Ah, the wedding is over. The honeymoon was perfect. And now, there are all of those great presents to enjoy!
Wait a sec! Did you write your thank-you notes? Before you convince yourself that you have plenty of time to thank people and that you’ll probably just send off a round of tweets, you need to know what bridal etiquette requires.
First of all, it’s a myth that the bride and groom have up to a year to send out thank-you notes. The Emily Post Institute website, named for the American etiquette expert who literally wrote a book on the subject, says that notes are due within three months of the receipt of the gift.
And this means an actual note, written on nice paper and sent through snail mail, the experts say. After all, someone made the effort to select a gift, pay for it, perhaps have it wrapped and get the gift to you. That deserves a thoughtful note in return.
The custom of writing notes is actually an old one, going far back into the Chinese and Egyptian cultures, according to the eHow website. Such early notes may have been exchanged on bits of papyrus. Writing notes on paper can be traced back to Europe in the 1400s, with a German immigrant bringing cards and notes to America in the 1850s. Postage stamps, which were invented in 1840, helped to move the trend along, eHow explains.
Also, be sure to write notes to all of the folks who hosted showers or bachelor parties, contributed flowers or food items, volunteered to play music or take photos, and otherwise helped to make your wedding celebrations special.
If the number of thank-you notes looming before you seems overwhelming, break up the chore. Try writing two or three notes one day, two or three the next.
And who should write all of these notes? The Bridal Guide website stresses that it’s a shared chore:
“While every wedding gift deserves a prompt response, it would be highly chauvinistic to expect the bride to write each and every one,” the site suggests. “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.” It’s recommended to sign both names or at least to mention that both spouses appreciate the gift.
Lastly, if life gets in the way, it’s been quite a while since the wedding and you’re tempted to just “write off” the whole idea of thank-you notes, don’t do it, the experts warn. Even a late, but very sincere note is still recommended!