You’ve said ‘I do’. Been pronounced Mr. & Mrs. And sealed it all with a kiss. The hard part’s over, right? Thanking your wedding guests can sometimes feel like one more hurdle to negotiate at the very end of the wedding, right when you’re itching to jet off on your honeymoon – but it needn’t be. In fact, it’s a chance to show off your shiny new Mr. and Mrs. titles and show some love to the people who came along to be with you when you tied the knot. With a few different options, it can serve as a final flourish of creativity to mark the start of your married life.
Here’s everything you need to know about thank you notes, informals and what to include in your couples’ stationery wardrobe.
Thank You Notes
The couple that’s gracious together stays together – and can also rely on a good turn out for future anniversaries!
Your thank you notes are the very first step. Ideally, they should be sent out as soon after the wedding as possible to give an impression of sincere appreciation to everyone who helped make your wedding such a day to remember.
Thank you notes are fold-over notes in ecru or white that do exactly what their name suggests – thank your wedding guests for joining you on your Big Day. And for helping you get through all that champagne and cake, perhaps.
But how should you choose the right one?
Matching, Monograms and More
While you’re unlikely to be called out on a mismatch, it’s recommended that your thank you notes match the style of your wedding invitations. If this isn’t easy to achieve, choose a design that’s as close as possible – your guests may want to keep the twinned invitation and thank you note as a memento of a wonderful day.
While thank you notes might seem like an afterthought, there’s still a degree of formality to observe.
Thank you notes are sent by the bride, and often feature a ‘thank you’ or a monogram of her name embossed or engraved on the front. Needless to say, the first option is more in line with a relaxed, warm-hearted expression of thanks. The second is an elegant, powerful statement of identity.
Finally, the page you write your note on is determined by the position of the monogram – if it’s front center, write on page three. If it’s higher up on the front of the card you have the option to begin on page one and finish on page three, perfect for longer messages.
Informals Vs Thank You Notes
Don’t let the name fool you – informals can be rather formal notes. Traditionally these cute little cards are used as invitations or responses to relaxed social events, reminders or messages attached to gifts. Today, however, they’re also perfect as short, classy thank you notes.
Why? Because informals are emblazoned with a lady’s full name. If you’ve taken your husband’s last name or gone double-barreled, an informal is an impeccable way of celebrating the fact and giving friends and family a little souvenir.
Unlike thank you notes, informals don’t include ‘thank you’ or your monogram on the front. Strictly speaking these small, fold-over notes should have a woman’s full social name centered on the front of the card. Traditionally the name is engraved in black ink, but you can always choose something a little more decorative as you declare your new name, like an elegant blue font.
One of the main advantages of informals is that the stationery is not explicitly a thank you note. The same design can be used again and again as a relaxed, personal means of correspondence.
Thanking your Wedding Guest FAQs
How should my monogram be written?
For the monogram, the initials featured are traditionally for first name, maiden name and married name. For example, if the bride’s maiden name is Rebecca Spritz and her married name Rebecca Fitzpatrick, the monogram would read ‘RSF’.
There are two exceptions to this rule. If the monogram has a larger central initial, the married name should occupy that space, with the bride’s first name on the left and maiden name on the right. It’s a small symbolic gesture that makes sure your new last name initial is the showstealer on the note.
Can I send thank you notes before the wedding?
Yes. If you opt for this approach, have your full maiden name monogrammed, without the married initial. The order is now first name, middle name, last name – unless the middle initial is bigger, in which case your last name takes center stage.
My husband-to-be will be writing some of our thank you notes. How should our monogram read?
Thank you notes, like any other social correspondence, are personal messages written by one person. Even if the post-wedding thank you notes are written on behalf of the couple, they’re still written by a single person. Therefore, only your monogram appears on them, and only your name is signed at the end of your note.
If your husband-to-be will be writing his share of thank you notes, he should do so on his own stationery. Men most often use correspondence cards instead of fold-over notes.
Can we put both of our names on our thank you notes?
While just the bride’s monogrammed initials on a wedding thank you note are the traditional choice, some couples today opt for including both of their names. In this case, a folded note with “Mr. and Mrs.” followed by the groom’s full name centered on the first page is the best approach.
What are correspondence cards?
Correspondence cards are flat cards that are mailed in their own envelopes. Your fiancé’s name or monogram appears at the top of the card. He should only write on the front of his correspondence card – a rule he’ll appreciate after writing his first few thank you notes!
I’m keeping my maiden name. What initials do I use?
Your name isn’t changing, and neither is your monogram. Continue to use the initials of your first, middle and last names.
I’m keeping my maiden name. My husband-to-be will be writing some of the thank you notes. How should our monogram read?
It’s time to get creative. There’s no reason not to feature two small, separate, matching monograms — yours on the left, his on the right — joined by a motif of some sort. Discuss the idea with your soon-to-be-spouse and cook up something distinctive that captures your spirit and energy as a couple.
I’m hyphenating my maiden and married names. How does my monogram read?
The initials you use represent your first name, middle name and hyphenated maiden and married names. All four of your initials appear in order in monograms in which all of the initials are the same size.
Your hyphenated maiden and married names appear in the center of monograms that normally have a larger middle initial. The initial representing your first name appears to the left while your middle initial appears to the right. The hyphen does appear between your maiden and married initials.
Since most monogram styles are designed for three initials, you should make sure the monogram you choose looks good with four initials. Before ordering hundreds of notes, ask to see a proof.
I’m getting re-married. What initials do I use on my thank you notes?
Second-time (and third-time) brides use the initials representing their first name, maiden name and new married name. The initial of their first married name isn’t used.
My new last name is McHenry. What initial do I use in my monogram?
You can use either ‘M’ or ‘McH’. It’s a matter of personal preference.
How many thank you notes should I order?
Order enough to cover all your thank yous plus extra for later on. It’s a good idea to think ahead, since stationery is less expensive per piece when ordered in larger quantities.
Should first names be used on informals?
Since informals are actually formal notes, the use of first names on them would create ‘informal’ Informals. If you’d like to use first names on your notepaper, go for less formal stationery such as a colorful note or correspondence card.