Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Step 11 - Send Thank You Notes for Engagement Gifts

(9 Months to 24 Months Before the Wedding)
An important habit to get into is, to always send thank you notes whenever you receive gifts, especially during your wedding planning period. From this time forward thank you notes should be part of your life and while you're at it, you should get yourself an address book and every five years update it and move addresses to a new address book but keep the old ones in the event you need to find an old contact many years out!

When an engaged couple open gifts, in most cases this is the engaged bride, the engaged groom should be taking notes on what the gift is and whom the gift is from. If there are more than two gifts, don't be fooled and think you can remember all in your head. It's just much safer to always write it down. If the engaged groom is not there when opening the gifts then find a bridesmaid, sister, cousin, or best friend to take notes. If the engaged groom is opening a gift, then the engaged bride should be taking notes on the gift and whom the gift is from and if she is not available then the best man, brother, or buddy should take notes. It looks awkward and adds time if you open the gifts and take notes at the same time.

When it comes to the day of the wedding, there is no set rule when it comes to opening the gifts.  Some couples open gifts the night of the wedding, some couples will have a brunch the morning after the wedding and open the gifts then, and some will open the gifts when they come back from their honeymoon. The choice of when to open the gifts is really up to the couple. However, some guests would love to see the look on your faces when you open their gift in front of them and the emotional joy may make their day, so when you are opening gifts, consider opening gifts around family and friends.

Some gifts are sent to the bride's house prior to the wedding. When to open these gifts are also a judgement call, on the one hand it helps to know you received a gift you need and can knock the gift off of your list of things you want, on the other hand, the more the merrier when you open gifts after a wedding. There will never be another day in your life that you will have received more gifts (that is if you're not having a really small wedding).

There may be times when you open a gift and you don't like it or feel this special person in your life did not put a lot of thought in choosing a gift that you would really like. Let's face it, there are some people that are not good gift givers and sometimes people are strapped financially. Especially during the wedding period, try not let a disappointing gift get to you.  Maybe you can exchange the gift, or maybe you just need to bite your tongue. Sometime, when you are around this person you might bring up a conversation on gifts you would like or need, if it's before the wedding you might mention that you will be putting an announcement of the bridal gift registry you are going to announce pretty soon and look for it on your website. If you continue to get presents you don't really like, as long as it's after the wedding period, just talk about would gifts you like (hint, hint) and if that doesn't work you then must be blunt and inform the person, take no offense but that gift just isn't my style or taste.

You should always send a thank you note within two weeks after it's received. Guests want to know that their gifts (from hard-earned money) were received and appreciated. Thank you gifts should always be handwritten and shows the gift giver's name and in the body of the note should show the name of the gift and a short sentence of how you will use it. The note should be signed by the couple unless it was solely for the engaged bride or groom. A thank you note for a wedding can be sent out two weeks after the honeymoon.

By getting in the habit of sending thank you notes, it keeps you in high esteem with family and friends and this good habit may help you some day when maybe you need a favor someday, the favor will more likely to be granted because of your thoughtfulness. Keep up sending those thank you notes and see you on the other side!

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