The wedding is over, and you’re bursting with gratitude for everyone involved. Your guests made the day special, and they more than likely gave you plenty of things to help you and your spouse begin a new life together! And yet, writing wedding thank you notes in the weeks following the celebration can be a pain. Having 300 guests was a great idea at the time, but when you bring home several boxes of stationary you may start having regrets.
If you’re wondering how to write wedding thank you notes without getting a hand cramp or totally losing it, this guide is for you. Organization is key to getting those notes out the door and in the hands of the people who’ve helped you! Follow these tips and etiquette to make this a fun, quick experience (and as pain-free as possible!).
Maison Meredith Photography
A Brief Guide to Etiquette for Wedding Thank You Notes
Writing wedding thank you notes does not come without its fair share of protocol. We’ve written an entire blog about wedding etiquette
for thank you notes, but here is a summary of the most important points. Follow these, and you’ll be sure to check all the important boxes.
- Be timely. Send thank you notes within two months of the wedding date. If you had any sort of wedding showers, send thank you cards for those within two weeks of the event. This also means you should send separate thank you notes to guests who attended both a shower and the wedding.
- Mail physical cards. Yes, a handwritten note takes more time and effort than an email, but that’s the point! People appreciate the sentiment.
- Don’t mention monetary amounts. If you have guests who gave cash, don’t thank them for the specific amount. Maybe your friend gave $30 and your aunt gave $300—thank them equally for their generosity.
- Remember someone’s presence is a gift. Even if a guest did not give a physical or monetary gift, they still deserve a thank you for their attendance.
- Thank those who gave of their time or effort. Don’t forget to thank everyone involved—bridal party, shower host, and your vendors. The caterer probably won’t hold it against you if you don’t, but they’ll appreciate the thought if you do.
Both Partners Need to Participate!
No way should one of you take on the massive task of writing wedding thank you notes alone. This is one of the first projects you and your new spouse will tackle together as a married couple. It can be an incredible bonding experience, as well as a test of your patience! Set aside some time, uncork a bottle of wine, and write them together.
Remember that when you write wedding thank you notes, you are not just thanking your guests for their gift—you are thanking them for their investment in your lives. Take this opportunity to share funny memories of this person with your spouse. You put these people on your carefully curated guest list
for a reason, so think about those reasons as you write their notes. This can lead to fun stories of family reunions, embarrassing childhood memories, or even just recollections of celebrating with this person at the wedding. Mention this memory in your card, your guests will love it! Also, when you treat your guests as conversation topics, the time will fly by.
Write Your Wedding Thank You Notes in Shifts
We understand that you might want to get your wedding thank you notes over and done with as quick as possible. That doesn’t mean you should tackle them all at once, though. The hand cramps and frustration alone will make this much less efficient. Unless you had a small wedding, it’s probably not a good idea for you and your spouse to try to knock them out on a Saturday morning. Instead, break this task down into manageable chunks—your wrist will thank you!
Create a loose schedule and a game plan. Maybe you and your spouse can write ten notes a night after dinner and finish them all in four weeks. Or, maybe your schedules are a bit hectic and you can only work on them once or twice a week. Take the time to think about what will work best for both of you. Using a schedule can help prevent you from getting overwhelmed at the start. You can mark your progress as you go and see the end in sight.
Write Wedding Thank You Notes for Both Monetary Gifts and Attendance
Anyone who was involved in your big day should get a thank you. That means 1) guests you couldn’t attend but mailed a gift, 2) those who attended but didn’t give a gift, and 3) those who did both. There are several reasons someone may not be able to give a gift. Consider, for example, a college friend who had to foot the expense of traveling from out-of-town to attend the wedding. Or, maybe you have another friend who is between jobs. Don’t assume bad intentions if a guest didn’t give a gift! Remember that their presence at your wedding was a gift in itself. Be sure to thank them for coming out to celebrate with you and your new spouse. This is also a great opportunity to share a fun anecdote about them from the wedding. For example, maybe they helped keep the energy going on the dance floor!
On top of this, it is considered polite to thank anyone who put effort into your wedding. That includes paid vendors and volunteer coordinators. Thank your makeup artist for her work, thank that lady from the church who helped decorate, thank your bridesmaids for throwing you a bachelorette party—thank you notes for everyone! Thankfully, you should already have addresses for all these people handy from sending wedding invites and writing down vendor contact info. Not sure how to write wedding thank you notes for some of these special circumstances? Then check out these helpful outlines
for expressing gratitude to different kinds of guests for different kinds of gifts.
Stay Organized with a Spreadsheet
Making a spreadsheet is a great way to keep track of all the wedding thank you notes you will be writing. We recommend you make one spreadsheet to track all your guests. Having one central place to reference will make it easier for you to track things like addresses, RSVPs, and special dietary needs. It is also a great place to record gifts. Use a separate box to check when you’ve written a thank you note and when you mailed it. This helps ensure you don’t forget anyone in the process, including those who could not attend or those who attended but didn’t give a gift. You’re in luck, too, because the Wedding Shoppe created a full DIY wedding planning checklist
with a guest spreadsheet prepped and ready. No need to wrangle Excel yourself to get started. It is also full of other helpful tips, tricks, and organizational templates!
Even with a schedule, a game plan, and an organized spreadsheet, it can be overwhelming to look at a list of wedding thank you notes you need to write. Just remember, nothing beats a handwritten card. Your guests will appreciate it, as will those who sent a gift or card but couldn’t attend. If anything, consider it a fun newlywed challenge to test your patience! You’ll bond through the experience and get to relive moments of that day over and over.
Do you have any helpful tips for how to write wedding thank you notes? Share them in the comments!