Thank You Card Etiquette

Thank you notes need to go to a lot of people after the wedding.  Here is a simple guide to who gets cards and when to send them.

For gifts received before the wedding- Thank you cards should be sent right away.  If the couple is following tradition and not opening gifts until after the wedding or wedding shower then a general thank you still should be sent immediately. Gifts for a wedding can be opened before the wedding to send a more detailed thank you, but etiquette still dictates they not be used until after the wedding.

For contributions to a fund or charity- If a guest donated to a charity you support or to a honeymoon fund, mention that in the thank you card as well.  If the donation went to a charity be sure to mention how important that charity’s work is to the couple.  If the money went to a honeymoon fund, be sure to mention how much fun the couple had and offer to share some pictures or provide info for the site where the pictures are displayed.

For shower gifts- These should be sent immediately after the shower.  Be sure to have someone keep a list of gifts and the givers as they are opened.

For gifts received at the wedding- Etiquette dictates that the couple has three months after the wedding to send thank you cards; however they should be sent right away.  Couples who go on a honeymoon should send them when they come home from the honeymoon.

For gifts from groups of people- If the gift came from ten people or less each person should get their own thank you card. If the gift came from a large group such as an office, a thank you card should be displayed in a common area and each person should be verbally thanked.

For the people who helped plan- Be sure to send thank you cards to anyone who helped pay for the wedding or helped plan, such as bridesmaids.  This should be in addition to a thank you card for any gifts received from these people.

Some Additional Guidelines

  • Thank you notes should be handwritten.  Cards with the words “thank you” preprinted on them and even a nice quote and message are appropriate, but each should still have a handwritten message mentioning the gift as well.
  • Thank you cards sent before the wedding should not have married names on them.  Use label with first names only or with the names of the couple separately.  Thank you cards after should have the couples married names.
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