A Complete Guide to Writing Your Wedding Thank You Notes

What to Write, When to Send Them Out, & the Best Way to Keep Track of It All!

One of the most dreaded wedding tasks for most couples is writing the (seemingly never-ending) thank you notes. Surprisingly, if you follow a few quick tips and prepare in advance of the wedding, it's quite manageable.

Prior Planning

All of the wedding experts agree that a handwritten thank you note is the only way to go. Preprinted notes often come off as cold and impersonal. One of the most straightforward options for most couples is to order thank you notes that coordinate with your wedding invitations. Generally, they are simple, elegant, and timeless and ordered well in advance of the wedding. While you're getting organized, buy yourself a nice supply of good quality pens and postage stamps, so you're all set and ready to go.

One Year Rule

For ages we've heard people talk about the one year rule when it comes to writing wedding thank you notes. Don’t believe it! Sending off thank you notes within three months of receiving a gift is the best way to go. We love the rule that you can’t use a gift until you've written the thank you note—so get it done as soon as possible!

Get Organized

Set up a spreadsheet and track all of the guests at your engagement party, wedding shower, and wedding. Be sure to include columns for the gift received, what it is, and if you've completed a thank you note. This way, as gifts arrive, you won’t forget who sent what or possibly overlook sending a thank you note to someone.

Eat An Elephant

How do you eat an elephant? Small bites.

The same applies to writing thank you notes! Begin writing your notes as the gifts come in. Have all of the engagement party thank you notes down and on their way long before the wedding shower, and notes from the shower done way before the wedding. For any gifts brought to your wedding, try to respond as soon after your honeymoon as possible.

Photo courtesy of Not On The High Street

What to Write

What to write is what bogs down most couples. Here are a few simple suggestions to get you moving:

  • Thank them for attending the engagement party, shower, or wedding, and if they sent a gift but couldn’t attend, tell them how much you wish they could have attended.
  • Make it personal. How did you feel when you opened the gift? What plans do you have for the gift? Why was it an excellent choice for the two of you?
  • Mention the gift by name. If the gift was cash or a check, refer to it as a generous gift and include something you might put the money towards if it's appropriate.
  • Pick enthusiastic words to describe the gift: generous, thoughtful, creative, much needed, heartwarming.
  • Close with something sweet. Gratefully, warmly, with heartfelt thanks, or all our love are great options! It's the last thing they read, so make it unique.

Remember that there's no need to write a novel. Keep the note short and to the point. Also, be sure to sign both of your names, regardless of the relationship of the guest.

Divide and Conquer

The easiest way to knock out all of your thank you notes is to divide and conquer. Both of you can write them, regardless of what your handwriting might look like. Most times, writing them is easier if you each take notes for people you are related to or friends with. Mutual friends are a toss-up, just split them up evenly.

Photo courtesy of Not On The High Street

By getting a head start and dividing up the responsibility, you’ll have all of your thank you notes done in no time!


Hero Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock

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