Just when you’ve finished celebrating your wedding, and think you can move on to living that married life (admit it, you haven’t stopped admiring that second ring on your finger) you catch a glimpse of that daunting stack of wedding thank you cards you still need to write.
We get it, writing thank you cards for your wedding, bridal shower, or other event can often be looked at as a chore, but it’s actually a really admirable way to show your friends and family appreciation.
To make this process easier for you, follow our formula for writing your wedding thank you notes and some commonly asked questions about thank you card etiquette.
Sample Thank You Note for a Gift
Use this thank you note template to write the perfect note easily and quickly.
1. Start your thank you note with a personal greeting
Something simple like “Dear Uncle Bob” works fine! Just don’t forget this part – it personalizes it to the reader.
2. State your thanks for the specific gift or gesture in your thank you note
“Thank you for the beautiful picture frame”
“Thank you for watching our dog during our wedding weekend”
“Thank you for the generous gift” covers a monetary gift
Basically, you want to be clear that you’re thanking them for the specific gift they sent.
3. Illustrate your appreciation with specific details on why you like the gift
“We’ll be using the picture frame to display one of our wedding pictures”
“Knowing Buddy was having a great time with you allowed us to really relax and enjoy the day”
“We’re so excited to use this to plan a wine tasting on our honeymoon in Napa”
You don’t have to get into too many details, but a quick one-line explanation makes the card feel more personable.
4. Make a connection to the future
“We’re looking forward to seeing you at Thanksgiving”
“Let’s plan to have dinner when I’m back from my honeymoon”
5. Thank them again, but in a different way
“Thank you again for sharing our big day with us. Having you there made the celebration even more special”
6. End with a closing salutation
You can then follow it by your suffixes (Mr. and Mrs. Smith), or with some simple like “The Happy Couple”.
Thank you to Tracy Stolese of Shelburne Gift Company for providing guidance on the thank you note template.
Thank You Note Wedding FAQs
Should wedding thank you notes be written or can I just send emails?
Break out the stationery, this is one time we definitely think written is best. A handwritten note conveys a deeper level of appreciation. Looking for unique greeting cards? Check out Cards by Cato and Tiny Gang Cards for unique, made-in-Vermont options!
Do I need to send a thank you note for a check?
Yes! You should send a thank you card for all gifts, including monetary only gifts. You can include a note in the card about how you plan to use the funds. For example: My partner and I are excited to use this toward a wine tasting while on our honeymoon in Portugal.
When should I send my wedding thank you notes?
The longer you wait the harder it will be to get started! We recommend sending your thank you notes within 3 months of your wedding or wedding shower – sooner if possible.
Unless you’re leaving for your honeymoon immediately following the wedding, a good rule of thumb is to get the thank you notes out before you leave – one less thing hanging over your head while you’re away!
There’s an old tradition that guests have up to a year to get you a wedding gift, so couples can take up to a year to send out their thank you notes… we don’t advise this. It’s easier to forget to do them than you think, and you don’t want to leave your guests hanging.
Who do you address thank you notes to?
If you’re writing a thank you for a gift, you should then address the note to the names signed on the gift. If a family sends a gift collectively, you could address the card to the family to save space in the card.
What if you don’t know who a gift is from?
This happens more than you think! Once you’ve narrowed down the list of potential guests (this is where a gift log is super helpful!) you have a couple of options.
You could try to ask around to get an idea of who it may be from. (This is easier for a shower with a more limited list.) For example, you can ask the shower host if they may have an idea of who the gift is from. Often guests mention the gift to the host at some point, so with any luck your host can point you in the right direction. Or they may know the guests well enough to help you narrow it down.
Then, reach out to those guests with a simple text, email, or call, and say something like… “Hey! We received this gorgeous gift and want to make sure we thank whoever gave it to us, but we’re missing a card. Is this from you by any chance?” Yes, it’s a little awkward, but most people will be flattered by your efforts to express your gratitude.
Alternatively, you can send a generic thank you card (Thank you for coming to our wedding!) to those who you’ve not matched a gift to. Guests may follow up with you once they see the generic thank you to make sure you received their gift. (At which point you can generously thank them for it!)
Don’t feel bad if you find yourself in this situation; it happens and people understand!
Do you send a thank you for just a card?
It’s definitely not necessary. If the person could not attend your day, and did not send a tangible item to you, but instead wished you well through a card, the general guideline is that you do not have to send a thank you note back. But, it’s totally up to you. If it feels right, go for it!
Before you go, don’t forget to download and print your free printable gift trackers so you don’t miss a thank you note!