Giving Your Thanks
Thoughtful tips on writing and sending gracious notes
A good thank-you note will convey gratitude with warmth, sincerity, and a personal touch. Above all, it should be enthusiastic and conversational. Sound difficult when you've got 100 to write? Here's how to make it a breeze.
Pick Your Words
For notes that sound fresh, vary the language. Instead of beginning each with Thank you for the…, try We love…, We are thrilled with…, or other expressions that convey the same enthusiasm. Adhering to a basic structure will also simplify your task. For starters, date each note and begin with a salutation (Dear Mary). Next, identify the gift and how you'll use it (We adore the soup bowls! Nick and I are thrilled that we're on the way to completing our china set.). If you dislike the gift, you should still say something positive (Thank you for the candelabra! We appreciate your taking the time to find something so special.). Finally, though there should technically be only one signature on a thank-you note (after all, you didn't both write it), many modern couples opt to sign both their names. If only one of you signs, be sure to include the other's name (Jim and I love the plates!).
Timing Is Everything
Of course you're busy, but you should try to write thank-yous within three months of receiving the gift. Your groom should share the responsibility. One strategy: You write to your family and friends, he writes to his. If you plan to hold your thank-you sessions together, open a bottle of wine and turn on some music—it's practically a date. While you're writing, it's a good idea to keep track of who gave what— you'll be shocked how quickly you forget. Plus, this is a great cheat sheet for remembering years down the line.
Dear Aunt Denise and Uncle Steve,
Dear Megan and Ryan,
Dear Mr. and Mrs. O'Neill,
Picture notes: Have cards printed with a photo of you and your groom.
Themed cards: For a destination wedding, use cards with local flavor.
Correspondence cards: Traditional white or cream heavy-stock cards are a great choice; they look full with just a few lines of text.
Personalized cards: Send cards with your first names before the wedding; if you're changing your name, send "Mr. and Mrs." ones afterward.
Matching notes: Order thank-yous in the same style as your invites. Add a playful graphic for a personal touch.