Do you know that the biggest, most annoying faux pas of all when it comes to a wedding actually happens after the wedding day itself? If you in all of your excitement have planned the most wonderful day, but you’ve forgotten to thank your guests then you too may be guilty. Planning your wedding with the guest experience in mind, does not just entail a planning a pretty centrepiece, or fabulous food and wine.
If there’s one thing that is more unsettling than a dodgy kebab at 1am on a Sunday morning, it’s actually when you attend a wedding as a guest, spend time either carefully selecting a gift, or opening your wallet for one, only to never ever receive a thank you. It is not only bad etiquette, but it breeds resentment among your guests who are left wondering how grateful you really are. And can you really blame them?
Thanking your guests should take priority once the event and the honeymoon itself is over. Take a look at our guide on a thoughtful thank you.
Your thank you card
…should be addressed personally; it should refer to the gift that was given even if that is an embodiment of words which express how grateful you are for your guests’ contribution as witnesses to your marriage.
It is not good enough to send an email, or a generic shout out on Facebook.
Sorry, you are out of luck. Each thank you should be a personally addressed piece of communication on a piece of paper with a stamp or hand delivered. It needn’t be an expensive printed photo card from your photographer, it can be as simple as a note card and envelope.
Please don’t wait until your first anniversary to send out your thank you card.
Yes it happens. And no it shouldn’t. Ideally you want to send out your thank you cards as soon as possible, and although there are no hard and fast rules about the length of time between the wedding date and posting your thank you – you should find some time as soon as you’ve settled in after your honeymoon, when you can both sit down together and contribute to writing.
Couples with wishing wells pay special attention.
If you’ve asked for cash as a wedding gift, there is nothing more offensive than not acknowledging this gesture. As a guest, not knowing if your envelope ended up in safe hands, or whether it was lost or stolen at the reception. Even more humiliating is when your guests end up asking you (or your parents) whether you’ve received their gift because they’ve never received a thank you.
If you’ve asked your guests to travel to a destination for your wedding
…please keep in mind that they’ve likely spent significant amounts of money on accommodation, fuel or airfares, and the various expenses that come along with being away from home (including babysitting). Acknowledge the gift that they may have given you, but ensure you recognise that they’ve also given of themselves.
Ultimately not sending a thank you card can build resentment (some of which can cause even bigger problems down the track), and make your guests feel like they are paying for a ticket to your wedding (especially if you opted for a wishing well). There’s no way to dress up what really comes down to just plain bad manners. Harsh yes, but very fair; and is that how you want your guests to remember your day?