Early Wedding Gifts and Thank You Notes

I'd like to dedicate this journal entry to my bride, Jessica.

Jessica emailed me to ask me about thank you cards and how they work. While these are sent post-wedding, I always recommend that you start them during the wedding planning process. Because let's be real for a moment, after your honeymoon, you're in no mood to sit there and do more wedding planning. Honestly, while you're still on cloud9 from how unbelievable the day went, you'll probably be at a point where you're glad the planning/logistics is over. Getting ahead will ensure you're not overwhelmed with the task post-wedding day.

I'm a big fan of time blocking so set a time once a month or every two weeks to sit down and organize the RSVPs you've received. Granted, some things may change and the ones who RSVP may not make it when it comes to the day. But re-addressing a few cards versus writing out 100 thank you's post-wedding is less daunting.

Make sure you have the correct address and start creating the envelope addresses in a word template- Avery offers free address labeling templates. If you're old school then you can skip this step altogether and write them by hand. I have bad handwriting so I would never recommend this.

Brainstorm the body of your thank you card template. As much as we'd like each to be completely personalized, that just may not be possible and will end up discouraging you from ever writing them. Here is a good template to start with.

Dear Joe and Jane,
Prince(ss) charming and I cannot express how grateful we are to you for being present with us on the most important day of our lives. We had so much fun dancing till the end with you on our wedding day. We received the [insert personal gift] slow cooker you gave us and it was the perfect gift for our ultra busy schedules. We'd love to have you over for dinner one of these days to show you our new cooking skills.
With love,
Mr. and Mrs. Happily Ever After

If you had a hashtag for your wedding print all the pictures you found on there. If there is one with you and the guest you're writing a thank you note to, add the image to the thank you card- it'll make them smile.

Remember to record everything about the gift. Some people go out of their way to choose the right gift and card. If they've written something special to you on their card, make sure you reference that in the thank you note. If you danced with them at your wedding, make sure you make a mental note of it.

Sometimes guests send gifts prior to the wedding date, especially if it's a destination wedding. The proper response to receiving a gift early is to open the gift immediately. Phone the person right away to let them know you received the gift and appreciate it. Let them know you can't wait to see them for the wedding date and maybe chit chat about wedding details so they feel special knowing something no one else knows. If the phone makes you uncomfortable, you can send them a thank you card with the same content.

Lastly, make note that you wouldn't say this again when you send out the thank you notes post-wedding. Be sure to go out of your way to reference something that you both experienced on your wedding day.