Wedding expert Jen Glantz offers advice on how to follow up with your wedding guests.
After the bouquet has been tossed, the cake has been cut, and the last person has exited the dance floor, you'll find yourself cheering with glee over the success of your wedding day. But before it's time to pack up and board your honeymoon flight, or kick your feet up in utter celebration over the end of your big day, you have one more final task to take care of – writing your thank you cards.
The very first step you will want to take is to pick out a design for your thank you cards. Whether you design a card that has the same theme as your wedding invitation, or you go with a new style that you personalize and design from scratch, give yourself a deadline of getting these cards designed and delivered to you before your wedding ends, or as soon as possible after.
Since wedding etiquette experts will say that you have anywhere from three months to a year to send out your thank you notes, getting started as soon as possible, will help you finish your cards in a timely manner, so each and every friend and family member feels appreciated and adored.
From picking out the most memorable and personalized cards, to thinking up the best message to write in each one, this seemingly time-consuming task can be crossed off your to-do list in just a matter of days, especially if you remember these five things to include in your post-wedding thank you cards.
When you open the first blank thank you card, you might scratch your head wondering how to start and what to say. Kick off every single card by first addressing the person’s name. If they’re a close friend or family member, it’s okay to use their nickname, since the messages in these cards should be casual, conversational, and fun. Then, simply start off with a thank you.
If the guest couldn’t make it to your wedding, but did send a gift, thank them by including one sentence on how much you appreciate their gift and how you wish they could have been there on your special day, but you hope to see them soon.
If the guest did attend your wedding, start off with a double thank-you, letting them know that both their gift and their attendance at your wedding meant so much to you. If you have a record of the gift they gave, call it out by name in that sentence. If it was cash, or you’re not quite sure what their gift is, it’s okay to keep it general and vague, using words like “generous” or “thoughtful” gift.
Whether or not your guest gave you a gift that was on your registry, let them know how you plan to use it or how you will incorporate it into your lives together as a married couple.
For example, if they gifted you a coffee maker, feel free to get cheeky and personable, telling them how grateful you are that the coffee maker they bought you will provide you with enough caffeine for the next decade!
If the gift they gave you was something you don’t prefer, or plan to return, acknowledge that you appreciate it, and call out one detail that you enjoyed or noticed about it.
Finally, if they gave you cash, let them know you appreciate their generous gift, and mention how you might use the money, whether for your future house fund, a cooking class, or to splurge on something nice during your honeymoon.
End your thank you cards with a closing comment. If the guest is someone very close to you, include one final sentence touching on how much your relationship means to you and your partner. If the guest is a distant relative, it’s okay to just conclude the thank you card with a sincere nod to how much you appreciate their presence, or their gift. Once you’ve included that sentence, include a signature from you and your partner, and put that card in the mail.
While most of the wedding process is planned out to perfection, writing thank you cards can often be a task that’s overlooked, or left undone for many months after the wedding. Crossing this one final task off your wedding to-do list can be easy and fun, as long as you order your thank you notes early, keep the messages inside personalized to the person and the gift, and include a photo from the wedding, if available. Before you know it, all your thank you cards will be in the mail, and you can officially put an end to your wedding adventure.
Jen Glantz is the creator of the blog, The Things I Learned From and the author of the books All My Friends are Engaged & Always a Bridesmaid for Hire. She's a freelance writer, a public speaker, and the founder of Jen & Juice, a coaching business that she's served more than 50 individual clients and companies like Google, Hyatt, Brooklyn Brewery, and ESPN.
Wedding photos ©Lauryn Reifinger Photography