No matter where you are in the wedding planning process, I’m guessing that one of the things you are looking forward to the least is sending out your thank you cards. I get it, the thought of handwriting 100 or so cards seems bad enough, but when you have no idea what you are supposed to say, you feel even more overwhelmed.
When you start thinking about your list of people to thank, the list is long (and probably getting longer as the days pass) so it’s so important to keep up with knowing who to thank for what so that you are sure to share your gratitude with everyone who truly deserves a proper thank you.
You also need to keep in mind that as you compile your list, you are including people that helped in some way such as the hostess of your Bridal Shower, family or friends that threw you an engagement party, even if they didn’t give you a physical gift. So, how do you stay on top of this task so that it doesn’t feel so overwhelming and impossible?
That’s where RC comes in. Over the next few weeks I’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about wedding thank you cards; from timing to etiquette, examples of what to say and so much more. We’ll also be sharing a few bonus tips that we’ve compiled from brides we’ve worked with.
When to Order your Wedding Thank You Cards
The easiest way to keep your thank you cards from feeling like such a huge task is to plan ahead and send them out as you go. That means ordering at least some of your thank you cards early so that you have them ready to go when a gift is shipped or an event takes place.
I personally think a great time to order thank you cards is at the same time as the wedding invitations. Wedding invitations are often ordered 3-6 months before the wedding so this means you’ll have thank you cards in your hands in time for most pre-wedding parties like bridal showers, bachelorette parties, early gifts, etc.
Another bonus to ordering you thank you cards at the same time as your wedding invitations is that many companies, RC included, offer discounts when ordering multiple items at once. This can be a big money saver for you.
Tip for Ordering: Just like your invitations, order enough thank you cards for the number of households you’ll be sending to. Also be sure to include extras for those throwing or hosting parties, your vendors, other people that may help in some way, your wedding attendants and so on. Be sure to also include your parents or other close family that have given in some way to make your day possible.
No Emails Please.
Sure, you technically could email thank yous to everyone but let’s be real here. Your family and friends gave of their time to attend your wedding. Some even spent money on travel and accommodations. They gave you a gift and spent one of the most important days of your life with you sharing your joy, showing how much they care about you.
Sending an email is very impersonal and could even be missed. How many emails do you receive in a day? Here at the shop we receive on average 100-200 every single day. Now imagine if a wedding thank you card was mixed in there. It could end up in a spam folder, never get opened or even deleted.
Sending an email also pretty much goes against everything wedding thank you card etiquette is all about. While the choice is yours, I highly suggest taking the time to write out thank you notes.
The Truth about Form Letters or Pre-Printed Generic Messages
OK. I’ll agree that sending something is better than nothing; so if you choose to send an email or pre-print a generic thank you, you are doing much better than those that forget or never get around to sending out thank yous altogether. (A HUGE no-no by the way.)
A handwritten note is so much more personal and meaningful than anything else. The sentiment is so much more genuine. Your family and friends will truly appreciate the fact that you took the time to write them a personal note.
Avoid Combined Thank Yous
Who attends your engagement party, shower, bachelorette party and other pre-wedding events will likely overlap but that doesn’t mean your thank you cards should. Sure, sending one to cover all will save on postage and time but it looks that way too.
Your shower or other party list should be separate from your wedding thank yous even if the same people are on those lists. It’s best to send thank yous out for your shower within a couple of weeks of the party and then again after the wedding. We’ll talk more about timing later but the key to remember here is to keep them separate.
Thank You Cards Don’t Have to Be Expensive
In the back of your mind there is probably a voice saying something like “well of course a stationery company is going to tell me I need to buy thank you cards.” Well yes, that’s true. You need to buy thank you cards because sending a proper thank you is part of good wedding etiquette. Another truth: you don’t have to spend a lot of money.
Buying matching thank you cards with your wedding invitations can save you money simply because you are bundling items together. Ordering in bulk early on that you can use for everything is another great way to save. In most cases, the higher the quantity, the cheaper cards will be per piece.
Go pre-made or opt for a flat card. We offer a range of pretty thank you cards perfect for use after any event. We use a slightly lighter weight paper to keep them more affordable. Many of our customers also love the flat card option. The flat card requires less paper so they cost less but there is still plenty of room for a great design or photo leaving space for your handwritten thank you.
Talk with your stationery company about other ways to save or contact us to see what we can do.
Thank You Cards Don’t Have to Be Expensive
One of the first things I mentioned in the beginning was to stay on top of your thank yous from the start. This requires staying organized so here are a few tips for doing that.
What You will Need:
Before you can send out any thank you cards you’ll need to have a few things read-to-go any time you need to write a thank you.
- Name and Address List: most couples today keep their wedding guest and address list in a spreadsheet. Don’t delete this after the invitations are mailed. This is a great start to all those thank yous you’ll need to mail out eventually.
- Add column for gifts received and add any additional names to the list (hostesses, helpers, vendors, etc.)
- Supply of thank you cards and envelopes.
- Favorite comfortable pens. Be sure to pick something that feels good to write with since you’ll be doing a lot of it.
- System for checking off thank you’s you’ve sent.
Enjoy the Process and Avoid Overwhelm
The larger your guest list, the more thank yous you’ll need to send and obviously the larger the task. It’s OK to enlist the help of others. Your spouse should be No. 1 in helping since the day was for both of you.
Recruit parents, other family or friends to help with addressing the envelopes and adding stamps. This will go a long way toward reducing the amount of work involved. This additional help can also help check off names from the list as you go to help you stay organized.
Finally, I’ve learned a few tips from past brides that I think you’ll find helpful. My favorite is from Jess who wrote her thank you cards on the plane to and from their honeymoon. There isn’t a whole lot you can do on a plane anyway, why not make it productive? So smart!
No matter what, the most important thing is to keep it personal. You and your new spouse should be writing the note itself. Everything else can be supplemented by others and don’t worry about the quality of your handwriting. Your guests will appreciate that it came from you even if the writing isn’t perfect.
And now that you know that the best thank you cards are notes written by hand, by you and the easiest way to make the task less overwhelming, the next thing you’ll need to know is what to say and how to easily write a personal thank you card to everyone on your list. That’s what we have in store for you next week.
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