(Closed) Thank You Cards

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
Member
358 posts
Helper bee

I’m sorry, I have no answers for you. Following in hopes someone else does! Our wedding is three months away still and we have already received several gifts. I do not think these people will be attending the wedding. Do I send a thank you now? Or send them all after the wedding?

Post # 3
Member
161 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I don’t know anything about having the words thank you on the card (whoops, we sent out engagement party thank yous and we’ve ordered our wedding thank yous both with the words on the front!), but with who gets a thank you and when..

if you receive gifts before the wedding you should send out thank you cards within two weeks. if you receive gifts at the wedding or after the wedding you have three months to send out thank yous. people don’t get a thank for just attending your wedding – that’s what the reception is for! you’re hosting a big party for everyone to thank them for coming to your wedding.

so people should receive a thank you for the shower, a thank you for a gift, and if they gift before and at/after the wedding, they receive one for each gift as it arrives.

bees, feel free to correct my etiquette if it’s not right!

Post # 4
Member
3941 posts
Honey bee

Most people that send a gift won’t also give you money. If they do, you are very lucky indeed. Most gifts will come before, but you’ll get some after. 

I doubt you will have many people that just attend the wedding and never send/give a gift (except your bridal party perhaps; I’m telling them not to dare give me a gift; they are spending enough). 

So you will have some people who get two cards (shower and wedding gift) and some people that get one (wedding gift). You can use your “married” stationary for whatever thank you cards you want, whether it is before the wedding or not.

The important thing is just to send a thank you for every gift. If you can write them as the gifts arrive, it will make your life so much easier.

Post # 5
Member
9583 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

Send out thank yous asap as gifts arrive. Definitely do not wait till after the wedding. Do not send thank yous just for coming, pp is right, the reception is to thank them. You’re wining and dining them. Sending a thanks for coming note can be seen as passive aggressively point out a lack of present, or fishing for one. It’s not in line with proper etiquette.

It matters zero percent if the card says thank you on the front. No idea where your mom got that idea. That’s a matter of personal preference I guess, has zero to do with etiquette 

Post # 7
Member
1888 posts
Buzzing bee

I think you’re way overthinking this, probably because your mother is giving you all these rules! I’ve never heard about needing to write them in cursive or not being able to write thank you on the front. As long as you thank people for gifts in a timely manner, that’s all that matters.

Post # 8
Member
9583 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

View original reply
aimee1226:  cursive also doesn’t matter (though it is more formal), especially if your cursive isnt neat. The point is a promptly sent hand written thank you note for every gift, and that’s it!

Post # 9
Member
161 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

View original reply
aimee1226:  I wrote my FI’s parents card for the engagement party in cursive and then promptly realised my cursive was terrible and printed everyone else’s. I personally would rather a neat, legible card than one where they’ve clearly struggled with having to write cursive!

Post # 10
Member
47286 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
aimee1226:  

1. Thank you cards for shower gifts cna be more casual. You are correct. They should be sent asap after the shower.

2. Thank you notes for wedding gifts received before the wedding should alos be sent asap. Not ony does it reasuure the giver that yiou received the gift, it also lessens the burden on the two of you after the wedding. You woul dnot use a card that says Mr and Mrs before the wedding.

3. Thanks you notes for wedding gifts received at the wedding also should be sent asap. These cards can be more formal but do not delay sending the notes, just so you can get the stationary. Either order it ahead of time, or don’t use the type of cards that has a wedding photo on it if it means your guests have to wait for their notes.

4. The thank you notes sent after the wedding are for the gifts. You certainly can also mention that you enjoyed seeing them at the wedding and appreciated their attendance. You would not however, send a note thanking a person for attending if they did not give a gift. The reception is the guests’ thanks. If you send a note thanking them for attending, it could be interpreted as a reminder for a gift.

5. Most thank you notes I have received have been either inexpensive cards that come in packs from the stationary store, or cards that match the wedding invitation. I don’t think many people use formal personalized stationary anymore.

 

Post # 11
Member
657 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Shower gifts & gifts mailed before wedding: Send Thank You notes ASAP after getting gifts. Yes, you will probably receive a lot of gifts before the wedding — most people giving “boxed” gifts mail seem to them ahead these days.

Don’t use any stationary with your “new” initials or with “Mr. & Mrs.” before the wedding.

The stuff your mom is saying about what should/shouldn’t say “thank you” on the front vs. “Mr. & Mrs.”, I have never heard before, and I’ve read the Emily Post guidelines. (ETA: What if a woman doesn’t change her name, would her notes just have both their full names/individual initials on them? (I didn’t change my name so I might be overly sensitive about those things. ;))

Send Thank You notes for gifts/checks received at wedding ASAP as well. Some couples think they have a year; this is incorrect! The rule is ASAP. Also, don’t wait for customized stationery that you can’t order before the wedding (ie, don’t wait for photos from your photographer from the wedding — these often take two months or more to arrive).

Also, don’t worry, you don’t have to send/shouldn’t send Thank You notes just for people attending the wedding. Your reception IS your thank you to the people who attended your ceremony. Make sense? Only send Thank You notes for gifts received (and get those in the mail ASAP… yeah, I can’t state that one enough!).

Cursive, I think you’re overthinking and your mom might be overstepping her boundaries. Write how you’re comfortable writing. How is your mom going to know?

Also, your FI/DH probably has hands so he can write notes too! 😉 (For weding and pre-wedding gifts, anyway…. but not shower gifts… unless it’s a couples’ shower). My Darling Husband wrote lots of notes, although TBH I did do the majority of them.

Hope this helps! 🙂

Post # 12
Member
1692 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
aimee1226:  Hi, Aimee,

Your mother is correct, that shower thank-yous can be informal. Cards that have the words “Thank-you” centre-front, especially if the “Thank-you” is in ostentatious scrolly gold letters, are not in the best of taste even for shower thank-yous, but they are tolerable. If you have engraved (or nowadays even printed, given that real copperplate is unobtainable in most cities) personal social stationery, then you should simply use that. The most proper stationery for informal thank-you notes is the “Informal” which is a folded card that when folded is a little larger than a visitin card, and contains your name (and optionally your address) engraved across the front. Until you are married your name is “Ms Aimee Maidenname” (or “Miss Aimee Maidenname” if you are a traditionalist like me,) and that is what you should use for all correspondence prior to your actual wedding day. The “Informal” despite its name is more formal than a pretty coloured card with a sparkly picture on the front, but the pretty cards are fine for shower thanks.

The “informal” is the minimum level of formality for a wedding-gift thank-you note. Any gifts sent to your home before your wedding are still wedding gifts. Your mother is right that gifts ought to be sent to your home, not brought to the ceremony or reception. You send a second note to a lady who already got a shower-gift thank-you note, if she sends you a second gift as a wedding gift. Ideally, you send the thank-you note the same day that you received the gift, before you go to bed. You use either your informal card with your maiden name on it, or a formal off-the-shelf foldover note — something in a white or ecru with a simple boarder or flourish, or your formal personalized letter-paper or household paper, which has your address engraved on it and optionally your maiden monogram. It does NOT have the words “thank-you” engraved on it and I could kiss your mama for teaching you that.

Some gifts will inevitably be brought to the reception, because by bringing a big box or fat envelope and delivering it ostentatiously in public, some people seek to make sure no-one judges them for being stingy. It’s improper, but inevitable. If someone who has already given a shower gift and sent their wedding gift to your home brings an additional third gift to the reception, then yes you would send them a third thank-you note. In this case, the gift is deemed to be “received” on the day that you open it following your return from your honeymoon — and write the note before you use the gift or open another one, and before you go to bed that night. Since you are a married lady at that point, you write your thank-you note on your new, married Informals, that are engraved with your married name and marital address. This is where you make known to your friends and family that you prefer to be known as “Mrs Aimee Marriedname” or “Ms John Marriedname” or whatever variation on the traditional “Mrs John Marriedname” suits your individuality and sense of social justice. You do NOT have to send a thank-you note to someone for attending your party. The hostess expresses her thanks to her guests in person when she greets them at the door to the recepion-room, and they are expected to send her thank-you notes afterward thanking her for her hospitality.

Incidentally, engraved “married stationery” is a traditional gift from a close female relative on your side of the family — a grandmother or maiden aunt typically gives this. Ask your mother if someone is planning that gift for you. Mothers themselves traditionally give silver flatware, and future mothers-in-law traditionally give siver holloware.

Three thank-you notes is NOT unreasonable if you receive three separate gifts, but if you really cannot tolerate that I grant you dispensation to thank your shower guests in person. A shower is supposed to be a small intimate gathering of close friends where consumable gifts of merely nominal value are proffered. Sincere verbal thanks are completely appropriate for a close friend who gave you a potato-peeler or a pair of hand-knit dishrags. But if august elderly ladies you barely know are showering you with stand-mixer attachments, following up with bone china soup tureens, and tipping you a hundred dollars at the party, the least you can do is haul out a uniball pen and scrawl a few words of gratitude for each gift.

Post # 13
Member
1692 posts
Bumble bee

I am not sure why weddingbee chose to post my reply twice, but fortunately I am in time to edit and spare you a second read of that length!

Your mother is also correct, that a ‘lady’ corresponds in an elegant ladylike cursive hand. My grand-auntie Vespasia went further and insisted that a lady uses a copperplate nib and india ink, and never, ever descends to such depraved depths as using ballpoint.

Your mother and I are two of very few people who despise “thank-you” cards that rely on being so-labelled on the front to compensate for the writer’s native inability to actually express thanks and who are willing to grant people respect for the minor accomplishment of pretty handwriting. Any lady who takes pride in being ladylike — and many do, so do not completely diss the idea — is likely to take your mother’s advice to heart and be grateful for it. But there are plenty of ladies who take pride in more substantial accomplishments, and no-one should diss that, either. These rules are like the rule of never wearing diamonds in the daytime, or making sure that your purse and shoes match. I DO notice, favourably, the people who practice niceties of good taste and good manners. I do NOT notice unfavourably, the people who cannot be bothered.

Post # 14
Member
614 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Your mom is stressing me out and I’ve already sent out all my thanks you cards! 🙂 Here’s my small input… we only had a few people send gifts prior to our wedding. We kept track of everyone so we could send out thank you cards asap after the wedding. We didnt send them out as we got gifts only because we were having a special picture  taken at the wedding just for the thank you card!

We had our thank you cards made/printed and sent to us within a week of the wedding and I had all my thank you cards sent out within 2 weeks. We did send a card that had ‘thank you’ on the front along with our picture, but I also handwrote a note inside each and every card from the both of us. (Not in cursive, thats A LOT of stress to put on you!)

I think that people will just be grateful to receive a thank you card. They might have been expected to be more formal when your mom wed, but these days any handwritten thank you card is appreciated! Don’t stress yourself out too much! 

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