Attention couples and thank-you note proponents: Don't give up writing those all-important thank-you notes, even if you've reached (or passed) your one-year anniversary. This is Miss Wedding Manners speaking: I know you're busy, stressed, and trying to hold on to your job (or find a new one)! But whatever you do, don't stop handwriting notes to your loved ones.
Newlywed Jessica Zehavi of Lilydale gave me another great blog topic today—on her first anniversary, no less—with this Facebook mea culpa:
"[I have] officially transgressed a big post-wedding no-no. We are still working on thank-you notes . . . We do want to express our gratitude and will be [sending] thank-you notes. It's not that we've forgotten or blew [them] off."
Jessica, I say send them as soon as you can. Better late than never! American custom dictates that you have, at most, one year to complete your thank-you notes—just as your guests and loved ones have one year to send you a gift. Most don't wait that long, however, and neither should you. If you can help it.
Brides and grooms: Try your best to stay on top of the notes as the gifts arrive, or write your thank-you's within two to three months if possible. Do not try to tackle this yourself. I'd recommend asking your spouse (or fiancé, if you're writing thank-you's before the wedding) to write to the people he or she knows best. It's a much more equitable way to split up the time-consuming task. Plus, brides usually have more to write, after a couple of bridal showers.
I like to write more than a few sentences, but don't spend more than a few minutes on each note. If you do, you'll never complete your task! If your handwriting leaves something to be desired, that's okay. Just don't type—and never e-mail, e-card, text, etc.—your notes. Handwritten thank-you notes are something of a lost art, and this may be the last real correspondence you send great-aunt Millie. (Although I hope not.) Don't forget the thank-you note to your priest, rabbi, or justice of the peace!
Jessica advises her fellow Twin Cities newlyweds to learn from her experience (and that of countless other couples), and stay on top of that thank-you list—despite post-wedding fatigue: "To those of you planning a wedding soon, don't procrastinate."
Still struggling? Here are a few more great thank-you tips to Git-R-Done.