Thank You Cards: A Wedding Reflection

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The wedding is over, it was a beautiful day an everyone had a wonderful time. Most of all, people’s generosity was unbelievable and the gifts were beyond your expectations. So what is next on your agenda?

One of the most important tasks of your wedding is sending out thank you cards. Relatives, friends and perhaps even people you barely know have taken time to choose what they thought would be the perfect gift for you on your wedding day.

Even in this age of advanced technology, a handwritten thank you note is the standard expression of courtesy for this kindness that should not be forgotten or rushed. In the book Emily Post’s Etiquette, Manners For A New World by Peggy Post, Anna Post, Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning, the following tips are provided:

• Keep a detailed record (handwritten or computer log) of each gift received and name of giver/givers (make sure to include full names and addresses).

• Respond in a timely manner. A handwritten thank you note should be sent within three months of receipt of each gift. Consider setting a daily goal or send thank you notes as gifts are received. Gifts that are mailed or shipped may be acknowledged with a phone call or email initially but a handwritten note must still be sent.

• Share the responsibility. Both bride and groom can share in writing out the thank you notes. The person who knows the gift-giver best should write the note but include both bride and groom’s name in the note.

• Don’t take shortcuts. Store bought cards with pre-printed wording are not an appropriate substitute for a handwritten note. Make reference to the person and the gift in the note, perhaps indicating how you will use it.

• Type of stationery is key. Use standard one-sided cards or a single fold note card with matching envelopes. You can purchase these from the vendor that created your invitations or Crane’s stationery or Papyrus stationery are also good choices.

• Signature: Bride signs her maiden name before the wedding; married name after the wedding.

• Send a written thank you card to everyone who sends you a present (and/or attends the wedding), even if you thank them in person. This also includes those who give you money, charitable contributions, etc.

• Send thank you notes to your attendants, people who entertain for you, people who house and entertain your guests, those who do special kindnesses for you (someone who donates their time to assist), suppliers and vendors.

• Don’t wait for photos if this will delay sending the cards out.

Whether the gift is large or small, all should be equally acknowledged with the same level of kindness and enthusiasm.

Linda J. Williams, M.Ed., D/B/A Etiquette and Writing Consultancy is a certified etiquette consultant. For more information, visit www.etiquetteandwritingconsultancy.com.

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