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Tips for Handwriting Wedding Gift Thank You Cards

While technology has made instant communication the norm and snail mail has quickly begun to fade into the past, we’re not yet at the point where emailing wedding gift “thank you” cards are entirely appropriate. Thank God. However, with all of your other wedding planning duties to keep you busy, it might be harder than you think to hand write, address, stuff, and stamp every single thank you card that must be sent out. Even small weddings demand a lot of paper cuts and ink stains for the happy couple. Rest assured, your guests are counting on you to personally acknowledge the knife sets and toaster ovens they painstakingly selected for you, and every single one must be contacted accordingly. However, creating personal, touching, and beautiful wedding gift thank you cards doesn’t have to be an insurmountable burden. Take advantage of the following time-saving tips to blend efficiency with proper etiquette.
First, create a template for your thank you cards months before the gifts ever begin to arrive (or now, if that point has already passed). Yes, templates can be impersonal, but a few name insertions and the addition of one personal line at the end are all it takes to turn a mundane mechanical response into a warm, gracious gesture. Your first few lines on every thank you card should be the same to save time, and the last line or two should be personalized. You’ll save countless hours with this tip.
Next, understand that you can spend more on your wedding’s handwritten thank you cards and exchange that investment for less time spent pouring over their composition. In other words, the nicer the card, the less you have to worry about writing. Skip the Hallmark dime-a-dozen boxed sets and order your wedding thank you cards from a specialty printing company. The quality of the paper and printing will be quickly noticed by recipients, instantly taking the burden off of you to seem grateful. Their investment in your gift will be returned by your investment into the keepsake that is their thank you note.
On that note, consider having the names of your wedding gift thank you card recipients engraved in the notes. Costly, yes, but no one said this was going to be a money-saving tutorial. If you wish to save a great deal of time, engraving the names of your recipients onto their cards may be a good idea. Do be careful not to confuse engraving with printing, however. Typing names into a word processor and printing them off of your computer and onto your cards is not what we’re talking about here. If you wish to save money, you can have a professional printer give your cards an “engraved look” rather than actually engraving them. The look is surprisingly similar, and only by touching can one tell the difference in most circumstances (engraving causes a “pucker” on the back of the page, while printing causes the page to remain flat on both sides).
Next, consider having wedding-themed, formal return address labels printed especially for your handwritten thank you cards. Be aware that although this is a time-saving element, some still believe that not handwriting or engraving every aspect of your thank you notes is distasteful. If you go this route, be sure that the labels are printed specifically for your wedding, are never used beforehand or afterward, and are printed in a deep-set, dark, and very formal format. While adding pictures of wedding bells or gold rings to your labels might seem tempting, avoid adding on any such “extras.” They often look inexpensive and too casual. Just your name and address are sufficient. Also remember never to use P.O. boxes on your return address labels, if at all possible. The utmost in regard for elegance and sophistication is absolutely essential if you are to make labels appropriate for your wedding gift thank you cards.
Next, be sure to purchase postage stamp rolls for your mailing envelopes, as opposed to sheets. It’s a simple concept, but many couples never consider it. Rolls make stamping much faster, and although they are usually used for businesses, chances are you’ll have a need for plenty of them.
Next, don’t be afraid to ask your wedding party attendants for help with stamping, labeling, and stuffing. If you’re planning to handwrite every single thank you card, you’ll need as many hands helping you as possible to save time, energy, and sanity. It’s not considered poor etiquette to ask for help from your attendants, so don’t be shy. As a matter of fact, traditionally they are expected to offer their services gladly. Once the cards have been written out, create an assembly line and get to it. This can be done before or after the wedding, but generally, you would not ask the same attendants to help out more than once. For your pre-wedding send-outs, ask one half of your party to help, and then allow the other half to help afterward in order to divide the labor as fairly as possible. You can also choose to wait until after the wedding and honeymoon, as many couples do, to send all cards out simultaneously. Whatever you decide, do be hospitable and make an event out of the affair by providing drinks, finger foods, or perhaps a light luncheon for those helping out.
Finally, do be sure to put a bit of time and effort into your wedding gift thank you cards. After all, someone took the time and effort to select a gift for you. While it is burdensome, it is expected of you and to be taken seriously. Your wedding thank you notes will be a permanent memento for all of your guests, so while you might wish to implement a few time-saving strategies, do be careful not to overlook the importance of this utterly annoying and life-consuming wedding tradition.

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