Wedding Thank You Notes

sending thank you notes after a wedding

Wedding thank you notes are discussed by wedding planner Maureen Woodman.

John Maher: Hi. I’m John Maher. I’m here with Maureen Woodman, a wedding planner for on and off-site catered events at The Essex Room in Essex, Massachusetts. Today, we’re talking about “Wedding Thank You Notes.” Welcome, Maureen.

Maureen Woodman: Hi, John. Thanks for having me today.

Should you send wedding thank you notes?

John Maher: Sure. So Maureen, is it required to send thank you notes still to your wedding guests?

Maureen Woodman: Absolutely. This is something that has not gone away. I think that if someone’s taking the time to come to your wedding, giving you a gift, bought you a lovely card or present, that you should take the time to write your note.

When do you send wedding thank you notes?

John Maher: So how soon after the wedding is over should you get those thank you notes out to your guests?

Maureen Woodman: You do have one year. That’s an Emily Post rule. But I think for yourself, if you can get them done, probably, in three months, you’ll be very happy about that. Remember, in this day and age of Excel spreadsheets, you can get your addresses done, write a little note.

I still think that a handwritten note is much better than a pre-done note. But if you had to do a pre-done note and just maybe sign it, I think that you can get away with it. But I would recommend three months after the day of your wedding.

John Maher: Okay. It’s probably a good idea too, just for those procrastinators, that the longer you go after that… You probably don’t even — unless you took really good notes — you don’t remember who gave you what present. So, it’s harder to be a little bit more specific in your thank you notes. After you get after nine months or so, it starts to feel like, “Oh! Do we even have to bother with this?” So, try and keep yourself to that three-month rule. It’s a good idea.

Maureen Woodman: Yes. And I think you just brought up a really good point. When you have your presents, your cards, it’s a nice thing to do, if you print yourself the actual guest list to save for this. So when you do open your cards, your guest list should be in alphabetical order. It’s very nice to just write a little thing, because you whip through the cards quickly, take the checks out, make sure that you know if it’s cash or check, you note that as well. Write down the amount of money or however you want to deal with it.

But it’s really helpful, if you have an extra copy of your guest list. If you write them three months later, you say, “Oh! I totally forgot what they gave me.” So you just go back to that sheet. So that’s always a really nice little trick or tip. Just have that ready when you’re doing that.

What’s included in a thank you note?

John Maher: So, what should be included in the thank you note?

Maureen Woodman: You want to thank them for coming to your wedding. You want to thank them for their generous gift, if it was a money gift. You want to identify, if it was a gift, what it was – a blender, or a set of towels, or some kind of crystal or china, or something. And I think that’s it. And then, the signature – your signature with you and your husband, how you’re going to sign your name now for the rest of your life.

John Maher: So, if the person just gave money and not a gift, what’s the best way to phrase that in the thank you note?

Maureen Woodman: I think the keyword is generous, “Thank you so much for this generous gift.” I think that’s the only word you need to say, whether it’s $10 or $3,000. You can just say that nicely. It’s always kind of a sticky line to thank someone specifically for money. But I think if you just say, “Thank you for your generous gift,” it covers you with all in.

John Maher: Right. You don’t want to say, “Thanks for the check” or “Thanks for the cash you gave me.” So just “your generous gift” is a nice way to phrase that.

Maureen Woodman: I think that’s the most classic way to answer that question. Yes.

Wedding Notes for the Wedding Party

John Maher: Do I need to do anything different when I’m writing thank you cards for people that were maybe in my wedding party, or who played some other role where they really helped me on my wedding day, or helped me prepare for the wedding day?

Maureen Woodman: Yes. I think that it’s very nice to have your thank you note — write a personal little description of what they did that helped you. I’ve also seen where people get an additional thank you note for the people that played a role in their wedding, where they have a more of a generic note that says, “Thank you so much for being there.”

So, not only would you give them a thank you note for their wedding gift, but you may want to get separate cards made that specifically say, “You really made a difference in my day today,” whether “You’re my maid of honor,” or “You’re my best man,” or “You picked up my dress for me,” or “You were there when the cake was dropped off.” There are so many duties that have to be done within that last week that anything that someone does for you is totally appreciated.” And I think you should take the time to tell them that.

John Maher: Great advice, Maureen. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Maureen Woodman: Thank you, John. Thanks for having me.

John Maher: For more information, you can visit The Essex Room website at or call 978-768-7335.

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