5 Tips to Alleviate the Stress of Writing Wedding Thank You Notes
Planning your wedding is one of the best and most stressful experiences of your life, but there are plenty of ways to alleviate worry so you celebrate your wedding without an ominous to-do list overhead. One of the tasks that suddenly appears after your wedding is writing all your thank you notes.
If we're being honest with each other, thank you notes aren't quite the most exciting task to complete, even if etiquette and grandma dictate it.
We spoke with Lifestyle and Etiquette Expert Elaine Swann to learn her tips for writing wedding thank you notes so that it's less a stressful to-do and more so a reminder of your happy day.
1. Don't try to write all the thank you notes at once.
"My number one piece of advice for couples when it comes to thank you notes is don't try to do them all at once because that can put you into a bit of paralysis," Swann says.
Instead of waiting until after your wedding to write thank you notes, try writing them as you receive wedding gifts. If you write your notes a little at a time, the pressure and stress associated with sending them won't be as great, Swann says.
2. Prioritize sending thank you notes for monetary gifts.
Although all gifts are generous and appreciated on your wedding day, monetary gifts can be a sensitive matter and the sender will want to know that you received their gift, Swann says. This doesn't mean that you prioritize certain family members or friends. Just be sure to send notes for any monetary gifts in your first batch of thank you notes.
3. Set up a station in your home dedicated to the task.
You can set up a work area in your home for writing thank you notes, Swann says. This way the task doesn't pervade other areas of your home, and you have somewhere to be organized and efficient while working.
When you're purchasing initial supplies and paper goods for your wedding, Swann suggests also purchasing thank you cards and stamps. This way you already have all the supplies needed to write thank you notes for gifts that arrive early.
4. Create a journal for keeping track of gifts.
Writing thank you notes is less stressful if you already have a list noting who sent you which gift. Leading up to the wedding, you can set aside a journal and write down gifts as they arrive, Swann says. As your schedule gets busier near your wedding date, you can always hand off the list to a family member, the maid of honor, or someone else in the bridal party, she adds.
5. Follow the three-step rule to writing thank you notes.
"Too often we think we have to write a full on essay over and over again about how wonderful the person is, but, no, you just name the gift, say 'thank you for the ____.'" Swann says, "and then you can say something about it – either what you're going to do with it, or what you like about it."
If you address the person who gave you the gift, say thank you (of course!), and state what the gift was, then you're all set. The task doesn't have to be arduous.
In the case that you can't remember what a person gave you, but you are 100% certain that they gave you a gift, Swann suggests saying something about their thoughtfulness and generosity toward you. Don't tell the person that you can't remember what they gave you, she says. You can leave out that bit of information to avoid any hurt feelings or awkwardness.
When it comes to ensuring that you've sent all thank you notes by an appropriate timeline, Swann says that etiquette traditionally dictates having all thank you notes delivered within six months after your wedding. "If you cross that six month threshold, still send a thank you note – don't be afraid to send it," she says. "It's better to send that note late than never at all."