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Thank You Notes 101

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Photo: Jennifer Mayo Studios

The last box has been opened, the last check endorsed and deposited, your honeymoon suitcase is unpacked, all the laundry is done…you’re literally out of excuses for why you’re putting off writing those Thank you cards. We’re here to help! Follow these tips to totally rock the note writing process!

• Be organized

You should honestly know that once you’re engaged you’re going to be the recipient of at least a couple of gifts. Stay on top of it! Gifts received before the wedding (we’re looking at all your multiple showers) should have a thank you in the mail within 2 weeks of the event. Which is even better to get a big chunk done before the wedding!

In the same vein of being organized, open up Excel (I know, all those small boxes make me nervous too) and as you make your guest list, have a column for what gift they gave and check off when you send the thank you card. It is so satisfying to see your progress as you check names off your list! Another good thing to include on this spreadsheet are the addresses of your guests. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later when you aren’t trying to track all these addresses down multiple times.

• Get cute and stock up!

I’ve personally found that if I have a super cute card or stationary set I’m more excited to send out Thank you’s because I want to share the cuteness with my friends! Same idea for this process too. Find something that speaks to either you and your partners’ personalities, or the theme of your wedding, or just an overall fun blank thank you card! Next, your pen of choice is key. I recommend having a couple pens you like using (for when you just get tired of using one you can switch to the other) but make sure they don’t smear or bleed all over the card. Make sure the ink is dark enough that your recipient can easily read it. Pens in neons or pastels should be a no-no. Last thing to stock up on? Stamps! Self-adhesive stamps so you don’t suffer from dry mouth. One last tip: get either a small sponge or plan on taping envelopes so you don’t get that nasty envelope taste in your mouth too.

• Get comfy!

Who remembers the days of writing out assignments on your student standard desk with your hand back chair? Made learning for 8 hours a day great fun…right? Meh, not so much. Get a comfy chair, set up a station with plenty of light, get your jammies on, grab a glass of wine and settle in. Don’t get too overwhelmed by the sheer number of thank you’s you will have to write. Break it up into either a time increment of 30-minutes a night during your favorite TV show, or set a specific number like 10-15 a night. Whatever is manageable for you to do, do that and stick to it.

• Be specific

Real talk, you know when you get a card or piece of mail if something is personalized or if it’s a general message everyone on the mailing list received. People love personalization—I saw on Facebook a couple weeks ago an opportunity to personalize socks with pictures of your cat (and don’t kid yourself, I thought about doing it). If there are people out there appreciating the ability to personalize socks, you’d better believe your closest friends and family will appreciate the extra time you took to distinguish their thank you card from the rest of the bunch. Mention the specific gift you received and how you plan to use it.
For example: “Dear Aunt Sally: Thank you so much for the waffle maker! You know how much I love cooking big weekend breakfasts. Next time you’re in town brunch is at our house!”

For cash gifts, the same guidelines apply. You could say something along the lines of:
“Dear Uncle Phil: We appreciate so much your generous gift for our wedding. It got us one step closer to the kitchen remodel we are planning///we used it for a deep sea snorkeling experience on our honeymoon///it is going to a down payment for a new home for us. We can’t wait to show you pictures of the new kitchen/home/honeymoon.”

How to wrap everything together with a pretty bow? Closing with, “[Spouse’s name] and I are so thankful you were able to attend the wedding and were there for us during this super special time in our lives. We are thrilled you will forever be part of the memories created.”

Another way to personalize these is you could share an anecdote of something you experienced with them during the wedding or in the planning process. The moral of the story is be genuine in your thank you’s. While you/your family spent a pretty penny on the wedding day, your guests chose to spend their hard-earned money on you for a gift or maybe even took off work to attend. Definitely take the time to express to them how much that means to you and yours.

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