Thank-You Note Q&As

Think of it as your final wedding responsibility. Here, answers about thanking your guests properly.

Q: I know that the bride is responsible for writing the shower thank-you notes, but what about the wedding gifts? Do I have to respond to all those myself, too? 

A: Certainly not. While every wedding gift deserves a prompt response, it would be highly chauvinistic to expect the bride to write each and every one! After all, your new husband will get to enjoy the gifts, too, so do not hesitate to ask him to pick up a pen and get to work.

The easiest way to divvy up the responsibility is to have your groom acknowledge those gifts from his friends and family since he knows them best, and you write to those guests you are more familiar with. If the spouse doing the writing is the only one signing his or her name, remember to mention the other partner in the body of the note ("Mary and I really love the vase. Fondly, Thomas"). Also, either order stationery that has both of your names or combined initials on it, or order two sets - one with your name and one with his.

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My parents and my grandmother both contributed large amounts toward our wedding. What is a proper way to thank them, and when should the thank you occur? Is it okay to thank them along with our wedding day gifts, or should we send a thank you within a certain period of time after receiving the money?

It's not necessary to wait until you receive the money to say thank-you -- you know that it's coming. You should definitely put some thought into the type of thank-you you want to express, and soon after returning from the honeymoon is the perfect time give your thank-you gifts. Here, some ideas: 1. Parents and grandparents are definitely sentimental, so why not put together personalized photo albums with "through the years" snapshots of the bride with her parents and grandparents, including wedding-day photos? 2. Give them a beautiful framed wedding-day photograph of the couple with her parents and grandparents. 3. Invite them to your home for a special dinner so you can not only show off some of your registry gifts in use and but also present your gifts to them. Or, you can take them out for dinner and then invite them back to your home for dessert and present your thank-you gifts then. (Provided, of course, that the bride's parents and grandparents live nearby.) 4. Also consider some of the activities they like: Tickets to a sporting event, theater, ballet, golf outing, or a gift card for a spa day, mani/pedi or dinner at their favorite restaurant will be greatly appreciated. 5. Consider giving them a personalized gift, such as a piece of jewelry for mom and grandma and personalized tie clips, cuff links or money clips for dad and grandpa. 6. Gift baskets are also an option or signing them up for a "gift of the month" (fresh fruit, wine, etc.). 7. And always include a handwritten thank-you note with any gift given that expresses how genuinely grateful you are for their generosity. These are just a few suggestions that are sure to please. -Diane Forden, Editor in Chief of Bridal Guide