After you’ve shared your wedding vows, said “I do” and danced the night away, you and your partner are ready to ride the wave of wedded bliss. But one important task is still waiting: your wedding thank you cards. While your wedding day was all about you two, it’s important to say thank you to the loved ones who celebrated with you. Wedding thank you cards can easily fall by the wayside and it can be hard to get your wedding thank you card wording right. Given all the planning that takes place leading up to your big day, it’s hard to prioritize this important to do after all the fun has passed. But a simple thank you card can go a long way, and we’ve compiled some helpful tips to get you started.
Wedding Thank You Card Tips
Getting started can feel like a big step in itself. To start your thank you card writing process, here are some quick tips:
- Don’t wait until after the wedding – It may seem weird to send thank you cards before your wedding has even happened, but it’s not uncommon for guests to send gifts during your wedding shower or simply leading up to the event. Knocking out thank you cards as the gifts arrive will lessen the volume of cards you have to write after the big day.
- Take advantage of downtime before your honeymoon – If you’re planning to take your honeymoon a few weeks (or months) after your wedding, take the opportunity to send thank you cards then. You’ll be more eager to finish the task and it’ll act as a nice reminder of your big day.
- Purchase your thank you cards ahead of time – When shopping for wedding invitations, go ahead and buy thank you cards in a matching theme or set. That way when you’re ready to write them you’re not waiting for a card shipment to arrive.
Wedding Card Thank You’s Step-by-Step
It may seem unnecessary to follow a how-to on how to write a card, but getting yourself started on the right foot will ensure this task doesn’t turn into a chore. Here are some simple steps to make the process a breeze:
Step 1: Organize your wedding guest list
If you had a bridal shower, you or your host may have already started this list for you. If not, start a list now (ideally in an easy to organize spreadsheet) and start collecting who gifted you what along with their important information. Some fields to consider in the spreadsheet include:
- Honoree (Mr., Mrs., Ms., etc.)
- Name (first and last)
- Mailing address
- Wedding gift received
- Special notes
- RSVP status
While this may seem like information overload, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to forget who gifted you what and when once all your wedding gifts start rolling in. For example, if you received personalized champagne flutes from your Aunt, but she was unable to attend your wedding, your card can thank her for the generous gift and say how much you missed her during your special day.
Step 2: Draft your card wording separately
If you’re prone to make spelling errors or other mistakes when writing by hand, it may make sense to draft your card first on a separate piece of paper. This is even more important if you purchased a set amount of cards and would prefer not to waste money on tossing cards out.
Another option is to write your card in pencil versus pen. While less formal, most recipients won’t notice the difference or think less of your card. Even jotting down some key points on paper, like making sure to mention how much their attendance meant to you or how lovely you thought their wedding attire was, will make your card read much smoother.
Step 3: Mix up your thanks based on the recipient
It takes a village to prepare for a wedding. You’ll likely have guests from all stages of your life attending and your thank you cards should reflect those differences. For instance, the thank you cards to your bridesmaids will mention how special your bachelorette party was. On the flip side, a thank you to your pastor or officiant will be slightly more formal.
If you had a large wedding, it may be helpful to have a close family member help you with some of the thank you cards for attendees you don’t have as close of a relationship with. If your mother in law invited her best childhood friend, it’s ok to write a more general thank you for their gift and attendance, mentioning how important it was to your in-laws to have them there.
However, you decide to word your wedding cards, make sure what you write comes from your own voice. Don’t feel pressure to sound different than you normally like to talk.
Step 4: Don’t forget your wedding vendors
It may seem unnecessary to write to your vendors (you paid them to attend!), but a card can mean a lot to wedding photographers, planners, DJs, and more. This is also a perfect time to include a tip to any vendors, if desired. While not standard for the wedding industry, if any of your vendors went above and beyond consider a $50-$100 tip as an extra thanks.
Even if you don’t have the means to include a tip, non-monetary thanks such as a positive review on a wedding-related review site or referring other friends and family to them in the future can mean a lot for a vendor trying to grow their business.
Step 5: Pre-address your wedding thank you envelopes
Because a wedding is an extra special affair, spend some extra time making your envelope appear polished. You can pre-address your envelope by printing the name and address on the front. Or try your hand at wedding calligraphy to make a big impact. Considering purchasing extra special stamps (bonus: many of those stamps include donations to worthy causes through the Postal Service). Even if you don’t plan to do anything fancy, purchasing a quality pen will make the card look even better.
Step 6: Stamp and send!
Once you finish writing your card and addressing your envelope, you’re all set to send them off! If you purchased thank you stationery on special paper, keep in mind you may need to add extra postage to account for the extra weight. You should also purchase extra postage for any international cards you plan to send. If you’re unsure, stop by your local post office to mail the cards as opposed to dropping them in your mailbox.
How to Pick a Wedding Thank You Card Design
If you’re ready to get started, but don’t have your wedding thank you cards selected yet, here are some tips to help you design the best wedding thank you cards:
Buy a Matching Set
If you purchased wedding invitations, oftentimes you can add thank you cards to your wedding suite. Even if you didn’t purchase the thank you cards with your invites, see if your invitations have a matching set available.
Personalize Thank You’s With a Photo
The best way to remember your wedding is through your wedding day photos. In addition to compiling them in a memorable wedding photo album, pick a photo to use in a personalized thank you card. Your guests will love opening their card to see you and your partner’s smiling face. You can even print out specific photos of you and your guest to include in your thank you card.
Choose a General Wedding Theme
If a matching thank you card set isn’t available and your wedding photos will take too long to arrive, it’s ok to pick a different design! Thank you cards can even look totally different from your invitations, but it does make things easier to pick a complementary design. For example, if you had a rustic barn wedding, a chalkboard style wedding thank you card would be a perfect match.
Don’t Stress Over the Send Date
Customarily, you should try to send thank you cards within three months of your wedding taking place. As we mentioned, it’s also perfectly acceptable to write your thank you before your wedding even happens! Even if your cards are sent outside the three-month window, your guests will appreciate being recognized as part of your big day.
If you’ve already sent out save the date cards, consider sending editable announcements to your guest list. When customizing these cards, you can change the text from “save the date” to “We’ve changed our date!” and “details to follow” to spark the excitement of your new virtual wedding date. Plus, if you have to change the date of your big day, Shutterfly will reprint any event-based cards you create with us for free, honoring our Date-Change Promise. For help with creating and editing cards, follow our Personalizing Cards guide.