Today's Manner's Monday post is an answer to a reader's question that I received last week. Susan J. from New Mexico asked me this question as it pertains to wedding thank you notes.
"I'm getting married in October and trying to research as much as I can. After our wedding day is over I don't really have any idea when I should begin sending out the thank you notes to our guests. I tried to google for the answer but I've seen a few different suggestions. I want to hear what you believe the right timing is. Thank you! Susan"
Thank you Susan for writing in with your question! I think people have heard a range of answers about this topic. Some say within 3 months, others say you have up to 6 months. How long your honeymoon will be and other factors such as if you are moving immediately after your wedding day will help determine the answer.
I always believe it's best to stay on top of it and get those thank you notes out sooner vs. later. It's easy to get caught up with day-to-day things like work, settling into a new home and forget or let it pile up on you. For someone who is taking a long honeymoon such as 2-3 weeks, 1 month is not reasonable, although it may work for a couple that spend one week away and want to tie up the loose ends of their wedding. The optimal time is anything within 3 months from your wedding date. Any time after that and guests will be thinking you've forgotten them or that you may not have received their gift at all! It's better to exceed your guests expectations by sending the notes as soon as you can.
Another factor is wedding photography. Brides used to wait months to get their photos back from their Photographer, but in this day of digital you should have your photos in a few weeks, having the necessary amount printed to be enclosed with your thank you note if you so desire. It took 3 months for my hubby and I to receive the photos from my Canadian photographer as she shot our photos manually and put together 2 albums for us. I knew waiting for them was not an option and I didn't 'love' any of the photos friends took enought to use them inside our cards. I didn't want to break etiquette and keep my guests wondering so I mailed ours out at the two month mark as we were honeymooning for two weeks then moving me down to FL afterwards. Photos are always appreciated and a nice keepsake of your big day but are not a necessary component of the thank you note, it is about personal preference. The thank you notes however are absolutely essential!
Enjoy your special day Susan! If you write a few thank you notes each day, I think you'll find that it's less overwhelming and they'll be done before you know it!