Thank you note tips and etiquette

Even though emails, texts messages and phone calls are used for almost everything today, the thank you note is likely to live on – especially for formal events like weddings, retirement parties and showers, to name a few. A handwritten note, delivered through the mail, is both tangible and highly personal. It’s the best way to show someone how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness.

Aside from just remembering to send a thank you note, here are some tips for sending a sincere, timely thank you:

  • Do it right away. Though it’s tempting to wait until your wedding is over to write all of your thank you notes at once, this can be overwhelming and might cause you to forget some people or to send your thank yous months after the wedding. Guests want to know that you’ve received (and enjoyed) their gift, whether it was money or something else. Otherwise, they might fear it got lost in the mail or in the hustle and bustle of the ceremony and that you think they didn’t bring a gift!
  • Some guests will mail gifts directly to your house a few weeks before the wedding. In that case, make a point of immediately writing a thank you note upon receiving each gift. This will allow you to stay organized and write an even more personal thank you.
  • Send one to everyone who helped, even in some small way. Weddings are typically only successfully pulled off because the bride and groom have had plenty of help – both paid and volunteer, behind-the-scenes and right up front. Send a thank you to anyone who has given you an engagement, shower or wedding gift. Attach personalized note cards to your attendants’ personalized gift bags. Thank anyone who did little things for you, like arranging reception decor or transporting guests to the reception. Send a thank you to anyone who threw a shower or engagement party for you, and to vendors who went above and beyond to make your wedding day special.
  • If you don’t have time to write a thank you right away, keep a very detailed list of who sent you what, and when, so that you’re ready when the time comes. Martha Stewart Weddings recommends sending a thank you within two weeks if at all possible.
  • There are a few absolute don’ts. Don’t send a form letter – it should be personalized for each person and their gift. Don’t send a note based on how much you think the gift is worth. Everyone generally gives what they can, so thank them equally. Don’t gush about gifts – it will seem forced. Instead, just be sincere.

Check out some creative thank you notes for weddings and parties.

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