Easy Wedding Thank You Card Wording Templates


Yes, you have to send them. No, you don't have to write them from scratch.

by Stephanie Kaloi

Pile of thanks you cards with text "wedding thank you card wording"

Now that we’ve established that you obviously have to write wedding thank you cards, I figured it was only fair to give you a wedding thank you card wording. Because while it’s easy for wedding thank you cards to feel like one of those overwhelming and anxiety producing tasks, they don’t have to be. As long as you can muster up a few heartfelt words, you can use the same wedding thank you card wording over and over (and we’ll even give it to you).

But first, we need to take a moment for a Very Very Important Public Service Announcement. Full stop, when it comes to setting up a time and space in which to craft these little missiles of gratitude, it is hyper important to remember that this is the responsibility of both partners—not just one of you (one of you with lady parts). I am truly not interested in whether or not one of you have bad handwriting or just don’t like to write, because you both got married, and you both saw people there, and you both are hella enjoying that blender, right? Ok. (Actually, I don’t even care if you’re both enjoying the blender or not. You still both have to participate.)  And really, your partner shouldn’t just pick up the pen and writes the notes you tell them to write. They should really try to pick up some of the emotional load, too. AKA, remembering these notes need to be written in the first place.

Now that you and your partner are working on this project together, keep in mind that once you’ve invited your partner to share this task with you, you’ve committed to letting your partner do it the way he or she wants to. That means that while you can lovingly suggest wedding thank you card wording, you can’t demand that it’s used, and you can’t ask someone to split the labor  with you and then micromanage how it’s done. For example, if they send out a note that reads “Thank you for the spoons, I love to use them when I eat cereal” then… that’s what the note says. Splitting this kind of labor early in the game is great practice for the rest of marriage, especially when you welcome the idea that you might do things differently (with different standards) into your life together.

If you’re at this stage of the game, you might find that you need some help with the wedding thank you card wording. Before we dive in, here are a few tips:

DOS AND DON’TS Of WEdding Thank You Card Wording:

  • Be timely: you don’t have to fire off your notes right away, but most people expect a reply within 2-3 months. Also, if you receive gifts before the wedding that it’s more than acceptable to write thank you notes before the wedding, particularly if it helps just get it done.
  • Include everyone (even if they didn’t get you a gift): Listen, it’s not uncommon to have a guest attend but not bring a gift. Sometimes people truly can’t afford to attend the wedding and bring a present, and sometimes they just forget. You don’t have to follow my instructions, but I’d argue that if you’re writing notes at all, write them to everyone. Because that friend who dropped a grand they didn’t exactly have to come to your wedding should be thanked, even if they didn’t also get you a coffee machine.
  • Be  a little detailed: If you’re thanking the recipient for a gift, make sure you mention the item, but…
  • don’t mention exact monetary amounts: …you don’t need to say “Hey, thanks for that $50.” See the template below for help wedding thank you cards for cash gifts.

wedding thank you card Wording

So, for when you have to express gratitude to all 175 of your wedding guests, we bring you wedding thank you note wording. And fear not: wedding thank you cards don’t have to be long—they just have to sound like you mean it.

wording for when they gave you cash gifts

Dear Preston and Cristina,

Thank you so much for attending our wedding! We had the best time, and were so happy you were there. We are so appreciative of your generous gift, and look forward to [adding it to our new car fund, using it to put a down payment on a house, adding it to our honeymoon fund, etc]. Thank you again for joining in the celebration of our marriage.

With gratitude,

Lorelai and Luke

wording for when they gave you physical gifts

Dear Lexie and Mark,

Thank you for coming to our wedding! It truly would not have been the same without all of our family and friends there. We were so happy to receive [the gift], and we look forward to [options: using it for years to come, having it brighten our home for years to come, cherishing it as a beautiful wedding memento, make toast with it, etc].

With gratitude,

Jesse and Cèline

wording for when you’re thanking for attendance only

Dear Anthony and Stanford,

Thank you so much for attending our wedding! It was such a delight to see you after all these years. We wanted to take a moment to send you the warmest well wishes and let you know how happy we were to see you there.

With gratitude,

Rory and Logan

wording for when they send a gift but can’t make it to the wedding

Dear Britney and Christina,

We are so sorry you weren’t able to make it to our wedding. It was a wonderful day, and you were missed. We wanted to make sure we let you know how much we love your gift, and we thank you for sending it.

With gratitude,

Justin and JC

what Was Your Wedding Thank You Card Wording? what do you recommend other couples include—and what should they leave out?

Stephanie Kaloi

Stephanie is a photographer, writer, and Ravenclaw living in California with her family. She is super into reading, road trips, and adopting animals on a whim. Forewarning: all correspondence will probably include a lot of punctuation and emoji (!!! ? ? ?).

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • s

    I still don’t understand how a fill-in-the-blank identical template that’s the same as you sent to everyone else except for the gift itself is somehow much more polite and APPRECIATIVE than a personal conversation over email or text

    • AmandaBee

      Know your crowd I guess. Text/email is generally considered an informal mode of conversation – weddings are formal events, so formal thank-yous are generally expected. I mean, I certainly hope that you’re having informal text/email conversations with the people you love even when they don’t get you presents, that’s just not the same thing as actually taking the time to write a formal thank-you note.

      Will that hold true for everyone? Nope. But to many people it would be a slap in the face to not receive a physical thank-you note. Even to my most casual, laid-back family members who don’t expect thank-you notes for anything else, it’s expected for a wedding. So if you’re going to forego them, I would be very VERY certain that it’s okay with your guests. Because ultimately it’s not about what you think about the note, it’s about what they think.

    • Rachel

      AmandaBee is right – thank you cards are about the guests more than the couple. I agree with you that a well thought out heartfelt email can be very personal and appreciative (although I draw the line at thank you texts for something as formal as a wedding) – but it doesn’t matter how strongly I feel that, the reality is, most of my extended family, many of whom are older, would be hurt by that, because it’s still an informal method of communication to them. Especially to the older generation, a hand-written card that someone has taken the time to write, address, stamp, and bring to the post office, which then shows up as a pleasant surprise in their mailbox one day, will always be perceived as more heartfelt than an email. It’s fair to think that shouldn’t be the case, but the reality is that for now, it is the case. My grandparents, in particular, would have been really, really hurt to not receive a hand-written thank you note from us after our wedding.

    • Amy March

      I mean, you’re certainly always welcome to personalize a thank you note as much as you want! But my take on it is that it is a standard rule- if people send you a wedding gift, and you want to express your thanks in a way no one is entitled to be offended by, you send a physical thank you note in the mail. If you don’t want to do that, go right ahead and pick another way, but know that you are risking insulting at least some portion of your guests who consider texts and email thank yous lazy and informal. If you really want to send a personalized thoughtful thank you, I don’t understand why you can’t write that down in the mail, or if handwriting is prohibitively difficult, type it, print it, sign it, and mail it.

    • Stephanie B.

      Templates work for me because, really, there are a limited number of ways you can say “Thanks for the blender.” And I don’t think of templates as fill-in-the-blank text blocks where literally every single word is the same except for the gift.

      I think of templates more like blueprints for a house: generally, every house is going to have, at the very least, a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a common room like a living room, right? And other houses have more rooms. But not every house on the face of the planet looks precisely the same; they just have the same basic “bones”. And yet, when people talk about “cookie-cutter houses” that look the same, my analogy holds, because, again, there are really a limited number of ways to say “thank you for [whatever gift].”

      So my thank-you notes included: (1) thanks for coming to the wedding [if they were there; if not, then say you missed them at the wedding], (2) thanks for the gift, (3) how you’ll use the gift. (In other words, basically like the templates in the article.) The wording doesn’t have to be exactly the same for every single thank-you note (in fact, it shouldn’t), and it’s certainly easy enough for a hand-written thank-you that follows a general template/structure to still be heartfelt.

      • Bethany

        Agree. There are only so many ways to say thank you, and I don’t think the point is to try to be super creative in each note. This is the same basic structure I use in all my thank you notes (birthdays, Christmas, etc). They are still heartfelt and personal even if the structure is the same for all of them.

        Plus, it’s not like people are comparing thank you notes they received from you. Or at least they shouldn’t be, because that is weird.

  • AmandaBee

    So helpful! I especially like the wording for the cash gift – for some reason those are always the most awkward for me to word (hey – thanks for the cash dollars!). I think it could work for gift cards too.

  • Sarah

    For baby gifts we’re now getting, we will write the note if it’s from our person/family and the other person signs it as well. Especially as some of these gifts are from folks he or I have never met. For people who are equally ours, it seems I end up doing the notes but I kinda like writing notes anyhow. I have the feeling I did most of the note for our wedding (can’t really remember) but I advocate splitting the list. Though if one person’s family/friend group is really large this may not work.

    Also, I heard a story on NPR this weekend about wedding gifts. One bride had a friend who just got laid off but really wanted to get her “something.” The bride asked for a few hours of her friend’s time over tea and cookies to write thank-you notes to the groom’s very large family. Since most of them never met her, they didn’t know her handwriting so obviously this won’t work in every case.

  • Aurélie

    Just wanted to chime in to mention that this is such an American thing… I grew up in France and only learned about thank you notes through US series and movies. We just don’t do it. That’s not part of our culture.

    It made me think about yesterday’s discussion about appropriation and how we can be blind to our own traditions – this is really a typical part of your culture, even though you might not realise it.

    Nothing wrong with it though, and I really like the concept – might even start sending paper thank yous for big occasions and see which reactions I get from my French relatives… I guess that such a lovely (and not faith related) tradiation might be an okay thing to appropriate myself?

    • Rachel

      So true! One thing I found funny when I was getting married was recognizing the subtle differences between my cultural traditions and my now-husband’s. I was born and raised in Canada, in an Irish-background family that has been in Canada for 3 generations. My husband is British, and was born and raised in rural Northern England, and came to Canada with his parents in his early teens. I assumed that our similar ethnic backgrounds would mean our traditions were basically the same – but there was a surprising number of differences!

      The first big surprise was “response cards” – you know those little cards people often include with wedding invitations for people to fill out their RSVP? My now mother-in-law was horrified by the suggestion that we might include them. She thought it was incredibly rude to include them – because it would imply that we don’t think our guests are capable of RSVPing appropriately without a template to follow. I went online and learned that response cards are very much not a thing in the UK (although that is changing now).

      There were other little surprises along the way – the order of the processional is different in the UK, the head table is for the married couple, immediate family and the maid of honour and best man, not the wedding party, etc, etc. It really drove home the fact that we do have distinct cultures!

      • Aurélie

        Yes, in France too, at least in the weddings I’ve been at, the head table was for the couple and their immediate family. Their might be a special table for the wedding party (if there is one – you traditionally only have a couple of “witnesses”) but they’re not at the main one.

      • A.

        Response cards were a problem with my MIL too but for a very different reason — basically, it’s offensive in her specific Latin American culture to ask that people decide whether they are coming or not by a certain time! But then again, technically the invitation itself was seen as offensive too because it implies that the cousin or aunt might NOT have been invited.

        My husband had to have so many discussions with her about how because we’re getting married in the US, we need to follow the US norms for logistical reasons. Admittedly it was often frustrating to me, but in retrospect it was really fascinating and eye-opening insight into my husband’s family’s culture (…husband more identifies as American, but is very, very proud of being first-gen)

        Thank you notes also aren’t a thing there, but everyone was tickled by them…except one of his aunts who thought it implied that we thought there was a chance she *wouldn’t* give us a gift. Can’t win ’em all!

      • Cellistec

        That’s partly why we didn’t use RSVP cards; we just had little cards with an email address and our phone numbers so people could contact us to RSVP directly. At the time I thought, “Come on, we’re all adults here, no one needs a little reply card as a crutch.” But we did end up chasing down several non-respondents who said “I didn’t see a reply card so I didn’t think I needed to RSVP.” As if we were psychic? Well, lesson learned.

  • Amy March

    I often give cash gifts and one wording I see often in thank yous and like is: “Thank you so much for your generous gift. We really appreciate your support as we start our lives together.” If there’s anyone who is think “oh, but ummm I used your cash gift for the rent/car repairs/something that I don’t particularly care to share with you specifically.”

    • TeaforTwo

      I really like that wording! I really struggled with the notes for the cash gifts we received. We put it all the monetary gifts in a separate savings account, and most of it went toward finishing the sets on our registry (a few more place settings, the last 3 champagne flutes etc.) and then the rest went toward things we needed when we moved 6 months later, but I just…didn’t know how to talk about money in a card, basically.

      • Eenie

        With cash I said something about spending it on our future home projects or upgrading our home gym. The actual physical cash is getting spent on groceries at the farmers market.

    • AmandaBee

      This is good too! Particularly helpful for when you decide to just use the cash gifts on something super practical (like sometimes you just need to buy cat litter…)

      • Bethany

        Seriously. Would it be awkward if I register at PetSmart?

        • Eenie

          We got many cat related gifts. A cat scratcher from target (highly recommend target for pet stuff). A window seat from BBB. And a cat shaped candy dish. No one got us the cat treats though. We did get off registry Capri Suns and gushers. If you know your friends would use the pet smart registry, go for it!

        • Sarah

          We registered on Amazon and had a few pet items. Folks got these…got a kick out of it actually.

        • chad

          Bethany, no one likes you…..just cause you work at pet smart and you are marrying one of your many cats doesnt mean all 3 of your friends and family are going to get you something from petsmart.

    • justtme89

      I’m going to have to use this because we used the monetary gifts to help pay off the wedding that we’re in the hole from :(

  • Ha, we totally did all of this, I love that you guys put it in a post. The templates come in handy, especially when you sit down to write a bunch of thank you cards in 1 session.

    Also I know there was some contention about thanking guests who didn’t bring a gift in the last thank you card post – we decided to do it and I’m happy we did. 90% of our guests were from out of town, and I’m sure if they had the choice, a trip to MN in March wouldn’t have been on their vacation list. Also I didn’t want folks to feel like their travel wasn’t appreciated, because it greatly was.

    • Vilmos Kovacs

      So we didn’t think to send non-gift givers a thank you note (which I now feel sort of bad about, but wedding was a few years ago and I can’t turn back the clock). BUT when we got our photos, we went through and noticed so many great photos of friends and family that they may love to have. These weren’t photos with us in them – they were dance floor candid shots or a snap of a family smiling at the cocktail hour). So we printed them out and sent them along with a note thanking whoever was in the photo for coming to our wedding and making it a great party. This meant we ended up sending a lot of people two notes (we didn’t get our photos for 6 months and we had finished thank you notes by then), but it captured a lot of the non-gift giving crowd (younger cousins, friends who made the effort to travel and so on). It was honestly the best idea I have EVER had. People loved it – who doesn’t appreciate photos of themselves and their loved ones in fancy duds? It cost about $300 (getting the prints printed, cards, stamps) and maybe 3 hours of time). And it is the BEST going over people’s homes and seeing these great photos framed on mantles from our special day. And being reminded that it was special to us for our reasons but special to others for other reasons. This may solve the problem for people who feel awkward about sending a thank you note for people’s presence (which I don’t feel, but others expressed in that earlier thread).

      • I love that, such a cute idea!

      • Her Lindsayship

        Our friends who got married a couple years ago did the same – the picture of me and my fiance awkwardly slow dancing at their wedding is one of like three pictures on the wall in our entire apartment. We love it, it’s not like we regularly get professional photos of ourselves so it’s awesome to get that memento from such a fun night!

    • Stephanie B.

      Our guest list was fairly small (~50 people), so I even sent “thank for coming” notes to the people who had already sent gifts before the wedding. (For some, it was also to thank them for the role they played in the wedding, like reading a poem, putting up lights on the patio, etc.)

    • We also sent thank yous to people who didn’t send a gift (and thanked them if they contributed in some other way, like by giving us graphic design help before the wedding), and included photos of them from the photo booth. (We actually did this for everyone because our photography package meant we got all the prints, but one could easily only do it for those who attended but didn’t send a gift.)

  • anon

    “Rory and Logan” I see what you did there Stephanie.

    • Sarah E

      Outraged. “Rory and Jess” or bust.

      . . .ahem. back to your regularly scheduled comment thread.

      • Sara

        Team Jess!

    • MC

      Yeah, not here for Rory and Logan. Although honestly all of her boyfriends were awful…

    • Lisa

      All of the boyfriends were awful in their own ways, but I feel like Logan was the least worst option. I know they’re bringing them all back for the Netflix series, but I hope Rory ends up with someone new and wonderful! (Someone who is like Max Medina…)

      • stephanie

        Logan was ok until the new writers wrecked everything in season 7. The way they ended was so, so awful. I’m still #teamjess forever because… because.

        • Lisa

          Yes, I didn’t like the way that Rory was with anyone, and I felt like her character changed so much when she was dating Logan. However, he genuinely seemed like a decent (if spoiled) human, whereas Dean was way too clingy, and Jess treated her so poorly (even if they were intellectually matched).

          P.S. I’m so happy to be able to discuss this! I just finished watching the series for the first time in December, and apparently most people aren’t interested in rehashing the plot details anymore and acting all surprised like I was.

          • Eenie

            SPOILER ALERT

            I personally loved that Rory didn’t end up with anyone in the finale. #teamnoone It’d be nice if she is with someone new in the new series.

          • Lisa

            My feeling as well! I’d love to have her have met someone on the campaign trail or while working in Washington.

          • AP

            Did you see these set photos!? (Spoiler if you don’t want to know what cast members will be in the new episodes, but I couldn’t resist!) http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/tv/g5708/gilmore-girls-revival-set-photos-seasons/

          • Eenie

            Anyone of note missing?! Sookie and Jackson.

          • AP

            I noticed that too! I wondered if Melissa McCarthy hadn’t filmed her scenes yet. But Hep Alien together again made my heart happy!

          • Violet

            McCarthy isn’t going to be in the reboot…

          • A.
          • Violet

            What the!? This is a great development!!

          • A.

            I KNOW! :D

            ETA: I’m sure it will still be more limited, but STILL. It would have been so incomplete without Sookie!

          • Violet

            Seriously! She was a major Stars Hollow presence!

          • JC

            I’m crying. ALL THE GILMORE GIRLS FEELS.

          • stephanie

            Same! I mean, I am #teamJess, but also agree that I love that she was solo in the finale. I am full stop in it for a Rory wedding in the reboot though. Unapologetically.

          • BDubs

            If she had agreed to marry Logan in the finale, I would have broken the TV. Seriously. Spoiled, selfish, needy manipulators are a NO GO. She was only with him because he was rich and let her live in a fancy apartment…

          • Amy March

            Or because he was exactly like her father whose approval she had craved her whole life, embraced the radical idea that there is a whole world outside Stars Hollow worth knowing about, and treated her as more than an emotionally precocious 12 year old. Apparently, I am #TeamLogan forever? Who knew I still had thoughts about these people!

          • BDubs

            INTERNET FIIIIGHT! :-P

          • Sarah E

            Actually, I think Logan falls into the same theme as Jess did in early years. Both intellectually a match, so they can keep up with her, but both classic rebels. Both got off on the wrong foot with Lorelai immediately, Rory found herself apologizing for both or justifying their actions in some way. I’ll grant you we got the benefit of seeing Jess grow (or seeing that he had grown), whereas we didn’t get that with Logan. But with Logan being shipped off to toe the company line no matter what, I still think he would have been stunted, and not allowed the freedom to keep being a nice human.

          • Bethany

            I hated Logan so much, and you’re right about Dean. Remember when he was kind of a “bad boy” in season 1?! What happened? The Jess Rory dated was obnoxious, but the Jess towards the end of the series was great – when he knocked some sense into her about leaving school and dating a jerk. I would have liked to see her date that adult version of Jess. But I’m mostly hoping for someone new in the Netflix series!

          • Sarah E

            Yes, Jess grew as a person, yay!! I mean for real people, getting back together would be awful but for TV people– they totally need to get back together.

          • Sarah E

            Having watched all seasons so. many. times. it’s fascinating to watch how Dean evolved (or, devolved, really). In their first interactions, Dean could keep up– at least, mostly– with the references and banter. He got dumber and dumber throughout the seasons.

          • Lisa

            Yes! It’s kind of like Eric Matthews in Boy Meets World. He was a normal person for the first few seasons, and then he turned into this complete oaf with no other function than comedic relief. I really disliked the reduction of Dean’s character. (But, gah, did they do such a good job of the devolution of teenage relationships! The writing was so spot on for how Rory and Dean’s relationship deteriorated.)

          • Bethany

            Yes, Eric Matthews was painful to watch at the end. Actually, I think every character got at least a little bit dumber in that show. Except Shawn, who turned super deep? TV shows are weird.

            When GG first aired I didn’t notice the change in Dean as much, but re-watching the series now it’s pretty frustrating. I think the writers did want us to turn on Dean a little bit, like Violet commented above. I’m curious to see what he’ll be like in the reboot! But I’m still team someone new.

          • Violet

            Okay, maybe this is a reach, but you know how, like, your friend is with a guy, and she really likes him. But then a new guy comes along and she starts complaining about her boyfriend and highlighting his faults? Like she’s looking for reasons to not feel as guilty about ditching him to be with the new guy? I think this is what they did to Dean. They wanted Rory to fall for a bad guy, and they wanted the audience to want that, too. So they started chipping away at Dean, however unfairly. Because yeah, he got REALLY dumb by the end, especially considering he supposedly was really into the same things Rory was at the outset.

          • Sarah E

            Oh, totally agree it was pure manipulation. I mean, if you’re going to break them up (necessary for character development), you have to convince the audience it’s a reasonable thing. . .after spending so long convincing us (and Stars Hollow) that he’s good enough for her in the first place.

          • stephanie

            OMG, DEAN. THE WORST THE WORST.

          • Abe

            Have you heard of the Gilmore Guys podcast? Makes me happy that other people out there want to get into the original series, even almost 10 years later! (Also, #Team “None of those guys are good enough for Rory” #TeamLuke #TeamMaxMedina)

          • stephanie

            My friend keeps telling me to listen to this! I plan to once we finish re watching the series.

          • Abe

            Ha, it was recommended to me too! I’m re-watching the series and listening along sporadically – it’s in-depth but super fun.

          • stephanie

            YES. I am all into it and I encourage everyone to KEEP IT COMING because I’ve been trying to convince the APW team to let me write about Gilmore Girls for like three months.

          • Lisa

            OMG, yes, please!!

          • Sarah E

            DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. (Meg, are you listening? #GG4lyfe)

    • stephanie

      I AM #TEAMJESS ALL THE WAY but I’m currently rewatching the show with my kid and when I told him I put Rory and Jess he was like MOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM because he’s #TEAMLOGAN. A house divided, y’all.

      • Sarah E

        Omg, I’m so sorry you have to put him up for adoption now.

        • stephanie

          If it makes you feel better, we got to the episode where Jess comes back to show Rory his book two days ago, and my son was like, “Oh my gosh mom, Jess is the best. He just KNOWS her.”

          • Sarah E

            Whew! I was worried for him as a growing human being.

      • Totch

        Your son is correct, team Logan.

    • stephanie

      also thank you for noticing the names. I’ve been waiting all morning for someone to. ;)

    • BDubs

      I exclaimed aloud when I read Lorelei and Luke, and then Rory and Logan!

  • Keri

    The wording on number 4 rubs me the wrong way just a bit, although it might just be too formal for my tastes. “We are so sorry you weren’t able to make it to our wedding.” I might rephrase it to take the blame off the guest- maybe thanking first, saying how thoughtful it was for them to send a gift even thought they couldn’t attend, and then saying they were missed. Just my take.

    • Lisa

      I don’t really like that line too much either; as you said, it feels like there’s some blame and resentment over the person’s absence. Our notes had something like, “Thank you for the set of awesome knives! We look forward to making many delicious meals together using them. Though we missed having you with us at the wedding, we know you were there in spirit! We look forward to seeing you at Christmas, etc. (as applicable).”

      • Megan

        I love the “you were there in spirit” line.

  • Caitlin

    This is super helpful! I also agree with Amy’s amendment; for cash gifts I’ve used “we will use your generous gift to help start our life together” without specifics listed while writing my bridal shower thank yous. It can be really hard to know what funds are being used for at the time of writing thank you notes. The only other addition I’ve had (which might speak to those wanting more personalization), is that I’ve also included thank yous on how the person supports us generally/in the wedding/is a role model. For example, for my older brother and sister in law who are both in the wedding party, I wrote a particular thank you for being in the wedding and how much I look up to them and am inspired by their example, in addition to thanking them for the gift. It helped me feel like my thanks were more personalized/heartfelt, while still following a general template.
    One question for the group, I know it’s acceptable to send a thank you before the wedding if the gift arrives early, but is it expected? I received a couple of gifts from those who can’t attend right after receiving their decline rsvp and with everything else, I’ve waited to open the presents/send thank yous and I hope I’m not being inadvertently rude.

    • Eenie

      You don’t have to but it is nice to know the gift arrived. If we didn’t write a note we sent a quick text thank you so they wouldn’t worry.

    • Amy March

      I think its preferable to send them shortly after the gift arrives, if you can. That way they know you received the gift. I don’t think its a huge problem or anything, especially if gifts are arriving close to the wedding, but if it’s more than a month or so in advance I think its better to send right away.

  • Notreallytrevor

    My sister and BIL sent the loveliest thank you letters. We’re talking an A4 letter full of text, detailing the jobs that they appreciated me and my partner doing in the run up to and at their wedding, their gratitude for us attending all 3 of their receptions and thanking us for their gift. As well as pictures of us and is with them from the day and old school records that had meant to be their invites (it was my BIL’s job to sort the invites, he didn’t, my sister let it go, we still all showed up!). They mailed it, which costs a bomb over here, even though they live 8 minutes away on foot. We had no idea it was coming even though we communicate fairly regularly and I have to say it was the loveliest surprise, genuinely felt like a present in return.
    Conversely I was MOH for one of my oldest friend, dug out for her leading up to the day and on the day of and got her equally lovely gifts. She sent no written thank you note but told me in person over a glass (bottle) of wine celebrating it was all over (it hadn’t been the easiest wedding) how grateful she was for the support and presents, TBH we both got a bit teary.

    I don’t think either form of thanks was higher than the other. My sister and BIL probably only had 20 thank you letters to write but it was still and immense effort. My BF wrote at least 40 to the olds who expected one but took a more casual approach with others. As long as you are genuinely grateful and appreciative I don’t think it really matters. Let’s let each other off the hook and allow people to show thanks in their own genuine way.

  • knolan12

    Just to reiterate the importance of thank you note: I was in both of my brothers weddings and purchased gifts. The first wedding, I was a senior in college and the $60 I spent on the gift was pretty hefty with my limited funds. The second wedding, I got a personalized sign made for them and a big Home Depot gift card (they just bought a house).

    NEITHER sent thank you notes or even acknowledged my gifts! The first brother mentioned the gift recently (FIVE YEARS LATER) and I told him I didn’t even know they got it. I had to ask the second brother if they got my gift. He told me it was hanging in his house.

    I was miffed because 1. my gift wasn’t acknowledged and 2. I didn’t even know if they got it. Write your notes pleaseeeee.

  • Cellistec

    Am I the only one who hasn’t heard of sending a TY card for attendance with no gift? Maybe it’s the bitter ungrateful side of me who thinks, “Look, we fed you, we entertained you, we gave you favors, we’re not thanking YOU for that.”

    • Amy March

      Nope! I’m team it is impolite to send a thank you just for attendance because it reads as a passive aggressive dig for not sending a gift.

      I think it is, at best, optional.

      • ktmarie

        I feel like this is a very cynical view and I really hope no one read it that way when I sent them a note, sans gift. I was truly grateful people spent time traveling to our wedding and celebrated with us.

        • A.

          Yeah, same. We wrote really personal thank you cards to everyone who attended, gift or not (or, well, my husband did because I’m emotionally stunted, re: written sentimentality…but I did the literal writing and envelope stuffing!) Our wedding was destination for most people and also spanned over 3 days. We knew it was a big cost, especially for a lot of my working class maternal family—they definitely couldn’t have afforded both to come AND to give us a gift, so we were touched that they chose to be there for us even though it was the more expensive option of the two. It truly felt like a gift, so we didn’t even think twice about thanking them. I guess YMMV.

          • Kaitlyn

            YES, attendance is often WAY more expensive than sending a gift, and a reception will never “make up” for that, no matter how free the booze or how delicious the food!!!

          • Athena Wilson

            Attendance can be free, if you’re money savy, only thing you should have to pay for is travel to the place, and often family or friends can help you out in that department to :) (clothes can be borrowed or wear what you already own, make up – most people have enough anyways, hair – I’m getting married soon and I’m doing a nice plait which doesn’t require an expensive hair dresser and people can always carpool, what have I missed?)..

            Conclusion attendance will never be nearly as expensive as a wedding which in NZ is normally $30,000 NZD on average, $21,000 USD.. It sounds to me like you have never been grateful about the fact that you were even invited to any wedding.. so sad..

        • VKD_Vee

          I lean towards sending anyway… but take AM’s point. It can go either way so it’s truly a choice.

        • Cellistec

          I was grateful too, and don’t think an attendance-only TY is passive-aggressive. But our “thank-you cards to write” list was also our “gifts received” list, so it never crossed my mind to thank someone who didn’t give a gift. As in, my family never taught me this one, and they were otherwise thorough about etiquette.

          • Eh

            I had also never heard of this either. We used the cards to write our thank you notes so we did not send ones people who just came. There was only one person that did not give us a gift and it was a person I have never met (a friend of my MIL). She was local and she invited herself to our wedding (and her husband no-showed). If she had travelled from far away then I may have considered it.

            I agree with Amy March that it’s optional. If the person travelled a far distance or has other circumstances (financial, medical, etc) that you know of (and you want to send one) then go ahead. If you want to send one just for attending then go ahead. My issue with sending on for just attending is that I am only sending one thank you note so if they send us a gift after our wedding (thank you notes were done less than a month after wedding) then they will only get one for attending and not one for the gift.

      • “I think it is, at best, optional.”
        YES. This. Exactly.

        Don’t kick yourself over thank you notes to non-gift giving attendees either way. Doesn’t matter.

      • Kaitlyn

        As someone who has attended but not been able to give gift as well, who has given gift but not been able to attend, and who has attended + given gift, I’ve received thank-you cards for all 3 scenarios and I never felt them to be passive-aggressive in the least. In fact, when I either wasn’t able to attend or wasn’t able to give a gift, I had a lot of guilt about those situations (especially when I was younger and hadn’t quite accepted that I am constrained by financial and practical realities beyond my control). Getting a card regardless helped ease my guilt and reassured me that my relationships with the couples in question were still fully intact.

      • Penny7b

        Yeah, I think it depends a lot on your people. I’ve been to weddings where a thank you card just for attendance would have felt passive aggressive, but others not so much. I think people can tell if you’re being genuine about it or if you’re just trying to remind them to get you a gift.
        That said, I’m from Australia and it’s possible Australian’s just don’t really do thank you notes much. I’ve been to around a dozen or so weddings now, and I usually give a gift, and I think I’ve gotten a thank you card once, and a thank you text about 3 times.

    • Ashlah

      I’m with you. If I know someone traveled from afar or went through a lot to be there, I might consider a note, but otherwise? The reception is your thank you.

      • chad

        write your thank yous…..cunt.

        • Ashlah

          Nice. Very edgy.

    • emilyg25

      Nope!

    • Carolyn S

      I don’t think it has to be passive aggressive – especially if someone traveled to be there. Weddings are expensive, and honestly often kind of inconvenient. Who knows what people gave up in order to be there, and if you wanted them there enough to invite them, I think it’s nice to say “hey, we saw you there, we were happy you could make it! Thanks for celebrating with us.” Our wedding was tiny and the only person who didn’t give a gift was my youngest brother, but it felt weird to leave just one person off the list of thank you cards, so he got one too.

    • Lindsay

      I do think it’s necessary and not passive aggressive at all. The whole point of a wedding is the marriage and to celebrate that marriage. Gifts not required. You should thank people for joining in on your special day, and celebrating that time with you. It may be the most important day to you, but not to them. They took time out of their own busy lives to celebrate with you, even if they couldn’t afford a gift. For example, my uncle is a chef (i.e. works weekends), going through a rough divorce with 2 young kids. I know how much of an effort it took for him to get the weekend off and rearrange childcare with his ex just to attend my out of state wedding. I was very thankful he could be there, despite no gift… therefore he should be thanked.

      • Cellistec

        Agree. The more I read of this perspective, the more surprised I am that no one–family, etiquette guides or other–ever told me (or my husband) to write TY notes to attendees. Clearly this was not something I could come up with on my own…some of us need instructions!

    • We got some really lovely and thoughtful gifts but really, I have a job, I can buy things if I really want them (with a bit of saving). What I can’t buy is the attendance, love, support and general amazing vibes from our guests our on our wedding day – that’s the part I was biggest on in writing my thank you cards because it’s the part I cared about the most. I hadn’t really considered the passive aggressive angle re the guests who hadn’t given physical gifts…eek! I hope they weren’t interpreted that way.

    • Personally I reckon it depends if you feel you have something to thank them for. Most people don’t go to weddings for the entertainment, definitely not for the favours and (let’s be honest) not even for the food – they go to support the couple. So it’s legit to thank them for that. But I don’t like the line “We wanted to take a moment to send you the warmest well wishes…” because to me it reads like “We couldn’t think of anything to thank you for since you didn’t send us a gift, but you were the next on our list so…..warmest wishes! That’ll take up space!”

      I’d use something like “It meant so much to us that you made the time to come to our wedding service even though you had to rush across town to make your niece’s wedding afterwards. We can’t tell you how supported we felt…” or “Thank you so much for making the effort to come to our wedding. It was such a special day, and all the more special for knowing that you were standing there besides us…” or “Thank you so much for all your help and support on our wedding day, and throughout our relationship. We know we wouldn’t have got where we are today if it weren’t for you. It really meant a lot to us to have friends and family surrounding us, and to have a wedding that was put together by people who love us. Thanks for helping with practicalities like ordering taxis too!” That’s my take. Don’t do it if it feels like an obligation. Do it if it is heartfelt.

      • Riot

        Yes. Way more personal. “We’ll enjoy it for years to come” also sounds impersonal to me, like they couldn’t think of anything nice to say about your gift. Maybe it’s different in the US, where it’s absolutely the norm to register, so you already know they like the present. But the one for people who sent presents but didn’t come to the wedding sounds particularly stand-offish to me. People who couldn’t come to your wedding still took the time to send you a present? How cool is that!

    • JoannaM

      I agree. If I couldn’t afford to attend a wedding and bring a gift, I wouldn’t go and send a small token of appreciation regardless. Perhaps it’s a cultural thing or I am old school, but I was raised not to go to someone’s house empty handed let alone someone’s wedding without a gift or envelope. To not acknowledge someone’s invitation is simply disrespectful.

      Right now, I am dealing with a bitter and resentful in-law cousin who came to our wedding with not even a card and her husband was a groomsmen! Talk about spite! Not even a card or letter from the groomsmen to the groom. Sad!

      Why should we send her a thank you when she mooched off the very expensive meal, drink, entertainment, and accommodations we made for our guests? If you don’t want to go to a wedding or feel like you are being forced to go, don’t go. I’d respect that a hell of a lot more than you going and feel like we as a couple owe you something or running your mouth and wishing ill on us. I’m all about etiquette but after planning a wedding and seeing people’s true colors come out, it’s not fair to do the right thing for the wrong people who obviously do not appreciate it.

  • Totch

    I just learned the “you can’t ask someone to split the labor with you and then micromanage how it’s done” lesson, but I didn’t know I had until you wrote it out.

    We’re having a small wedding, and it felt more natural to hand write save the date notes instead of doing something more formal/general when the only people receiving them were immediate family. So I wrote my 8, fiance wrote his 4. We shared our scripts before, but didn’t write them together. His…. wasn’t what I’d write. And then when he put it on our cards, he wanted it to be centered rather than aligned left, so he eyeballed it!

    I still cringe a little thinking about the alignment, but they were his responsibility, he took them seriously, did them quickly, and there wasn’t anything actually wrong. Just not my style.

    PS: everyone has been surprisingly impressed with the the save the dates being hand written. If they get this excited over thank you notes, I can’t wait to get outsized credit for such a simple thing!

  • Steph S.

    My husband and I are very delayed on sending thank you cards. Our wedding was 8 months ago (please don’t yell at me, I know, it’s so so rude, my mom has told me a million times, and we feel really bad right now). We have committed to writing all of our thank you cards this week and sending them out. One question – should we write something in the note apologizing for the delayed thank you card? If so, what’s a good way to phrase it?

    • Unhip in Brooklyn

      I think it depends on the person. An older person who is more formal may appreciate something along the lines of “we’re so sorry to be delayed in expressing our gratitude, we love our gift.” With younger people, close ties, etc. you could probably crack a joke to ease the tension (“Hey, thank you for the gift! Better late than never, right?” You’ve also presumably had plenty of time to actually use your gifts, so you could also put a little more attention to how you have used and loved each thing (including how helpful cash was for XYZ).

      To me, the most important thing is to not let the guilt and shame consume you to the point of never sending them. Late truly is better than never! Don’t make excuses unless you do have a really good reason (family crisis, etc.). I bet you don’t even have to acknowledge the delay to everyone if you don’t want to. Good luck!

      • Steph S.

        This is helpful, thanks so much for the tips. We won’t be making any excuses – I’m not a fan of excuses and people can usually see through them anyways. I think we’ll go the route of the more formal acknowledgement for elders and more casual for friends. We’re staying in tonight to write them!

    • I sent thank yous super late and did not acknowledge it, but wrote very nice notes. And people got back to me about the meaningful thank yous. I just expressed my thankfulness in a sincere, honest way and mailed them and held my breath. All went well and no criticism for being super later. Just some positive feedback from some people on the notes. Good luck!

  • EF

    #teamlogan

    love the names on the letters!

  • Uesful suggestion. But I bought them from Amazon store powerhone.

  • Sheila

    What about a TY for someone who sent only a card in the mail? Is “thank you so much for thinking of us?” an ok message? Because “thank you for the ___ gift” isn’t right. Right? Or maybe.. “thank you for the thoughtful card” ? Help! Lol

    • Sheila

      Also, they did not attend the wedding

    • Amy March

      No, they don’t get a thank you at all.

  • NotMotherTheresa

    I know it’s way too late to use this thread to ask a question, but what if we aren’t really sure who got us what? Probably 1/3 of our gifts had no name attached, so in a lot of cases, I honestly have no idea who gifts are from/who got us gifts at all? I always pride myself on writing very warm, genuine thank you notes, but I’m at a huge loss on these!

    • Jess

      Is it possible to rely on parental help if it seems like a lot of family is missing gifts? Otherwise, I know my SIL had a lot of those and put up a FB post “to whoever got us the wonderful (item), we are loving it!” with a picture of them using it in order to draw gift givers out of the woodwork.

      Her people are very FB-friendly, though, so YMMV.

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  • Lance

    Did no one catch the Gilmore girls references? And I’m a guy…

  • Helen Binns

    thank you for the much needed help on wording. Also its clear someones a hugh fan of gilmore girls ;) lol

  • Jess

    Is there such a thing as the entrepreneur timeline for sending out cards? I’m still dribbling the last of mine out at its 4 months after the wedding and I feel terrible about it. I think it’s mentioned somewhere else but the notion that it’s acceptable to send personalised online cards here would be helpful.

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  • Annie

    Thank you for including examples of correspondence with gender-ambiguous and same sex couple names!! A small detail but so appreciated. Thank you thank you thank you!

  • SNW

    Thank you for this useful post and comment thread! We are almost done sending thank you notes to everyone who sent gifts, and like the idea of thanking those who came but didn’t send gifts. However, I am wondering about the timing for this.

    Our wedding was two months ago, and I’ve read on other forums that people sometimes send gifts up to a year after the wedding… I am more timely these days, but definitely did this in the past when I was on a tighter budget and needed to wait until I recovered from whatever spending I did to attend. I think at that time I would have felt a bit awkward if someone sent me a thank you note when I was still planning to send a gift. However, it seems like a “thank you for coming” note too far out from the wedding would also be strange.

    What would you recommend as far as timing for sending thank you for attending notes ? And if you send someone a thank you for coming, and then they send a gift, would you send them another thank you note on the same stationery?