How Long Do I Have to Send Thank You Notes?
Q: My wedding is going to be this summer and then we are going on a month long honeymoon. My question is, how long do I have to send out thank you notes for gifts received before and after the wedding?
A: The answer is ASAP for any event, whether it be your engagement, wedding, a birthday party or any other event where you received guests and/or gifts, but in reality you have up to three months to send a thank you note.
The more time that goes by, the more likely you are to forget to send one, but also it leaves your guests feeling as though you aren't appreciative (which you are) or that you forgot about them (which you - hopefully - didn't). Or wondering if you received the gift at all.
It is super important to keep a list as the gifts come in (because many will arrive before the event and many will arrive after - a guest has up to one year to send a wedding gift your way per etiquette). Make sure you include specifics about the gift, who sent it and a mailing address to send the thank you note.
We like to say "one gift in, one thank you card out."
Here are some tips to make the thank you card the best it can be:
1. Thank you notes should be hand written, no typing or texting (gaaaah!) here - super impersonal. Major no no.
2. Make it personal. State exactly what you received and why you love it so much or how you plan to use it.
3. Thank them for also attending the wedding if they were in attendance. Their presence is just as important, if not more important, than a gift. In fact, it is a gift.
4. Gifts will arrive earlier than you may expect - like right after you send the Save the Dates. We suggest being prepared with some lovely stationery, of course.
4. Use good stationery and make the note tidy, not messy. You don't have to have the best penmanship, but it should be neat and easy to read. Also, beautiful stationery goes a long way. Talk to us about making this part of your wedding invitation suite for ease and beautiful design.
5. Reiterate how thankful you are. You have already said thank you, but it is nice to reiterate your thanks as you close the thank you card.
6. Final point: whoever writes the thank you note, signs it. For example: "James joins me in sending our thanks. Love, Stephanie." It should not say, "Love, Stephanie and James."