Creative Ways to Say Thank You (You're Welcome!)
Find Your Thank-You Style
Some wedding etiquette rules will never change, and this is one of them: If you receive one hundred wedding gifts, you can plan to send that many thank-you notes. A little less strict, however, are the ways in which you can show your gratitude. Here are some clever new tactics and tips for sending wedding gift thanks.
Stationery by Minted
—Elizabeth Regalia, Associate Digital Editor
Stick with Your Suite
By ordering thank-you notes along with the rest of your wedding stationery, you can ensure a similar look and feel for all your wedding-related correspondence. Plus, you're guaranteed to have cards on hand if gifts start coming in before the wedding -- which of course they will.
Stationery by Elum Designs
Organize Addresses Once, Not Twice
Set up a log when you begin addressing your invitations to help keep track of the correct spelling of names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses if you need them. Use the same log to record guests' responses and, ultimately, gifts they give you, so you have all this important information in one place. For ease, use an online address book tool such as the free program by Postable.com. It will store you contacts for you and you can use it for any future occasion: holidays, moving notices, and birth announcements.
Go Digital—Kind Of
Preprinted or typed notes have always been—and still are—a big no-no, but if you're looking for a way around carpel tunnel that's still acceptable, try Postable.com's digital writing desk, which allows users to quickly draft dozens of "handwritten" cards. First you stock an online address book then choose your stationery. Designers include Rifle Paper Co., Felix Doolittle, among others. Next, you'll type up each note with one of the site's 10 handwriting fonts. The site will then print and mail your card for you. How real does the "handwritten" printed text look once it arrives in the recipient's mailbox? Even some of our editors had a hard time telling if Postable cards were printed or pen ink!
Pick a Wedding Portrait
Consider using your thank-you notes as an opportunity to show off your first pictures together as husband and wife. Your wedding photographer may offer services specifically for snapping and printing select photos as thank-yous—say with you two holding a "thank you" banner—so be sure to ask.
Stationery by Wedding Paper Divas
Hand-Craft Your Own Photo Cards
If you choose to make your own thank-you notes using a wedding portrait, be sure you have the photographer's permission, and ask when you'll be able to get the first set of pictures in after they are snapped. Because photos take some time to develop, address the envelopes and write the notes first so they can be mailed as soon as the pictures are ready.
Send Thanks from Afar
Speaking of getting out your gratitude in a timely manner, thank-you notes should be sent within two weeks of receiving the present. Honeymooning for a bit longer than two weeks after the big day? The iPhone app Postography makes it possible to send thank-you cards while you're on the road so you can still hit that sweet spot. Take or upload a picture, add text, and the company will print and mail a one-of-a-kind postcard (postage included) on your behalf. No post-office visits, no crunching international stamp costs, just pack your gift and address lists in your carry-on.
Personalize a Post Card
If the limited amount of space on the back half of a post card is scaring you away from this stationery option, remember you don't need to write a lot—our or five sentences will suffice—as long as what you do express is heartfelt. Identify the gift, say why you appreciate it, why it has a personal meaning for you, and how you plan to use it. For cash gifts, you need not mention the dollar amount, but it's a nice touch to say how you plan to spend the money.
Show Off Your New Monogram
When deciding where to use your new monogram, remember that it's improper to adopt your married moniker until after the ceremony. Paper for notes written after your hitched traditionally bear either the wife's married monogram, her formal name, or the proper way in which she and her husband will be addressed (Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Hill). You can also create a monogram that blends all of your initials.
Stationery by Cheree Berry Paper
Delegate the Work
It's customary for just one person to write and sign each thank-you note, mentioning his or her spouse's appreciation ("Karen and I want to thank you.... Love, David"). However, coauthored notes, signed by both the bride and groom, are also acceptable. One easy way to share the work is for the bride to write to her own family members and friends, and the groom to his.
Dividing the note-writing duties will also ensure the task doesn't become too overwhelming. Write notes in small batches so your creative juices don't run dry.
Stationery by Minted
DIY Something Special
If you crafted most of the elements of your big day, by all means, feel free to craft your thank-you notes too. One of the simplest ways to dress up cardstock is with rubber stamps. Use a monogram or single-initial stamp to customize your cards with embossing ink.