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The Gracious Bride

Words by Jennifer Stein
The Gracious Bride
Proper Etiquette for Thank You Notes and Gifts
 By Elaine Hilbelink
 
Is it appropriate to send e-mailed thank you notes if the invitation to the corresponding party (shower, engagement party, etc.) was an e-vite?
 
We live in a time-crunched society, and when you are planning a wedding you are under even more time constraints. Even so, your thank you notes should always be handwritten. People have put forth money and time to shop for you and attend your event; it would be gracious for you to acknowledge the gift with a personal note in your own hand. If you e-mail your gratitude, it could be construed as tacky and could also inadvertently wind up in a spam folder. Your friends and family have shown their affection for you, and it is only fair that you take a few moments to show your appreciation to them.
 
What do I do if a card has been separated from a gift, and I don’t know the giver?
 
Keeping an accurate list of attendees and gifts is crucial in acknowledging your gifts in an orderly fashion. By process of elimination you might be able to figure out who the giver might be, or at least narrow the field. If you have it down to a few people, you might have a friend or family member close to that person explain the situation or do a little detective work. People certainly understand how mix-ups with gift cards can happen, and would be happy to clarify which gift they sent. Some store registries might also be a helpful source of information.
 
We are an older couple and do not need many of the typical wedding/shower gifts.    Is it appropriate to ask for money to put towards our destination honeymoon? How do we communicate this in a tasteful manner?
 
It is never appropriate for you to request cash in any printed form, including invitations or web sites.  The only polite way to communicate your desires is to let your attendants and close family know your wishes. If people inquire about what you might like, they can then share that a monetary gift would be appreciated.
 
Keep in mind, information may be included in shower invitations, since that is what the purpose of a shower is.
 
What is the appropriate time-line for sending out thank you notes for my wedding?
 
If possible, you should acknowledge your gifts as soon as possible after you receive them. Keeping up as they are arriving, will make writing your thank you notes a less daunting task. Ideally, you want to share your gratitude with your guests within three months. If you are outside of that time-line, you are not ‘off the hook’ and should get your notes out as soon as you can.
 
A family member will be hosting my destination wedding at their vacation home. How much involvement should I have in the set-up and clean-up? How should I show my appreciation for their offer to provide the site?
 
Although they have provided the venue, it is your responsibility to see that all of the details of the day are handled. Obviously, you will be very busy on the actual day, so you must plan ahead and make sure that crews are in place for set-up and clean-up.   You will also need to make sure that someone will be available when vendors are making deliveries. If you are not available to coordinate details, you need to be responsible for finding someone who is…perhaps a wedding coordinator. These duties should not fall on your relative.
 
Showing gratitude for such a kind offer requires more than a note or small gift. You could give them a gift certificate for a favorite bed and breakfast or a nice dinner out. It may also be appropriate for you to offer to pick up the cleaning/gardening costs prior to your big day.
 
 
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