The sparklers are done sparkling, everyone has gone home and the honeymoon is over (literally, not figuratively!)….but you aren’t done, not yet!
You had a great day, filled with laughter and memories to last a lifetime, right? That’s because you were surrounded (hopefully) by people you truly care about and love, and they love you too. Why else would they make the effort to attend and spend the time and money finding that perfect gift for Team Newlywed? You appreciate them and they should know that in the best way possible.
Sending thank you notes is one of the last truly “old school” etiquette rules that should NEVER be shrugged off. Not an e-mail or a mental shout out ( “Aunt Boo knows I love her and the toaster she gave us”), but an honest to goodness, handwritten (YES, handwritten, even if your handwriting isn’t the best- this is one of those places where the effort means more than the aesthetics), “you’re the greatest and our big day wouldn’t have been the same without you” THANK YOU.
In case you haven’t guessed, the “mental shout out” and pre-printed, simply fill in the guest’s name forms of “thank you” would be the “tacky” referred to in the title of this post.
You can do a few things to make the process easier and more enjoyable.
Let me preface this by saying that these suggestions do not necessarily completely follow proper “Emily Post” bridal “thank you note rules”. For example, “proper” thank you notes are simple white or ivory cards with your names or monogram. That’s beautiful and traditional, but I don’t see a problem with putting a little more character in your card choice! In my etiquette world, pretty flowers and gorgeous fonts are just fine (and solid white or ecru, while lovely, is just a little bit boring).
With that in mind, here are my nuggets of wisdom…
1. Choose notes that you like to look at, because you will be looking at them for awhile.
2. The Goldilocks theory: choose cards that are just right in size. You don’t want them too big, because you’ll feel the need to write enough to fill ’em up. That’s a lot of words (or, if you are like me, awfully big writing) on a 5″ x 7″ card (and then multiply that by 50 or even 100). Not so small that your hand cramps from writing so tiny. This one is relative, however, because we all naturally have different natural writing styles. There is a card out there that is “just right” for you. Take the time to find it.
3. Be sincere. Write to Aunt Boo like she was sitting across the table from you. If you and Aunt Boo joke with each other, loosen up and share a funny tidbit. If Aunt Boo is more reserved (but honestly, how could she be if her name is Aunt Boo? ), keep it simple.
If Aunt Boo is your partner’s biological Aunt and lives 2000 miles away, then enlist your partner to write to Aunt Boo. Yes, that is allowed, encouraged even. Thank you writing should be an equal opportunity task. No newlywed is immune.
4. To make things easier, each “thank you” should have a similar basic outline, making sure to cover the following things (and once you have written about 10 of these, it will be easy-peasy) :
*Address you guest personally….
Dear Aunt Boo and Uncle Cecil,
*specifically mention the wonderful gift that Aunt Boo gave you (if it’s a monetary gift, do not be specific about the amount. “Generous gift” is a good way to put it without the $$ signs)…
“Thank you so much- the six slice toaster you gave us is fantastic!”
*Tell Aunt Boo how you will use it…
“John loves his whole wheat, peanut butter and nanner toast every morning and with your gift, he can have as many slices as he wants in the same amount of time. We will think of you every time we use it.”
*how much you appreciate that they shared such an important day with you and something personal, if you can…
“We truly enjoyed seeing you and Uncle Cecil at our wedding. I will always remember the smile on his face as I was walking down the aisle.
Once again, thank you for sharing the best day ever with us.
Mary and John”
It’s as easy as that! Obviously, I exaggerated a bit above, but the basic idea is there.
Last but not least, aim to be have all of your thank you notes sent within two months after the ceremony.
Remember, the longer you put them off, the less likely you are to actually send them. Aunt Boo may love you forever, but she will never forget if you don’t thank her for that toaster.
Until next time,