Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thank You's & How To's

Ok so you've planned and planned; said your I DO's and even tossed the bouquet before heading off into the sunset with your that you are back from your whirlwind ride its time to open all of those wedding gifts and thank your guests! The problem is how should you write them, where should you start and what should you do if you don't like something! First relax. This can be a very overwhelming task for a new couple because it is time consuming and you want to make sure you send your thank yous out in a timely manner. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you get started.

*Card by Papyrus

What should I write in my thank you notes to my guests?
A standard thank you note will consist of you thanking the person for sharing in your special day and attending your wedding. You also want to include the specific item that they gifted to you in the note so they know that you received it, a special anecdote can also make it more personable.

Example: Steve is looking forward to me making mom's famous casserole in the beautiful dish you sent us!

How soon should I send thank yous out to my guests?
Proper etiquette states that you send thank you notes out within 2 weeks of returning from your honeymoon. However given the fact that you have to get back to work and life duties and may have an extended amount of things to open, my suggestion is to send thing out within 30 days of returning. Your guests know that you are very busy and have other priorities but they do appreciate and deserve a thank you card in a timely manner for taking the time to attend your wedding. Also this is a good way for you to open your gifts sooner than later. It isn't necessarily a good idea to wait until the one year mark almost to acknowledge someone got you a gift either. If you received gifts in advance you should send these thank you notes out immediately and the same rule applies for gifts that arrive after the wedding.

A few of my guests didn't send or give me a gift do they get a thank you card?
In cases like this don't be upset that someone did not send a gift. It is never ok to point this out to them because you may not know the circumstances of the situation. For some people they didn't have tome to send one before so they may have to send one after the wedding. Another reason could be that they couldn't afford to purchase a proper gift so they showed their love by attending the event. On the other hand if they did send you a gift and it was not received then they would inquire if you received it within a few weeks of returning from your honeymoon, or at least they should.

I absolutely hate the item my friend got us, how do I get rid of it without hurting her feelings?
You may not like the gnomes of many nations gift set that your aunt Sylvia sent to you but you still need to thank her for the gesture and for taking the time to get you something. It's true you may not like all of the gifts you receive but you do have to send them a note and never tell them that you are less than pleased with their selection. Thank the guests for the item and that you will think of them when you look at it or that you appreciate the item and make no mention of your distaste for it. In some cases, guests will include gift receipts with their purchases in case the style or item is not of the couples taste and it is fine to exchange it but thank them for the gift they initially sent.

Example: Aunt Sylvia thank you so much for the Gnomes of Many Nations that you sent to us, we truly appreciate you sending us such a unique gift!

BAD Example: Aunt Sylvia thank you for the gift you sent to us, it wasn't our taste so we did exchange it and are very happy with the crystal candle sticks we purchased instead!

Someone gave us a beautiful gift but there was no card, help!
If this happens there are two things that likely come of it. The person who gave you a gift will inquire whether or not you received it after a few weeks because they didn't get a thank you card for it or they will assume that you hated it and just didn't bother to send one back. Ok so the last part isn't quite true but so that doesn't happen make every effort to find out who the mystery gift is from. You can enlist a few family members to get the word out or if you have a wedding website established you can put out an APB to say "Someone sent us a lovely tea set but the card must have gotten away from it and we want to thank them properly for it. If this was you please let us know!"

Can't I just email all of my guests and tell them thank you for coming instead of sending letters?
Absolutely not! This is one task that you should never cut corners on! Your guests took the time and effort to choose a gift for you and attend your wedding, the least you can do is thank them in writing for their efforts and participation. A handwritten note that is personalized for each gift should be done. Always remember to make the note more about them and not about you. You want them to know that they and their generous gift was very much appreciated. Never send a pre-printed card either, this shows that you didn't put much effort into thanking your guests and it will show with a standardized message. To make sure that you aren't holding of until your funds bounce back, make this apart of your wedding budget from the beginning. If you have already mapped out how much you want to spend on each line item don't forget to add those in too, along with the postage to send. One last tip is to chose nice stationary to send your notes on, computer paper or notebook paper will never do.

* Cards by Wedding Paper Divas

This can be a time consuming project so don;t be discouraged or frustrated if you haven't finished them in one afternoon. It may take a few days and writing them by hand can give you a cramp! Enlist your new hubby or wife to help with the writing so that you can complete them without sever hand lumbago. Don't forget to include your new return address on the envelopes so that your family and friends know where to find you!