Wedding thank you notes and cards are often an afterthought and are easily one of the most neglected parts of wedding planning.
But, when you consider the time and money that (most of) your friends and family would have put into your big day (the planning and the celebration) they deserve a thoughtful and timely thank you, don't you think?
And unless you host a slide-night for your nearest and dearest when your professional photos come back (you sadistic bitch), your thank you cards are usually the last form of communication that they receive from you about your wedding. It stands to reason that you should leave them with a relevant and sweet memory of your big day and feeling like their efforts were truly valued.
Here are our top 4 tips to keeping it simple, stressless and more manageable.
1) Order your thank you notes/cards to arrive 2 months prior to your wedding.
If you are planning to use the same style of invitations and thank you notes, this part is easy and it is well-timed to order and receive them around the same time. You may want to tweak the thank you cards that you send out prior the the wedding to reflect that you are 'not quite' or 'almost' Mr & Mrs.
If you were hoping to use one of your professional photos on your thank you cards, it may be worth investing in a small, generic stack of thank you cards so you can get a start and..
2) Start sending out thank you cards as soon as you start to receive gifts from your guests.
Although thank yous to your parents, bridal party and suppliers will need to wait until after the event is over, a quick recognition for receiving a present before your big day will lighten the load and make your thank you list after your wedding much less overwhelming.
It is good etiquette to send a thank you within 2 weeks of receiving a present, but most of your guests will understand given the competing demands of the lead up, if you run out of time to keep to this timeline. It is generally accepted that thank yous are sent out no later than 2 months after your wedding.
3) Keep a record of who sent what and when.
When there are only a couple of presents sitting on the coffee table, it all seems very manageable: "who sent that?" "your Aunty Trish brought it around so she didn't have to carry it to our reception".
A few weeks later however, it is highly unlikely that the cards stayed with the gifts and sometimes using the magic powers of deduction (and a list) is the only way you'll ever work out who gave you that crystal salad bowl. Try to record the details of who gavw what and when as soon as you open the present.
A simple spreadsheet with your guest's names, their address, if they attended, the gift and the date they gave it to you, can really help to stay on top of things.
4) Draft what you are going to say, before you write it on the good stuff.
This is the part that puts most couples off; what in the hell are you meant to write anyway?
There are 6 main components of the perfect thank you: the greeting, the reason for the thank you, what you're grateful for (the gift/their attendance/support/help/travelling a long way), how you will use their gift (if appropriate), follow up (when you hope to see them next) and the closing.
Too much to remember, right?
That's why we made up this handy pdf swipe file for you (you're welcome!) that you can use for pretty much any thank you note or card you will ever need to write.