Do you know what goes into the making of a good thank you note? Let me give you some pointers…
Get the tools. Actually get thank you cards. Cards that actually say “thank you”. They don’t have to be the super fancy handmade ones, though they are nice; just find some that fit in your budget. Just make sure they come with envelopes! They could be simple or super detailed, just make sure there is room to write! Oh, and invest in a good pen, you are gonna need it!
Spelling. Get it right, and keep checking. It is going to take away anything positive that comes from receiving a thank you note if your spell the recipient’s name wrong. Go online, check and make sure you got it right, or make some phone calls just to double check. Check the card, the address, all of it!
Keep track of everything! You will more than likely have a pretty solid guest list whenever your invites go out. Make a copy of it, and use it to keep track of who gave you what, and the date you sent your thank you note. This can be done digitally or on a paper copy, but just make sure to stick with it. Here is a sample I made to show you how simple your table tracking can be:
Speaking of that, consider following this rule: you DON’T get to use the gift until the thank you note is written, sealed and out in the mailbox! Seriously, it may sound like a pain, but it is going to help motivate you and your honey to get them done!
If you get gifts from your registries (or anywhere really) pre-wedding, try NOT to wait to get those thank you notes out, actually scratch that: DON’T WAIT. People who are sending you those gifts early will likely not be attending the wedding, and will want to know that you got your gift safely. Plus, if you wait to open/write the thank you note, you could be past the return/exchange dates if there is something wrong with the gift. Just saying!
Mean what you say, and say what you mean! And while we are at it, don’t be vague. Specifically thank your friend (or weird aunt whoever!) for the item. List it out. Say what you are going to do with it, or why you are so excited to have it. If people gave you money, you shouldn’t really say just HOW much they gave you, but you should say what you are planning on doing with it. Are you saving it for something special? Treating yourself to a special dinner? Or putting it towards your honeymoon splurges? Let people know.
Things you may think you can do, but CAN NOT:
- You cannot send a thank you note in the form of text, or email, or on Facebook.
- You cannot just say thank you, even with your bestest of thank you’s in person, and skip the written card.
- You cannot wait six months to do all this. The thank you notes should be out no later than 1 (ONE!) month from the return of your honeymoon. Don’t try and be clever: if you are having a later honeymoon, well there is really no excuse to not get them out sooner!
- You cannot just make mass generic cards that say “thank you for this special/generous/thoughtful gift.” You just can’t. See above about being specific!
- You cannot just talk about the gift. Thank your friends and family for being part of your lives and ultimately, celebrating this new chapter of your life. That is what is all about after all.
Things that will make people smile:
- Enclose a picture of you and your other half from the wedding, or a picture of the two of you on your honeymoon. 4×6 prints are usually pretty cheap to print, and you can usually get them printed in less than an hour! Extra points if you have a shot of you two and your thank you note recipients! They will LOVE it.
- Send a thank you note to your vendors and wedding planners! They (more than likely) helped contribute to your magical day and would love to hear that YOU loved their hard work.
- Make an extra special addition to people that were in your wedding party for, well, being in your wedding party. Those roles are not cheap, and not always the easiest job! Thank them for standing by your sides and helping you get through it all!
- While you are at it, be sure to let guests know how glad you are they came. ESPECIALLY those who traveled long distances just to make it; they will definitely appreciate it!
Just for the record, I do think that both individuals should have to be involved in the process. Not just one of you! Unless you are not sharing the gifts that is! But seriously, split up the work, it will make it fly by. And that excuse “oh I just have the worst handwriting” is not going to cut it. How often do any of us actually hand write out anything anymore? I struggle writing out a check. People will love your thank you note all the same, and if anything, maybe get a chuckle out of how crazy your handwriting has gotten. Just suck it up and DO IT!
Be specific, make it personal, don’t forget to sign it, and be genuine! The most expensive of thank you notes cards out there cannot save you from a poorly written note!