Wedding Thank You Cards

on Mar 21, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

My husband and I were married last year on July 31st. He was living in Edmonton and I was living in Winnipeg so we planned the wedding in separate cities while doing a long distance relationship which was crazy and so incredibly stressful! Now I need input from any girls out there - young or old, married or unmarried.

I was told by quite a few people the proper etiquette for wedding thank-yous is 6-12 months. My goal was to get them out well before the 6 month mark. BUT we're both students and work. We spent about the first 3 months of our marriage moving (as our first place fell through), finding a job (for me), and trying to figure out how to transfer my university nursing courses from Manitoba to Alberta so that I can finish school here. It seemed as though until January, one thing after the other came up that got in the way of the thank-yous - and big things too! Including sick family members back in Winnipeg (a grandpa in heart failure that needed his second above-knee amputation and an aunt with breast cancer that has spread to her lymph nodes).

And now I feel awful that we're now at the 8 month mark and are just getting our thank-yous out now. I worry that people will think we're ungrateful and are now just sending them out of obligation. We did write a few as we were going but it was next to impossible to get them all done between the two of us and all the craziness going on.

However, I also feel as though young people in their 20s and 30s don't care about thank you cards as much anymore as say people my parents' age (40s and 50s ). I just assume someone I gave a wedding gift to is thankful. I usually just end up throwing the card out anyway - it eventually just turns into clutter! I also know that if it wasn't what they were looking for or isn't something they can use, then they will exchange it for something better suited to their needs. Either way, I know they have something that works for them. And I think most couples send out thank-you cards because it is expected... and by expected I mean expected by their mothers, grandmothers, mother's friends, etc! I did speak with a good friend I have - she is 38 years old. I asked her if she was offended her thank-you card arrived so late (I know she's always brutally honest with me!). She went on to say she is not huge on the written thank-you cards but does like the photo thank-you's (which is what we got done) because then you see the couple's most favorite photos of their wedding day. I know a lot of couples who have done their thank-you's this way and I prefer this as well!

I also wonder if people understand that our wedding did not happen under normal circumstances. Having a long distance relationship for a year and a bit, then an engagement that lasted only 3 months and involved wedding planning separately, then all that comes after the wedding - would people understand that the now 30 days my mother-in-law claims the thank-yous should've been out by, is next to impossible for us to have done? Even 6 months? What are your thoughts on this?

7 Replies

Ali de Bold
I think you're fine on Mar 21, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

I'm sure everyone is happy with your cards. As long as you send them within the first year, you are just fine. Not sending at all would probably be noticed, but whether it's 6 months or 8 months, that part doesn't matter.

That's a lot you two had to deal with in your first year of marriage! But since you've been able to handle those challenges together, hopefully it has helped you build a strong foundation for the years to come. Congratulations on your wedding!

Within a year on Mar 21, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

I think that most people understand that weddings, moving, and the first year of marriage make your life crazy busy and things like Thank You cards can take a back seat. I agree with Ali, get them out within a year.

I would much rather get a late thank you then none at all. Maybe use this as an opportunity to write a little something about your first year of marriage - you should probably be able to make them personal by adding what or how you used the gift that was given since you've had a chance to enjoy them.

Make a date weekend/night of answering as many cards as you can and don't think about how big the pile is when you start.

Good Luck, and Congrats!


agreed on Mar 21, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

I don't care about thank you cards, but if I receive a photo card I'm appreciative but not expecting it - does that make sense?

I know the older generation definitely expects and appreciates them, but for me it really does land in the recycling box if it's not a photo - callous perhaps, but I can't store all that clutter.

I think you are still doing just fine. People get their gitch in a knot over these things, and there are some who will probably be ticked for whatever reason anyway (eg. a photo card is "too impersonal" because you're sending out to everyone, etc etc). I wouldn't stress about it.

Thanks :) on Mar 21, 2011 @ 01:10 pm

Thanks for the congratulations, everyone! :) It has definitely been a crazy year but has brought us so close together. We are very happy and enjoying every minute of married life!

I agree that it's better to send out the cards a little late than not at all. Now just to get my mother-in-law off our backs..... *sigh*

mamaluv - I also am appreciative but not expecting. That's a good way of putting it. If I get it, great. If not, I don't make a fuss. I also did read in an article earlier today that photo thank-you's are "impersonal" but they're a growing trend and people love them! Maybe it's a newer generation thing. Plus we're writing notes on the back of them anyway. Like you said - there will be people who "get their gitch in a knot". But you can't please everyone eh?

laurenblair - thanks for the suggestion. My husband and I have a date night set up for tonight!

I LOVE that! on Mar 21, 2011 @ 01:11 pm

@mumaluv - I love the idea of sending a picture- it's personal and fun and cute. Who could get made at you for a late thank you with an adorable photo?

First year of marriage on Mar 21, 2011 @ 01:14 pm

I agree with @Lauren, it would be great to hear about everything that's been happening in your first year. I'd much rather a letter updating on your life rather than thanking me for a gift specifically.

I think older generations would probably appreciate the update as well, especially if they aren't on Facebook or don't send and receive emails regularly.

Lastly, I LOVE the photo cards, my friends got married in the fall and a lot of our friends flew in from all over the US and Canada and they sent me a picture postcard taken at the wedding of me with some of our girlfriends who won't be in the same room again for a long time. I treasure that picture and think of their wedding whenever I look at it.

Love the letter idea! on Mar 21, 2011 @ 01:19 pm

Siofan - I love the idea of including a letter about everything that's been happening in the first year! Almost like the letters families send out at Christmas time with their cards. Thanks for the suggestion!

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