Now that your wedding is over and you’ve had time to relax and bask in your newly married life, it’s time to write your wedding thank you cards. Every guest spent the time (and money!) to come and celebrate with you and your partner, so you’ll want to let them know how much you appreciate their love and support! If you’re unsure of exactly how the thank you process works, have no fear! We’re here to help.
Who should get thank you cards?
Sometimes it’s not easy to figure out exactly who you should send a wedding thank you card to. Here’s a quick list to help:
- The lovely people who attended your engagement party, bridal shower, and/or wedding
- Anyone who sent a gift in their absence
- Your wedding party, parents and other close family members
- The person who officiated
- Your wedding vendors
- Anyone who contributed financially
In short, everyone!
It’s good etiquette to send a wedding thank you card within three weeks of receiving a gift, and the rest of your cards as soon as possible after your big day. A reasonable timeframe to adhere to is within three months of your wedding date; your guests will be expecting them! Primarily you just want your friends and family to know how important their presence was on one of the most important days of your life.
But I know you didn’t come here for an etiquette lesson! So let’s get into the details of how to actually write your thank you note.
How to write a great wedding thank you card
1. Send handwritten thank you cards.
It’s important to send handwritten notes to your guests. If you’ve thrown an elaborate wedding with 500 of your closest friends, you may feel compelled to send a heartfelt typed message or e-mail to speed up the process, but it’s much more polite to take the time to do it all by hand. Almost everything we do these days is digital, so there’s something extra special about receiving an old-fashioned handwritten letter in the post!
2. Choose your stationery.
You don’t want to write your wedding thank you cards with a blue office pen on plain printer paper. (We know you would never!) Pick up a set of your favorite thank you cards and pick up a set of special (or at least comfortable) pens. Avoid anything that might be difficult to read, like pale-coloured ink or anything sparkly.
3. Decide on the appropriate greeting.
Choose which greeting to use (hello, hi, dear, etc.) and, while this may seem obvious, but be sure to spell the guest’s name right. If you misspell a name, the rest of what you’ve written in the card won’t matter. You should tailor your greeting to suit the guest you’re writing to. If they’re a close friend you can use “Hello” or “Hi,” but “Dear” is more formal. Also, if the guest has a special prefix to their name, ie. Dr., Lord, Lady, (we don’t know who’s in your inner circle) be sure to include that as well.
4. Refer to their gift.
If they’ve given you a gift, refer to the specific gift and how you’re using it and loving it. When you’re thanking someone for a monetary gift, don’t mention the amount, but do mention how you plan to spend it, ie. on your honeymoon or to go toward your new house. Oh, and if you’re not particularly organized and aren’t likely to remember who gave you what, you may want to pick up my gift tracker to help you keep a record.
5. Thank your guests for their attendance or assistance.
Since this card is all about the thank you, be sure to start by thanking your guest for attending your wedding — and thank vendors for their assistance with whatever they did for you. This is a really easy way to get your message started!
6. Mention a detail about their involvement.
If you can remember any specific details about their contribution to the planning process or a funny moment during the party, include it in your message. If they made a great toast, let them know it was memorable! If they were cutting shapes on the dance floor, let them know they were the life of the party. Any specifics you can include will feel even more personal and make your guests feel valued.
7. Keep it short and sweet.
Your message doesn’t have to be long to be meaningful, so keep it concise and close your message with an appropriate sign off. This will depend on who you’re writing to. “With love” is most appropriate for your closest relatives and friends. “Thank you again” is appropriate for anyone else, but you should choose whatever feels right! A rule of thumb is not to end your wedding thank you card the way you would end an e-mail. “Kind regards” is so commonly used in the professional world it has become less heartfelt and even a little cold for occasions such as these.
8. Sign your names.
Similar to your greeting and closing lines, you can decide how you want to sign your names based on who you’re writing to. For close friends and family, you can simply sign your first names. For everyone else, use your full names, which will be a fun novelty if you’ve just taken your spouse’s last name! Some couples choose to sign with an “xo” or something similar. You might feel that it’s too informal for your card or for some of your guests, so only include those little extras if you think it’s appropriate for the situation.
Examples you can use
Dear Jenny and Mark,
Thank you so much for the crockpot you gave us! We’re touched by your thoughtfulness and thrilled that you we able to join us at our wedding! It was so great of you to put a fun game together for the kids. Having you there to share in our day and help make it fun for everyone meant so much to us.
Poppy & Jake Matthews
Kevin and Beth,
We are so grateful for the generous contribution you made to our honeymoon. We’ve been planning our trip to Italy for months and your gift will help us make it extra special. It means a lot to know you’re thinking of us and wishing us well as we start out together. Thank you again for your thoughtfulness!
The new Mr. and Mrs. Benson
Did not attend
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Greenlee,
Thank you so much for the bread maker you gave us! It is a wonderful addition to our new kitchen. It means a lot to know you’re thinking of us and wishing us well even though you weren’t able to attend. It really wasn’t the same without you! Hopefully we’ll be able to visit with you soon.
Tessa & Jordan
Attendance; no gift
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for going out of your way to join us on our day. It meant so much to see you at the ceremony, and to have a chance to catch up at the reception. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate it. Our big day was even more unforgettable because you were there to celebrate it with us.
Lots of love,
Ben and Cameron
Miss Gina and the crew,
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your expertise in planning and pulling our wedding day together! It went absolutely beautifully, down to the smallest detail. It was a dream day for both of us, and it wouldn’t have been possible without you.
Thank you for going above and beyond for us!
All the best,
Sarah and Grey Peterson
Wedding thank you card tips
- Start your list early. You’ll probably have a list of attendees ready to go, but keep track of everyone else involved as well (vendors, officiant, anyone who sent a gift, etc.). You’ll thank yourself later when you’re not stuck sitting at your desk trying to remember who sent the Vitamix and whether you’ve already sent them a card. The gift tracker will really help with this!
- Batch your writing. If you’re getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of cards you need to write, don’t worry! You don’t have to write them all in one day. Instead, create a schedule with a daily allocation to write five to ten cards at a time to keep your mind fresh and your wrist rested!
- Get your partner to help. You can always request the help of your new Mr. or Mrs. in writing some cards, or another task if their penmanship looks like chicken scratch. (It’s 2019 we should both be involved, right?)
- There’s no shame in a little repetition. You don’t need to come up with an entirely different message for every individual guest. Choose one or two generic yet flexible messages to leave on your desk as an example which you can adapt slightly (we promise we won’t tell anyone).
Sure, wedding thank you cards can seem like a lot of work, especially if you’ve just thrown a big party and had a whirlwind adventure on your honeymoon. Don’t think your time and dedication will go unnoticed! Your guests will appreciate the investment in beautiful, well thought out wedding thank you cards.