Wedding Gift Thank You Card Etiquette

Written by marjorievincent-tripp
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Wedding Gift Thank You Card Etiquette
Be sure to thank your guests for their gifts. (bridal thank you image by Brett Mulcahy from Fotolia.com)

There's no denying the excitement of planning a wedding. But don't let the joyous occasion detract you from keeping track of one important task: writing and sending thank-you cards for the gifts that you receive. These tips should help make the job much easier. Just make sure to enlist the help of your spouse. This is one time when two sets of hands are definitely better than one.

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Stationery

In the words of Peggy Post, "No fill-in-the-blank cards, no preprinted cards, no phone calls, no e-mails and no generic post on your website!" However, it is acceptable to use a preprinted card as long as you add a personal message. Hand-write your thank-you card, preferably in dark ink, as it is easier to read. Traditionally, wedding thank-you cards are written in blue or black ink on folded ivory or white notepaper. It is a nice touch to include a wedding photo, but this is not required. Ladies, be sure to use your maiden name if you are writing a thank-you card for a gift received before the wedding. A printed return address on the envelope is appropriate. However, hand-write the name and address of the recipient.

Wedding Gift Thank You Card Etiquette
A formal thank-your card is appropriate. (silver thank you image by Brett Mulcahy from Fotolia.com)

Format

The basic format for a wedding-gift thank-you card is to greet the guest, express gratitude for the gift, specifically refer to the gift and thank the guest for attending the wedding (or for thinking of you if he could not attend). The tone of the card should be warm and personal. If the gift is monetary, state how you plan to use it; mentioning the amount of the gift is optional. It is never appropriate to say that you do not like the gift or plan to exchange it. Three to five sentences in total are sufficient.

Time Frame

For gifts received before the wedding, an immediate reply is preferred. However, it is acceptable to send a thank-you card within two weeks of receiving the gift. This time frame also applies to engagement and shower gifts. For gifts received at or after the wedding, send a thank-you card within three months of receiving the gift. If you miss these deadlines, you should still send a thank-you card. It is never too late to acknowledge receipt of a wedding gift, even if it's a year later.

Recipients

Send a thank-you card to anyone who gives you an engagement, shower or wedding gift. If it's a group gift, write an individual thank-you note for each person who contributed to the gift. If someone gives you more than one gift--for example, a gift at the bridal shower and a wedding present several weeks later--write a separate card for each gift.

Sample Wording

Here is some sample language to help you get started:

Dear John, Thank you so much for the lovely comforter. It is so soft and beautiful. For the first time in my life, I cannot wait to make the bed! Thanks again for such a thoughtful gift. Sincerely, Sarah and Kevin

Dear Aunt Mary, Kevin and I want to thank you so much for your generous gift. We have been saving for a down payment on our first home and have added your gift to our special account. It was so thoughtful of you. Someday soon, we will be inviting you to our housewarming! Love, Sarah

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