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Author Topic: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?  (Read 9638 times)

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Twik

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2014, 09:40:17 AM »
.....there will be some time needed to get the right ones printed for the right people, not to mention handwriting about 50+ letters, so it might be two weeks before they all go out, so up to 6 weeks post wedding. Is that too late?

Just my humble opinion, but I think there's no such thing as "too late" for thank you notes.  I don't care WHEN someone shows me gratitude for a gift, just that they eventually did. 

But I've learned here that my opinions and what etiquette apparently dictates can differ greatly.

Well, getting a thank you is better than none. But I'd say that if you have to scratch your head and try to remember yourself what you got them, it's on the late side.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Lynn2000

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2014, 10:05:29 AM »
In my experience, the problem with "late" is that it so often slides into "never." Yeah, I'd like to get a thank you note for my gift, even if it arrived six months after the event. (Though honestly, I don't keep track or anything--I'd probably never notice if I didn't get a note at all.) But the problem is that if someone thinks they have six months, or a year or whatever, it's a natural tendency for a lot of people to keep putting them off, until they finally have to scramble around and maybe only do generic ones, or just give up completely.

That's why I said IMO they should be given top priority once you resume your normal day-to-day routine. Show respect and appreciation for your guests and get them done "right away," whatever that means for you.

Even my friend Amy, who thinks of herself as so correct in many etiquette situations, is terrible about thank you notes. ::) If she does them right away they're very good, whole paragraphs and so forth, but if she puts them off at all, they usually just don't get done. Which results in awkward situations like mutual friends asking me if Amy got their gift, because she hasn't acknowledged it to them.
~Lynn2000

Margo

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2014, 10:24:20 AM »
I think 6-8 weeks from the wedding is OK.

in terms of the thank you letter - something that shows you know who I am and what I gave - so, if it was a specific item "thank you so much or the lovely wine-glasses , it feels so luxurious to have a matching set" or "The saucepans are so useful - I'm sure we are doing more home cooking now we have them!" -it doesn't need to be much, just so it makes clear that you are not just copy and pasting a generic letter to everyone.

For people who give money, don't mention the amount, but say what you have used (or intend to use) it for - for instance, when my sister & BIL got married, they used the financial gifts people gave them for heir boat, so in the letters they mentioned what the money was going towards, and what it would mean to them (e.g. that it went towards a larger dingy, which means that they can now do small-boat sailing for fun when they want, and also that they need fewer trips from the quay out to the boat, so they get to spend more time sailing and less time preparing.

If there is anything fro the wedding you can reference then that is great, but don't worry if you can't (I know lots of people who have said they don't remember a lot of detail from their wedding day!) - but if appropriate, something personal is lovely - for instance, if you are sending a thank you note to Great Aunt Jane, who traveled 200 miles to be at your wedding, despite being 103, it would be nice to say how lovely it was to see her, and how kind of her it was to make such an effort to be with you.

You can also mention briefly things you've enjoyed on the honeymoon - partly as it explains why there has been a short delay, and also as it is nice and chatty - even a one line like "we really loved indulging in our love of cheese and wine while we were in France"

I think it is nice if letters are handwritten if you can, if not, type it all but sign it by hand (if you put the person's name in by hand and type the rest, it looks mass-produced)


ETA - I love it if people give details of any flickr or similar account, or the photographers website and password where I can go to look at photos, if they have those details. And would be very happy to receive a copy of a picture or two - it's particualrly nice if the picture happens to be one I couldn't otherwise get - so sometimes a really nice shot of me or my family, with or without the happy couple, is nice to get. I know when my sister got married, she sent my aunts  each a photo of her and her new husband, but also sent them all a copy of one which I had taken at the wedding of them, plus my mum, all together. It's not often that all 4 sisters get to meet up, and of course, they were all looking good in their wedding finery, and none of them had that specific shot as they were all in it.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 10:29:28 AM by Margo »

gellchom

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2014, 11:22:19 PM »
As everyone says, the most important thing is to thank the givers at all.

Prompt is important.  Of course at a time like a wedding, it's hard to get them out as fast as you otherwise could, but it's important to do your best.  It expresses enthusiasm and genuine gratitude.  I don't know how the rumor started that you're supposed to, or even that it's okay to, wait to send them until after the wedding even if the gifts were received long before the wedding (probably wishful thinking by HCs), but it's not true -- I've never heard of a single etiquette authority that says that.  Thank you notes for wedding gifts, like any other thank you notes, should go out as soon as possible after the gift was received, particularly if you didn't open it in front of the giver.

That's why I would not wait for photos.  I wouldn't include a photo at all unless it included the givers, like a cute candid of them, or a photo of them with the HC, or a family group shot, and only then if it didn't mean a delay of any substantial length.  I wouldn't include a photo just of the HC, though, and certainly not if it meant delaying sending them.

I also think that thank you notes should be handwritten, but it's not terrible if they are typed if neither of you really can write or even print legibly.  Ditto address labels -- not awful, but handwritten or hand printed is better.  Do sign your name by hand, though.

Absolutely no form letters -- that's about the only kind of thank you note that I think is worse than none at all -- or IMO computer- or website-generated letters (especially with advertising on them). 

And then there is content ...

No, I don't think anyone needs to write at Pulitzer level.  At the same time, I do think that there are okay thank you notes, good thank you notes, and great thank you notes.  It's fine to write any of these, just as it's fine to cook a simple meal or a delicious meal or an unbelievably great meal.  Everyone has different talents, skills, and interests, and not everyone wants to, or should want to, be a thank you note expert.  But that doesn't mean that those who want to make their correspondence the very best that they can, and really make those notes shine, are "sneering" at others who do a less memorable, but perfectly adequate, job -- any more than gourmet cooks sneer at their meatloaf-cooking friends who prefer to spend their time other ways than researching, shopping for, and cooking elaborate meals. 

As others have said, it's important to mention the gift and say something nice about it.  As I wrote on another string, I personally find it amusing when a thank you note for a gift chosen from the registry -- i.e., that the couple chose themselves -- thanks us for "the lovely china" or "the beautiful vase."  To me, it sounds like they are complimenting their own good taste.  No crime against the nation!  And yes, yes, yes, the important things are that they are thanking us and indicating that they know what gift we sent. But it's better, in my opinion, if they find some other way of expressing enthusiasm about registry gifts: "We are so excited to be able to set a nice table.  Bye-bye, jelly jars!"  "We can't wait until spring so we can fill the vase with colorful flowers; we will think of you when we do."

For gifts chosen by the givers, I like something along the lines of "What a great idea for a gift!  We love the electric dog polisher."  Everyone likes to hear that they made a great choice that pleased you.

For cash, I agree that mentioning what you are planning on buying, or what you are saving for, is nice.  I also like "Thank you for helping us off to a good start."

I will probably get flamed for this again, but I like starting with something other than "Thank you for the ..." and I don't like closing with "Thank you again," especially not in a short note of just a few sentences.  No sneering; I just think notes sound a lot fresher otherwise.  In fact, I generally try not to use the words "thank you for the ..." in the sentence about the gift.  Instead, I thank them for their good wishes, for celebrating with us, for their kindness and love, etc., and say something nice about the gift. 

And finally, I think it's nice to say something about the givers that has nothing to do with the wedding or the gift or the HC themselves.  I think it shows that the HC is seeing the giver as a person in their own right, not just the source of a gift or a wedding guest.

So here is a sample (let's say it's a gift they picked out themselves):

***

Dear Aunt Pitty-Pat and Uncle Horace,

Cuthbert and I were so glad you were able to attend our wedding.  Seeing your smiling faces as I came down the aisle will always be a special memory of the day for me.  You both looked great!

The moss-covered, three-handled, family gredunza is absolutely gorgeous.  It looks fabulous on the mantle!  Thank you so much for your loving thoughtfulness.

Have a wonderful time on your vacation.  See you at Thanksgiving!

Love,
Petunia

***

But there is nothing at all wrong with this, which is a pretty typical one in my experience (let's say it's for an item the HC registered):

***

Dear Aunt Pitty-Pat and Uncle Horace,

Thank you so much for the crystal water pitcher.  Cuthbert and I will think of you whenever we use it.

We were all very sorry that you were unable to attend our wedding.  Everyone missed you.  We hope your measles clear up soon.

Love,
Petunia

***

And then this one -- it gets the job done, but I think it looks like a note I would expect from a young child.  No, I wouldn't be annoyed or offended or think less of an adult who sent it -- but I can't say I would be very impressed:

***

Dear Aunt Pitty-Pat and Uncle Horace,

Thank you for the lovely gift.  We were glad you could attend our wedding.
Thank you again.

Love,
Petunia

***

I'm not sure why people find this hard.  I mean, if you were thanking Aunt Pitty-Pat personally at the reception, you probably wouldn't start the conversation by saying "Thank you for the ..." and you probably wouldn't end it with "Thank you again," and you'd have more to say besides.  You'd mention the gift specifically, and you definitely wouldn't hand her a picture of yourself.  "Aunt Pitty-Pat!  There you are.  Wow, you look great -- that is really your color.  Are you having a good time?  And, oh, Aunt Pitty-Pat, Cuthbert and I are absolutely thrilled with the hamster repair kit.  How did you know our hamster was broken?  Thank you so much!  You are the best!  Hey, did you get any of that bean dip?  Hurry before it's all gone!  Love you -- mwah!"

But anyway, as I said, thank you notes don't have to be excellent to be perfectly good.  I just think that people make it harder on themselves than it has to be if they would just imagine themselves talking to the people instead of writing.  If it's important to you to think of the recipients saying something like, "Horace, did you see this really nice note from Petunia?" then go the extra mile -- but if you don't care, just get something reasonably personal and specific out as promptly as you can, and you're fine.

kareng57

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2014, 11:44:54 PM »
As everyone says, the most important thing is to thank the givers at all.

Prompt is important.  Of course at a time like a wedding, it's hard to get them out as fast as you otherwise could, but it's important to do your best.  It expresses enthusiasm and genuine gratitude.  I don't know how the rumor started that you're supposed to, or even that it's okay to, wait to send them until after the wedding even if the gifts were received long before the wedding (probably wishful thinking by HCs), but it's not true -- I've never heard of a single etiquette authority that says that.  Thank you notes for wedding gifts, like any other thank you notes, should go out as soon as possible after the gift was received, particularly if you didn't open it in front of the giver.

That's why I would not wait for photos.  I wouldn't include a photo at all unless it included the givers, like a cute candid of them, or a photo of them with the HC, or a family group shot, and only then if it didn't mean a delay of any substantial length.  I wouldn't include a photo just of the HC, though, and certainly not if it meant delaying sending them.

I also think that thank you notes should be handwritten, but it's not terrible if they are typed if neither of you really can write or even print legibly.  Ditto address labels -- not awful, but handwritten or hand printed is better.  Do sign your name by hand, though.

Absolutely no form letters -- that's about the only kind of thank you note that I think is worse than none at all -- or IMO computer- or website-generated letters (especially with advertising on them). 

And then there is content ...

No, I don't think anyone needs to write at Pulitzer level.  At the same time, I do think that there are okay thank you notes, good thank you notes, and great thank you notes.  It's fine to write any of these, just as it's fine to cook a simple meal or a delicious meal or an unbelievably great meal.  Everyone has different talents, skills, and interests, and not everyone wants to, or should want to, be a thank you note expert.  But that doesn't mean that those who want to make their correspondence the very best that they can, and really make those notes shine, are "sneering" at others who do a less memorable, but perfectly adequate, job -- any more than gourmet cooks sneer at their meatloaf-cooking friends who prefer to spend their time other ways than researching, shopping for, and cooking elaborate meals. 

As others have said, it's important to mention the gift and say something nice about it.  As I wrote on another string, I personally find it amusing when a thank you note for a gift chosen from the registry -- i.e., that the couple chose themselves -- thanks us for "the lovely china" or "the beautiful vase."  To me, it sounds like they are complimenting their own good taste.  No crime against the nation!  And yes, yes, yes, the important things are that they are thanking us and indicating that they know what gift we sent. But it's better, in my opinion, if they find some other way of expressing enthusiasm about registry gifts: "We are so excited to be able to set a nice table.  Bye-bye, jelly jars!"  "We can't wait until spring so we can fill the vase with colorful flowers; we will think of you when we do."

For gifts chosen by the givers, I like something along the lines of "What a great idea for a gift!  We love the electric dog polisher."  Everyone likes to hear that they made a great choice that pleased you.

For cash, I agree that mentioning what you are planning on buying, or what you are saving for, is nice.  I also like "Thank you for helping us off to a good start."

I will probably get flamed for this again, but I like starting with something other than "Thank you for the ..." and I don't like closing with "Thank you again," especially not in a short note of just a few sentences.  No sneering; I just think notes sound a lot fresher otherwise.  In fact, I generally try not to use the words "thank you for the ..." in the sentence about the gift.  Instead, I thank them for their good wishes, for celebrating with us, for their kindness and love, etc., and say something nice about the gift. 

And finally, I think it's nice to say something about the givers that has nothing to do with the wedding or the gift or the HC themselves.  I think it shows that the HC is seeing the giver as a person in their own right, not just the source of a gift or a wedding guest.

So here is a sample (let's say it's a gift they picked out themselves):

***

Dear Aunt Pitty-Pat and Uncle Horace,

Cuthbert and I were so glad you were able to attend our wedding.  Seeing your smiling faces as I came down the aisle will always be a special memory of the day for me.  You both looked great!

The moss-covered, three-handled, family gredunza is absolutely gorgeous.  It looks fabulous on the mantle!  Thank you so much for your loving thoughtfulness.

Have a wonderful time on your vacation.  See you at Thanksgiving!

Love,
Petunia

***

But there is nothing at all wrong with this, which is a pretty typical one in my experience (let's say it's for an item the HC registered):

***

Dear Aunt Pitty-Pat and Uncle Horace,

Thank you so much for the crystal water pitcher.  Cuthbert and I will think of you whenever we use it.

We were all very sorry that you were unable to attend our wedding.  Everyone missed you.  We hope your measles clear up soon.

Love,
Petunia

***

And then this one -- it gets the job done, but I think it looks like a note I would expect from a young child.  No, I wouldn't be annoyed or offended or think less of an adult who sent it -- but I can't say I would be very impressed:

***

Dear Aunt Pitty-Pat and Uncle Horace,

Thank you for the lovely gift.  We were glad you could attend our wedding.
Thank you again.

Love,
Petunia

***

I'm not sure why people find this hard.  I mean, if you were thanking Aunt Pitty-Pat personally at the reception, you probably wouldn't start the conversation by saying "Thank you for the ..." and you probably wouldn't end it with "Thank you again," and you'd have more to say besides.  You'd mention the gift specifically, and you definitely wouldn't hand her a picture of yourself.  "Aunt Pitty-Pat!  There you are.  Wow, you look great -- that is really your color.  Are you having a good time?  And, oh, Aunt Pitty-Pat, Cuthbert and I are absolutely thrilled with the hamster repair kit.  How did you know our hamster was broken?  Thank you so much!  You are the best!  Hey, did you get any of that bean dip?  Hurry before it's all gone!  Love you -- mwah!"

But anyway, as I said, thank you notes don't have to be excellent to be perfectly good.  I just think that people make it harder on themselves than it has to be if they would just imagine themselves talking to the people instead of writing.  If it's important to you to think of the recipients saying something like, "Horace, did you see this really nice note from Petunia?" then go the extra mile -- but if you don't care, just get something reasonably personal and specific out as promptly as you can, and you're fine.


Because - for most of us, it's much harder to express ourselves in writing than it would be in person.  Maybe you have a talent for it, many of us don't.

I do find your conditions for good TY notes to be very demanding.  Wedding guests complain about late TY notes but I have sympathy in cases like this; it could take weeks for them to compose a TY note that a guest would deem acceptable.

Re the registry:  it wouldn't even "register" on my radar if they thanked me for the "lovely" gift that was on the registry.  I just don't analyze things like this.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 11:48:41 PM by kareng57 »

kareng57

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2014, 11:54:26 PM »
As everyone says, the most important thing is to thank the givers at all.

Prompt is important.  Of course at a time like a wedding, it's hard to get them out as fast as you otherwise could, but it's important to do your best.  It expresses enthusiasm and genuine gratitude.  I don't know how the rumor started that you're supposed to, or even that it's okay to, wait to send them until after the wedding even if the gifts were received long before the wedding (probably wishful thinking by HCs), but it's not true -- I've never heard of a single etiquette authority that says that.  Thank you notes for wedding gifts, like any other thank you notes, should go out as soon as possible after the gift was received, particularly if you didn't open it in front of the giver.

That's why I would not wait for photos.  I wouldn't include a photo at all unless it included the givers, like a cute candid of them, or a photo of them with the HC, or a family group shot, and only then if it didn't mean a delay of any substantial length.  I wouldn't include a photo just of the HC, though, and certainly not if it meant delaying sending them.

I also think that thank you notes should be handwritten, but it's not terrible if they are typed if neither of you really can write or even print legibly.  Ditto address labels -- not awful, but handwritten or hand printed is better.  Do sign your name by hand, though.

Absolutely no form letters -- that's about the only kind of thank you note that I think is worse than none at all -- or IMO computer- or website-generated letters (especially with advertising on them). 

And then there is content ...

No, I don't think anyone needs to write at Pulitzer level.  At the same time, I do think that there are okay thank you notes, good thank you notes, and great thank you notes.  It's fine to write any of these, just as it's fine to cook a simple meal or a delicious meal or an unbelievably great meal.  Everyone has different talents, skills, and interests, and not everyone wants to, or should want to, be a thank you note expert.  But that doesn't mean that those who want to make their correspondence the very best that they can, and really make those notes shine, are "sneering" at others who do a less memorable, but perfectly adequate, job -- any more than gourmet cooks sneer at their meatloaf-cooking friends who prefer to spend their time other ways than researching, shopping for, and cooking elaborate meals. 

As others have said, it's important to mention the gift and say something nice about it.  As I wrote on another string, I personally find it amusing when a thank you note for a gift chosen from the registry -- i.e., that the couple chose themselves -- thanks us for "the lovely china" or "the beautiful vase."  To me, it sounds like they are complimenting their own good taste.  No crime against the nation!  And yes, yes, yes, the important things are that they are thanking us and indicating that they know what gift we sent. But it's better, in my opinion, if they find some other way of expressing enthusiasm about registry gifts: "We are so excited to be able to set a nice table.  Bye-bye, jelly jars!"  "We can't wait until spring so we can fill the vase with colorful flowers; we will think of you when we do."

For gifts chosen by the givers, I like something along the lines of "What a great idea for a gift!  We love the electric dog polisher."  Everyone likes to hear that they made a great choice that pleased you.

For cash, I agree that mentioning what you are planning on buying, or what you are saving for, is nice.  I also like "Thank you for helping us off to a good start."

I will probably get flamed for this again, but I like starting with something other than "Thank you for the ..." and I don't like closing with "Thank you again," especially not in a short note of just a few sentences.  No sneering; I just think notes sound a lot fresher otherwise.  In fact, I generally try not to use the words "thank you for the ..." in the sentence about the gift.  Instead, I thank them for their good wishes, for celebrating with us, for their kindness and love, etc., and say something nice about the gift. 

And finally, I think it's nice to say something about the givers that has nothing to do with the wedding or the gift or the HC themselves.  I think it shows that the HC is seeing the giver as a person in their own right, not just the source of a gift or a wedding guest.

So here is a sample (let's say it's a gift they picked out themselves):

***

Dear Aunt Pitty-Pat and Uncle Horace,

Cuthbert and I were so glad you were able to attend our wedding.  Seeing your smiling faces as I came down the aisle will always be a special memory of the day for me.  You both looked great!

The moss-covered, three-handled, family gredunza is absolutely gorgeous.  It looks fabulous on the mantle!  Thank you so much for your loving thoughtfulness.

Have a wonderful time on your vacation.  See you at Thanksgiving!

Love,
Petunia

***

But there is nothing at all wrong with this, which is a pretty typical one in my experience (let's say it's for an item the HC registered):

***

Dear Aunt Pitty-Pat and Uncle Horace,

Thank you so much for the crystal water pitcher.  Cuthbert and I will think of you whenever we use it.

We were all very sorry that you were unable to attend our wedding.  Everyone missed you.  We hope your measles clear up soon.

Love,
Petunia

***

And then this one -- it gets the job done, but I think it looks like a note I would expect from a young child.  No, I wouldn't be annoyed or offended or think less of an adult who sent it -- but I can't say I would be very impressed:

***

Dear Aunt Pitty-Pat and Uncle Horace,

Thank you for the lovely gift.  We were glad you could attend our wedding.
Thank you again.

Love,
Petunia

***

I'm not sure why people find this hard.  I mean, if you were thanking Aunt Pitty-Pat personally at the reception, you probably wouldn't start the conversation by saying "Thank you for the ..." and you probably wouldn't end it with "Thank you again," and you'd have more to say besides.  You'd mention the gift specifically, and you definitely wouldn't hand her a picture of yourself.  "Aunt Pitty-Pat!  There you are.  Wow, you look great -- that is really your color.  Are you having a good time?  And, oh, Aunt Pitty-Pat, Cuthbert and I are absolutely thrilled with the hamster repair kit.  How did you know our hamster was broken?  Thank you so much!  You are the best!  Hey, did you get any of that bean dip?  Hurry before it's all gone!  Love you -- mwah!"

But anyway, as I said, thank you notes don't have to be excellent to be perfectly good.  I just think that people make it harder on themselves than it has to be if they would just imagine themselves talking to the people instead of writing.  If it's important to you to think of the recipients saying something like, "Horace, did you see this really nice note from Petunia?" then go the extra mile -- but if you don't care, just get something reasonably personal and specific out as promptly as you can, and you're fine.


Also - re sending the TY notes after the wedding - there must have been some kind of etiquette mavens recommending this in the early 1980s, since that's what I did.  We did receive quite a number of gifts during the 2 to 3 weeks before the wedding, and I wrote out the TY notes, but left them with a wedding attendant to put in the mail.  People still received their notes quite promptly.

I therefore find your assertion that people deliberately send the notes after the wedding due to laziness to be pretty unkind.

Margo

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2014, 05:21:06 AM »
I think you don't send thank you notes until after the wedding because you send the notes as a married couple . And in the sad event that the wedding doesn't happen, you return the gifts.

So I think that not sending the letters until after the wedding is absolutely correct. (Isn't it fairly normal that you don't open a gift for a specific event until that event? If you get a Christmas or birthday gift, wouldn't you wait until christmas / birthday to unwrap it? I think that thanks shoudl be sent as soon as is practical after the gift is recieved, but to me, it being received would be when you open it or when the event it marks takes place.

My thought reading Gellhorn's comment was "but it wouldn't be 'love from Petunia" it would be "love from Petunia and Cuthbert"

I agree that a letter may read better if it doesn't start and end with thanks but I would never analyse it to that extent. I think it is fine to start by thanking them for the gift and mentioning what it is - no, you might not do that in person, but a face to face interaction is different from a written one.

Thipu1

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2014, 08:56:48 AM »
Because of the way our families worked, most of our Wedding gifts arrived before the ceremony.  We sent out TY notes as the gifts were received.  This let the givers know that the presents arrived in good shape.  It also was lots easier to write four or five notes a week than engaging in a marathon session after the actual Wedding. 

peaches

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2014, 09:04:09 AM »
It's fine to open wedding gifts before the wedding, as you receive them. This means you can get a head start on writing thank you notes.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/21/wedding-gift-etiquette-_n_5188065.html

Typically, a thank you note is signed by the person who writes it. That can be either bride or groom. It’s nice to mention how much they both appreciate the gift, will love using it or whatever.

Notes also can be “coauthored” and signed by both bride and groom. 

http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/228671/tips-writing-thank-you-notes/@center/352426/thank-you-notes#102906


Lynn2000

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2014, 09:20:29 AM »
I felt gellchom was clear that she was mainly talking about details that would "go the extra mile" with the TY note, not things that she insisted, at a basic level, be there to be polite.

That said, I do feel that sometimes people are quite intimidated by the thought of writing TY notes, which may lead to them being very late or never written at all. Perhaps thinking of what they would say in person would be helpful to some people. I think the main things are to mention the specific giver, mention the specific gift, and express your gratitude for it, generally with words like "thanks" or "we appreciate..." Otherwise you might as well forward a UPS "track your package" notice or something.
~Lynn2000

gellchom

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2014, 04:14:18 PM »
Thanks, Lynn2000, that was indeed the point I thought I had stressed.

My own daughter is going to be a little slow on her thank you notes for the gifts that have already arrived, because she lives overseas and is going to wait until she comes here in about 2 weeks (which is about 2 weeks before the wedding) to open the gifts and write the notes.  I don't blame her, and I know that the givers all know the situation and will be understanding.  They will still get them in at most about 6 weeks after the first present arrived here, and (I hope!) promptly after she opens them. 

Anyway, "promptly" doesn't mean "immediately."  If you are sending out 4 thank you notes for, say, your birthday, yeah, you should be able to do them in a few days.  But everyone knows that around a wedding or the birth of a new baby, the polite time frame is much longer.  I see "up to three months after the gift was received" a lot for wedding gifts.  That makes sense to me.  Two people ought to be able to crank out even a long list of notes in that amount of time, especially because not all the gifts come the same day. 

DD also ordered note cards with her fiance's last initial (she is changing her name) to use for thank you notes.  But it won't be her initial until after the wedding, so technically she shouldn't be using that stationery yet.  I suppose she could use some other stationery we have in the house, but I'm sure she will want to use her pretty new cards.  If she signs the notes from both of them, at least it's his initial already, but technically she's not supposed to do that, either -- she's just supposed to write, "Cuthbert loves the fur-lined sink" and sign it "Petunia."  But I think that convention is very rarely observed anymore; at least half the notes I get are signed "Cuthbert and Petunia."  I think that looks fine, as does using the initial stationery, even though I know the "rules."  I definitely think it's better than waiting until after the wedding for gifts that arrived two months before the wedding just to perfectly properly use the new cards.

Another important thing to remember about thank you notes: don't just send them to people who gave you gifts.  It's important to thank people who helped out and your vendors, too.  They really appreciate it.  Those notes can come from the parents if they are the hosts, but it makes an even nicer impression if the HC send them themselves or in addition to their parents'. 

Specky

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2014, 09:52:51 AM »
I just appreciate knowing that you received the gift.  I don't need a picture (something I have to do something with).  A phone call or an email is acceptable to me.

kudeebee

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2014, 02:03:26 PM »
I agree with Specky.  I don't need a long, newsy letter.  Just a simple note mentioning the gift I gave, maybe a sentence that you liked it or will use it for xx, then thank you and your names.

Whether I get a picture or not is not a big deal to me.

paintpots

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2014, 04:35:26 AM »
Thanks all for the advice! Nearly a month on and DH and I have got the majority of the notes out (ones left are to people that we know are on holiday so less of a rush). After a while we got into the rythmn of it - only a little bit of handcramp..

In the end we did wait until the photos arrived but stuck to sending out a single photo of us and details of how to see the rest. We did originally want to send out shots of the thankees, but logistically it would have taken ages so we decided to get on with it.

menley

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Re: Thank you letters - what do you like to receive?
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2014, 05:45:23 AM »
I'm not sure I agree that a thank you note for vendors is important. It's a business transaction - I paid for their services and tipped them, and they did their job. Certainly if they went above and beyond their responsibilities it would be nice to send them a note of appreciation, but otherwise? They're simply following the business contract.

Regarding timing of thank you notes, we wrote notes prior to the wedding for all gifts received at showers, which was the majority of our wedding presents. We saved ourselves a great deal of stress after the honeymoon as nearly 60% of our thank you notes were already sent. Those gifts that were sent to the home mostly arrived 1-2 weeks before the wedding - we waited until after the honeymoon to open them and to write the notes, but both my husband and I are quite fond of writing notes, so we had them all in the mail within 2 weeks of our honeymoon. So, the longest it could have gone without being received was approximately 5 weeks, which I think is perfectly acceptable. We divided the notes - for gifts that came from his side of the guest list, my husband wrote the notes (and I added my signature) and vice versa.