When planning the wedding of your dreams it is easy to get whisked away into the excitement of planning and forget about one of the main elements of your wedding day: your guests! After all, your wedding would not happen without them and your post wedding home wouldn't be as nicely furnished! It is vitally important to remember to be gracious when receiving gifts and appreciative after. The ample amount of bridal registries make it easier to register but perhaps harder to keep track of all the gifts and KEEP TRACK you must!
The first step to ensuring no one is missed in your gratitude is to keep record from the start. Starting the old fashioned way with pen and paper and a designated notebook make a list that includes: the date you received the gift, sender, sender's contact information, a description or note about the gift, and finally a date you sent out your thank you note.
Today there are plenty of free wedding planning softwares that organize this for you! Simply try Wedding Wire and download their "My Guest" software to track your guests list, their contact info and gift given. For a more advanced software try My Wedding Workbook ,they offer free downloads and for the more hands on detail oriented bride a subscription for small monthly fee.
In a perfect ideal world you would be able to send your notes as you receive the gifts, this is a great tip for staying on top of the task and avoiding an intimidating list of who to thank! But understanding modern brides with busy schedules this can be hard to accomplish so I suggest trying to complete as many thank you notes before your wedding day, and for the remainder set a daily goal of writing 3-4 or a any number you feel comfortable with and can realistically accomplish. This ensures that showing your gratitude and appreciation won't become an unwanted chore! Gone are the days when it is only the bride who is responsible for sending her thanks, enlist the help of your new spouse to write his or her fair share to the appropriate parities their more familiar with. For all the brides who tend to procrastinate, or get so behind with the events leading up to the wedding note that it is acceptable to send your thanks up to but NO LATER than three months after the wedding.
Everyone involved with your wedding should receive a handwritten thank you note. Be it a call or card sent, a gift or money given, a guest, your attendants, your vendors, and anyone who shows an act of kindness for your wedding should be properly thanked. When writing the notes be sure to make it PERSONAL and take no short cuts. As Emily Post says "a gift should be acknowledged with the same courtesy and generous spirit in which it was given". This is why it's important to stay on top of the thank you note process, you want to be able to sit down and properly thank everyone who helped contribute to the most important day of your life, and express your sincere gratitude. Do not forget the most important people, sometimes parents and grandparents get overlooked because the couple has already verbally thanked them many times, however it is still important to send your written note!
When writing remember you are now a couple and even if the gift is relevant only to you, do not forget to send thanks on behalf of your partner as well. Lastly and most importantly there is no need to be formal in your thank you notes, this is a personal thanks sent on behalf of you and your new partner so you are free to be as sincere and candid as you feel expresses your true appreciation to the recipient of the note!