Posted by Hotel Westminster on 06/02/2015

The Top 10 Wedding Thank You Note Mistakes to Avoid

The Top 10 Wedding Thank You Note Mistakes to Avoid

 Few things make a bride and groom more anxious than writing their thank you notes. After all, there are so many to write, for so many different gifts, favors, and assistance with the wedding plans. How do they do it all gracefully, in wording that truly pays homage to the gratitude they feel? Beyond wanting to get the words right, to sound personable, to customize the message and sound like themselves, there’s an element of fear in the actual sending of the notes themselves.
 So we’re offering you these Top 10 Mistakes to keep you on the right track and help you avoid some of the most common missteps that can otherwise turn your thanks into thuds.

1. Getting the Names Wrong. Nothing’s worse than writing a thank you note to guests you don’t know very well and getting one of their names wrong! It’s as embarrassing in this situation as it would be in a business letter. So if their names aren’t clear on the wedding gift card, check back to your master invitations list, check their online accounts, and feel free to call a parent or friend who can provide the correct name and spelling.
2. Leaving Out a Kid, or Getting the Child’s Name Wrong. If the gift comes from a family with kids, make sure you have all of the kids’ names on there. A cousin may have had a child or two since you saw them last, so be sure that you list all of the kids’ names on the note. Usually, the children are listed by name on the wedding or shower gift card, but sometimes people get informal and write ‘..and family’ or ‘and the girls.’ In this case, check their social media accounts or call a parent or friend for the most current offspring list, including the correct spellings of the kids’ names. Tara may actually be Tarah, John may actually be Jon. Every family, especially large, extended families, has an in-the-know relative who has all the details.
3. Sending too late. Yes, we know that sometimes your bridal portraits can take a while to come back from the photographer, but there’s no reason to take 10 months to get your notes out. Etiquette may state that you have a year to send them, but that’s no longer as accepted. Guests appreciate hearing from you sooner, within two weeks of your bridal shower, and within two months of your wedding.
4. Writing generic messages. Personalize them instead, for a warmer touch that shows you put some time, effort and thought into the note, and that you truly appreciate the presents chosen for you. “Thanks for your generous gift” sounds like something you’d see on a greeting card. There’s no depth, no meaning. Tell your guests how you’ll use the gift, if it reminds you of a great family memory, or if it was your favorite item on the registry. Guests may have stressed about selecting just the right present for you, and their generosity may have taken a bite out of their wallets. So honor them with a well thought out message in addition to the standard ‘thank you.’ And even better, thank them for a moment you shared with them, like a laugh shared at the buffet table, or the kind compliments they spoke about the reception hall. It’s not just the gift you’re thanking for, it’s the memory shared with them.
5. Focusing on the money. While your guests may have been generous, your note shouldn’t gush about the cash value in the style of “Thank you for your gift of $200.” That sounds like a receipt for a political donation.  Focus instead on your gratitude for their support of your future, and again how terrific it was to spend time with them at the wedding. People first. You can share what their cash gift will be used for (guests love hearing this part!), such as the downpayment on your dream home, or a special adventure on your honeymoon. If you’ll use the cash to pay off a crushing credit card debt, keep that one to yourself, though. Guests prefer to hear that they’re making a dream come true for you, not digging you out of a hole.
6. Forgetting they weren’t actually there. Some people send gifts even if they can’t attend the wedding. When you’re writing your notes, don’t lose focus and thank them for their presence at the wedding when they didn’t actually make it. (You’d be surprised how often this happens!) This can be a tricky one when you have a large guest list, and some of the names on it aren’t familiar to you – such as parents’ friends and colleagues. It may be clear in the card that comes with the gift (as in, “Wish we could have been there!”), but if it’s not, then check with the parent or with your partner regarding the particular guest’s presence on your day. If it’s still unclear, skip the ‘presence’ part and focus on their generosity.
7. Not putting a guest’s name. Some of your friends and family may have brought a +1 to your wedding. If you didn’t find out the guest’s name at the invitation stage, find it out now. Your thank you note needs to be addressed to both of the recipients, not to Joe Smith and Guest. Be more personal than that. Joe Smith’s date probably signed the wedding card that came with your gift, so do a little research. If the card is missing, it’s perfectly fine etiquette to call Joe up and ask him for the correct spelling of his date’s name. They’ll both be glad to get the co-addressed thank you note.
8. No uniformity. If you enclosed wedding portraits in some thank you notes, enclose them in all. There should be no favoritism towards those who were able to give you large cash gift amounts. People do notice when someone else received a ‘real’ wedding portrait and they either received a flimsy photocopy or no photo at all. Have one plan for all of your guests when it comes to inserting your pictures.
9. Using computer signatures. While you’re free to print up your thank you notes on your computer, always leave room for you both to hand-sign your names. The personal touch is always the best etiquette, because it shows your guests that you took the time to sit down and sign them, rather than just printing out 150 copies on your home computer. While it’s appreciated when you each sign your own names to each card, it’s perfectly okay for one of you to sign both names.
10. Not sending thank you notes. E-mail is fine for planning a happy hour, but not for wedding thank you notes. Printed cards are a must, so steer clear of this over-casualization of thank you notes. Yes, the graphics on e-cards are cute, and it’s ridiculously easy to compose a note and email blast it out to all of your guests. But remember that emails sometimes get lost, or stuck in a spam filter. It’s simply more gracious to mail thank you notes. Guests took the time to choose and wrap your gifts, to travel to your wedding, to dance on your dance floor – so devoting a few nights to writing thank you’s is a fine gesture of gratitude.


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Wedding Services from Hotel Westminster
Wedding Services
Livingston, NJ 07039 US
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