Don’t forget to say ‘thank you’

  • This undated image provided by Bond shows a wedding thank-you note created using the company's robotic technology, which mimics handwriting. Customers can choose from different handwriting styles or Bond can digitize your handwriting to create a personal style for your notes. (Bond Gifting Inc. via AP)

Associated Press
Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Been to a wedding recently? How long did it take to get a thank-you note for your gift – assuming you got one at all?

Newlyweds say it’s hard to organize a big task like writing 100 or more notes by hand – especially when they’re exhausted after months of wedding planning. Some even blame their bad penmanship.

But gift-givers blame bad manners.

Here’s why wedding thank-you notes still matter, along with strategies and ideas for getting them done – including hiring a card-writing service.

Do we need thank yous?

“Most of us have been in the position of not receiving a thank-you note, but it feels particularly disappointing when your generosity seems to go unnoticed by a bride and groom,” said Evie Granville, who writes about manners with Sarah Davis at EvieandSarah.com.

But thank-you notes are not just a polite tradition. If newlyweds don’t say thanks, some guests worry their gift was lost. Emily Burns realized her gift had gone missing when a friend wrote a thank-you for knife covers without mentioning the kitchen knives she’d sent. Burns, CEO of Learnivore.com in Boston, tracked down the missing knives, but says the incident shows “thank-you notes are not obsolete, because they functionally serve as receipts.”

Obstacles and outsourcing

Alexis Monson, co-founder of a note-writing service called Punkpost, says “many of us aren’t even used to writing one sentence every day with a pen in our hands, so the thought of writing many, many thoughtful and beautiful cards just makes people shut down.”

Other obstacles: bad handwriting, not knowing what to say, or losing track of who gave which gift. (Use a gift tracker app, spreadsheet, or just a pen and notepad to remember.)

Punkpost handwrites thank-you notes – or any type of correspondence – for $6 a card, including mailing (first one free). The Punkpost app lets senders create text for each card, or they can cut and paste the same message for all.


How about emailed thank-yous? Traditionalists say nope, but in the era of the paperless wedding, paperless thank-yous may be inevitable.

Lindsey McGuirk sent her invitations via email, so she did the thank-yous that way too. But each gift-giver got a personalized message, and McGuirk included a wedding photo with each one: a photo of the bride and groom, or a great shot of the gift-giver at the wedding.

“Everybody loved it,” said McGuirk, who works in public relations in San Francisco. McGuirk supplemented the emails with handwritten cards for older relatives or guests who don’t use email.

Timing and strategies

Some etiquette experts say newlyweds have just 90 days to get the notes out. Others say a year.

Rachel Winkler, who blogs at LittleChefBigAppetite.com, said she made the task easier by “setting out to write four to five cards each day after we returned from our honeymoon. That way the task never felt too daunting.”

Anna Coats, editor of the Marry Me Tampa Bay wedding site, suggests writing out a second set of envelopes for thank-you cards at the same time the invitations are being addressed.

Don’t expect the bride to do it all, though. Experts agree that each partner should handle notes for his or her side.

“The fact that so many people complain about not getting thank you cards shows just how important and relevant that act of properly thanking someone really is,” Monson said.