In an electronic age where conversations take place on text in quick, abbreviated language, to instant messaging at work with a co-worker who may only be five feet away, one thing has stood the test of time in class, polish and manners: the handwritten thank you note.
And at no time is it more important than for a lifetime landmark event like a wedding. While keeping up with thank you notes from showers, engagement parties and more may feel daunting- and triply so when you look at possibly hundreds of thank you notes for wedding gifts, think of it this way: someone who loves you took their time and money to search for something meaningful for you. Many of them will not only provide you with gifts for your new life, but have gone to significant expense to travel to your wedding or be in your wedding. Taking a few moments to express your gratitude in handwriting – a dying art- is a small task in return. But beyond being kind, it also serves a practical purpose: it lets the gift-giver know you received their gift. Forcing a guest to endure stress worrying if their investment arrived or even made it home with you is just poor manners and thoughtless. Making time to craft a personal acknowledgement is true gratitude.
Writing thank yous should always:
- Be written in a timely fashion: I recommend writing them the day you receive them (and in case you didn’t get the memo, wedding gifts are supposed to arrive prior to your wedding day and not be brought to the wedding itself). This allows plenty of time to keep up with your thank yous so that you are not having to do them all after the wedding. Bottomline: etiquette states that it is completely unacceptable to go more than 3 months after receipt of a gift.
- Include your fiancé or spouse in the thank you: writing thank yous is a shared responsibility, so encourage your spouse/fiancé to write them too, and make sure you both sign the note.
- Make them personal. Do not ever buy pre-written, store-bought cards, do not use email or fill-in-the –blank cards, or write a “blanket” e-thank you to a group saying the same thing. Stationery with the words “Thank you” on it is fine as long as you write your own personal, custom message to the giver inside.
At Tahoe Inspired, we love to help our clients select the perfect wedding invitations and stationery (including thank you notes)! Contact us to discuss which of our planning services may most benefit you.