After all of the excitement of your wedding day is over, you’ll have to sit down and start writing out those wedding thank you cards. Sure, it’s a huge task but it’s lso a necessary one. And one you should begin planning for months before the big day.
Ordering Thank You Cards
Typically, thank you cards are ordered at the same time as the invitations and other major elements of the wedding stationery package. You could wait, but there’s really no reason to unless you have budget constraints.
The thank you cards should be similar in design and tone to your invitations. Remember you want a consistent style for all of your stationery.
Additionally, you should order one thank you card for every invitation you plan to send out and for about 25% of the announcements you send. You should also order a thank you card for every member of your wedding party, for all of your wedding vendors, and for everyone who takes part in the ceremony, such as performers and your clergy. As always, you should order between 10 to 25 extra thank you cards in case you make mistakes or you get more gifts than you anticipated.
Thank You Card Etiquette
Obviously, sending thank you cards in the first place is a matter of etiquette. It’s just good manners to show your appreciation. One common question couples have about thank you cards is how long they can wait to send them out.
The answer is simple. All of your thank you cards should be mailed within three months of your wedding day, preferably within two weeks of your honeymoon return. Furthermore, you should immediately send out thank you cards for any gifts you receive prior to the wedding day. The gift givers would like to know that you did receive what they sent.
Some couples wonder if they have to mail out thank you cards at all. Can’t they just send an email or pick up a phone? The answer is you can but that won’t stop you from needing to mail out thank you cards. There’s nothing wrong with telling people thank you informally, but formal thank you cards are also necessary.
One way to make the process easier to deal with is by splitting up the job. While brides used to be the only people responsible for writing thank you cards, today the groom can also play a role. Perhaps he can write thank you cards to everyone on the bride’s family and vice versa.
Before we leave the etiquette issue, there’s also the question of who receives thank you cards. Everyone who participates in the wedding in some capacity and everyone who gives you a gift should receive a thank you card. However, if one guest gives you more than one gift, you should send that person a separate card for each gift. If multiple guests pool their money to buy a gift, then each of them receive a thank you card for their contribution. That rule is a little flexible though. For example, if all of your co-workers pitch in to get you a gift card, you can send one thank you card to all of them.
What to Write in Your Thank You Card
The hardest part of thank you cards though is knowing what to say. Even if you have a pre-printed message in your cards, you still owe it to your guests to write them a brief, personal message. That message should specifically mention what was purchased or done. For relatives and friends, you might want to include an invitation for a visit. And most importantly you should avoid a write closing – choose something that comes across as sincere.
Below are a few examples of the wording you might want to use in your thank you cards:
Dear Aunt Elizabeth:
Thank you so much for the beautiful crystal goblets. They look so lovely on our table. Joshua and I would love to have you see them the next time you come over for dinner.
Joshua and I wanted to thank you for the generous gift you sent us. We’re saving the money for a down payment on a new home. We’ll keep you posted on the progress, and – hopefully – you can visit us there in a few months.
Dear Ms. Lefler:
Angel and I wanted to thank you for your beautiful violin performance at our ceremony. It truly exceeded our expectations. We know that all of our guests were raving about your performance. We just wanted to let you know that you helped make our special day even more wonderful.
Remember it’s important to sound sincere and be specific. If you follow those two guidelines, you won’t go wrong with your thank you cards.