(Closed) Having trouble with thank you cards

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
595 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

Not sure this is helpful but can you write something like:

Dear Aunt Sue,

It was lovely seeing you at the wedding! I’m so glad we had a some time to visit/chat/dance together/etc. I also wanted to thank you for your very generous gift of $100. Mr. Courtney and I are planning on using it for a European tour/house down payment/to buy our flatware. We have so been looking forward to visiting Italy/owning our own home/owning new silverware and appreciate that we can now do so. Once again, thanks for being part of our special day.


Mr. Courtney and Mrs. Courtney

Maybe a little bit formal?

Post # 5
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

CMSnails has it right.  When it’s a monetary gift, it’s generally nice to tell people what you’re going to use the money for, and to think about the sort of things people would want you to spend the money on (I have family members who would love that it allowed us to do something fun on our honeymoon, but then I have family members who would be horrified if it didn’t go to something that would last forever like a down payment on a house or silver or something).  

You can use this as an opportunity to show some of your personality to the relatives you barely know; take it as a challenge to introduce yourself to them in a way that makes it sound like you’re just giving them status updates.  “Husband and I love making pasta on Saturday nights ever since we took a cooking class together, and your generous gift of $X was just perfect for a lovely set of pasta dishes/cookbook.  We would love to serve you spaghetti bolognese in them when you come to visit us!”  They may never be able to visit you, but thank-you notes are about relationships as well as gratitude, and it’s a good chance to build bridges to a closer relationship in the future.

As a side note, I ended up not being able to send out thank-you notes until after I got divorced.  That was awkward.  My Mother-In-Law and SIL threw them out, along with my list of who gave us what, the wedding cards, and my back-up copy of the list.  I had to call my family after months of trying to find my original disconnected scribbles, but those were well-hidden.  I took the blame so that it wouldn’t reflect poorly on my in-laws and new husband, and really if I’d been smart I would’ve kept track on my computer anyway.  It didn’t damage any relationships, people were pretty understanding.  Don’t bother writing an explanation, just let it diffuse through other people.  Tell your moms, tell your friends, in the “this is frustrating but kind of funny if it happened to someone else” story-telling way.  No one’s going to notice if it’s 10-12 weeks instead of 8 weeks, and in five years no one will remember how long it took for the thank-you note to get there.

Post # 7
7403 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@Wonderstruck: I defintely think your timeline is reasonable. I think within 3-6 months post wedding is fine. I’d rather get them late than not. Thats my only concern.

Post # 8
595 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2012


Hmmm…good point about some relatives potentially not approving of how you spend the money.

I can relate in a way when it comes to Christmas money. Sometimes I use the Christmas money I recieve as a present on other people’s birthday presents. I could never write someone a thank-you note saying, “Hey Grandma! Your money made it possible for me to buy my sister a birthday gift this year!” so I think of ways I haven’t spent my money as wisely as I could have. In the end, I usually remember something (books I bought on a whim, a nice dinner I had out) and thank her for that instead. I figure that the gift money is comingled with the rest of my money so while I techincally didn’t spend Grandma’s money on those books, it’s close enough.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that while I don’t advocate outright lying, is there a splurge that you and your husband had recently that your relatives might approve of? Something special on the honeymoon? Or something you had to bite the bullet for like roof repairs?

Post # 9
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I always say, “The money will definitely be put to great use!” That way they can’t judge. I just wrote a bunch of thank-you notes for a recent shower I had and it seems very repetitive to you because you are writing that many in a row.  Just remember they will only be reading one so it won’t seem repetitive to them!

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