Writing thank you cards is kind of a southern thing but it is just a general good thing to do after you receive a gift or after someone does something nice for you. It is best to get your thank you cards out within three months of receiving the gift - which I know is a struggle when you have a million other things going on, but I promise it will be worth it!
It is best to handwrite your notes and add a personal touch because anything pre-printed can seem cold and impersonal since you did not take the time to really thank the person for their unique gift.
Pro-tip: Write the thank you notes as you receive the gifts so it doesn't seem like such a big task. Do a little planning - make a spreadsheet listing the invitee, the gift given, then a third column to keep some helpful notes. Jot down what you like about the item or how you plan to use it so you can add a personal touch to your note. You can even do this with cash or gift cards by letting the giver know how you plan to make use of their generosity.
If you are still stuck on what to write in those thank you cards here are a few samples to get the creative juices flowing:
Scenario #1: A gift off your registry
Pro Tip: It’s something you wanted, so mention how much you love it and that you plan to use it all the time.
Dear Margaret, Thank you so much for the espresso machine! Chris and I have become serious coffee fiends, and are excited to be able to make our own drinks at home. We’d love to have you over for brunch soon so you can see it in action! Thank you again for being a part of our wedding day. Best, Emily
Scenario #2: A gift of money
Pro Tip: Don’t mention how much you received—but do hint at how you’ll use the cash!
Dear Aunt Melissa and Uncle Marc, Thank you so much for celebrating our wedding day with us! Chris and I were thrilled with your generous and thoughtful gift. Thanks to the two of you, we were able to book the cooking class we’d had our eye on for our honeymoon. Looking forward to seeing you over the holidays! Love, Emily
Scenario #3: The gifter is someone you don’t know well
Pro Tip: Mention the person you know in common.
Dear Mrs. Bergen, Thank you for the gorgeous crystal bowl. It will look absolutely beautiful on our coffee table. It was so lovely to see you at the wedding—my mother always speaks so fondly of you, and Chris and I were so happy to finally meet you in person! Sincerely, Emily
Scenario #4: You have no clue what the gift is
Pro Tip: Focus on the givers, rather than the mystery gift.
Dear Jane and Tom, Thank you again for being a part of our big day, as well as for the wonderful wedding gift. It means so much to us that you traveled so far to celebrate with us. Chris and I feel lucky to count you as our friends! Best, Emily
Scenario #5: It’s a group gift
Pro Tip: Send individual thank-you notes to each person, but give a shout-out to the whole group.
Dear Lisa, Thank you so much for the wine fridge. It will definitely be getting a lot of use in our new home! We are so lucky to have friends who know us so well, and can’t wait to have you all over to open a bottle or two! Warmly, Emily
Scenario #6: You already have one (or you’ve already exchanged it)
Pro Tip: Don’t mention that you’ve returned or exchanged the gift—just focus on the giver and the gift itself.
Dear Derek, Chris and I want to thank you for the wooden salad bowl. The organic design is so beautiful, and the carved salad servers are the perfect finishing touch. You have great taste! We are so happy you were able to make it to our wedding—thanks for holding down the fort on the dance floor! Sincerely, Emily
Scenario #7: You hate it—but you can’t return it
Pro Tip: Don’t like the gift and so don't rave about it, but do find something positive to say!
Dear Grandma, Thank you so much for the cut crystal vase. It reminds me of the one you always had on the table during the holidays, and brings back such great memories. We are thrilled that you’ll be at our wedding, and can’t wait to celebrate with you. Love, Emily
Scenario #8: They sent a gift, but couldn’t come to the wedding
Pro Tip: Mention how much you wish they could have been there.
Dear Uncle Dave, Thank you so much for the set of wine glasses. It was so kind of you to think of us! Chris and I wish you could have been there on our wedding day—it wasn’t the same without you. We’re looking forward to more opportunities to celebrate together in the future! Love, Emily