While you might skip over passed hors d’oeuvres or personalized favors when it comes to shortcuts in your wedding planning, wedding thank you notes are something that should never be left off of your Zola Checklist. Since we live in a predominantly digital world—and since you probably didn't have time to thank every one of your guests in person on the big day—there’s something extra-nice about expressing your gratitude for your guests' presence (and presents!) through the written word. Enter: thoughtful, timely, hand-written thank you cards. To help you out, here are some etiquette tips and timing guidelines to help you mail your wedding thank you notes in proper style.
NOTE: If handwriting your thank yous sounded good in theory, but after a few you're hands are cramping, let us do it for you. No really. Now you can type messages for any of your guests or customize our suggested notes with Zola. We'll print whatever you write in a beautiful font. Hand cramps be gone. More below!
Be specific. Let’s be honest, receiving a thank you card that simply says “Thank you for your gift” isn’t really saying much at all. Be specific in your thanks by mentioning exactly what you received as a gift and how you plan to use it. One exception to the “be specific” rule is for monetary gifts. While it's great to mention how you plan to use the funds, it is best to not mention the exact amount.
Make it personal. Mention a small detail about the person who gave you the gift, such as their part in the wedding or a time in the future that you will see them.
Be yourself. While thank you notes are, in a way, a formality, it’s important to use your true voice. This card not only shows your appreciation but is meant to make someone happy, so keeping it authentic is important.
Write clearly. While we aren’t saying you need to enroll in a calligraphy class, a legible message shows that you took the time.
Share the responsibility. You and your partner should both sign your names!
If you have a close relationship with the gift giver(s), feel free to address the note using their first names only.
If you have a formal relationship with the gift givers, use titles such as “Dr.” or "Ms.”
If the gift is from a family with children who also attended the wedding, consider addressing it to the whole family, such as "The Cunningham Family."
Dear Cunningham Family,
Thank you so much for the set of chef knives—we’ve already made some delicious dinners with them in the new house! It was so great to see you all at the wedding, and hopefully we will get to see you over the holidays when we are visiting.
Thank you again for such a wonderful gift, and for sharing such a special day with us. It meant the world.
Jane and Thomas
Now that you have an idea about what to say inside your cards, you might be wondering how long you have to actually send them. Here are the rules of etiquette for when you should send your wedding thank yous:
Send thank you notes before the wedding for gifts received before the wedding. The standard timeline for sending a note is is 2-3 weeks after receiving the gift.
Thank you cards should be sent within three months of your wedding. There’s a sneaky “rule” floating around out there that you have a year, but for best decorum, send your thank you notes no later than three months after the wedding.
It’s never too late. Yes, you should send cards within three months, but if that time comes and goes without a thank you note in sight, that doesn’t mean you should shrug and move on. If you have passed the three-month mark, later is always better than never.
Wedding thank you notes don’t stop at gift-givers. Showing some love to the people who helped make your entire wedding experience possible is just as important. This list will vary from couple to couple, but here are some ideas to get you started. Send a thank you note to:
This list might be shorter or longer depending on whether you throw a small shindig or a large and lavish affair, but just remember: when in doubt, write a thank you note.
Like we said, handwriting thank you notes is no easy feat. So, let us take the hardest part out of the equation—the writing. Now on Zola, you can type your individual thank you note messages and we'll print whatever you write in a beautiful font.
Access this feature when you choose any thank you card on Zola. You'll have the option to type your message on the inside step of the customization.
So really, now you have no excuse... get to thanking!