Thank You Card Etiquette


Wedding Thank You Card Wording & Etiquette

Forgetting To Thank A Guest For Gift

Question: My husband and I just had a Anniversary party celebrating 25 years. We were going through our gifts and we noticed we have 3 gifts that we can’t remember who gave them to us. I think there was a card for one of the gifts which I put in front of the gift but somebody put that card in card box. I really would like to send a Thank you for all the gifts and mention the gift that they gave us. Would it be appropriate to send out a message asking about the 3 gifts? If so, how should I word it? And if it is not appropriate what do I do? The 3 gifts are a small vase of roses, a plant and a bottle of Brut Sparkling Wine. We would like to mention the gift in the Than You card.

Answer: 

Thank You Card Wording For A Donation

Question: I am looking for some thoughtful wording to thank my aunts and uncles who got together and donated a non-disclosed amount of money to a local hospice where my cousin and her husband both passed away in the last year. It is a thoughtful and noble gesture. I am truly happy they have done this. The card we received says: “In celebration of your wedding, a donation in the names of R & D Smith has been made to the XXX Hospice House.”  I’m finding the thank you wording to be tricky, because they did not make the donation in our names — they made it in the names of the deceased. How should the thank you be phrased?

Answer: Simply thank them for their thoughtful donation in memory of two people who helped shape your life. Keep the note very simple and be grateful. These folks are angry and in pain and need your compassion as much as anything, but their feelings are not your responsibility. Keep that in mind as you heal through this rough patch. Good luck. Something like this could work:

We want to express our deepst appreciation for your generosity in support of XXX Hospice House. Your commitment to this incredibly cause on our behalf was helpful and will go a long way. Thank you from both of us.

Proper Grammar for Thank You Note

Question: I realize this question may be more grammatical than etiquette, but I appreciate any insight you may have on this subject. We are writing thank you notes for gifts we received at our engagement party. The gifts were given to me and my fiance, so the thank you note should be written in first-person plural but there are a couple of instances where it seems to make more sense to use first-person singular:

1) Some people made donations to my hometown synagogue in honor of our engagement. In the thank you note, I would like to write that we are touched because the synagogue has played an important role in “our” lives. However, my fiance didn’t grow up in my hometown and has only been to my hometown synagogue a couple of times since we don’t live in the area now (it is also not going to be the location of the wedding ceremony). So, really, it is more accurate to say that this synagogue has played an important role in “my” life. But using “my” seems to exclude my fiance, who also appreciates the gesture and is signing the thank you note.

2) My parents gave us a beautiful mezzuzah (a religious item for the Jewish home) and wrote some beautiful words in the card about how our future home should be blessed. In their thank you note, I want to write that we hope to create a home that was as warm and beautiful as my parents’ home, the one that I grew up in. I’m struggling with pronouns again. Is it “your (my parents’) home”, “our (my parents’ and mine, since I’m part of the family and I lived there too) home”, or “the home where I grew up (since I grew up there and my fiance did not)”. I’m not that crazy about any of these wordings.

Answer: 

I appreciate your need to write correctly. So many don’t these days. (IMO) In your first instance, you can use the word ours because your fiance has been benefited through you. However, if you’d like to be completely accurate, say something like, “this synagogue played an important role during my childhood and young adulthood, and now continues to impact our lives”.

In your second instance, grammatically speaking, any of your suggestions are correct. But, I understand what you’re trying to do so, how about; “We hope to create a home for our new family that was as warm and loving as the home you made for me. Don’t struggle too much with the message to your parents. My guess is they already know you so well that the words just serve as a way of memorializing your feelings for them. Speak from the heart. As a parent, I know your letter will be cherished.

It’s such a pleasure to hear from a young couple who values the written word and the message they’re sending. It’s not trivial to care

Thank You Notes for Monetary Gifts

Question: We just had a small engagement party and we received some gifts. Some of the gifts were checks and cash. We are writing thank you notes for all of the gifts, but I am having trouble with wording the thank you notes for the monetary gifts. I was taught that the way to write a thank you was to thank the person for the gift itself, explain what you will do with the gift, and thank them for celebrating with you. For a monetary gift given for our engagement party, it feels funny to write that we will put the money towards wedding expenses, (although that is probably what we are doing). That would seem to imply that we are relying on the gift-giver to pay for our wedding, which is decidedly not the message I want to send! Can you suggest a better way of wording this part of the thank you note? Thanks!

Answer: 

Example 1

Dear __________,

It was so nice to see you this past weekend. Thank you for attending my shower. There are so many things a bride needs to set up house, and with your generous gift I will be able to purchase some great things for the kitchen. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and practical gift.

Example 2

Dear __________,

Thank you so much for coming to my party, and for your very generous gift. With school about to start, I can think of a million ways to spend it! Thank you again.

(YOUR NAME HERE)

Example 3

Dear __________,

You always remember my birthday, and it was so wonderful to receive your lovely card and check. Now that I have some spending money, my friends and I have plans to head to the mall this weekend to shop the sales. I’m hoping to buy a new pair of jeans and a cozy sweater. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, and for sending me such a useful and practical gift.

Hugs and kisses,

(YOUR NAME HERE)

Send a Thank You Card To a Bad Bridal Party Member

Question: have been told by a few people that I should send every member of my bridal party a thank you card, including an unruly bridesmaid. I don’t want to be rude, but I really feel in this case, I shouldn’t have to. There was a member of a our bridal party who didn’t get us a gift, almost got us kicked out of our venue by purchasing alcohol for underage members of the bridal party (she was caught by my photographer and the venue manager), and told the best man that my husband and I had no business getting married if we were too poor to afford an open bar package. And those were just her more disruptive actions (she did too many inappropriate things to list all of them). I did send a thank you card to the rest of the bridal party, whether they bought a gift or not, but I really don’t feel that I have anything to thank this one for. Am I being rude by not sending her one too?

Answer: Dear Amy, Actually, you are obligated to give each of your attendants a gift. A thank you card is a nice gesture as well. She may have been a pain, but she did spend her money and time on your wedding. Also, even though her comment about the bar wasn’t polite or nice, if there was alcohol there, guests shouldn’t have had to pay for it. Our guests should never have to open their wallets. We should want to be good hosts for our guests.

Answer (wedding expert): Ah, a creative writing challenge… Since you sent thank you notes to the rest of your bridal party, I do recommend sending her one as well. Perhaps some very diplomatic lines such as “…having you at my wedding insured the evening was memorable…” or “…in addition to gaining a husband, my wedding allowed me to see my true friends…” Whatever you decide to write, do make it short and positive. As I am fond of saying, two rudes don’t make a right!

Wedding Thank You Note Timing

Question: How long do I have before I must send my thank you notes?

Answer: It is best to send your thank-you note as soon as you can, within a week if possible. Princess Diana is said to have written her thank-you notes each evening before bed. While you probably don’t need a daily routine, some discipline is helpful, particularly with those notes which are difficult to write, as when you don’t know the addressee well. Having stationery you enjoy using, a comfortable pen, and a store of stamps can help, along with a designated writing desk and good light. Soon you will find yourself writing notes for no reason at all.

While you should try to send thank-you notes within a week or two, “better late than never” certainly applies. If you’re a month or more late, still send your note, but make it particularly thoughtful. There’s no need to waste space with excuses because there are none — just apologize and carry on. Your recipient will be just as delighted to get your note.

You really should have them mailed directly after the wedding. But, it is better to send them now than to never thank your guests. Write them all a personal note inside. This will help to show that you have given them some thought.

Components of the Thank-You Note

Question: What are the main components for a good thank you note?

Answer: 

  • Address the giver: Dear Mr. and Mrs. Henderson, or Dear Mary
  • Express your gratitude (be very specific): Thank you so much for the full set of silver cutlery.
  • Discuss how you plan to use the gift or how much the gesture means to you: Mention how you intend to use the gift and compliment it in some way.
  • Mention your relationship to the giver: It was great seeing you at the wedding, and we hope to see you again this spring at the reunion.
  • Reiterate your gratitude: Thank you again for your kind gift.
  • Regards. Sincerely….

Gifts from Children. Do I Still Send a Thank You Note?

Question: Is is appropriate to write a thank you note for a child who purchased me a wedding gift? My ring bearer chose to use his allowance to purchase me a shower gift and a wedding gift. They were small, but so sweet. For the shower, because it was rather informal, I just wrote him a small note inside his mother’s thank you card. But as the wedding was a more formal affair, would it be appropriate to write his is own thank you note for his wedding gift?

Answer: Awww, I loved hearing about this young man. I think it would be wonderful for the ring bearer to receive his very own thank you note. What better way to bolster his self esteem and encourage his generosity and fine manners? Kudos to him, his parents and to you.

Answer 2: Anyone who gives you a wedding present deserves their own thank you note, no matter who they are or of what age. This is how proper etiquette is learned by the younger generation – by example. That goes for the shower too. Not following these guidelines shows a lack of true gratitude, a strong value which needs to be reinforced whenever possible. Seems like a golden opportunity to me. I hope this helps.

Appropriate Wedding Thank You Cards

Question: Hello! I am planning to send thank you cards to my wedding guests soon. Is it a must to buy thank you cards that are personalized on the front (e.g., couple’s photo, couple’s names, etc.) or is it okay to buy cards that are not personalized and that simply have “Thank You” already printed on them? Of course, I am planning to write a personal note inside the card; I just want to know what is appropriate on the outside!
Is it alright for both bride and groom to sign their names inside the card (i.e., Many Thanks, Jane and John) or is it normally just the bride who signs her name (i.e., Many Thanks, Jane)?

Answer: The cards could be in any form you choose including pre-made cards,personalized stationery or even blank paper. As long as you write a personal message and sign it yourselves it’s appropriate. Both bride and groom should sign since the gift is to them both and they are both saying thanks.

Answer 2: Email thank yous are like a slap in the face to those who took the time and money to give a gift. It’s just not done by thoughtful people. However, we may change that type of thinking in the future due to more of a “green” approach. But, for now, we handwrite (yes even those of us with bad handwriting) and send these via snail mail.

Thank You Card Wording for Bridal Party

Question: I am working on writing thank you cards to my bridal party and am looking for some wording examples. I don’t know exactly what I should write. I want to thank them for being our groomsmen/bridesmaid, and for being apart of our day, but what else should be said? Thank you!

Answer: Typically you’d mention your appreciation of their time, service and friendship. Try to come up with individual examples of how each individual helped make your day complete. Thank them for any gifts they gave and mention any gifts by name, including how the gift will be used and/or enjoyed.

Really Late Thank You Notes

Question: My daughter just informed me that she discovered a box of thank you notes that were written but not mailed. Looks like most of her thank you’s They have been married now for two years. Do they mail them as is? Re-write them with an apology? Ignore the situation, and not worry about it? Her husband seems to feel it’s embarassing and wants to send a “generic letter” (like a Christmas letter) rather than a thank you – what do you think?

Answer: This is embarrassing[crazy]. It may be best to open each letter and include a little note about the mix up. The tape on each envelope will help each recipient understand that there was a mix up. It is better to send the real thank you notes than a generic letter to explain. People made an effort to give them heart felt gifts.

Combine Shower Thank You Notes with Wedding Thank You Notes

Question: We recently had a couples shower where we received gifts from those attending (and some from those who could not attend). In addition, we received a large group wedding gifts from the majority of the couples attending and not attending, which they had us open at the shower in addition to the shower gifts. Can I write one thank you note for both the shower gift and the wedding gift to each couple? We are having a large wedding and any time I can save on writing thank you notes would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: Absolutely not. These people are very generous by giving you two gifts–shower and wedding. Each guest should receive a personalized, thoughtful, handwritten thank you note for each gift. Those who did not attend were not obligated to give a shower gift. So, that is very special. With more and more couples choosing the gift-less shower, it is even more important to display thanks when a shower gift is given. After all, they will more than likely be giving a wedding gift as well.

Should I Send Thank You Cards to Wedding Guests Who Gave No Gift?

Question: Do I need to send a thank you card to the guests that attended both the ceremony and reception, but did not send a present? What about the guests who came to the ceremony but not the reception and again, no gift? If yes, what wording is recommended for this type of thank you card?

Answer: Thank you notes are only required for those who gave gifts.