Every bride and groom love receiving wedding gifts, but writing the obligatory thank you notes is considerably less fun. It is, however, a very necessary task, and one that it is not advisable to put off tackling for too long. Let these tips help take the pain out of writing wedding thank you notes.
Gift In – Thank You Out
My number one piece of advice is to write the thank you for each gift as it arrives. When you get married, you will get large clusters of presents at your bridal shower and on your wedding day, but the presents that are mailed to your house will arrive in dribs and drabs. If you dash off a note for those gifts within a day or two of their arrival, the time investment will be minimal – 5 or 10 minutes a day spent on note writing is really nothing. Letting your obligations pile up until you have 50 or 100 notes to write, on the other hand, will leave you feeling like the task is insurmountable. You will also find that it is easier to write a genuine letter of appreciation when you can still remember how you felt when you first opened the box.
Setup a System
The next tip for making thank you notes less painful is to set up a system. Get a nice stack of notecards and a good quality black pen (not ballpoint). Use notecards rather than letter sized stationery so you have less space to fill! If you splurge on fine quality personalized notecards, it will make the task feel like more of a pleasure. For notes written post-wedding, it can be fun to have cards made with your favorite wedding picture. Make sure to have your stamps and address book handy too so there is nothing to slow you down once you get on a roll.
Divvy Up the Work
Discuss with your fiance how you will split up the note writing duties. Some couples prefer to split them equally, or the bride writes the letters to her side of the family, and the groom does the ones for his. Keep a careful list so that nothing slips through the cracks if the bride assumes the groom handled a note or vice versa. It is also fine for one person to take on writing all of the notes, particularly if he or she has a knack for it.
The Bones of the Note
The notes themselves follow a very basic formula. Remember that people do not expect thank you notes to be original works of art, just polite and timely, so don’t drive yourself crazy trying to reinvent the wheel with each letter you pen. The formula is as follows: Dear Mr. and Mrs. Davis (or Aunt Hannah for a relative or just Dear Susie for a close friend), Thank you so much for the beautiful (fill in the blank). Hubby (use his actual name!) and I just love it, and we know we will get so much use out of it. The china is just the perfect thing for our holiday dinners (or The vase will be so beautiful filled with peonies from my garden, etc. etc.). We hope that you will be able to join us for dinner one day (only if you mean it!). It was wonderful to see you at our wedding / We look forward to seeing you at our wedding / We missed you at our wedding. Thanks again! Sincerely, Joanie Green Talbot (if taking your husband’s last name, use your maiden name in the middle so people know who you are) or Joanie (for close family and friends). And that’s it!
Some situations call for a slightly more personal note. If your best friend gave you beautiful crystal bridal jewelry, be sure to gush about how special it made you feel to wear it on your wedding day. Also be sure to mention your appreciation for any special thing that someone did to contribute to your wedding, such as to the cousin who did a ceremony reading. In the case of a cash or check gift, adjust the letter to say “Thank you for your thoughtful (or generous) gift” and go on to say what you plan to use the funds for. “It will certainly come in handy on our honeymoon” or “It will help us complete our china set”. And in the case of a duplicate gift received, just write each thank you note as if it was for the only one received. Never mention that you have returned or exchanged a present.
And that is all you need to know about writing thoughtful thank you notes for your wedding gifts. When you follow this formula, it will be a snap to get through the letters quickly, leaving you free to move on to more enjoyable things.