Etiquette Corner: Thanking your guests

By Paula Paradis

Your family, friends, and wedding guests went to great lengths and expense to choose a gift for your wedding. Acknowledging their thoughtfulness in a personalized note, is the least you can do. This handwritten note of appreciation, written in honor of every gift you receive, is a heartfelt and courteous gesture despite an in-person thank you.

The most important thing about writing thank-you notes is to do it promptly. Acknowledge:

  • A gift received before the wedding within two weeks
  • A gift received on your wedding day within a month of your return from the honeymoon
  • A gift received after the wedding day within a month of its arrival.

For a gift given by a large group — eight or more people — it is acceptable to write one thank you note. However, thank each individual giver in person when you see them. When you receive a single gift from several relatives, co-workers or close friends, you should still write each one a thank-you note.

Follow these three-steps to writing thank-you notes:

  • Name the gift: “Thank you for the lovely vase.”
  • Describe how you’ll use the gift: “It looks lovely on our dining room table. Right now it is holding some beautiful roses from our garden”
  • Add a personal thought or two about your wedding or your relationship with the giver: “It meant so much to us to have you there, sharing our wedding day.”

Remember that writing thank you notes is just the process of putting your thoughts on paper.  Think about the gift and the fond memories of the giver. Write those notes together. When they’re done, treat yourselves to a special evening.


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