5 Thank-You Note Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

Etiquette, Invites & Stationery
Thank You Note Mistakes

Photo: Getty Images

The wedding may be over, but the work isn't done yet! After you say, "I do" and embark on your honeymoon, there are still thank you notes to be penned and put in the mail. To avoid offending any of your gracious guests, make sure you don't commit any of these five cardinal mistakes.

1. Being super generic
According to celebrity wedding and event planner Danielle Rothweiler of Rothweiler Event Design, the biggest mistake you could possibly make is not thanking a guest for their specific gift. In other words, you really can't be generic, brides! Unless it's money, she says it's a must to reference the exact item you were given in your thank you note. "Simply thanking someone for his or her 'thoughtful gift' more or less translates to, 'I have no idea what you got me, and I'm just sending this letter because I'm supposed to.'" Yeah, not OK.

2. Accidentally thanking someone for the wrong gift
When opening gifts, be very careful to note who sent you what, advises celebrity wedding planner Donnie Brown of Donnie Brown Weddings and Events. Nowadays, many gift registries will also tackle this task for you. However, you'll have to remember to keep track of anything you receive that isn't on the registry. To minimize mistakes, Brown makes it a practice to write the gift on the back of the card.

3. Not being gracious enough
Especially for off-registry gifts. So what if the item wasn't exactly your style? Maybe it was even downright ghastly, regardless, you still have to say thank you and act like you mean it, warns Brown. "You can always take a picture of the ugly cat statue with the clock on its stomach in your living room and then sell it on eBay later." That is, if the gift giver isn't a frequent visitor to your home.

See More: Should You Both Give Your Parents a Gift Before the Wedding?

4. Procrastinating on putting your thank you notes in the mail
As a general rule of thumb, don't wait more than three months to send out your thank you notes, urges Brown. "You should really try and get them out within two but three is the absolute max. Anything beyond that is considered bad form," he cautions. "And if you never received a thank you card from someone after giving them a wedding gift, it doesn't matter. Send one anyway!" It's good manners.

5. Not sending your mom or BFF a card
A phone call, text message or email certainly won't suffice in this case, although it's a nice gesture on top of the card, of course. As Brown points out, just because it's your mom or BFF that doesn't exempt them from the list; they still get a thank you card.

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