Wedding Gift Thank You Note Etiquette

I am here to set the record straight on wedding gift thank you note etiquette, including how much time you have to get them out (hint: you do not have a year), how to write and organize them in a manageable way, and what you should say.

DO:  Handwrite each of your thank you notes promptly.  Your guests understand that you are busy both before and after the wedding, so do not feel rushed to send your thank you notes within a day or two, but definitely try to get them out within a few weeks.

Some tips: when you make your invitation guest list, print out two copies and have that second copy be for wedding gifts.  When you receive a gift, note next to the person's name what the gift was and highlight the person's name with a yellow highlighter.  Once you have written the thank you note, highlight over the yellow with pink ... orange means your note is written and sent; yellow means you still need to write.  I'm a color-coding dork, so this process worked well for me.

DON'T: sacrifice content to get them out the door.  Take your time and express your genuine appreciation to the gift-giver.  Being busy or overwhelmed with wedding details is no excuse for a proper thank you.  To make life easier, you could split the thank you note writing duties with your fiance/husband, or endeavor to write 5-10 cards per day, rather than an entire stack.   Thank the person for the gift, explain how you will use it, thank them for coming to the wedding (or say how much you're looking forward to seeing them at the wedding if it's a pre-nuptial gift) and close by thanking them again for their generosity.  Done.

NEVER: never, ever, never take a year to send out your thank you notes.  I know I said it above, but it bears repeating.  I am not sure where this misconception started that a bride and groom have "a year" to get their thank you notes out.  It's not true, and frankly, it's rude.  Take a few weeks, even one month, but never a year.  Delaying that long sends a clear message to your guests that writing the thank you notes is not worth your time and a drag, and that you are unappreciative of the gift.  And trust me: your gift-givers will remember that it took you forever to get those notes out.

What do you think? Am I being too harsh? Or do you agree with me that the one year rule is inappropriate?

See you swoon,


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