank you note was sent in the process. Couples have to remain organized with their gifts and thank you notes or you could forget a gift and a person to thank as a result. As you receive gifts, the best way to keep organized is to record who the gift is from and what it is. I kept a spreadsheet on my computer to keep track of wedding guests, their gifts and my thank you notes. I used the same spreadsheet that I composed for my wedding addresses. I merely added two columns next to each name, one titled, “Gift” and the other titled, “Thank You Note Sent.”

When a gift would arrive, I recorded it in the gift column next to the sender’s name. Once the thank you note was sent, I wrote a “Yes” in the “Thank You Not Sent” column. You can better keep track of gifts if you have an organized system in place like a spreadsheet. However, just as technology can fail at times, it is important to have a back-up of this list in another location just in case there should be a glitch.

What Stationery Should We Choose?

What Stationery Should We Choose?

Photo by William Arthur Fine Stationery

Wedding thank you cards should never be printed out or sent by way of an email. They must be handwritten on decent stationery. Now is not the time for emails or a generic thank you note post on your wedding website. Couples should select stationery that reflects their newly married spirit.

Wedding thank you card ideas

Photo by amy treespacestudio

From a design that is still in keeping with your wedding colors, to monograms or a fun graphic, thank you notes should be classy and simple. Couples should avoid overly busy thank you note designs that are off-putting to receivers. There should also be ample space to write your message. Pre-written cards with generic thank you messages are a major no-no when it comes to weddings. Newlyweds should also be sure to select a nice pen in blue or black ink to write their message. Any ink colors that are hard to read won’t receive a thank you from recipients.

What Should We Say in Our Thank You Cards?

What Should We Say in Our Thank You Notes?

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Writing a thank you note is generally the hardest part for couples. You might have no idea what to say to some guests and a million things to include for others. Writing thank you notes can be a time consuming process but it is also the most important element to a thank you note. Couples should begin by addressing the specific person who sent the gift and just what their gift was. Now is not the time for the general, “Hey you.”

If you are struggling to come up with the words to say, you can begin by thanking your guest for whatever the gift may be. In the case of cash, avoid penning down the actual amount. Instead, couples should say how they are going to use the funds. A complete note adds a few words on how much it meant to have that person attend your special day.

Writing my own thank you notes, I did meet a few problems. How do you thank someone for a gift they got off of your registry? It can be somewhat awkward to say thanks for a gift you essentially picked out. Rather than raving about what good taste you have for putting said gift on your registry, you merely need to say thank you for your guest’s generous gift and how it completes whatever area of your home it may reside.

Another area I struggled with was thanking guests that I didn’t know too well or at all. For those awkward thank you note recipients, you can loosely include the following:

Dear _____,

Thank you for your generous wedding gift of the kitchen mixer. We will be baking up a storm thanks to your kindness. It was so nice to catch up at our wedding. We loved celebrating our most special day with you. 


Bride and Groom

Bottom line, when it comes to composing your thank you notes, you merely need to keep it genuine, sincere and personal. Couples shouldn’t lose their personalities in thank you notes. For closer relationships, you can always take advantage of being more creative and scribbling outside the lines of the thank you note template. And for those more difficult relationships, simplicity and class is always key.

Who Should Write The Thank You Notes?

Who Should Write The Thank You Notes?

Photo From Bridal Guide by Stephanie Moe Photography

The writing of thank you notes should not be limited to just one side of the marriage. Both brides and grooms should write their wedding thank you notes. For example, I had my husband write all of the thank you notes to his family and friends. By splitting them up, we both didn’t get too sick of writing and we were able to keep our notes more personal as we truly knew each person we were writing. In terms of physically writing the notes, make certain that the party in the marriage with the best handwriting is penning your thank you notes. You don’t want to give guests eyestrain over trying to decipher what your thank you note says.

When Should We Send Our Thank You Cards?

When Should We Send Our Thank You Cards?

Photo from fred_v

Among some couples, there is a common belief that offers reassurance on wedding thank you note procrastination. Perhaps born our of that procrastination, some newlyweds contend they have a whole year after their wedding to send their thank you notes. According to etiquette queen Emily Post, this is simply not true. Most etiquette experts say couples should send their thank you notes within three months of receiving the gift. In the case of a shower or engagement gift, you should send a note as soon as possible.

Couples should try to write their thank you notes as gifts arrive. My husband and I made it easier after our wedding by writing a few thank you notes a day leading up to our wedding. By the time our wedding rolled around, most of our thank you notes had already been sent. It will be overwhelming if you try to sit down and write all 300 thank you notes in one sitting. The language will get repetitive and redundant with each note. Brides and grooms can break up the monotony by writing a few a day as gifts arrive. This will also help to keep the gifts fresh in your mind for a better-crafted note.

Your Turn…

Do you have any wedding thank you card tips to add as a couple or a guest receiving a thank you note? Share your ideas with us below.