The Low-Down On Thank You Notes
Thank you notes used to be something that our mums would make us sit down and write on a Sunday teatime, pledging our gratitude to each and everyone of our friends who came to our party and bought us a present. And they’ve firmly stayed in that part of our lives for many a moon.
But when your friends and family have been generous enough to grace you with a present selected from your carefully curated gift list then going to the effort of writing them a thank you note is a common courtesy that goes a very long way. Unlike other celebrations, your wedding is so full on that you won’t have time to open your presents and thank your guests personally on the day. Once you touch down from your honeymoon and settle back into your everyday life, writing thank you notes may seem like the last thing you want to do. You may think it’s no big deal if you don’t contact every single guest thanking them for their present, but is that the correct etiquette? No-one wants to be known as the trouble and strife, especially when it’s such a newly acquired title, so to help you get it right we’ve put together the ultimate guide to thank you notes.
Let’s address the burning question to start with: can you just send a ‘thank you’ message around all of your respective group Whatsapp’s and have done with it? Sadly, the answer is no. Because you’re not just thanking all of your family and friends for their beautiful gifts, you’re thanking them for attending the start of your marriage, for all of their support and help with the preparations, and for just generally being a special part of your life. That’s something that deserves far more than just an e-sentiment, so crack your finest fountain pen out and get writing!
First of all, you can’t send your thank you notes if you don’t have the addresses of all your wedding guests. But luckily, you should have a spreadsheet / some other form of list of addresses from when the invitations were sent out. For anyone who hasn’t got married yet this is a massive hint to create that list and keep it somewhere very, very safe. You can create said list with excel or you can use a site like Postable to keep all your names and addresses in one handy little place. Obviously you don’t need to individually thank every single person who attended - guests will have bought you a present per couple / family so you just need to send one card per present.
Once this is done make sure that you know exactly who gave you which gift. This can be very tough especially if you remove all gift tags, excitedly unwrap all of your gifts, and then relegate them to different parts of your house. Which is totally understandable by the way; that Kate Spade cocktail shaker won’t shake itself. This is why it’s such a great idea to make a list of who bought what when you’re unwrapping the presents, or keeping the gift tags attached to the gift once they are unwrapped. This greatly limits the Sherlock Holmes-level of investigative work you’ll have to do when it comes to thank you note time.
Depending on who you register with for your gift list they may send you the details of who brought you what, along with their address, to make the job of writing out your thank you cards that much easier. The Wedding Shop based in Selfridges, Chelsea, Edinburgh and Dublin is one of the gift list companies that gives you this option and saves you a whole heap of time! It’s far more fun to flick through your Honeymoon pics than it is to match each guest to a present, trust me.
Choosing your thank you cards is the fun bit! Plenty of shops on-line or on the high-street stock stylish stationery suites for you to choose between. Or if you want to make your note a little bit more personal you can wait until after you receive the wedding photos from your photographer and work these into your cards for a bespoke effect. And so to Shop have a great selection of stationery products as well as suppliers who can whip up some thank you cards that you’ll feel proud to send out.
What you write in the cards will likely be different depending on who you’re writing to. Your bridesmaids should receive more of a personalised message than your mum’s friend Barbara, but don’t overthink the writing part too much. You can keep it fairly simple and sincere - thanking them for their attendance at your wedding, the gift that they got you (be specific, so they actually know you’ve opened it) and then for anything else that they helped with for your wedding. If you write how you would speak to them in person, and just be genuine, then you pretty much have the whole thank you card thing nailed.
So I know that some of you may be thinking “when the hell am I going to find the time to write 50 thank you notes?” especially when you’ve just have gotten all of your spare time back now that the wedding is over. Well my top tip for making anything stressful in life a little bit more fun is to make a date out of it. So pick a night in the week with your newly acquired spouse, crack open a bottle of the good stuff, and get writing. You can even make a competition out of it with some high stakes for the winner, which will undoubtedly speed up the note writing process.
So there you have it - the ultimate guide to writing your wedding thank you notes. And if you get stuck just ask your mum to dictate word-for-word what you should write just like the good old days!