Thank You Card Etiquette

Some people may think of the thank you card as being old and antiquated. They prefer instead to give their appreciation via emails, phones or preprinted messages. And while some people may argue that any thank is better than none at all, the personalized thank you note should not be relegated as a relic of the past.

Handwritten notes show that you value and appreciate someone and what better time to show your appreciation than after the wedding.

Before You Begin

When you sent out invitations, a list was created of all the people who were inviting. Keep that list. You'll need to have the addresses and the correct spellings of everyone invited.

Pick a comfortable place in your home where you'll write the cards.

Order beautiful, heavy duty stationary. To make it even more personal, order cards with your monogram.

As you open gifts, be certain you document who gave you which gift. Be specific.

When to Send

Traditionally, for gifts that arrive before the wedding, you should wait no longer than two weeks to send a thank you. The same goes for bridal shower gifts. For any other gifts, a thank you should be sent no later than eight weeks after the wedding.

You may have several dozen to several hundred cards to write. Make it easier on yourself and make a goal of writing a certain number each day.

Card Etiquette

Wedding thank you cards need to follow certain etiquette rules. Address envelopes to Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms. If you have a close relationship to the person, you can use a first name on the inside of the card. Otherwise, stick to the person's formal title.

Use blue or black ink only.

Be specific about the gift you received. Let the giver know how you'll use the gift and thank them for their generosity. If you don't like the gift, still thank the giver for thinking of you on your special day. For monetary gifts never mentioned the dollar amount, only what you will use the money for.

Before mailing the card double and triple check that you have matched the correct person to the gift received, that all names are spelled corrected, that addresses are correct and that the right card is going in the right envelope.

If someone attended your wedding but did not send a gift, be certain to thank them for attending. You may also wish to send a thank you to your vendors and wedding planner.

Be sure to send bridal shower gifts separately from wedding gifts even if they are gifts from the same person.

Finally, if you're the bride, remember to use your maiden name for thank you notes mailed before the wedding and to use your married name for thank you cards mailed after the wedding.

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