This is one of the most frequently asked questions brides ask when ordering their day-of stationery, and it is also one of the most debated topics in wedding etiquette.
While we at Persnickety believe in the writing-them-as-quickly-as-possible method, other wedding professionals differ in how long you have to show your gratitude. It can definitely cause confusion for a bride! So Persnickety went straight to the experts at the Emily Post Institute, the experts in all things etiquette, for the best “thank you” answer.
Enjoy this guest post from Peggy Post and don’t forget to order you custom stationery from Persnickety so you can begin expressing your gratitude for all those lovely gifts.
When should notes be written?
Contrary to popular myth, the happy couple does not have a year’s grace period in which to write their notes. All thank-you notes should be written within three months of the receipt of the gift. Ideally, a response should be written on the day you receive a wedding gift. If that’s not possible, set a daily goal. It’s a lot easier to write three or four notes a day than to have to write a hundred notes in a month after the wedding!
What stationery should be used?
First of all, stationery is the operative word here: No fill-in-the-blank cards, no pre-printed cards, no phone calls, no emails, and no generic post on your website! Personal stationery or store-bought thank-you cards are best. Monogrammed stationery should reflect your current name, so wait to use your married monogram until after the wedding.
Creating a card with a photo from your wedding is a nice idea, but the timing is tricky. Don’t delay writing notes for gifts received before the wedding, and arrange to have the cards made quickly, so that gifts given at the wedding or just after won’t be kept waiting. If you really want to have your photo on the cards, consider using a photo from an engagement shoot or other special occasion instead.
Who needs a note?
- Anyone who gives you an engagement, shower or wedding gift, even if you have thanked them in person. Individual notes should be written to people who contributed to a group gift.
- Anyone who gives a gift of money: cash, checks, contributions to savings accounts, and donations to charities. Mentioning the amount is optional, but it does let the person know the correct amount was received. You should mention what you plan to do with the money.
- Your attendants. A warm personal note attached to your gifts to your attendants will let them know how much you appreciate their efforts and support on your behalf.
- Anyone who hosted a party or shower for you. Ideally these notes should be written within two days of the event. Each host or hostess should be thanked individually with a note and a thank you gift.
- People who house or entertain your wedding guests. A note and a small gift should be sent to anyone who houses or entertains out-of-town wedding guests.
- People who do kindnesses for you. The neighbor who accepts delivery of your gifts when you are at work; the cousin who supervises the parking at the reception – anyone who assists you before, during or after your wedding.
- Suppliers and vendors. You don’t have to write everyone you hire for services, but anyone who exceeds your expectations will appreciate a courteous note of thanks.
- Your parents or whoever is hosting your wedding.