Thank You Note: Know-How
Once you say, "I'll marry you," you may be wearing more than just a ring, how about a wrist brace from writing dozens upon dozens of thank-you notes. Gifts are often plentiful from events like your engagement party, bridal shower, and, of course, your wedding day.
Unfortunately, telephone calls and e-mail won't fit the bill here. Instead, etiquette dictates that you send a handwritten thank-you note to everyone who gives you a gift. If someone gives you a gift for your shower and another for your engagement, you have to send a separate note for each gift. Send one to everyone, even if it's your best friend whom you've thanked 1,000 times over. Thank-you notes also aren't just for tangible gifts like cash or those steak knives you registered for, though. Send thank-you notes to the person who let you have your engagement party at her home or who helped make your wedding day special, like your band, florist or photographer.
Notes should be written on stationery that complements the wedding. They are usually small, fold-over notecards with the words "Thank You" or your names on the front, and matching envelopes. For less formal notes, you can buy basic thank-you cards or monogrammed or personalized stationery. Just remember to use your maiden name on any notes written before the wedding, since your married name can't be used until after the big day. You should write in blue or black ink, not a pencil or colored pen. Notes should express genuine appreciation and gratitude for the gift. They don't have to be long, but should mention the gift and how you'll use it. If you got that gravy boat that was on your registry, say that you can't wait to use it this Thanksgiving. For monetary gifts, you don't have to say, "Thank you for your $100 check." Rather, say what you will do with the gift, such as put it toward a payment on a home.
Get started on those thank-you notes as soon as possible. You don't have to write all 300 in one day. Pace yourself. The rule of thumb is to mail shower thank-you notes within two to three weeks after the party. Early wedding gifts should be noted before your wedding day arrives. Old-fashioned etiquette says you have a year to thank everyone else who sends you a wedding gift, but try to get them finished by about three months after the wedding. The process could take a little longer if you're waiting on photo thank-you cards from your photographer.
Get the job done in that time frame by staying organized. Make sure no cards get separated from their gifts. Keep a record of all the gifts you received in a notebook, on your computer or on index cards. Be specific. Don't just say "flatware" say "Mikasa flatware." Record the giver's name, when you got the gift, what it was and the date you sent the thank-you note.
By the time you finish that last note, you'll be a professional at thank-you note writing. And you'll be prepared to do it all over again when you have your little bundle of joy!