One of the things I tell all new clients is that at Greatest Expectations we have only one rule and that is “There are no rules!” You do not have to do anything just because someone else says you should. But I realized I should amend my statement a little bit … There are no rules, except one. You must send a thank you note for your gifts.
There is simply no getting away from this fact. Thank you notes are extremely important. They not only let your guests know you received their gift but that you appreciated it (and them). Even in this tech and eco friendly world, nothing replaces the hand written thank you note!
Thank you notes should be sent for bridal shower gifts as well as wedding gifts. If it is a “ladies only” shower then the thank you note should be from the bride to be only. If it was a couples shower you should both sign it. This stationery does not have to be fancy or expensive but should be a good representative of your personal style. Have fun with them, get creative and if you are on a tighter budget, make your own!
A little insider tip for the people hosting the bridal shower is to purchase the thank you notes for the Bride to Be. Address and stamp the envelopes with the names of everyone on the invite list, wrap them in a pretty ribbon and present them to the guest of honor at the end of the event. Then all they need to do is write the actual thank you note and drop them in the mail. This is one of my all time favorite things to do when hosting a special party. I use it for any type of event where gifts will be received. It really shows your attention to detail and thoughtfulness! I have also been on the receiving end of this fantastic idea and I can say from personal experience, it really is wonderful.
While your guests have up to a year to send you a wedding gift, you do not have that long to send out a thank you note. Many people like to send wedding gifts as soon as an invitation is received. We think this is a wonderful thing to do, in fact, all gifts should be mailed and not ever brought directly to the wedding (trust us on this, it is simply good etiquette). One thing to note is that it is not ok to send out a thank you note with your married name (or initials) until after the actual marriage has occurred!!
What we suggest is one of two things. Send a thank you note on non-personalized stationery as soon as the gift is received or wait until just after the wedding and use those beautiful new monogrammed note cards (it really is ok to wait!). If you decide to wait until after the wedding (which is my personal preference) one tip for making it easy instead of overwhelming is to write, address and stamp the thank you notes as soon as the gifts are received. Keep them all together and mail them out the day after your wedding. If you are working with Greatest Expectations we are happy to mail them for you so you can focus on your honeymoon! Your guests will be pleasantly surprised and duly impressed to get their thank you note while you are away on your honeymoon!
No, you do not have to stay up the night of your wedding and write thank you notes! You have one month after your wedding to mail them for gifts received on the big day and two weeks for anything received afterwards.
When it comes to actually writing the thank you note you do not have to get long winded. Simply thank them for the gift (be specific about it i.e. “We loved the waffle maker and cannot wait for our first free Sunday to test it out”). If it was a cash gift you should not only thank them for the gift but let them know how you plan on using it (i.e. “Thank you so much for the generous gift. We plan to get the last of our crystal with the money and will think of you every time we use it!”). They should be signed by both the bride and groom.
What you spend on your thank you notes is completely up to you. Check out your local stationery shop or shop online. Both of these can be done well before the wedding takes place so you are completely prepared. Greatest Expectations has a wonderful line of personalized stationary so you can always go through us to get something that is just perfect (and affordable)!
You can go super traditional and get something monogrammed like this embossed fold over note card from Crane and Co.
Or a more contemporary look on a flat card, like this one from Wedding Paper Diva’s.
I love this non personalized note card from delphine. They are embossed on 30% post consumer paper and have a soy based ink – totally eco friendly!
Oh and don’t forget the return address! On most wedding invitations you will have the return address printed directly on the envelope. Unless you are having custom stationery made, you will need to come up with another solution for the return address. I suggest getting a self-inking stamp. They really make the job easier and can be customized in just about any way you can imagine, including different colors. Oh, and they can be used for a very long time – easy and eco friendly!
I love these round stamps from Custom Art Stamps. There are so many design options you can really have fun picking out the perfect one for you!
Or you can stick with the traditional and get something like this from Emily Friday’s Calligraphy. (this shop has some really great items, you should totally check it out!).
No matter what your “note card style” is … pick something representative of you, your tastes and your wedding. Have fun, buy extras (you can always use them for years to come) and thank away!!