Your friends and family have gone to great lengths and expense to grace you with their wonderful gifts. It's time to say thank you! For gifts that have arrived on or after the wedding, tradition dictates Thank You notes are sent within three months. Personally, I think three months is a very long time to acknowledge a gift. If you receive your gifts before your wedding, you should thank the recipient within two weeks. I like that timeframe-- it's much more cordial.
Thank you notes can be flat or folded but must always be handwritten. Never, under any circumstance do you ever send a pre-printed thank you note. Even if you have 300 guests giving you 300 presents at your wedding, you better believe you need to handwrite 300 separate thank you notes. Just one reason to keep your wedding small I suppose! One of my favorite passages in Emily Post's Etiquette book from 1934 says this regarding pre-printed thank you notes. It's true, but quite funny in its tone:
"It would not be possible to overemphasize the inexcusable rudeness of the Bride who sends a printed or engraved card of thanks for wedding presents sent to her. Whoever devised this flagrant affront to the traditions of common decency was, obviously, more concerned with making sales to stationers than with acquiring knowledge of the precepts of polite behavior. "
At any rate, send out your thank you notes as soon as you can... it is truly gracious to be thankful.
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