Weddings and gifts go hand-in-hand. So do gifts and thank-you notes.
Contrary to popular belief, couples do not have a year's grace period to send thank-you notes after wedding gifts have been received or the wedding ceremony has taken place. According to Karen Thomas, a certified etiquette coach and corporate trainer based in Torrington, brides should send notes within a few months of receiving gifts. "I advise all my brides to send thank-you notes within six months," says Thomas. "If they're on the ball, they'll send thank you notes within the first three months."
It's best to start writing thank-you notes immediately, right after returning from the honeymoon, Thomas says. If you're strapped for time, try writing a note every few days so you don't have a giant pile to deal with later on. Gifts that come in the mail should also be acknowledged promptly so that the givers know they've arrived. And even if you are late writing thank-you notes, you still have to write them.
A proper thank-you note should be personalized. Writing notes by hand is a must, according to Thomas. "If people have taken the time to acknowledge your union with a gift, the proper protocol is to actually write a note," she says. Do not use form letters, preprinted cards or even photo cards to which you simply add your signature. A mass thank-you message distributed through social media is definitely not acceptable.
Many couples order thank-you notes with their wedding invitations so the paper, font and style match. It can also be less expensive to order stationary as a package. "There are some great coordinating patterns," says Thomas. "It's a really nice touch to keep the design uniform." If you plan to include photographs from your wedding day with your thank-you notes, make sure to ask your photographer to deliver those photos first so that you are not delayed in writing your notes.
Providing detail is another essential element of good thank-you notes. Be sincere in your messages and try to mention the gift and how it will be used. If you received a china place setting, for example, you might mention that you are looking forward to using it for a special family dinner. Never mention that you plan to return a gift or exchange it. As for monetary gifts, Thomas advises against mentioning the actual dollar amount. "I prefer to say, 'Thank you for your generous monetary gift,'" she says.
As for who's on your thank-you list, send a note to just about anyone who contributed to the wedding, even if a verbal thanks was already offered. Anyone who provided an engagement, shower or wedding gift, anyone who hosted a party or shower, attendants in the wedding, people who may have housed wedding guests, parents of the bride and groom, suppliers and vendors, and employers who have wished couples well should all be included on the thank-you list.
By adhering to proper thank-you note etiquette, couples will ensure that their guests know their gifts were appreciated. – Metro Creative Connection