When Should I Send Out Wedding Thank You Cards?

Michael Bold
Written by Michael Bold · Posted in Invites & Paper Last Updated January 28, 2024 · minute read
In This Article

    You did it! You got married! Please accept our congratulations. I bet you thought it was all over and done with, didn’t you? Well, we’re sorry, we’ve got some bad news. It’s time to start thinking about when you should send your thank you cards.

    wedding thank you card

    When Should I Send Out Wedding Thank You Cards?

    It’ll be no surprise to hear that the sooner the better while your wedding is still fresh in the memory of your guests. However, we realize that’s not always practical with the honeymoon and post-wedding relaxation to take care of.

    In this article we’re going to take you through everything you need to know about when you should send out wedding thank you cards. We’ll talk about what they are, why they’re a good idea as well as some acceptable and less acceptable time frames that you can send them out.

    Not only that but we’ll also discuss the design you choose, the people you send them to, and the pros and cons of personal messages. All these factors will influence how long it takes you to complete this post-wedding task.

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    What are Thank You Cards?

    Perhaps your guest picked out the perfect item off your registry. We realize you’ve probably already shown your gratitude in person to your guest for buying you a gift.

    However, a thank you card allows you to put pen to paper and thank them for so much more. A thank you card is a physical item you send out to your guests and will mean so much more to them than a simple text message that could essentially say the exact same thing.

    In our opinion a thank you card is a vital addition to your wedding stationery checklist. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-designed and well-worded thank you card for the people you invite to share your special day.

    When Should I Send Out Wedding Thank You Cards?

    Let’s take a look at some of the typical time frames for getting your thank you cards sent to your guests.

    1-2 weeks

    Ok, speedy Gonzales! 1-2 weeks is ideal. Your wedding is still fresh in everyone’s mind.

    At the same time, the gifts you received and whom they were from should be easier to recall.

    Now, if you’re ahead of the curve you could have pre-designed your wedding thank you cards before the wedding. We know you’ll need to be super organized to add this task to your wedding to-do list but it could pay dividends.

    2-4 weeks

    There’s nothing wrong with this time frame other than you might have a more difficult time recalling what Auntie Edna got you or whether you need to thank a particular guest with a more personal message.

    However, this is perhaps a little more of a realistic time frame especially if you’re planning on going away on honeymoon or having a week or two post-wedding detox.

    Before 3 months

    Getting your thank you cards out to guests for up to 3 months is fine as a general rule of thumb.

    They’ll understand that you’ve had a lot on, particularly if you’ve moved into a new home or been away on honeymoon.

    After 3 months

    In our opinion, it’s never too late to send out those thank you cards to guests. After all, you want to give that toaster that Uncle Peter got a real good test before thanking him for it don’t you?

    The problem with waiting this length of time is that the wedding won’t be as fresh in the memory for anyone. You don’t want to thank the wrong people for the wrong thing, do you?

    Of course, one advantage is that you can tell Uncle Peter how much joy the toaster he got you has brought to your life. Hopefully, it was a four-slice one rather than a two-slicer that’s all we’re saying!

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    A year later

    It’s a common misconception that you have a year to get your thank you cards sent out to your guests. And we get it, life gets in the way. However, we’re sorry to tell you that it’s simply not acceptable.

    Guests will have spent lots of money and dedicated their time to your special day. The least you can do is send them a thank you card promptly. We also understand that the size of your wedding may have a big impact on the number of guests you invited that need thanking.

    However, don’t be tempted to send thank you cards out 20 here 10 there. Make sure they’re all sent out at the same time. This will prevent people from feeling hurt that someone else has received a thank you card before them.

    Ultimately, don’t wait a year to send your thank you card. To put it bluntly, it’s rude!

    Does Each Wedding Event Need a Thank You Card? Does This Affect Timing?

    Engagement Party

    Our advice is to send thank you cards to the people who attend your engagement party or give you gifts.

    It’s a nice touch that will make people feel good and encourage them to get you an even better wedding present haha. We joke! We think you should send these out as soon as possible and definitely no later than a month after your engagement soiree.

    Bridal Shower

    A bridal shower is typically reserved for those nearest and dearest to the bride. Aim to get thank you out as soon as possible again to show your appreciation for the support and gifts your squad has provided you.

    Better yet you could get them thank you gifts and cards to hand out at the bridal shower itself.

    Stag and Hen Do’s

    It’s a nice touch to send out thank you cards to those who joined you on your stag or hen do’s. This one isn’t 100% necessary but why not thank your guests for helping you have one final hurrah up before the big day?

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    Who Gets a Thank You Card?

    Guests and people who gave gifts

    It’s important to think about all the guests that attended your wedding and make sure they’re thanked.

    You don’t want to upset anyone by missing them out. Consult your invite list and try to be thorough.

    As well as all those that attended the wedding you will also want to thank people that sent gifts but couldn’t be there on the big day.

    Vendors

    Vendors will have worked especially hard to ensure the smooth running of your wedding.

    Sending them a thank you card is a nice thing to do and shows that you really appreciate their efforts.

    This is a classy touch and will live long in the memory of suppliers such as the venue, stationers, florists, photographers, and videographers.

    How Does the Design of Your Thank You Cards Affect Timing?

    Many couples choose to use wedding photos to adorn their thank-you cards. It can sometimes take up to six weeks to get your photos back from your photographer.

    As a result, this could hold up the process a little. That being said, many wedding photographers will send you a preview of between 10-30 images a few days after the wedding. This could speed up the process.

    Alternatively, you could forgo using your wedding photos as part of the design. That way you can get your thank you cards sent out as soon as you want.

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    Personal Messaging vs Batching for Speed

    Personal touch

    Just put yourself in the gift-giver’s shoes for a second. Imagine how you’d feel receiving a personal message that touches on how important their gift is to you and your partner.

    Of course, this method is going to take a long time and you’ll need to ensure you get it right. You don’t want to be telling Auntie Julie how often you have amazing smoothies from the blender she gifted you when she actually got you a toaster!

    Batching

    It may seem impersonal but batching your thank you cards is by far and away the quickest way to complete this task.

    We don’t think you should have a pre-printed message as that of course signals a lack of effort.

    However, you could say something generic thanking them for their gift and saying how much you’ll use it. If you asked for money as a gift you could mention what you’ll put it towards. You could also reserve personal messaging for those that mean the most to you.

    This is especially helpful if you’ve had a massive wedding with hundreds of thank you cards to write. For smaller affairs, we still suggest going with personal messaging.

    FAQ

    Is it rude not to send thank you cards after a wedding?

    We’re not going to sugarcoat it. Yes, it’s rude. Wedding etiquette dictates that you send out thank you cards after the wedding. Just think about if the roles were reversed. You give Charlotte and Tony a gift for their wedding and you don’t get a thank you card. How would that make you feel?

    Is it acceptable to thank guests digitally?

    We understand the appeal of going down this route. However, we just don’t think they hit the same as a physical thank you card received in the mail.

    This is something they can treasure forever and look back on. Whereas a digital thank you card feels a little less personal and forgettable.

    How late is too late to send thank you cards?

    Whilst it can never be too late to send thank you cards out we are firm believers that you should get this done as soon as possible. It’ll avoid any awkwardness and you’ll have a clear conscience knowing that you’ve given thanks to everyone who shared in your big day.

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    Conclusion

    The question of when I should send out wedding thank you cards is an easy one to answer. As soon as possible.

    However, we hope that you have understood from reading this article that there are lots of things that can influence this speed.

    Whether that’s waiting on the wedding photos to be delivered or the fact that you’ve got wedding fatigue and it’s the last thing you want to think about.

    Our advice though is to consider this as the last job on the wedding to-do list. Once this is done you can fully relax in wedded bliss. You don’t want the thought of writing your thank you cards niggling at the back of your mind for months and months, do you?

    The best way in our opinion is to pre-plan for your thank you cards. Already have a design in mind or have them printed and that way you can get them sent out ASAP.

    Chances are you’re reading this having just got married so the pre-planning option is out the window. However, if not it’s time to stop procrastinating and get on with it. The sooner they’re sent the better!