How Long Do I Have to Send My Wedding Thank You Cards?
Wedding thank you cards are more important than you think. For all the wedding gifts I’ve bought for friends over the years, I can STILL remember the two times I never received a thank you note. Considering how forgetful I am about a gazillion other things in my life, the fact that I still remember THAT was motivation enough for me to make sure I wrote everyone a thank you note…and promptly!
Guests are spending time and money celebrating your wedding, which means you’ll want to thank them sincerely for everything they do. In this article you’ll find our tips for what to write in your thank you card, when to send them, and which type of cards are the best.
Do You Send Thank You Cards to All Wedding Guests (Even Those Who Didn’t Give a Gift)?
This is such a great question, and it’s one that has a surprising answer: Yes! In fact, we specifically asked Lizzie Post (the great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post) all about wedding thank you cards in our course, The Wedding Class, and she brought up the idea of doing this. Honestly, I had never thought of sending thank you’s to guests who DIDN’T give gifts (for my own wedding or recommending it for other couples) and I’m now obsessed with the idea.
Not only should you send thank you cards to the guests who sent you gifts, but you should seriously consider sending them to EVERYONE who came to your wedding. It’s a great way to show your appreciation to them for coming to your wedding and celebrating with you. As Post says, “it’s a lovely thing to do.”
Also, it’s important to note that proper etiquette says you should send a thank you for every gift received. For example, if someone gave a gift for your shower and your wedding, they should receive one for each gift.
Who Else Should Get a Thank You Card?
While not required, you should definitely send a thank you note to your parents and other special family members (especially if they contributed to your special day) as well as your wedding party. These notes can be given alongside a wedding party gift or on their own, and can express your gratitude to them for playing such a big part of your celebration, as well as their generosity if money was involved.
You should also consider sending thank you notes to your vendors! Read our tips on how to thank you wedding vendors here.
When Should You Send Your Thank You Cards?
The general rule of thumb when it comes to wedding thank you cards is that you have three months after your wedding day to send them, though if it were up to us we’d make sure they were sent out a lot sooner. Ideally, you should send your notes within three weeks of receiving your gift. In fact, you’re actually doing the BEST thing by sending your wedding thank you cards out soon as you get the gifts!
Trust us when we say it’s SO much easier to write your thank-you notes as you get the gifts, rather than wait until they all pile up and all of a sudden you have 100 to write! We all know that time can be an issue, but setting aside 15 minutes before you go to bed to write three thank-you notes that you can mail out in the morning will be a gesture appreciated not only by your guests, but by you after your wedding is over!
READ MORE: Where to Find the Groomsmen Gifts
Can I Just Send an E-mail or Text?
An e-mail or text is fine ONLY to acknowledge that you’ve received a gift and to let the gift-giver know a formal thank you is coming. A text, Facebook message, or e-mail as your only ‘Thank You’ is, in our opinion, not enough (and traditional wedding etiquette will back us up on this). Here’s a schedule we suggest if you can’t write a formal ‘Thank You’ (handwritten note) right away:
Within a week of receiving your gift:
Send a text or e-mail saying something along the lines of: “Thank you SO much for the beautiful decanter! A formal thank you is coming soon but I wanted to let you know we received it and loved it. Thank you!”
Within a month of receiving your gift:
While traditional etiquette says you have between 3-4 months to send a thank you as noted above, our vote is that the sooner you can send it, the better. Plan on sending a personalized, handwritten thank-you card to the gift-giver within one month of getting your gift (not just your big day). Read our tips on how to write the perfect wedding thank you note here.
READ MORE: The One Problem With Champagne Bridesmaid Dresses
What Should I Say in a Wedding Thank You Card?
The goal is to write a sincere, heartfelt note that doesn’t sound like a robot wrote it. Make sure you personalize it as much as you can. Include details about the gift you received, and how you plan on using it. For example:
Thank you so much for the beautiful flatware set. We are so excited to use it for wonderful home-cooked meals, and will think of you both every time we do. Better yet, we hope to have you over for dinner soon!
Lots of love,
Cory and Lindsay
WGM Says: I’m a big fan of “lots of love” for signing thank you notes. While something like “best wishes” is ok for a work email, you’ll want to use something more personal for wedding thank you cards.
However, if you received a check, do not include the amount of money you received. Instead, mention what it will go towards. For example, you could use this as a template…
Thank you so much for the extremely generous wedding gift. We are so appreciative, and plan on using it towards our honeymoon fund for our 10 day trip to Hawaii! Your special gift will help us have the trip of a lifetime. We can’t wait to send you pics!
Another important thing to remember? If you’re sending thank you cards before the wedding, include in the note how you are looking forward to celebrating with them. If it’s after, make sure to tell them how much you enjoyed celebrating with them.
Learn more about exactly what to write in our Guide to Wedding Thank You Card Wording
What Kind of Thank You Card Should I Send?
Cute custom notes with wedding photos are fun, but they make take too long to receive since photos aren’t typically given to you for at least a few weeks. Engagement photos, on the other hand, work great!
WGM Says: If you use a website like Minted for your wedding invites and thank you cards, you’ll be able to store your guest’s addresses and take advantage of their free guest addressing. This means you can easily add your recipients addresses on envelopes, and you won’t have to hand address each one. You can also op to add return addressing for an additional fee, or buy a return address stamp on a site like Etsy.
If you don’t want to use photos, consider ordering thank you notes that match your wedding invitations using a company like Minted. Or, you could order custom wedding stationery ahead of time with your new married monogram. Otherwise, store bought thank you cards are just as great! People care less about what they look like, and more about the message inside!
Who Should Write Wedding Thank You Cards?
The best way to tackle wedding thank yous is to split them up with your partner, and tackle them all as the gifts come in. My husband and I split them up which was a huge help. I sent them to the majority of the wedding guests on my family’s side, and he sent them to his. But if I’m being honest his handwriting is not the best. LOL. I wouldn’t have changed the way we did it, but it’s just something to consider if you or your partner have better handwriting and that’s something that matters to you.
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