My fiance and I are at the stage of sending out thank you cards to everyone who bought us gifts or gave us money/gift cards for our engagement, and I thought it would be a good chance to write a little bit about the etiquette for sending thank you notes for any event, including engagements, weddings, baby showers, etc. There’s a few key points to get the most out of your thank you notes.
1. Be prompt
Try and send your thank you notes as soon after the event as you can. We weren’t able to stick to this as much as we’d like as we wanted to make thank you notes using photos from our engagement party, which we had to wait a couple of weeks for as well as a few days for the cards to arrive after we ordered them. It helped for us to write a list of the gifts we received from people as we were opening them, as this comes in real handy when trying to remember who bought what, as you’d be surprised how quickly you can forget.
2. Be personal
Both in the creation of the card as well as the message you write. We created our notes using the photos taken by the professional photographer we hired for our party. We chose one posed and one more candid shot to capture the vibe of the night for those who weren’t able to attend. We then wrote a personal note on the back of each person’s card thanking them for the specific gift they gave and if it was a gift card or money we also explained what we were planning on spending it on. For close family and friends we also added a thank you for the help they offered for the party, so for you this could be with catering, decorating the venue, providing music, etc.
3. Be prepared
I would suggest buying a few extra thank you notes for people who may give you a gift late. If people have been on holiday, or you just haven’t got around to catching up with someone who was not able to attend your event, it’s good to have the opportunity to thank them too. I also printed an extra copy for myself as a memento for the evening.
4. Be kind
You may not be over-the-moon with all the gifts you receive but the giver of the gift has spent time and money on getting something that they thought you would like, regardless of whether you do or not, so it is important to acknowledge that. You don’t have to be too over the top with the sentiment, as they will probably see right through it, but it’s polite to recognize the thought that has gone into the gift and it’s good to show your gratitude.