Thanking friends and family members not only for their thoughtful wedding gifts but for also being part of your special day is an absolutely essential pre- and post-wedding task (yes, engagement party and shower gifts require a thank-you card, too!). While a gracious note seems simple enough, there are some key things you need to keep in mind. To help you get it right, here are the answers to the most frequently asked wedding thank-you questions.
Who gets a thank-you note?
Everyone who has given you a gift at any of the wedding festivities (the engagement party, bridal shower, wedding).
How long do I have to write them?
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have a year’s grace period (sorry!). For gifts received during the engagement party and shower, send a thank you within two to three weeks of the festivities; for gifts sent before the wedding date, send a card as soon as possible but definitely before the wedding; for gifts given on the wedding day itself, mail a thank-you note within three months; and for gifts received after your wedding, send one within two to three weeks.
I want to feature a wedding portrait on the card but we haven’t gotten photos from our photographer yet. Can we wait until we’ve received them?
Your thank-you notes are a great opportunity to show off your first pictures together as husband and wife; however, if personalizing your thank-you cards with a wedding photo means missing your deadline, use an engagement photo instead.
What should we write?
Make sure your thank-you note feels warm and genuine (definitely avoid generic phrases and wording!). Address the gift giver by name and mention the present and what you’ll do with it, along with a personal detail. For example: “Thank you so much for the juicer, we’ve been wanting one for a while and have already come up with some new recipes! We’ll have to have you over for brunch soon so you can see it in action. And thank you for coming to our wedding—we loved dancing with you at the reception!”
Do text messages or in-person thank yous count?
While a face-to-face thank you is always important, a proper thank you must be on paper; texts and emails don’t count. Also, even though typing them out might be easier, wedding thank-you notes should always be hand-written.