In the digital age, it’s super simple to feel like taking the time to handwrite a thank you note to your guests may be a bit outdated. I’ve had people tell me it feels juvenile, reminding them of their childhood days when they wrote thank you notes to friends for attending their birthday party. So, as someone who has hosted a giant celebration with free food and possibly free beverages for all your guests to enjoy, do you really have to send thank you notes?The answer is yes. Simply put, a thank you note will never go out of style – and although you are taking on an expense to have your guests celebrate with you, keep in mind the expense your guests happily incur to support you in your new marriage: some have to travel, pay for lodging, take time off of work (remember, we don’t all work a typical 9-5), hire a sitter, etc.
So who do you thank and when do you do it? Despite popular myth, you really only have three months from the date you receive a gift. Thank you notes should be written on stationery – not fill in the blank cards, not a pre-printed card that you simply address and drop in the mail, not a phone call or an e-mail: a personal, written out thank you on either stationery or a store-bought thank you card with a personal note inside.
Send notes to:
- Those who send a gift, at your shower, engagement party, or wedding. Yes, even if you thanked them in person when they gave it to you, you should still thank them.
- Anyone who gave a monetary gift, including donations to charity. Personally, I wouldn’t advise mentioning the exact amount, but you should mention what you plan to do with the money.
- Members of the wedding party should always get a thank you note. Spend extra time on this to make it personal and share how much you appreciate their efforts and friendship.
- Hosts: if anyone hosted a party or shower, and if someone else is hosting the wedding.
- People who are welcoming others into their home to entertain or provide a place to stay for out-of-town wedding guests.
- Anyone who went out of their way to help – including people who sign for wedding-packages when you’re at work, the neighbor who checks the mail for you during your honeymoon, the second cousin who offered to play the harp during your ceremony, and anyone who assists you before/during/after the wedding.
- Vendors – this one is entirely option, but I’d be lying if I said a thank you card from a client didn’t single-handedly make my day! Send notes to vendors who you feel went above and beyond the call of duty and exceeded your expectations.
Photo from Jeff + Gina’s Wedding, by Amanda Sabga Photography