ANNIE SPRATT/ UNSPLASH
Getting wedding gifts is awesome! Writing thank-you notes—slightly less-fun. We’ve got you covered with these foolproof tips.
You can’t put it off any longer. The last slice of cake has been eaten, and you’ve even unpacked your honeymoon suitcases. It’s time to tackle those wedding thank-you notes. The task of writing a personal wedding thank-you note to 100-plus guests is definitely daunting, but doable.
Your guests may have a year to send a wedding gift, but you, unfortunately, don’t have that kind of time. For all gifts received before the wedding, thank-you notes should be sent within two weeks of their arrival. For all gifts received on or after your wedding, you have three months to show your gratitude with a thank-you card. We’ve got a complete wedding thank-you note survival guide—think of it as a friendly handhold for every step of the way—from wedding thank-you etiquette to how to write a thank-you note.
Step 1: Start Early
Wedding thank-you note prep starts months before you unwrap that first gift. Remember that guest list your whole family weighed in on? Do yourself a favor and make a copy of it. Add a column for gifts and wedding thank-you notes. This allows you to keep a record of which registry gifts you’ve received (and from whom) while logging your note progress as you go. Who doesn’t love checking something off a list? It’s easy to think you’ve already sent a thank-you for your wedding gift when you’re penning so many notes—trust us. Best of all, you won’t have to hunt for your cousin’s mailing address.
Step 2: Stock Up
This is the fun part of thank-you note writing! Invest in some stationery that represents you as a couple, or pick up some simple white or ecru note cards. Thank-you notes never go out of style (and there are sure to be many gift-giving occasions thrown in your honor) so stock up shortly after you’re engaged. If you decide to personalize the notes, opt for first names only—it’s bad form to use your married monogram or shared last initial until your wedding is official. If you’ve chosen a wedding motif, like a maple leaf or geometric crest, consider using it in your social stationery too. A good roller ball pen will do wonders for penmanship. Stick with blue or black ink and make sure it won’t smear or bleed through your note cards. Lastly, buy a roll of Forever stamps, so you’re not hunting down postage every time you lick an envelope.
Step 3: Set Up Shop
Designate a “writing station” in your home—you’ll be more likely to pen wedding thank-you notes if you have a comfortable place to sit with all your supplies at the ready. If you don’t have a desk, keep your note cards near a table or hard surface. A cup of tea and some Amazon Prime can really sweeten the deal.
Step 4: Get Down to Business
The rules dictate that every wedding gift deserves a thank-you note. Between saying “yes” and “I do,” you’ll be doing a lot of note writing. Wedding planning takes a lot of time—we get it—but we recommend penning notes as soon as wedding gifts start to arrive. This may mean before the wedding. And long after.
Don’t attempt to get them all done in one sitting. Instead, set aside 30 minutes every night to tackle your wedding thank-you note list. And remember the wedding gifts you’ve received were intended for you both. Regardless of who’s penning the thank-you notes, sign both of your names—unless, of course, you’re thanking your bestie for a lacy number received at your bachelorette party or for the unforgettable bachelor party. To establish equality, divvy up the list and share the responsibility. Some couples divide the list down the middle, while others prefer to write notes to their extended family who may not know their future spouse as well. Do whatever works best for you.
Step 5: Pen the Perfect Note
Personalize your wedding thank-you note to reflect your relationship with the addressee and the gift they gave. Use specifics: “the Waterford Lismore vase from our registry.” If you’ve been gifted money for your wedding, explain how you plan to use it, like “we’re saving for our first house” or “we can’t wait to indulge at the spa on our honeymoon.” Their presence was a present too—don’t forget to thank your gift giver for attending your wedding and for thinking of you at this special time.
Not sure what to write in a wedding thank-you card? Suffering from writer’s block? We’ve got a few sample wedding thank-you notes to help.
A Wedding Gift Not From the Registry
Mention the wedding gift received and how you plan to use it.
Dear Brittany and John,
Thank you so much for the crystal wine goblets. We now have a complete set—and you know how we love our wine! Adam and I are looking forward to your next visit, when we can enjoy a drink together. Thank you again for thinking of us!
All the best,
Lauren and Adam
A Cash Wedding Gift
Avoid mentioning the amount of money given (a word like generous will do the trick), but do share how you plan to use it.
Dear Aunt Edna and Uncle Tom,
Adam and I are so grateful for your generous gift. We’re one step closer to the bathroom remodel we plan to start this spring. It was so wonderful to have you celebrate alongside us at the wedding—thanks for making the trip. Looking forward to seeing you in Florida for Thanksgiving.
Lauren and Adam
A Group Wedding Gift
Send each member of the “group” an individual thank-you.
Thank you for the awesome backyard fire pit. We were counting down the days until our wedding, now we can count down until summer! We’re so lucky to have such thoughtful friends. S’mores soon? Thanks again for thinking of us and celebrating this happy time in our lives.
Lauren and Adam
A Wedding Gift From Someone You Don’t Know
Acknowledge you’re strangers, but mention you look forward to meeting. Bonus points if you can connect them to a relative or friend.
Dear Mr. Brown,
Thank you for the lovely crystal vase. It’s perfect for our entryway—I will nudge Adam to keep it filled with flowers. My dad has spoken so fondly of you over the years. Adam and I look forward to meeting you at the wedding in a few weeks. Thank you for your kindness and for sharing in this exciting time in our lives.
Lauren and Adam
A Wedding Gift You Don’t Like
Focus the note around your general appreciation, not the wedding gift.
Dear Susan and Tom,
Thank you for the colorful fluorescent lava lamps—so retro and fun! Every time we look at them we will think of you and remember this special time in our lives. Many thanks for sharing in our joy on our wedding day.
Lauren and Adam