Etiquette Q&A: "What Should We Write in Our Thank-You Notes?"

thank you notes
Photo Credit: You're That Girl Designs/Etsy

Q. What should we say in our thank-you notes, and how long do we have to send them out?

A. Be gracious and sincere. Include several elements, such as mentioning the gift by name, referring to how you’ll use it and expressing your appreciation. For gifts of money, don’t state the amount, but do mention the fact that it’s a monetary gift as well as how you plan to use it. And ask your groom to help out. While you should pen all bridal shower thank-yous yourself (unless you have a coed shower), your groom can do some of the engagement and wedding notes. You write the notes to your family and friends, and he does the ones to his.

Promptness counts when it comes to thanking friends and family for their gifts. You may have heard that you have up to a year after your big day to send out your notes, but that’s not true (sorry!). Here’s a timeline for all your special occasions: engagement party and shower, within two to three weeks of the festivities; gifts sent before the wedding date, as soon as possible, but definitely before the wedding; gifts given on the day itself, within three months; gifts received after your wedding, within two to three weeks.

—Diane Forden