Last Updated: Apr 20, 2017
Congratulations, mister and missus! If your big day was more special than you could have ever hoped, you have your nearest and dearest around you to thank.
You know it’s proper etiquette to send wedding thank you cards, but you might be searching for the perfect words to express your gratitude.
Here’s your guide with all the rules of thumb and wedding thank you wording ideas to help you convey appreciation to family, friends, generous gift-givers and everyone who contributed to your special day.
Read through our Wedding Thank You Cards Etiquette Guide or skip to the sections you need now:
- Who Receives a Thank You Card?
- When to Send Wedding Thank You Cards
- What to Write in Wedding Thank You Cards
- Sincere Wedding Thank You Card Messages & Examples
- Wedding Thank You Cards for Money
“A handwritten thank you card is the sincerest way to acknowledge that someone spent time or money – or both – to help celebrate finding your forever soul mate,” says award-winning luxury wedding planner Sara Fried, of Fête Nashville.
With the help of Sara and her team at Fête Nashville, we’ve created this guide with tips on when to send wedding thank you cards and how to write personalized notes that will thank and appreciate each guest for bringing a gift to your wedding.
Who Receives a Thank You Card?
“Writing a note takes time and effort and the recipient is well aware of that, making the experience that much more enjoyable and exciting,” says Sara.
You’re going to want to make sure everyone who deserves a card receives one.
“It is important to make a list of people who helped make each aspect of your wedding special and memorable,” suggests Sara.
Here’s a list of people you should thank who either brought a gift to your wedding or helped you plan your big day:
- Any guest who gives you a wedding gift should receive a thank you card. A wedding gift includes an item, money, or a donation.
- Anyone who’s helped with the wedding planning process. There are many ways to help a bride and groom prepare for their wedding day, from going dress shopping with the bride-to-be, to helping create the wedding party favors. Don’t forget to thank everyone who’s helped you bring your dream wedding to life.
- The hosts of the wedding. They helped finance one of the most important days of your life, but they also stood by your side as you said “I do.” Appreciate the hosts of your wedding day with a thoughtful letter of gratitude and a gift.
- Your wedding party. This wonderful group of friends and family made it to the VIP list, but not without proving their love through a variety of duties. Thank them for whatever part they played in the wedding festivities, even if it was just being patient during a full day of picture taking.
- Your parents. Even if they didn’t host your wedding, chances are your parents helped plan or support your wedding activities. Thank them for their love and support and make sure to be specific about the positive ways they’ve influenced your life.
- Wedding planner and vendors. “After your wedding, don’t forget to thank your planner and all the vital vendors who helped make your dream wedding vision come to life,” says Sara. “Trust me, they are unbelievably grateful. All the vendors we collaborate with – florists, bakers, lighting, rentals – they all have thank you notes hanging on walls in their offices.”
- Any guest at your wedding. Not everyone is able to bring a gift to your wedding. But the fact that they came and celebrated with you should be enough to show their support.
When to Send Wedding Thank You Cards
When should newlyweds send wedding thank you cards? Write and mail wedding thank you notes as soon as possible after the wedding or within three months of when you receive the gift.
“Thank you notes should be written within two weeks of receiving a gift and within three months of the wedding,” says wedding planner Sara Fried. “It is perfectly acceptable to write thank you notes for wedding gifts as you receive them, even if it’s before the wedding.”
Follow this timeline to help you prepare, write, and send out wedding thank you cards:
- Keep a detailed record of the gifts. With your master guest list handy, add a column for gifts. The best way to keep a record of who brought what item is to bring this list with you when you open your wedding gifts. One person can open the gifts, and the other can write down the details.
When recording the gifts, be specific. Include the item as well as the color or any details that will help you write personal thank you cards. If you receive money, write down the amount. While you will not have to include the amount in the thank you card, it will help you choose the appropriate adjective. We’ve included sample wedding thank you notes for money
- Order proper wedding thank you stationery. There are many ways to say thank you: In person, on the phone, in an email, on a store-bought card. However, the proper way to say thank you for a wedding gift is by sending personalized wedding stationery.
You may want to purchase your wedding thank you cards around the same time you buy the rest of your wedding stationery. The style of the thank you cards doesn’t have to match your wedding stationery, but can still reflect your personal style and taste.
A Word on Photo Wedding Thank You Cards
One design option couples today opt for is a thank you card featuring professional photographs of the wedding day. Photo wedding thank you cards can be stunning and thoughtful, making instant keepsakes guests love.
If you plan to send out photo thank you cards, coordinate the timing with your photographer. Most photographers take up to eight weeks to deliver final photos, which leaves little to no time to send them out before the three month deadline. Instead, ask the photographer to send you a few great images in advance of the final collection.
- Spread out the work. Even if you’re thrilled about writing thank-you notes, you might need more than a single evening to finish the task. Designate a few days for the job and split up the list with your spouse.
- Buy a good-quality pen. Find a pen that glides easy on the stationery. Try out a few gel pens, markers and calligraphy pens to find one that works for you.
- Have fun. Writing thank you notes shouldn’t be a chore. Instead, make it fun by designating a thank you cards date or party. Sara recommends couples add their personality to their notes, so they don’t seem “canned or stuffy.” Other tips for a fun night? “It helps to open a bottle of wine and turn on the movie Bridesmaids in the background.”
What to Write in Wedding Thank You Cards
You’re thankful for each wedding gift, so what is the best way to put wedding thank you sayings in a card?
“The idea of the thank you note is to be thoughtful, not lengthy,” says Sara.
“Acknowledge the gift and how you are looking forward to using it in your new life together. It could be cash and you are excited about spending it on your honeymoon or a down payment for a home. Or thank someone for a coffee maker to help make your mornings easier,” she says.
Here, a few guidelines on what to include in your note for heartfelt wedding thank you sayings:
- The name of the giver. If the gift was a group effort, write a separate thank you note for each person in the group.
- Express your gratitude for the specific gift. Whether you’re writing wedding thank you cards for money or gifts, express your gratitude for the gift and name the specific item. “Thank you so much for the awesome mixer.”
“With cash gifts, it is not appropriate to acknowledge the amount of money, but to acknowledge that it is appreciated,” says Sara.
- Express your feelings about the gift. Here is where you can elaborate about how you feel about the gift and/or how you will use it. “I’m really looking forward to using the mixer to make some yummy desserts.” If you received a monetary gift, you can tell them how you plan to use the funds.
- Stay in touch. If they are a close family member or friend, you can write about the next time you hope to see them again, or let them know it was great to see them at the wedding.
- Choose an appropriate closing. They type of letter closing you pick depends on the gift giver. If the guest was a close friend or family member, choose a warm letter closing such as “Best Wishes,” “Always,” or “Much Love.” For coworkers and formal friendships, consider “Kindest Regards,” “Thank you,” or “Sincerely.”
Sincere Wedding Thank You Card Messages & Examples
To help you figure out what to write on wedding thank you cards, we’ve included a few sample notes for family members, friends, and formal acquaintances, such as coworkers and business associates.
Use the appropriate wedding thank you cards template as a starting point for sincerely crafted wedding thank you wording.
Sample 1: Close Family Member
Dear Aunt Pam,
Thank you so much for the crystal glassware set. Dan and I loved it and plan to use it when we host dinner parties this coming holiday season.
Thanks again for the gift, as well, of all of your love and support for our marriage. We’re looking forward to having you over for dinner soon.
Mary and Dan White
Sample 2: Close Friend
Thank you so much for the blue and white bath towels you bought for our wedding. Dan and I absolutely loved them and use them every day. They perfectly match our bathroom décor — thanks again!
We also want to thank you for coming to our wedding and helping us celebrate such an important day. Let’s get together soon. A lunch or dinner date would be fun!
Mary and Dan
Sample 3: Coworker
Thank you so much for the gift certificate you brought for our wedding. Dan and I really appreciate the gift and hope to go shopping for some home décor items to complete our new apartment.
It was great to see you at our wedding! See you soon.
Wedding Thank You Cards for Money
Dear Tim and Susan,
Thank you so much for the generous wedding gift. Dan and I really appreciate your love and support. We hope to use the funds to fix up our new home.
It was great to celebrate with you at our wedding. We hope to see you soon, most likely at Mason’s graduation next month.
Mary and Dan
Personalized Wedding Thank You Cards
When heartfelt and personal, a handwritten thank you card expresses your thanks and tells your guests how you plan to use the gift. Shutterfly® carries a wide selection of photo wedding thank you cards available in various themes, styles and color palettes. View our selection to find perfect thank you stationery that expresses your grati