When do I have to send thank you notes?

The wedding is over, you’re back from the honeymoon, and real life can start once again. But now all of the fallout that you so cleverly avoided by escaping to your honeymoon is waiting for you, and the very first item on your list: wading through writing dozens of thank you notes.

When should I start thinking about thank you cards?

No one likes extra hassle, so be proactive before the big day to make sure that everyone who comes as your guest can feel truly appreciated. To help future-you, while you are planning your wedding, make sure that you keep the addresses that you used for your wedding invitations. You can then easily send out your thank you cards without panicking that you’ve forgotten someone.
In fact, before your wedding is actually the perfect time to be thinking about your wedding thank you cards. Instead of having to do even more wedding-related admin after you have wed, you can order thank you cards at the same time as your wedding invitations? That would mean that you could get them designed and printed at the same time, saving you time and money, as well as keeping the theme beautifully tied together. Here are some more tips on writing your thank you cards here.
However, if you want to show off your beautiful wedding photos, and include a group shot from your wedding day, then ordering thank you cards will need to happen post-wedding. Here’s a guide on what types of thank you cards may suit and a bit of thank you note design inspo!

What’s the timeframe expected for sending wedding thank you cards?

According to traditional etiquette, you have twelve months – that’s a whole year – in which to send your thank you cards. However, no guest that has bought you an expensive and thoughtful present wants to wait until your first wedding anniversary to finally get a thank you note. Instead, a caring couple should probably send thank you cards out within six months of the wedding. That gives you enough time to get a wedding photo back from the wedding photographer, acclimatise to your married life, and your friends and family don’t worry that you’ve forgotten them!

I am really late sending my wedding’s thank you cards. Should I bother sending them at all?

If life got away on you, and you’re feeling guilty about not sending thank you cards – don’t fret. It’s better to send them late, than not at all. Just acknowledge on your card that it’s been a while but better late than never. Or say you delayed sending your thank you cards so that you could share what you’ve done with your wishing well proceeds, for example. People are understanding and will be thrilled to receive a card. There’s a great example of what you can say on one of the thank you cards here.

What should I say on my wedding thank you cards?

Oh babe, that’s a whole ‘nother minefield, but I’ve got you covered – check out my templates and wording suggestions for thank you cards here.

10 thoughts on “When do I have to send thank you notes?

    1. Yep 6 months sounds crazy doesn’t it! There are some pretty in demand wedding photographers that take 4 months to get photos back though. (Note – a couple could ask the photographer to return one high-res photo for thank you cards to avoid holding up this process – lots don’t as they don’t want to bother the photog)

  1. Wow – who would wait 12 months?? This is a very handy guide for this quite touchy subject. Even for day to day life – when and how to send thank you cards. Most people I find don’t anymore – it’s now done via email or text. It’s a nicety in life that is fading out unfortunately. Keep up the thank you cards I say!!

    1. I know, 12 months is pretty rough huh. I’ve been to plenty of weddings where I didn’t get anything, so at least they’re sending something I guess?!

    1. The motivation levels are pretty low the more you procrastinate 🙂 Some couples want to put a wedding photo on the card so have to wait till the photographer has edited the photos – that doesn’t help 😉

    1. I know right?! Etiquette is all about being proper but I’d be a bit put out by waiting a year :O

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