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Thank you note etiquette

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lover in athens

Brilliant_Rock
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May 21, 2006
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Well...we got our first official wedding gift today!!! VERY exciting stuff. However...I''m wondering what the proper etiquette is to do regarding Thank you notes. The wedding isn''t until June 3rd. Do I write a note right away and thank them (so then they know that the gift arrived)? Do I wait until after the wedding? We haven''t even sent out the official invites yet so I don''t even know if they will be coming to the wedding or not...which does change things a bit. If i KNEW they weren''t coming, then I guess it would be more appropriate to write the note now??

Yikes!! I never knew how confusing all this stuff could be.

Thanks!
 

biblobaggins23

Shiny_Rock
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Nov 25, 2006
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the etiquette is to write a thank you note right away when you receive a gift. don't wait.
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Yes, don''t wait. I didn''t know the etiquette and I figured I wasn''t supposed to write notes till after the wedding, but lots of people called and emailed to see if the gifts ever arrived (before the wedding!) so I''d suggest writing them right away.
 

Fancy605

Brilliant_Rock
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First of all, Bilbo, I love the Avitar.

Anyway, I agree, typical etiquette suggests that you write a thank you note rigth away. You may even want to include in it how excited you are to recieve your first official wedding gift. (I know that''s got to be SO FUN!) Not only is writing right away is a nice gesture, bit it ALSO saves you from being overwhelmed and having to write TONS of notes all at once if you do it as the gifts roll in.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
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11,016
I wrote notes as soon as the gifts came and I kept meticulous notes on what it was and when I sent the note. I had stationery with my maiden name on it which I used before the wedding, and I always said WE in the note, but did not want to use my married name til after the wedding. After I had notes with both of our names and just mine but now with my married name (I love stationery) and used one or the other of those. I just would tell you keep on top of note writing, it gets so tedious if you do not, and there is nothing like getting a timely note from a bride to be!
 

KristyDarling

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Better to not wait, even if the invites haven''t gone out yet. I''d thank them heartily for their thoughtfulness and then end it with something like, "I really hope you can make it to the wedding...invitations forthcoming!"
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
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I got a very early wedding gift and sent them a note right away. I thought they might think I forgot or didn''t get the gift if I waited or that I would forget.
That being said we went to TWO weddings in Dec and have yet to recieve a thank you
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 17, 2006
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Date: 3/19/2007 11:01:21 PM
Author: Fancy605

You may even want to include in it how excited you are to recieve your first official wedding gift.
We got our first gift in January (wedding isn''t until OCTOBER!) and we were ecstatic! I made sure that I mentioned that in the note! And I said something about how glad I was they were coming to the wedding (because they already told me they are). I think you definitely have to write them as they come in because it''s just so much easier to keep track that way. I listed the gift and the thank you note sent date in my guest list spreadsheet so I not only will know who it was from, but that they were indeed properly thanked.

My FSIL actually gave us blue notecards for Christmas that have our first names on them, which was perfect timing for that Thank You note. She said she wanted me to be able to use them before the wedding. And blues are our colors. I was so impressed by her thoughtfulness on that.
 

lover in athens

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 21, 2006
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Thanks everyone for all the input. Nice to have a question that has a true consensus answer! My invites and thank you notes should be arriving any day so I will even have the correct stationary on which to send the note asap (we decided to just do first names for our stationary).
THanks again!
 

lover in athens

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 21, 2006
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551
Ok...just realized I have another question for my etiquette gurus...
When I write the thank you notes, is it proper to say "WE are so thrilled...." and then sign it DH AND LIA, or should I write "DH and I are so thrilled" and then just sign my name??

Again, who knew this would be so complicated?!
 

Blenheim

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 27, 2006
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I''m pretty sure that you''re just supposed to sign your name, but encorporate both of you into the note. Example:

Dear Aunt Mary,

FI and I are thrilled with the exquisite vase you sent us. It looks beautiful on our dining room table, and we''re both so excited to receive our first wedding gift. (etc etc)

FI joins me in thanking you for your kindness. We hope that we''ll see you at our wedding in June!

With love,

LIA
 

jcrow

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 8, 2005
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i agree with Blenheim. that''s what i was told as well. also... i was told to address the note to the lady of the house. so it would be:

outside:

mrs. so and so
address

inside:

mrs. so and so,

fi and i thank you for....

warm regards,
jcrow
 

njc

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
1,997
Date: 3/20/2007 1:00:30 AM
Author: Tacori E-ring
That being said we went to TWO weddings in Dec and have yet to recieve a thank you
Have you bet... end of October and still nothing.

Lover - I say send it out if it makes it easier for you! Personally, I didnt, but made sure to let people know I got their gift in some way (email, phone call, telling someone who could tell them). Part of my reason for delaying was my mother thought it improper for me to send out thanks yous on our married stationary when we werent. I used all my personal stationary with shower gifts... guess we should have thought about getting gifts early when we ordered thank yous and planned accordingly!
 

biblobaggins23

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2006
Messages
227
A while ago, i read an etiquette book for brides which contained a section about writing thank you notes.this is what the lady who wrote it said, so since then its become practice for me to do when i have received gifts. its really complicated, but its just how etiquette is. in essence she said that thank you notes are always personal, never formal like business letters. this is her advice.

when addressing the inside of a letter to a person or couple, address that person or couple depending on YOU AND/OR FIANCE'S, personal relationship with that person or couple. what makes addressing a person formal or informal in a personal note like a thank you note, depends on your relationship with that person. (as a side note, i used her advice by keeping a list of the people who sent me gifts and put my personal relationship with that person next to their name. i marked "fiance" "me" "inlaws friends" "inlaw family" "parents friends" "my family" so when i sent them a thak you letter, properly addressing their thank you note was a no-brainer).

when addressing the inside of a thank you note, it should ALWAYS be personal and start with "Dear" regardless of your lack of personal closeness to that person or couple. the lady said that not using "dear" shows a lack of thoughtfulness or appreciation.

ALWAYS sign the thank note personally minus last names. that meaning, sign it your name and your fiance's first name which you go by, or your shortened first name or a nickname. for example, if everone calls you jill, but your birth name is jillian, sign it jill. if your fiance's birth name is jackson, but everyone calls him "jack" then sign it "jack" if your first name is robert but you go by paul, sign it paul. if you receive a gift after you get married, then your thank-you note should still be signed "jack and jill" or "jill and paul" minus your last name because your last name is noted on the envelope and listing your last name is not personal. plus, you want to act like they know you already even if you may not know them too well.

if either you or your fiance are personally close to a person or couple, or even it its your fiance's family members or his friends and you don't know them or vice-versa, don't use "mr." and "mrs." for example, if you get a gift sent by a married couple who are your or your fiance's close, personal friends or family, though they would formally be addressed, "mr. and mrs. jack wentupthehill", you would write on the thank you note, "dear jack and jill". if they are not married still write "Dear Jack" or "Deal Jill" she says to use their first name or the shortened version of their full first name or the nickname they go by in your letter (if you know it). its basically the same name you would use if talking to them face to face.

she says the times to use "mr." and/or "mrs./miss/or ms." are:

a) if both and fiance are not personally close to with a person or couple
b) your inlaws and parents are close to that person or couple and you and your fiance aren't (she says just like you respect your parents, you respect their relationships, too, and using "mr." and/or "mrs./miss/ms." reflects that
c) you and/or your fiance are close to them, but you and feel uncomfortable calling them by their first name or don't give you permission to use their first name.
d) if it is one of your bosses or one of your fiance's bosses or parents' bosses or fiance's parent's bosses.

use "mr. and mrs. lastname" if they are married because addressing them "mr. and mrs. jack wentupthehill" is too formal and impersonal.

if you receive a gift from you or your fiance's close friends and family, and they sign a card listing their names and the names of their children as contributors, then it is appropriate to acknowledge the children and address it "jack, jill, and the first names of their children." if you receive a gift signed, "upthehill family" and they didn't list the names of their children, address the letter, "dear jack, jill, and family". if you receive a gift from your parents' or inlaws' friends or if its a person you aren't close to or one of the reasons to use "mr." and/or "mrs./miss/ms" then use that.

generally speaking, says that a good rule of thumb is that the very formal way you address a person or couple on a wedding invitation is not necessarily the way you would address them in thank you notes.

her words of advice:

- she says that a good way to divide thank you notes up is to have your fiance or husband write letters to people he knows that send gifts (unless his writing is really really bad) and you can write thank you notes to people you know.
- never use e-mail.
- she says a good way to get your husband or fiance to help out is to remind him that the gifts are not for the bride, but for both of you since your names are jointly on the registry. therefore, if possible, a joint responsibility should be taken when writing the notes. its not soley a bride's responsibiity.
- **she says that etiquette allows up to 2 years for guests to send a gift after the wedding, but that does not give you two years to write a thank you note.**

with regards to the outside envelope, she didn't really touch on that, but i would assume she would recommend the same format on the inside

sorry about any spelling/grammar errors, i can't find my glasses today.


hope that helps you as much as it helped me!
 
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