If your wedding was a while ago, are you off the hook?
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Credit: Courtesy of Paper Source

Everyone has heard the "rule" about how a bride and groom have up to a year after their wedding to send thank-you notes to gift-givers. That etiquette proclamation is similar to that other well-known mandate that gives gift-givers a year to send a wedding present. Unfortunately for the procrastinators among us, both are very self-centered, smack of laziness, and are completely false. You'll most likely be receiving wedding gifts throughout your entire engagement and it's easy to get caught up in planning the wedding and ignore thank-you note writing. You have a job, maybe go to school, have family and social obligations, need to go to the gym, and so much more that the last thing you feel like doing is sitting down and writing thank yous-and by hand, no less!

We get it-this is one of the least-fun aspects of getting married. But it's also one of the must-dos. You don't "need" a wedding cake but you do need to send thank yous to acknowledge that people took the time to shop for a gift or write a check. Here's what you need to know.

Send a thank-you within three weeks of receiving a gift.

Unless you're taking a month-long Mediterranean cruise and won't be near a mailbox or post office, send thank-you notes no more than three weeks after the FedEx driver delivers the goods.

Write them out by hand.

Yes, your handwriting isn't what it used to be (blame it on our love affair with computer keyboards), but that's okay. No one will be grading you on whether you made the loops correctly or take points off for too much slant. There are so few occasions these days for anyone to receive a note in the mail-much less one that's handwritten-that you'll make the receiver happy.

Devote just one night a week to note-writing.

You don't have to make it a daily ritual but do get in the habit of spending an hour or two once a week on thank yous. It's better to do them a few at a time as gifts come in rather than wait until closer to the I dos when you'll have to binge-write to get them all done before the wedding.

Have him do his share.

As far as we can tell, it's not illegal for a groom to write some thank-you notes. Handling the task together will make the time go by faster. He should do his people, you do yours, and be sure to give each other ideas about what to write. Before long, you'll be laughing and writing and actually having a good time.

Stock up on supplies.

Besides the gift-givers' addresses, you don't need much to get the job done-blank notecards, pens, stamps, and a grateful heart that translates onto paper.


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