The only truly proper and appropriate way to say “thank you” for your wedding or shower gifts, is by sending a personal thank you note.
There was a time when people felt it was not necessary to send a “thank you” note if you thanked them personally. Today, however; our guest lists are longer and our guests are busier than ever before. The appropriate and proper way to make sure you have expressed your sincere appreciation is from a personal thank you note. It would be so much easier to just tell the person who has sent you a wedding or shower gift, how much you appreciate it, but it’s just not enough. You should do both the hand written thank you note and also a verbal thank you. You can NEVER be too appreciative or thank someone enough.
The most important rule when sending out a thank you note is to never, ever, send a preprinted thank you note. If you send a preprinted thank you note, the person receiving the note feels that you are just too busy and their gift didn’t mean enough to you to even mention it in your note. You should always send a personalized, handwritten note, regardless of how brief it is. This tells the giver that you indeed, appreciated the gift and how much you will cherish it. A handwritten note expresses warmth and sincerity. You absolutely must always send a handwritten thank you note.
Another very important thing to remember is to be sure and send thank you notes to friends and relatives who put on wedding showers and couple’s parties for you and your fiance’. You can even thank them for the party or shower in the same thank you note that you use to thank them for their gift. Totally acceptable!
If you should receive more than one gift from the same person, you should send a separate thank you note for each gift. For example, if you receive a shower gift from someone and several weeks later, receive a wedding gift from the same person, you should thank them for each gift with separate thank you notes. It is definitely not appropriate to thank them for more than one gift in the same thank you note.
Very important timelines to remember when sending your thank you notes:
Shower gifts – Acknowledge within 10 days of the party.
Wedding gifts – Acknowledge within 2 weeks after returning from your honeymoon.
Wedding gifts received before the wedding – Acknowledge immediately! Never allow an extended period of time to pass between receiving a wedding gift and sending it’s thank you note.
- When writing your thank you note, remember to use “you” more than “I” or “me”. And never begin your note with “I”.
- Although colored ink is available everywhere you look now, it is still more appropriate and proper to write your thank you notes in dark blue or black ink.
- Include your new return address on all your thank you notes.
Ideas for writing thank you notes:
To a close friend or relative:
Dearest Aunt Helen:
It’s absolutely gorgeous and we love it! How thoughtful of you to give Gary and me such a lovely family heirloom. Grandmas’ hand-made quilt will be my most prized possession. We both thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Love and Kisses,
To a person you don’t know very well:
Dear Mrs. Stewart,
Mom just gave me the beautiful crystal goblet you left and I could hardly wait to tell you how gorgeous it is. Robert and I will think of you each time we use it. Thank you so much.
To a group of friends who have gone together on a gift:
Thank you all so very much for the beautiful china place setting you so generously gave to us for our home. Ray and I now have eight place settings and are looking forward to using them. You are such a great group to work with and I appreciate each one of you.
- If less than ten people went in together on a gift, then a personal note to each person must be written. If more than ten people went in together and signed the card, then one note placed on a bulletin board is considered proper etiquette. Although, you still need to thank each person individually.
For a gift you hate:
Dear Steve and Heidi,
Thank you so much for the high-heeled shoe cake server. It will be a nice addition to our serving pieces. We’ll be sure to use it for our next birthday celebration. Looking forward to seeing you soon.
For monetary gifts
- Thanking someone for a monetary gift is expressed in the exact same way you would thank someone for an item that was purchased. If you have decided on a specific item to buy with the money, you should mention that in your thank you note.
Dearest Aunt Barbara,
James and I want to thank you so much for the check you sent for our wedding. We are saving for a down payment on a new home and your gift will be added to our savings. It was so thoughtful of you and hopefully, it won’t be long before we will be inviting you to our housewarming party! I can hardly wait to see you and Uncle Albert again.
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