I remember after my own wedding feeling overwhelmed with gratitude - for the people who came, for my parents' help in the months and weeks leading up to it, for our wonderful officiants, for my husband's aunts who played the piano and sang during our ceremony, and my grandmother for making my wedding dress. I could go on and on, and even now I still feel I should thank them all again for making our day so special!
Like most brides, I was planning to send thank you notes for the gifts we received, but I knew those would take more time and it might be a few months before our guests received those. In the days and weeks following our wedding, I was so grateful that people had come to help us celebrate that I wanted to send a little token of my appreciate. In the blur after our wedding, I wish I had had a reminder of who to thank and when after the big day was over. I'm not sure anything could have helped convey exactly how overwhelmingly grateful I was for everyone who helped, but at least it would have given me a good place to start!
You likely thanked them in person on the day, and perhaps before your wedding, but your list of little thank you's can start with your bridal party. Start by sending them a quick text message from the airport on the way to your honeymoon, and follow that up when your return with a handwritten thank you note and a few printed snaps of you and your girls.
If options Printic had been around, it would have been a great option - you just download the free app to your phone, then choose photos that Printic sends directly to whomever you want. It's inexpensive and fast and will put such a smile on your 'maids' faces while you zip away on honeymoon!
Parents and Grandparents
One of the best ways to thank parents and grandparents is to get photos printed for them quickly - they want to show their friends and family who couldn't make it to the wedding well before you get your photos back from your photographer.
Consider putting together a little printed album from Instagrams of the day that your parents can see a little sooner, and you can even include a message in the front with thanks for their help! Artifact Uprising has beautiful options for soft cover books that won't take you long to compile from your phone photos before you have the professional ones in hand.
Officiants and Vendors
We had officiants and vendors who went above and beyond to help make our day perfect, and now that I've been working in the wedding business for a few years, I know exactly how much it means for them to hear your gratitude once the day is over. We sent handwritten thank you notes and a sweet treat to each of ours, just to thank them for going the extra mile.
Your wedding wouldn't have been the same without all of the people who came on the day to watch you tie the knot, and we all know just how hard and expensive it can be to make it to a wedding. We had friends and family come all the way from Ireland and California to Maine! And we couldn't have been more grateful that they went to all that trouble and expense.
We sent handwritten thank you notes for each gift we received, but that took a few months to accomplish. I wish we had done something to say thank you that was separate from the gifts and a little sooner after the wedding. We recently attended a wedding and a few weeks later, the bride sent a handwritten note just to say thank you for coming. It was so sweet and exactly what I would do if I could turn back time!
A Few Thank You Don't's
Saying thank you can almost never go wrong (who doesn't love a thank you?!), but keep a these few tips in mind:
- You don't want to wait too long to send this type of impromptu thank you, within a week or two.
- Handwritten notes are more special than email, but for this informal type of thank you, do whichever you have time for in the busy weeks after your wedding.
- The idea is more to give an extra dose of gratitude, so remember to keep notes heartfelt and not formulaic. If you feel yourself getting tired of writing them, put them down and pick them up when your mind is fresh!
Do you have anything special planned to thank people who helped you make your dream wedding come true? We'd love to hear your ideas for creative ways to thank everyone who helped and made that day special!
Emily Westbrooks is an American-born writer and blogger based in Dublin, Ireland. She is the Online Editor for Confetti Magazine, one of Ireland's top bridal magazines. She also writes her own lifestyle blog, From China Village, where she chronicles her adventures in Dublin, travels around Europe, DIY projects and Irish design. She shares her home with her husband, one cat, and four sassy chickens!