Wedding Thank You Wording Basics
With any wedding, life can be as stressful as it is wonderful, and little things can go by the wayside. One thing that you should always keep on the to-do list, however, is sending thank you notes to your guests. Your friends and family have taken time out of their own lives to be part of yours on your special day, and they often have invested financially as well. Not only is it socially expected that you will send a thank you note, but it's also the perfect way to show your guests that you care.
Stock Cards or Personal Notes?
Choose a stationery set you love, or choose a few to mix and match according to personalities. Having different cards will add an extra personal touch, particularly if one recipient is close enough to another to compare. Go for blank cards, however, because stock phrases do little to express gratitude. You may want to use templates as guidelines for your own notes, but you shouldn't use the same message for each card or copy any message word-for-word from online.
The Tools of the Trade
Choose blue or black ink for your cards, and write each note by hand. While this means the process may take you a long time, handwritten notes show a level of concern that is often absent in today's world and are sure to be stored away by the recipient for years to come. If you are unsure what to say, type out messages first, and use those as the template. You can compose these messages as you're taking stock of wedding gifts or any other contributions a person has made, allowing you to create a personalized note for every recipient. To avoid fatigue, write out your cards over the span of a few weeks. Try to have all cards in the mail within two months of the wedding.
Salutations and Valedictions
When composing your greeting, think of how well you know the person. A boss or coworker might warrant a more formal greeting while a family member might even have a nickname. For more formal acquaintances, stick with classic salutations like "Dear Mr. Smith." For more informal relations, you can use a more personal salutation like "Dear Uncle John." When you write your valediction, the tone should be likewise appropriate. A business acquaintance might warrant a "Kind regards" while your best friend can appreciate "Sincerely."
The Heart of the Matter
The most taxing part of the thank you note is the personalized message of appreciation. Many newlyweds face writer's block or may not even remember each person's contribution. To combat the latter, make a list of all gifts and attendance along the way so that you will remember when the time comes to send off your notes. If you're having trouble getting started, organize your thoughts around the facts first. For example, Uncle John may have been unable to attend the wedding, but he may have sent along a family heirloom watch to welcome the new husband. In that case, focus on how much it meant to receive such a token on your special day and how much the gift was appreciated. For every gift, explain your plans for the item. For example, you might say that the watch will be worn on every anniversary to highlight your special day.
Regardless of what you are thanking the person for, don't dwell on things that were absent. If the person was unable to attend, don't focus on how everyone missed them. Instead, say that you are looking forward to getting a chance to all get together in the future. That said, you know your guests best. If you feel that your Uncle John would want to know that he was missed, it's perfectly acceptable to tell him, but avoiding pointing out that kind of information if you aren't certain how the person will react. If someone attended but did not provide a gift, thank the person instead for their presence on your special day. Thank you notes are there to highlight the positives, so avoid using them to point out any negatives.
Make sure that all messages come from both of you even if only one of you is writing the message. Because you're married now, you will want to use this opportunity to present yourself as a pair to your friends and family and ensure that any gift you received is welcomed by both members. You don't need to make every line a team effort, but you should highlight how the recipient's contribution helped you out. You could use the wording from this example:
Dear Uncle John, Thank you so much for the precious watch. I remember when grandpa used to wear it, and I'll think of both of you fondly each time Michael wears it. Michael lights up every time he puts it on, but he wants to save it for special occasions. We've decided he'll wear it for every anniversary. We look forward to seeing you soon and showing you how nicely it fits. Again, thank you for such a thoughtful gift. Sincerely, Samantha
Wedding thank you notes might be a little intimidating or time-consuming, but they're an excellent way to put the finishing touches on a major life event. Your guests will appreciate the time you took to thank them just as much as you enjoyed the time and effort they spent on your special day.