We know the wedding is over. The planning was exhausting, and you’re ready never to see another thank-you card again! But don’t skip this step of the process: writing your thank-you cards. It’s an important part of etiquette (and it’ll help prevent any awkward family dinners).
Getting married is the most exciting time of your life, and getting to thank all those who helped you along the way can be just as rewarding. It’s a little daunting at first, but we’ve got some tips to help make it easier for you!
You’ve just gotten married, and you’re now faced with the daunting task of writing thank-you cards to all your guests. It seems like a simple enough idea, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
It is also one of the many tasks that married couples often put off until after the wedding. But before you go on your honeymoon, take some time to write these thoughtful messages and send them out in a timely fashion to all those who helped make your big day extra special!
How do you write them? What should they say? Who should get what card? You deserve to be congratulated on your wedding day, so let us help you take some of the stress out of this process by offering some tips and templates for how best to make sure that everyone knows how grateful you are.
We have templates for both traditional weddings thank you cards and modern wedding thank you cards. A template will give you a place to start with formatting so that your writing flows seamlessly on each card. We also provide specific wording for common sentiments like “It was such an honour” or “Thank you again”.
So whether this is your first time writing these types of cards, or if it’s been a while since sending out any thank-you messages, we’re sure there’ll be something here you will like.
It is important to be thoughtful when writing these messages because it’s an opportunity to express gratitude towards those who took the time out of their day/week/life and invested in your relationship!
Here are our top tips for how to write your wedding thank-you cards. We provide templates too!
What to Write in Wedding Thank You Cards
While etiquette folks may argue over the finer details of wedding thank you notes, these are the basic rules you should remember when the time comes to take pen to paper:
- Be specific. Let’s be honest, receiving a thank you card that says “Thank you for your gift” isn’t saying much at all. Instead, be specific in your thanks by mentioning exactly what you received as a gift and how you plan to use it. One exception to the “be specific” rule is for monetary gifts. While it’s great to mention how you plan to use the funds, it is best not to mention the exact amount.
- Make it personal. Mention a small detail about the person who gave you the gift, such as their part in the wedding or a time in the future that you will see them.
- Be yourself. While thank-you notes are, in a way, a formality, it’s important to use your true voice. This card not only shows your appreciation but is meant to make someone happy, so keeping it authentic is important.
- Write clearly. While we aren’t saying you need to enrol in a calligraphy class, a legible message shows that you took the time.
- Share the responsibility. You and your partner should both sign your names!
How to Address Thank You Notes
- If you have a close relationship with the gift giver(s), please address the note using their first names only.
- If you have a formal relationship with the gift-givers, use titles such as “Dr.” or “Ms.”
- If the gift is from a family with children who also attended the wedding, consider addressing it to the whole family, such as “The Cunningham Family.”
Tips for Writing Thank-You Notes
In the afterglow of a wedding, it can be a joy to write thank-you notes expressing heartfelt gratitude for the gifts you’ve received. But no matter how genuine your feelings are, keeping the sentiment meaningful from one note to the next takes focus and creativity.
Plus, you need to be somewhat organized to get the messages completed in a timely fashion. However, if you start the job as soon as gifts begin to arrive, you’ll find this final important task pleasant and gratifying.
1. Getting Organized
Buy thank-you cards early (if you’re having them printed, it’s often cheaper to order them along with your other wedding stationery), so you have them on hand.
Set up a log when you begin addressing your invitations to help keep track of the correct spelling of names, mailing addresses, and phone numbers. Use the list to record guests’ responses and, ultimately, gifts they give you. Store the information on a computer, in a binder, or on index cards.
2. Keeping Track
When you open presents, immediately record who gave you what, either in your log or right on the gift cards, which you could keep together in a specially designated box.
Despite your best efforts, a few gifts may become separated from their cards. If the gift was from your registry, call the store to see if it records who purchased it. If not, you may have to try figuring it out by the process of elimination.
3. What’s the Time Frame?
Ideally, it would be best to acknowledge every present immediately, but sending it within two weeks is also acceptable. The period surrounding your wedding is a busy time; if you fall behind, make every effort to send a thank you as soon as you can — but no later than three months after the event.
To ensure the task doesn’t become too overwhelming, write notes in small batches. Diane Warner, the author of “Contemporary Guide to Wedding Etiquette” (Career Press; 2005), offers this strategy: “Set a goal of writing three or four thank-you notes per day.
Don’t try to tackle them all at once. Otherwise, they may tend to start sounding trite.” She also recommends that both the bride and the groom divide the note-writing duties.
4. What Should Your Thank-You Notes Look Like?
The most traditional thank-you cards for weddings are white or ecru and measure approximately 3 1/2 by 5 inches, with a top fold. They can be monogrammed or embossed with a motif you’ve used on other decorations.
With a monogram, remember that it’s improper to adopt your married moniker until after the ceremony. You might combine the initials of your first names instead or use different cards for thank-you notes that are sent out before the wedding date.
5. How to Save Money
You can save money by dressing up plain cards and making your own notes. Another alternative is to turn a photo from your wedding day into thank-you postcards.
Your photographer may offer them (keep in mind that it takes time for him to produce them), or you can make them yourself (be sure you have the photographer’s permission).
6. Who Should Write Them?
It is customary for just one person to write and sign each note, mentioning his or her spouse’s appreciation (“Karen and I want to thank you…. Love, David”).
However, coauthored notes, signed by both the bride and groom, are also acceptable. One easy way to share the work is for the bride to write to her own family members and friends and the groom to his.
7. What Should the Message Say?
You don’t need to write a lot — four or five sentences will suffice — as long as what you express is heartfelt. Identify the gift, say why you appreciate it, why it has a personal meaning for you, and how you plan to use it.
If the giver came to the wedding, especially from a distance, also include a sentence thanking him for attending: “Thank you for coming to our wedding. Your presence made our day extra-special. David and I love the coffee maker.
We’ve used it every day since we got back from our honeymoon. Thanks so much.” You need not mention the dollar amount for cash gifts, but it’s a nice touch to say how you plan to spend the money.
8. What Should the Sign-Off Be?
The sign-off should reflect your relationship with the recipient. “Love” is suitable for close friends and family; “with affection” is a slightly less intimate option; “sincerely” may be the most appropriate when you’re writing to someone such as your manager at work.
You needn’t sign off with your full names with people you’re close to, but you may want to use them in thank-you notes to business associates and friends of your parents.
Trust your instincts: If using your surname feels cold or stiff, leave it out. On the other hand, if your message sounds overly familiar without it, then include it.
Here’s When You Should Send Wedding Thank-You Cards
1. When Should You Send Wedding Thank-You Cards?
So, can you send thank-you notes before the wedding? The answer is yes—and we highly encourage it! It’s never too soon to send out wedding thank-you cards. In fact, it’s recommended to send thank-yous within two weeks of receiving a gift before your wedding date. Loved ones will start giving presents shortly after you get engaged, so it’s recommended to stay on top of your letters of gratitude.
Once you start receiving gifts, set aside a block of time every night to write thank-yous with your S.O. Staying organized and on track from the start is the best way to prevent post-wedding thank-you note stress.
As soon as you create your wedding registry, buy thank-you cards to have on hand when gifts start to come in. (Psst: We recommend browsing hundreds of designs—including styles that match your invitation suite.).
You’ll have fewer cards to write after your wedding day, and guests will be impressed by your timing etiquette skills.
2. How Long After the Wedding Can You Send Thank-You Cards?
You won’t receive every gift before your wedding. Some guests will bring presents on the day of, but traditional etiquette indicates that they have to send a gift up to a year after your wedding. So, how long do you have to send wedding thank-yous?
Aim to get your cards in the mail within three months after your wedding date. This gives you some time to enjoy your honeymoon, settle into your newlywed nest, and soak up that “just-married” bliss.
While guests will understand your desire to relax after hosting a wedding, it is important to thank them promptly. Not thanking them soon enough may come across as rude or insensitive, even if that’s not your intention. To avoid any hurt feelings, do your best to stay on top of sending wedding thank-you notes quickly.
3. Is Sending Wedding Thank-You Cards Late a Bad Thing?
Life can get in the way, though, and you might find it hard to stay on top of sending wedding thank-you cards. This may be the case if you and your S.O. will go through big life changes after your wedding, like taking a long, off-the-grid honeymoon, moving, or expanding your family.
Sending wedding thank-yous late isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s never too late to be gracious toward your loved ones. So while it may feel awkward to send a thank-you card a few months (or a year) after your wedding, it’s always better to send a late note as opposed to not sending one at all.
When writing a late wedding thank-you card, keep your message positive. (Read: Now’s not the time to divulge too many personal details or excuses as to why your note is coming later than expected.) Instead, focus on your gratitude for the gift or the guest’s presence at your wedding.
While you can address the delay if the card comes a year or more after the wedding, it’s not always necessary; a few lines about why you liked the gift and how you’ve been using it will suffice. Also, write what feels comfortable in regards to your relationship with the guest.
Just make sure your thank-you addresses the guest by their name and directly references the gift you received—your loved ones will appreciate that you took the time to send them a handwritten message of gratitude.
Thank You Card Wording Examples
If you’ve got a case of writer’s block about what to write in a wedding thank you card, here are a few sample notes for common gifting scenarios to get those creative juices flowing.
1. For People Who Got You a Gift off Your Registry
Pro tip: It’s something you wanted, so mention how much you love it and that you plan to use it all the time.
Dear [Guest’s Name],
Thank you so much for the espresso machine! [Partner’s Name] and I have become serious coffee fiends and are excited to be able to make our own drinks at home. We’d love to have you over for brunch soon so you can see it in action! Thank you again for being a part of our wedding day.
2. For People Who Gave a Monetary Gift
Pro tip: As with physical gifts, let them know how you’ll use the cash!
Dear [Guest’s Name],
Thank you so much for celebrating our wedding day with us! [Partner’s Name] and I were thrilled with your generous and thoughtful gift of $100. Thanks to you, we were able to book the cooking class we’d had our eye on for our honeymoon. Looking forward to seeing you over the holidays!
3. For People Who You Don’t Know Well
Pro tip: Mention the person you know in common.
Dear [Guest’s Name],
Thank you for the gorgeous crystal bowl. It will look absolutely beautiful on our coffee table. It was so lovely to see you at the wedding—my mother always speaks so fondly of you, and [Partner’s Name] and I was so happy to meet you in person finally!
4. For People Who Gave You an Unfamiliar Item
Pro tip: Focus on the giver rather than the mystery gift. If possible, include a fond memory with them during the wedding.
Dear [Guest’s Name],
Thank you again for being a part of our big day, as well as for the wonderful wedding gift. It means so much to us that you travelled so far to celebrate with us. [Partner’s Name] and I feel lucky to count you as our friends!
5. For People Who Shared in a Group Gift
Pro tip: Send individual notes to each person, but give a shout-out to the whole group.
Dear [Guest’s Name],
Thank you so much for the wine fridge. It will be getting a lot of use in our new home! We are so lucky to have friends who know us so well and can’t wait to have you all over to open a bottle or two!
For group gifts, send an individual card to each person who contributed to the gift. However, if you’re unsure who contributed to the gift, Swann says it’s acceptable only to thank the person who personally handed or sent the item to you.
6. For People Who Got You a Gift You Don’t Love (Or Will Exchange)
Pro tip: No need to rave about the gift if you don’t like it, but do find something positive to say!
Dear [Guest’s Name],
[Partner’s Name] and I want to thank you for the wooden salad bowl. The organic design is so beautiful, and the carved salad servers are the perfect finishing touch. You have great taste! We are so happy you could make it to our wedding—thanks for holding down the fort on the dance floor!
7. For People Who Couldn’t Attend but Still Sent a Gift
Pro tip: Mention how much you wish they could have been there.
Dear [Gifter’s Name],
Thank you so much for the set of wine glasses. It was so kind of you to think of us! [Partner’s Name] and I wish you could have been there on our wedding day—it wasn’t the same without you. We’re looking forward to more opportunities to celebrate together in the future!
8. For People Who Traveled to See You
Pro tip: Even if they didn’t give you a physical gift, you should thank them for making the trip.
Dear [Guest’s Name],
Thank you so much for making the trip to celebrate our special day. It meant so much to [Partner’s Name] and I that you travelled from Paris just for us. We hope you had as much fun as we did!
9. For Those Who Were in Your Wedding Party
Pro tip: Whether or not they gave a gift, be sure to thank them anyway for the role they played on your special day.
Dear [Member of Wedding Party],
Thank you so much for being my [Role]. You mean so much to [Partner’s name] and I. Having you by my side throughout this process and on our wedding day made it all the more special. We can’t wait to share more meaningful experiences with you!
10. For Thanking Your Parents
Pro tip: Mention a special moment you had in your note.
Dear [Parents’ Names],
Thank you so much for being a part of our big day and for the love and support you’ve given [Partner’s Name] and I. Our wedding wouldn’t have been the same without you. I will always cherish the heartfelt toast you gave. We can’t wait to build a future together, all of us family.
11. For Thanking Your Wedding Suppliers
Pro tip: Thank them for their specific contribution to your wedding.
Dear [Supplier’s Name],
[Partner’s Name] and I want to thank you for the beautiful photographs you took at our wedding. We will treasure them always. We are so pleased you were part of our wedding. You helped bring our vision to life.
12. For Thanking Attendees
Pro tip: Thank each and every attendee, even if they didn’t bring a gift. Also, include an anecdote from the wedding to make it more personal.
Dear [Guest’s Name],
[Partner’s Name] and I are so grateful you could make it to our wedding. Your presence made our day extra special. We especially loved seeing you dance to the Spice Girls! We hope you enjoyed our day as much as we did!