The Stress-free Guide to Writing Wedding Thank You Notes

Posted by in Ask Imbue You, Wording and Etiquette

Imbue You Lotus Thank You Card

Writing 75 to 150 or more personal thank you notes after your wedding sounds daunting, right? But it actually can be easy and stress free with a few tips … and some cheat sheets.

So here it is, your wedding thank you note survival guide:

 

Top 5 Thank You Note Writing Tips

Keep that List

Dust off your wedding invitation address list, you know the one that took forever to pull together. And simply add a column for gift and a place for a check mark. Here you’ll write down details of the gift next to the addresses.

 

Make a Space

Ok, the best way for this to be fast and easy is to make it fast and easy. So do yourself a favor and keep a dedicated space for this task. A desk or corner of the kitchen table will do.

The important thing is to keep everything within arms reach.

For you right-handed folks, I suggest keeping:

  1. the list on the left
  2. thank you cards in the middle where you sit with envelopes next to them on the right
  3. pens where your right hand is
  4. stamps on the top left or right depending on how it’s easiest for you to grab them to place on your envelope
  5. a clear place next to you to put your completed stamped notes

Yes it’s an assembly line…and it will make your note writing lightning fast.

 

Give It a Rest

Seriously, don’t try to do it all in one go, or in one wild thank you writing weekend. Aim to do 4 to 6 notes at a time. And then walk away.

Not only will you feel better, your guests won’t see your hurried penmanship as you start to get tired. Plus you’ll make fewer mistakes…and who wants to do these twice?

 

Divide and Conquer

Don’t draw straws for this one, you both should work on thank you notes. You’re aiming to get all of your notes out within 6 weeks of your wedding, and not go crazy. So you are going to need two people.

One simple way to do this is for you to take your family and friends, and for your spouse to do the same. Agree ahead of time, and split the list so there’s no confusion, or double notes.

 

Write and Repeat

Yes, thank you notes should be personal and heartfelt. But that doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel each time you write one.

So come up with a few thank you note templates ahead of time. Proof and spell check these thoroughly. Feel free to add a more personal sentence or two for dear friends and close family.

No one compares thank you notes, so your guests will never know. And you’ll be done faster.

Imbue You Mexican Tile Note Card

Anatomy of a Thank You Note

Dear Who?

Write based on what you call the person, whether it be Uncle Kevin, Bob, or — in the case your childhood neighbor — Mrs. Hansen.

 

The note

The key is to show your appreciation for the gift. That may mean telling the person how you will use the gift or how you will cherish it for years to come. The most important thing is to mention the gift by name, unless it’s money (see below for how to handle that)

 

The sign-off

There’s one person writing the note, so one person should sign it. You can mention your spouse in the note to let the recipient know that the appreciation is from both of you.

And how to sign it? Love, With love, Thanks again, Fondly, With best wishes sound more heartfelt than Regards or Sincerely. For close family, friends and co-workers, sign using just your first name. For people who know you less well, sign your full name. Go with what feels right.

 

Imbue You Butterfly Note Card

Sample Thank You Notes – aka Your Cheat Sheet

For close friends and family

Dear Aunt Linda,

Thank you so much for the ballroom dancing lessons. Ted and I absolutely love them! Every time we cha-cha we’ll think of you. I’ll definitely send pictures. I hope you had a wonderful time at our wedding. It meant so much to us that you came all the way from Florida. We loved having you there.

With love,
Alicia

 

For a charity donation

Dear Mrs. Murphy,

Thank you for your wedding gift to the North Shore Animal League in our names. Both Michelle and I love animals, and your thoughtful gift will help dogs and cats find loving homes. We truly hope you enjoyed our wedding. We loved having you there.

Wish best wishes,
Thomas Anderson

 

For a cash gift

Dear Uncle Geoff and Aunt Missy,

Thank you so much for your generous wedding gift. Leslie and I are saving for a new home, and with your gift we are well on our way! Thank you for sharing our wedding day with us. It was truly a pleasure having you there.

Much love,
Jean

 

Group Gift

If under 10, each person gets their own note. Larger groups, like co-workers, can get a group note on a bulletin board, with an in-person thank you the next time you see or speak with them.

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for the lovely china set. Thanks to you all, Mark and I now have a complete service for eight. We will be using these on our most special occasions, and we know we will cherish them for years to come. Thank you again for making our home beautiful.

Wish best wishes,
Lena

 

When they didn’t come the wedding

Dear Uncle Lou,

Thank you so much for the Panini press. Terry and I love it. We’re finding lots of good recipes and will be putting it to use soon. We missed seeing you at the wedding but promise to send you lots of pictures.

Thank you again,
James

 

When you don’t like it

Dear Harrison,

Thank you for the velvet Elvis painting. You are so thoughtful. Sarah and I enjoyed dancing the night away with you at our wedding. It meant so much to us having you there to share our special day.

With best wishes,
Michael

 

Now you are ready to get writing!

For more tips, visit our section on wedding wording or etiquette

Photos by Imbue You: All the note cards featured above can be found in our handmade wedding stationery shop.

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Where do I list reception information on my invitations ?

Posted by in Ask Imbue You, Wording and Etiquette

rustic chic metallic wedding invitation

I get this question often. There are a few ways to handle this depending on the formality of your wedding and on your budget.

You really only have to deal with this issue if your reception is in a different location than your wedding ceremony. Otherwise you don’t have to mention your reception at all or a simple “reception immediately following” will do.

On a reception card

This is the most proper place to put your reception information. It should follow the same formality of the card and be in the same style and font. So if you are writing out times on your invitation in words, do so here too.

Reception

Please join us for a reception following the ceremony.
at six o’clock
Whaler’s Inn Restaurant
367 Main Street
Baltimore, Maryland

 

On an events card

If you are having many events during a wedding weekend, your reception information can be listed along with them on an events card. In that case follow the layout and wording of the other events listed on your card.

 

On the invitation

If you are putting this information on your invitation, leave a space between your ceremony wording and the reception wording.

Follow the same formality of the main invitation. Whether you are using numbers or words for your dates and times, do the same for your reception information. And just like the invitation wording, the zip code is not typically listed.

Reception to follow
at six o’clock in the evening

Whaler’s Inn Restaurant
367 Main Street
Baltimore, Maryland

 

On the RSVP

If there’s no room on your invitation and you don’t have budget for a reception card, there’s often room to list this information on the RSVP.

I see this as a last resort though because the RSVP is returned to you and doesn’t stay with your guests.

Reception at 6 pm
Whaler’s Inn Restaurant
367 Main Street
Baltimore, Maryland

{Photo credit: Imbue You Wedding, read about this rustic wedding invitation color palette}

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Tips for Addressing Your Wedding Invitation Envelopes

Posted by in Ask Imbue You, Wording and Etiquette

Rustic Heart Envelope Label Set by Imbue You

Along with your reception seating chart, figuring out your guest list can be one of the most frustrating and confusing parts of wedding planning. But it doesn’t have to be.

When it comes to actually addressing your envelopes, here are some things to consider:

 

How formal do you want to be?

Rules and etiquette aside, the addressing of your wedding invitations should fit the tone and formality of your wedding. If your wedding is casual, addressing your invitation to Mr. and Mrs. John Hubbard just doesn’t fit. And the opposite is also true. Formal weddings should not have nicknames on the envelope.

These are some options ranging from formal to more casual:

Mr. and Mrs. John Hubbard
Mr. Thomas Jones and Mr. Richard Johnson (for same sex couples)

Ms. Leslie Jones and Mr. Richard Johnson (wife uses maiden name)

Leslie Jones and Richard Johnson (wife uses maiden name)
Leslie and John Hubbard (the wife goes first)

Aunt Leslie and Uncle John Hubbard

*note on the formal “Mr. and Mrs. John Hubbard”. Many women may not want to be addressed as “Mrs. John Hubbard”, and some women use their maiden names (me included).

So an understanding of your event and also your guests is important. Many people now split up their addressing generationally, with older guests getting the more formal “Mr. and Mrs. John Hubbard” and younger guest getting “Leslie and John Hubbard” even for formal weddings.

More help from Emily Post.

 

Who is invited?

This used to be a bit simpler with inner and outer envelopes. You would address the outer envelope and list the individual names of the people invited on the inner envelope. Most couples nowadays are skipping the inner envelope, or use it to keep the invitation fresh, and so don’t address it.

That’s ok. It just means your addressing also has to communicate who’s invited to the wedding. For a family with kids and the kids can come, include the parents names and the children’s first names. Or simply add “and Family”. You can also address the envelope to “The Hubbard Family”.

If children aren’t invited, leave them off the envelope. You may also have to let them know, informally and/or in your invitation stationery that children aren’t invited, though adding it to your stationery is more controversial.

With single guests who are engaged, living with a partner, or in a long-term relationship, put both people by name on the envelope. And it’s perfectly fine to put the name of the person you know the best first. When couples are living together, both people should be invited.

When you don’t know who your guest may bring, you can add “and Guest” to the envelope.

 

Who gets their own invitations?

Guests over 18 should get their own invitations, even if they are living with other guests. This goes for living with parents or a roommate.

 

What to do with titles?

Titles such as Rev. and Dr. should be abbreviated. The person with the title is listed first. So when the wife is a doctor and the husband is not, she goes first.

Some remaining tips:

  • Check the addresses on your list, then check them again. You’ll almost always find something you missed.
  • When organizing your list in Excel, check for missing zeros at the front of zipcodes when they are in their own cell.
  • If a parent or someone else needs to have input on who’s invited and how the addresses look on the envelope, get them involved early in the list making. That way you’re on the same page, and only have to make your list once.

Find the answers to other wording and etiquette questions.

Are there other questions and issues you face with addressing your invitations? Let us know in comments.

{Photo by Imbue You Wedding. Written by imbueyouido.com, the blog of Imbue You and Imbue You Wedding}

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Tips for Formal Wedding Invitation Wording

Posted by in Ask Imbue You, Wording and Etiquette

Imbue You purple red gold indian wedding invitation wrap

One of most important indicators of what type of wedding you are having is your invitation wording. So when your wedding is a more formal affair, your invitation wording can help you communicate that.

The key is to spell out the date and time. Visually, you should consider more formal fonts, such as elegant scripts and serif fonts or all-cap block fonts.

Additional tips, courtesy of Emily Post:

  • Technically “honour of your presence” is used for weddings inside places of worship, while “pleasure of your company” is used for other venues.
  • For weddings not on the hour “half after” is preferred over “half past” or “four-thirty”
  • “In the afternoon”, or “in the evening” is not technically needed. But almost everyone does it, and I think it adds to the formality.
  • When spelling out the year, “and” is not needed, and the year is not capitalized.

 

When the bride’s parents are hosting

Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Thomas
request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter
Ellen Marie
to
Franklin Matthew
son of
Mr. and Mrs. James Myles
on Saturday, the eighth of June
two thousand thirteen
at half after four in the afternoon
Berea Lutheran Church
2200 East Oliver Street
Baltimore, Maryland

 

Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Thomas
request pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter
Ellen Marie Thomas
to
Mr. Franklin Matthew Myles
on Saturday, the eighth of June
two thousand thirteen
at six o’clock in the evening
The Baltimore Inn
768 Empire Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland

 

When the both sets of parents are hosting

Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Thomas
and
Mr. and Mrs. James Myles
request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their children
Ellen Marie
and
Franklin Matthew
on Saturday, the eighth of June
two thousand thirteen
at six o’clock in the evening
The Baltimore Inn
768 Empire Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland

 

When the couple is hosting

Ms. Ellen Marie Thomas
and
Mr. Franklin Matthew Myles
request the pleasure of your company at their marriage
Saturday, the eighth of June
two thousand thirteen
at six o’clock in the evening
The Baltimore Inn
768 Empire Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland

Looking for less formal wording, or wording inspiration for destination weddings? See this post: Unique Invitation Wording Ideas for Destination Weddings. See other wording tips here.

{Written by imbueyouido.com, the blog of Imbue You and Imbue You Wedding}

 

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Unique Invitation Wording Ideas for Destination Weddings

Posted by in Ask Imbue You, Wording and Etiquette

tropical wedding invitation by Imbue You

Destination weddings are so often about sharing your special day with your closest family and friends. So why not have wedding invitation wording that reflects that? Destination invitation wording can be less formal and more personal.

So some of the more formal rules about writing out the day, time and year, and the “honor of your presence” don’t have to apply! Feel free to add quotes, sayings and personal messages to make your wedding invitation a more meaningful, heartfelt invitation to those you love.

Here are some invitation wording examples, many which were used by couples we’ve worked with over the years.

The pleasure of your company is requested
for a week in the sun
and the marriage of
Terri Jacobs
and
Jaime Richards
on Wednesday, the twelfth of December
two thousand twelve
at six o’clock in the evening
Ko Samui, Thailand

 

Under the desert sky,
Terri Jacobs
and
Jaime Richards
wish for the honor of your company
at their wedding ceremony
and celebration of Love
on Saturday, the 21st day of July
2012
Boulder Mountain Ranch
Boulder, Utah

 

Because you have believed in us,
Celebrated with us, Loved and encouraged us,
Terri Jacobs
and
Jaime Richards
ask you to join us
in celebrating our marriage
as we begin of our adventures together
on Saturday, July 21, 2012
at 4 pm
Valley Mountain Resort
Portland, Oregon

 

Terri Jacobs
and
Jaime Richards

Love is in the air …
we make a great pair!
You’re invited to attend
our wedding affair.
on Saturday, October 20th
2012
at 4 o’clock in the afternoon
Cedar Park Rainforest
Kuranda, Queensland
Australia

 

Your love and friendship have
helped us become who we are.
Together with our parents,
Terri Jacobs
and
Jaime Richards
invite you to share our joy
and support our love,
as we exchange vows and
celebrate our marriage.
on Saturday, August 25th
2012
at 5 o’clock in the evening
Ka’anapali Coffee House
Maui, Hawaii

Dinner and merriment to follow

 

Terri Jacobs
and
Jaime Richards
along with their families,
invite you to their barefoot celebration of love
as they are married on the beach
Saturday, June 23, 2012
5 pm
Santa Rosa Boulevard Park
Okaloosa, Florida
food, drink, and merriment to follow

 

With joyous hearts,
we invite you to share in our weekend of celebration
as best friends become husband and wife
Terri Jacobs
and
Jaime Richards
on Saturday, the ninth of June
Two thousand twelve
at five o’clock in the evening
The Inn By the Sea
444 Main Road
Baltimore, Maryland

 

Together we laugh, we dream, we love,
and on this day, we marry

Please share in our joy as
Terri Jacobs
and
Jaime Richards
exchange wedding vows
on Thursday, February 14
2013
at 6 pm
Crescent Ranch
Mt. Vernon, Washington
Dinner and dancing immediately following

 

Come Fly With Us!

Please join
Terri Jacobs
and
Jaime Richards
as we begin the trip of a lifetime
by uniting in marriage
Saturday, July 21, 2012
6 pm
Grand Sun Resort
Cancun, Mexico

Dinner, dancing and merriment to follow

Want more? Check out our Wedding Style Guide, or click here for handmade invitations with layers, enclosure booklets and folds perfect for destination weddings.

{Written by imbueyouido.com, the blog of Imbue You and Imbue You Wedding. For more wedding and party stationery advice, get our free Wedding Style Guide.}

 

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4 Ways to Honor Deceased Relatives in Your Wedding Program

Posted by in Ask Imbue You, Wording and Etiquette

Mexican Tile Wedding Program by Imbue You

On one of the happiest days of your life, how do you remember and honor deceased parents or family members? Your wedding ceremony program can be a perfect way to do that. It’s a key memento of your wedding for guests, so it’s a wonderful place to honor those you miss on your wedding day.

A Note of Thanks

One of the most common ways couples honor deceased family and friends, is a note of remembrance in the thank you section of the wedding program. This can be as simple as a sentence like this: “Our thoughts are with those loved ones who could not be with us, but are here in spirit.” Weddings are joyous occasions and for those who want that to be the focus, a short note is respectful and appropriate.

A Ceremony Acknowledgement

You can also incorporate the remembrance of family members in your ceremony or at your reception. Ideas include candles on the alter of a church ceremony or photos of family at a special remembrance table.  In that case, feel free to mention in your wedding program that you have set up something special and where it’s located. “Candles on the the alter have been placed in loving memory of family members who are no longer with us.”

A List of Names

You may also wish to list dear family members by name and their relationship to you under a heading in your wedding program, such as “In Loving Memory” or “We Remember”. If appropriate, list members from both sides of the family. But take care not to list too many names, in order to keep the focus on this happy occasion.

A Dedicated Message

The absence of parents can be especially hard on your wedding day. A poem or quote can be a poignant way to express your feelings in a wedding program for key people you have lost. One bride we are working with is using this poem and dedicating it in memory of her father:

If flowers grow in Heaven
God, please pick a bunch for me,
place them in my Father’s arms
and tell him they’re from me.
Tell him I love him and miss him
and when he turns and smiles,
place a kiss upon his cheek
and hold him for a while.
Because remembering him is easy,
I do it everyday,
but there’s an ache within my heart
because I’m missing him today.
When everything is said and done
I will cherish this day and smile,
because I know my Daddy is here with me
as I am walking down the aisle.

As you begin to think about how you want to remember deceased family on your wedding day, you’ll want to figure out how much will be personal and how much will be more visible to guests. And it’s those things that are visible to guests that are appropriate for your wedding program.

{Written by imbueyouido.com, the blog of Imbue You and Imbue You Wedding. For more wedding and party stationery advice, get our free Wedding Style Guide.}

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