THE WEDDING THANK-YOU NOTE
I’m getting married (on June 16). I have an etiquette question for you about our thank-you note: Should we send thank you notes for gifts as they come in, or wait until after the wedding? We do not have stationery as a couple (yet). What do you recommend for stationery for a couple? I know you will have the right answers!
Thank you so much for any help.
–Jeff, Location Withheld
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! Ideally, you want a thank-you note that both you and your fiancée share.
Nowadays, for the most part, when both the bride and groom have careers, the duty of sending out acknowledgements for gifts is split. Usually, it is far easier for the person who knows the guest be the one to write the thank-you note.
- On your excel spread sheet find a way to designate who writes the thank-you note to whom.
There used to be an old wives' tale people followed that said it was bad luck to send a wedding gift or thank-you for that gift before the actual wedding. That tradition is no longer recognized.
- In modern times, sending out a thank-you note upon receipt of a gift (or notification of a gift) is far more efficient.
If the marriage were taking place in the fall, you could piggyback your thank-you note with your Christmas card, by choosing a wedding photo as your Christmas card. And many couples do this despite the fact that their wedding is taking place in the spring or summer.
- Older folks, especially, really like receiving the acknowledgment that their gift was received and is appreciated, sooner rather than later. (They often write saying, "I haven't received a thank-you note for a wedding present and it's been a year!")
- The rule of thumb is that you have a year to send all your thank-you notes, but I recommend giving yourselves a six month deadline.
- And, no matter the design of the thank-you note, flat card or fold-over, always be sure to include a handwritten personalized line or two mentioning a brief description of the gift. And, when applicable, that you, also, wish to thank them for coming to your wedding.
- Don't bother taking your thank-you notes with you to write out during your wedding trip/honeymoon. They simply won't get done.
- These days, some couples have a monogram designed to include both their first and last initials. The four letters are intertwined.
- When the bride and groom are both using the same last name they sometimes simply use the first initial of that last name as their signature motif. For instance, a pronounced G. These can often be found boxed online or in stores that sell stationery.
- Being even more creative, we also see a motif such as an anchor, shell, palm tree, two monkeys, sailboat, bug, that, perhaps, appeared on the save-the-date card (meaning anchor the date), cocktails napkins, etc. These can, also, be bought already boxed saving the expense of printing.
- Traditionally, the bride and groom would have their own note card (him) or fold-over notes (her) with their full name. Or the fold-over note or flat card, you would simply have printed: Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Stuart Greene.
- When the couple own a house or apartment, they may simply have their address on a notepaper or card, once again, so that both can use the same stationery. Quite convenient when the couple use different last names.
Thank-you notes, choose a style:
So as you can see with thank-you notes there are practically as many options as there are online and offline stationery stores.
Why don't you both browse over options from a few different sources until you come upon one that says, "that's us!" Then adjust the style to your budget by choosing a less expensive printer. For example, start at the top to look for ideas and take a look at the following:
- The Printery in Oyster Bay (not to be confused with the company by the same name in Glen Cove), NY, has an exquisite selection of hand engraved stationery.
This above fold-over note is the most traditional, and as you can see, yet again, it works for both the bride and the groom.
Now, if you really want to be artistic, there are online companies such as Paperculture.com, where you choose a heavier stock and design your own card by using one of your wedding photos as the graphic.
At Paper Culture every order plants a tree! And often there are decent incentive deals. Plus, it's fun to use and there is an attractive assortment from which to choose. The quality is really very good.
It's alright to be modern, if you have a design you like good quality stock. The cards below are from perculbture.com.
Now to sending out those thank-you notes: As to the time-frame, divide and concur. The sooner the two of you write out your thank-you notes, the better.
- When you have a message that you can use over and over customizing the same tone, such as: "Jeff joins me in thanking you for the beautiful wooden salad bowl," writing thank-you notes isn't as daunting of a task as one anticipates.