Wedding Thank You Card Wording: How to Write a Thank You Note

We've come up with sample thank yous for every gift-giving scenario.

thank you note

Courtesy of Seaborn Press

Writing thank you notes may seem like a daunting task, but we promise, it's not as difficult as it seems. Plus, we can assure you that the faster you get them done and sent, the happier you’ll be!

First, let's break down the structure of a well-written note. "A thank you note should really just have three simple elements," says wedding etiquette expert Elaine Swann, founder of The Swann School of Protocol. "You should say thank you, name the gift, and say something about the gift. That’s it!" If you're still feeling overwhelmed and uncertain, we've compiled tips, to-dos, and thank you card wording examples to help you with every possible wedding gifting scenario.

Meet the Expert

Elaine Swann is a lifestyle and wedding etiquette expert and the founder of The Swann School of Protocol. She is also the author of Let Crazy Be Crazy.

Thank You Note Writing Tips
Alison Czinkota/Brides 

Writing Tips

Get organized.

Create a spreadsheet of the guest list with their addresses as soon as you send out your invites. (Yes, that early!) This makes it easier to track where to send your thank yous when the gifts start rolling in. Your file should also include what you received, when it was received, the date you posted the card, and another column for helpful notes. Remember: Spreadsheets are your friends!

Start right away.

"Start writing those notes as soon as you receive the gifts," Swann says. This will help you avoid an overwhelming avalanche of to-write notes later on. Plus, the sooner you write the notes, the sooner you can mail them!

Have a system.

We know that opening gifts, especially in bulk, can be such an exhilarating experience that the instinct is to tear through them. But we recommend being methodical and taking note of each gift as you open it to avoid losing or mixing senders' info. You'll thank us later!

Work in batches.

After the wedding, expect to have a ton of gifts and a lot of thanking to do. The best way to tackle this seemingly never-ending task? Write the notes in batches. Schedule an hour or two each day to work on a number of cards to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Share the workload.

Divvy up this task with your partner as much as possible to keep from overburdening one party. Split up recipients based on who knows the guest better. Pro tip: Reward yourselves post-task with a romantic night in to make the activity feel less of a chore!

Keep your stationery on theme.

"A good idea is to find thank you cards that follow in suit with the theme of the wedding," advises Swann. If you have the budget, order customized stationery along with your invites, complete with the same monogram or logo. If not, don't fret. "Just find something that matches the theme, color, or style of your wedding," says Swann.

Make it specific.

When writing your thank yous, include specifics on the item such as what you like about it or how you plan to enjoy it. For example, do you look forward to making brunch with your new waffle iron? Write that down. This kind of specificity makes the notes feel a lot more personal and sincere. The same goes for monetary gifts. Let the gift-giver know what you plan to purchase or how you'll make use of their generosity.

Take a photo of each gift after opening to make it easier to reference the gift's details when it's time to write your notes. This is especially helpful for gifts stored after opening or buried under a mountain of other presents.

Writing Etiquette

Handwrite the notes.

Make sure your notes are handwritten and, according to Swann, not printed out and then signed. Even if your invites may have been dispatched digitally, avoid sending digital thank yous as much as possible.

Include all names in the gift.

Double-check who's signed on the gift card. If the card is signed by a couple, make sure to write down both their names in your note, even if you're only acquainted with one of them.

Promptly send out cards.

Swann advises couples to mail their thank you cards as early as a week after the wedding. If you've written out cards in batches, send them out in batches too! No need to wait until each and every gift is accounted for. If you receive a gift before the wedding, go ahead and send a prompt thank you. "The thank you note is for the gift itself," Swann explains. "Although it was intended for the wedding, you’re saying thank you for the gift." So send those notes out right away.

Some photographers include free thank you notes as part of their wedding package. If this is the case for you, it's understandable to have a bit of a wait. Just clarify the timelines with your photographer so you know when to expect the customized thank you notes. Your guests will understand and will love the special touch!

Specify the amount for monetary gifts.

"When thanking people for the gift of money, it’s important for you to put the exact amount that they gave you," says Swann, debunking myths that you shouldn't specify the amount you received. The reason for this is twofold, she says. "You're letting them know you received the money and you're verifying how much you received." This is especially helpful if the money was transferred digitally or sent via post to give senders peace of mind.

Thank You Card Wording Examples

If you’ve got a case of writer’s block about what to write in a wedding thank you card, here are a few sample notes for common gifting scenarios to get those creative juices flowing.

For People Who Got You a Gift off Your Registry

Pro tip: It’s something you wanted, so mention how much you love it and that you plan to use it all the time.

Dear [Guest's Name],
Thank you so much for the espresso machine! [Partner's Name] and I have become serious coffee fiends, and are excited to be able to make our own drinks at home. We’d love to have you over for brunch soon so you can see it in action! Thank you again for being a part of our wedding day.
Best,
[Your Name(s)]

For People Who Gave a Monetary Gift

Pro tip: As with physical gifts, let them know how you’ll use the cash!

Dear [Guest's Name],
Thank you so much for celebrating our wedding day with us! [Partner's Name] and I were thrilled with your generous and thoughtful gift of $100. Thanks to you, we were able to book the cooking class we’d had our eye on for our honeymoon. Looking forward to seeing you over the holidays!
Love,
[Your Name(s)]

For People Who You Don't Know Well

Pro tip: Mention the person you know in common.

Dear [Guest's Name],
Thank you for the gorgeous crystal bowl. It will look absolutely beautiful on our coffee table. It was so lovely to see you at the wedding—my mother always speaks so fondly of you, and [Partner's Name] and I were so happy to finally meet you in person!
Sincerely,
[Your Name(s)]

For People Who Gave You an Unfamiliar Item

Pro tip: Focus on the giver, rather than the mystery gift. If possible, include a fond memory with them during the wedding.

Dear [Guest's Name],
Thank you again for being a part of our big day, as well as for the wonderful wedding gift. It means so much to us that you traveled so far to celebrate with us. [Partner's Name] and I feel lucky to count you as our friends!
Best,
[Your Name(s)]

For People Who Shared in a Group Gift

Pro tip: Send individual notes to each person, but give a shout-out to the whole group.

Dear [Guest's Name],
Thank you so much for the wine fridge. It will definitely be getting a lot of use in our new home! We are so lucky to have friends who know us so well, and can’t wait to have you all over to open a bottle or two!
Warmly,
[Your Name(s)]

For group gifts, send an individual card to each person who contributed to the gift. However, if you're not sure of who contributed to the gift, Swann says it's acceptable to only thank the person who personally handed or sent the item to you.

For People Who Got You a Gift You Don't Love (Or Will Exchange)

Pro tip: No need to rave about the gift if you don't like it, but do find something positive to say!

Dear [Guest's Name],
[Partner's Name] and I want to thank you for the wooden salad bowl. The organic design is so beautiful, and the carved salad servers are the perfect finishing touch. You have great taste! We are so happy you were able to make it to our wedding—thanks for holding down the fort on the dance floor!
Sincerely,
[Your Name(s)]

For People Who Couldn't Attend but Still Sent a Gift

Pro tip: Mention how much you wish they could have been there.

Dear [Gifter's Name],
Thank you so much for the set of wine glasses. It was so kind of you to think of us! [Partner's Name] and I wish you could have been there on our wedding day—it wasn’t the same without you. We’re looking forward to more opportunities to celebrate together in the future!
Love,
[Your Name(s)]

For People Who Traveled to See You

Pro tip: Even if they didn't give you a physical gift, you should thank them for making the trip.

Dear [Guest's Name],
Thank you so much for making the trip to celebrate our special day. It meant so much to [Partner's Name] and I that you traveled all the way from Paris just for us. We hope you had as much fun as we did!
Love,
[Your Name(s)]

For Those Who Were in Your Wedding Party

Pro tip: Whether or not they gave a gift, be sure to thank them anyway for the role they played on your special day.

Dear [Member of Wedding Party],
Thank you so much for being my [Role]. You mean so much to [Partner's name] and I. Having you by my side throughout this process and on our wedding day made it all the more special. We can't wait to share more meaningful experiences with you!
Love,
[Your Name(s)]

For Thanking Your Parents

Pro tip: Mention a special moment you had in your note.

Dear [Parents' Names],
Thank you so much for being a part of our big day and for the love and support you've given [Partner's Name] and I. Our wedding wouldn't have been the same without you. I will always cherish the heartfelt toast you gave. We can't wait to build a future together, all of us family.
Love,
[Your Name(s)]

For Thanking Your Wedding Suppliers

Pro tip: Thank them for their specific contribution to your wedding.

Dear [Supplier's Name],
[Partner's Name] and I want to thank you for the beautiful photographs you took at our wedding. We will treasure them always. We are so pleased you were part of our wedding. You definitely helped bring our vision to life.
Sincerely,
[Your Name(s)]

For Thanking Attendees

Pro tip: Thank each and every attendee, even if they didn't bring a gift. Include an anecdote from the wedding to make it more personal.

Dear [Guest's Name],
[Partner's Name] and I are so grateful you could make it to our wedding. Your presence made our day extra special. We especially loved seeing you dance to the Spice Girls! We hope you enjoyed our day as much as we did!
Sincerely,
[Your Name(s)]

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