Some couples assume their work is finished once they drive off into the sunset with the “just married” sign hanging from the back of their car, but this isn’t necessarily true. As a token of gratitude, you may want to guests who attended your wedding a thank you card.

Are Thank You Card Really Necessary?

While there’s no rule stating that couples must send thank you cards after tying the knot, it’s proper etiquette to do so. Guests are often forced to clear their own schedules to attend a wedding, taking time off work and setting aside other responsibilities. Sending guests a basic thank you card acknowledges the sacrifices they made to attend your wedding, expressing you and your fianc√©’s gratitude.

Who Should Receive a Thank You Card?

Along with the guests, there are a few other people who should receive a thank you card. See below for a complete list:

  • Anyone who attended your wedding
  • Wedding planner or coordinator
  • Venue owner
  • Anyone who sent a gift, even if they did not attend your wedding
  • Vendors and service providers (optional, but a great way for couples to express their gratitude for exceptional service)
  • Officiant

When Should I Send Thank You Cards?

It’s a common assumption that couples have one full year from the date of their wedding to send thank you cards. As noted in article published by HuffingtonPost, however, this is just a myth with no real merit in modern-day weddings. So, when should you send thank you cards? A good rule of thumb is to send them within three months of returning from your honeymoon, assuming you and your fiance took the honeymoon immediately after the wedding.

What to Include in Thank You Cards

There’s really no specific format for creating wedding thank you cards. Just remember to personalize them according to the recipient. For instance, you can use stationary featuring a photo of you and your new spouse from the wedding, along the words “THANK YOU” at the bottom. Before sending, however, you should add a handwritten note on the back of the cards, telling the recipient thanks for attending and/or the gift.

Don’t just use the same cookie-cutter template across all of your thank you cards, but rather personalize your cards to make them more meaningful. If you are sending a thank you card to a friend whom you haven’t seen in years, include a brief massage along the lines of “It was great to see you again. [insert spouse’s name here] and I are so glad you could make it to our wedding!” Or if you are sending a thank you card to someone who gave you a wedding gift but did not attend your wedding, you could mention the gift and how it’s being used in your home.

If you need help crafting the perfect thank you card, check out this Pinterest board for some inspiration.

Photo credit: Sarah Parrott