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Wedding thank-you notes are essential

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Are thank-you notes a dying courtesy? I really hope not, although I have to admit that the evidence is not comforting. Over the past few years, the wedding thank-you notes I’ve received have dwindled from some to nearly none.


Ordering and writing thank-you notes is an area that’s often overlooked after the flurry of the honeymoon is over and as newly-weds settle into married life and back into their working lives.


In our age of technology, email and speedy mobile communications, the traditional handwritten thank you note has its fair share of competition. However, think about what a pleasant surprise it would be for your wedding guest to receive a thank-you note in the mail!


Here are some commonly-asked questions about thank you notes:


“I’ve thanked the guest at my wedding, do I still need to write a note?”


Proper etiquette dictates that even if you have thanked guests in person, you are still expected to send out a formal note or card.


“Can I print out a generic message on each thank-you note?”


Thank you cards should always be handwritten and should contain a personalised message to your guest. Although it does involve “work” (sometimes writing hundreds of cards), it is a gesture that guests will appreciate and remember for years to come.


“What’s the time frame for sending out thank-you notes?”


Your thank-you notes should be sent within six to eight weeks of the date the gift was received.


“I got a gift from a group of my friends/co-workers, do I have to write a note to each person?”


If you have received a gift from a group, perhaps co-workers or another association, you are required to send a thank-ou card to each person in the group. Should the group’s members be in excess of ten people, you can do a general thank-you card to the entire organisation.


“I hosted foreign wedding guests at my home, do I still need to give them a thank-you card?”




Now that you have some of the main questions answered, here’s a seven-step guide for getting you started with thank-you notes:


1. Keep a detailed list of gifts received and from whom.


2. Direct the note to all of the gift givers of the particular gift, with the names and titles that you are accustomed to addressing them by.


3. Always mention the gift by name, and try as much as possible to avoid referring to it as “the gift.”


4. Mention any special effort that the guest would have made for you, eg, helping you craft a speech, volunteering their time, giving a heartfelt toast, or travelling from abroad.


5. State how you plan to use the gift, particularly if it was a cash gift. You can say that perhaps you are putting the monies toward new appliances, or using it for a one-year anniversary vacation.


6. Only if it is realistic for you, you may also want to mention a future encounter with the gift givers, for example having them over for dinner or going out for drinks. This, however, is totally optional and depends on how close you are to the guests in question.


7. Thank-you cards need not be limited to guests alone. They can also be sent to wedding suppliers who did exceptional jobs, your officiant, people who organised the bridal shower and bachelor party, and your parents.



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