The wedding day is over, and you have just come home from your honeymoon to a mountain of wonderful gifts from your loving family and friends. You can't wait to start using your new toaster or beautiful set of kitchen knives. And that sheet set from your aunt and uncle is perfect for your new bed.
But then, as you look around, you realize that before you can really enjoy the gifts, you need to write thank you notes for every single thing. It's fine to take a day or two to recover, but don't wait too long to express your gratitude for the bounty.
As soon as possible after the wedding, you should send thank you notes to everyone who has given you a gift. Some experts say it must be done within three months, while others are more lenient and give you up to a year. Remember that the longer you procrastinate the more difficult it becomes.
When to Write Thank You Cards for Wedding Gifts
The best policy is to do it immediately after you get home from your honeymoon. This may take a month or two of spending hours every weekend at the kitchen table working on it, but it's important to show your appreciation for all of your wedding gifts.
Most people know it’s polite to thank gift givers, but there’s more to it than saying or emailing a simple “Thank you” for a wedding gift. If someone has gone to the trouble of giving you a present for your new marriage, you can take the time to send a handwritten thank you card that is personal and specific. Make sure you keep a running list of all the gifts as they come in so you don’t forget where everything came from.
Rather than send a preprinted thank you card, opt for a blank card or one with a graphic design that shows your personality. Add a personal note to express how much the gift means to you.
After the wedding showers and engagement parties, don’t forget to send thank you cards to the hosts. They're the ones who spent the time and money behind the scenes, and they deserve some extra recognition and gratitude from you.
Immediately after the shower, after you've thanked the host or hostess, sit down and write out thank you notes to all the guests. That will help you keep up with the amount of cards you’ll have to send. If someone attends more than one shower, send a separate thank you note for each gift.
Details of the Thank You Note
- Ink: Use either black or blue ink on white, cream, or light gray card stock. It’s easier on the eyes than purple ink on pink paper.
- What to include in the note: Mention something specific about the gift and let the person know how much it means to you. If it’s money, you might say that it’s going into an anniversary or furniture savings account. Guests who had to travel to attend your shower or wedding will appreciate being acknowledged for their extra effort to attend. You can also add an extra comment if you can think of a one-line snippet that is specific to the person.
- Return address: Include the return address so the recipient will have it for holiday and birthday greetings.
- When to send: It’s always a good idea to send thank you cards right away, but most people don’t expect to hear back before or during the honeymoon. Mail shower and engagement party thank you cards immediately after the event. As soon as you get home from the honeymoon, start writing the notes for gifts from the wedding ceremony and reception. Don't forget people who send things directly from a gift registry.
Dear Uncle Bob and Aunt Sue,
Thank you for the beautiful hand-etched crystal cake platter. John and I will enjoy having such an elegant piece for serving desserts during special occasions. We are honored that you were able to travel so far to attend our wedding, and we enjoyed hearing about the trip you’ll be taking soon. We’re looking forward to our married life and eventually having you visit us in our new home.
Thank you for the generous check you gave us for our wedding. We’ve been saving to purchase a new home, and this will bring us closer to our goal. It was lovely to see you and share such an exciting time of our lives. We look forward to seeing you at the next family reunion.
Registry gift from a friend:
Thank you for the flatware you gave us for our wedding. We now have enough place settings for a small dinner party. We’re also glad you were able to join us and celebrate our new marriage. I look forward to sharing pictures from our honeymoon trip to Barbados. Let’s get together for coffee when we get back.
Gifts from coworkers:
Dear Angela, Jackie, and Mariah,
Thank you so much for the 600-thread count sheet set you so generously gave us for our wedding. We’ll enjoy sleeping in luxury for many years. We also appreciate that you came to our wedding and reception to share such an important day in our lives.
Gratitude is Always Good Policy
Thanking people for the gifts they bring or send shows that you are gracious and have good manners. No one will ever fault you for being appreciative of their generosity and sending a thank you note.