Avoid These 10 Common Thank You Note Errors
Avoid these common mistakes that can turn your thanks into thuds.
There are few things that stress newlyweds out more than thank you notes. There are just so many of them to write out for different gifts. Couples worry about coming up with wording that is genuine and truly expresses their gratitude.
Tackle this wedding task with ease and confidence by avoiding these common blunders:
Getting the names wrong.
Nothing is worse than writing a thank you note to guests you don’t know very well and spelling their names wrong! If their names aren't clear on the wedding gift card, check back to your master invitations list or contact a loved one who can help provide the correct spelling.
Writing generic messages.
Always avoid using the phrase "Thanks for your generous gift," which sounds like something you would see on a greeting card. Instead, personalize your note by telling your guests how you'll use the gift, if it reminds you of a great family memory or if it was your favorite item on the registry. Honor their generosity with a well-thought out message. You could even take it a step further and thank them for a special moment that you shared with them at the wedding.
Ignoring plus ones.
Your thank you notes should always address both recipient's names. If you didn't find out their guest's name during the invitation stage, do a little research. Bob Smith's date probably signed the wedding card that came with your gift. If she didn't, it's perfectly fine to call Bob and ask him for the correct spelling. They’ll both be glad to get the co-addressed thank you note.
Forgetting about their children.
If a gift comes from a family with kids, be sure to list all of the childrens' names in your thank you card. If their wedding card doesn't include all of them (sometimes guests are informal and write "...and family" or "and the girls") give the parent a call for the full list and correct spellings. Every family, especially large, extended families, has an in-the-know relative with all of the details you can touch base with.
Forgetting guests weren’t actually there.
Some people send gifts even if they can't attend the wedding. When you're writing thank you notes, don't lose focus and thank them for their presence at your special day when they weren't actually able to make it. You would be surprised how often this happens! This can be tricky if you have a large guest list and some of the names are unfamiliar to you. We suggest that you always check the card that came with the gift to see if they wrote any hints as in, "Wish we could have been there!" If not, then check with your parents or spouse regarding that particular guest's presence or lack thereof. If it's still unclear, skip the "presence" part and just focus on their generosity.
Focusing on the money.
Although your guests may have been generous, it's a big no-no to gush about the cash value in your note (for example..."Thank you for your gift of $200"). People, not gifts, should always come first: Focus instead on your gratitude for their support and say how terrific it was to spend time with them at the wedding. We recommend that you also share what their gift will be used for (guests LOVE hearing this part), such as the down payment on your dream home or a special honeymoon adventure. However, DO NOT tell them that you are using their gift to pay off a crushing credit card debt. Guests prefer to hear that they're making a dream come true for you, not digging you out of a hole.
Create a plan for all of your guests when it comes to enclosing photos into your thank you notes. You can't enclose wedding portraits in some notes but not all. You simply cannot show favoritism towards those who were able to give larger cash amounts or nicer gifts. Your loved ones willnotice if someone else receives a "real" wedding portrait and they got a flimsy photocopy or no photo at all.
Sending thank you notes too late.
Yes, we know that sometimes your bridal portraits can take a while to come back from the photographer, but there is absolutely no reason to take 10 months to send your thank you notes. You may have heard that you have up to a year to send them, but guests truly appreciate a speedy response. Aim for sending your cards out within two weeks of your bridal shower and two months of your wedding. If this is difficult for you, always remember that writing your thank you notes for you is one of the many services that we offer!
Typing your thank you notes on the computer.
While it's acceptable to print thank you notes on a computer, always leave room to handwrite your message. This personal touch is the best etiquette, because it shows guests that their gift meant enough to you that you took the time to write out your thank you notes. It's perfectly okay for either you or your husband to sign both names using the same handwriting.
Resorting to electronic thank you notes.
Sure, the graphics on e-cards are cute and it's ridiculously easy to compose a note and blast it out to your guests. However, emails can sometimes get lost or stuck in a spam filter, so don't take the easy way out and steer clear of this over-casualization. Not to mention, its tacky. Your guests devoted a lot of time to your wedding by providing gifts, traveling to your ceremony and reception, and joining in your joy on the dance floor, so devoting a few nights to writing thank you cards is a gesture of gratitude.