Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Doing It Well: Thank You Cards

As of today, it's been a whole 4 months since my wedding. The good news is that we have a bunch of snazzy new kitchen stuff, I never want to watch another wedding show on TV, and I still like my husband.

The bad news is I have yet to send out my thank you cards.

I'd once thought that a bride had to send them out immediately following the wedding. But then a coworker told me I had up to A YEAR to send them and that just blew my good intentions to smithereens. You never tell a procrastinator how much time she can waste.

So, I waited. And waited and waited. And then Christmas happened. And even though I wasn't really busy for the month of December I still used it as an excuse to delay the task.

Don't get me wrong here. I really am insanely grateful for all of the gifts people gave us. The generosity of our friends and family is astounding. If I could, I would send them all a giant bouquet of flowers instead of just a measly card.

The problem is that my laziness is overtaking my gratitude and the idea of writing out all of those cards makes me sleepy. Not to mention that between two bridal showers and an engagement party, I've already composed nearly 100 thank yous (And, miraculously, I did so in a timely fashion) so I am a little fatigued.

But knowing that this is the one final, missing piece of the whole wedding puzzle finally started to wear away on my very soul and so about a month ago I went to Amazon to order some thank you cards. When the package of cards arrived, I shoved it in a dark corner somewhere and ignored it for a while.

Then finally, one evening, I found the nicest pen in the pen cup, pulled up the list of gifts we received and set to work on my thank you cards. It wasn't long before my arm cramped up and I called it quits. Since then, I've worked on them here and there, but now I'm out of cards because I some how managed to order 2 packs of 14, but thought I'd ordered 2 packs of 50.

Yet I'm determined to turn this whole scenario into a good thing, which is why I'm going to offer advice to anyone out there who may be getting married soon. It's the start of a column called Doing It Well.

So, Doing It Well: Thank You Cards

#1: Buy enough cards
Get more than you need because you will most certainly mess up more than once, and you know you can't send out a card with scribbled out mistakes.

#2: Fill them out immediately
Because if you wait until you have some time and are in the mood, you will never never do them and then you'll be cranky and hopeless like me. I'd briefly entertained the idea that I would bring my thank you cards on my honeymoon to work on while I was lounging by the pool. It's a good thing I didn't or the mai tais would've taken over and I don't know WHAT I might have written then. But, I guess at least they would have been done.

#3: It's okay to be generic
For some reason I seem to think that I need to write an original and charming message that is personalized to every recipient of my thank you cards. This, I'm convinced, wastes a ton of energy that I should really be putting toward my penmanship. On average, I spend about 5 seconds reading a thank you card. It would make me feel terrible to know that the writer of that card had sat there for as long as I do, agonizing over the right word choices.

And really, the more time I over-think my message, the worse it gets. Then I wind up with doozies like "Thanks for the towels. They are very warm. It's okay you couldn't make it to the wedding. Australia is far! Maybe we'll visit some time. Bye!" (Actual written message. Envelope is sealed. Can't go back now.)

#4: Do them all at once
I don't care who says that you should break them up into manageable chunks. Do them all at once and get them off of your plate. Otherwise, you'll be like me and wind up with 28 cards that end with "wishing you all the best for the new year" that won't be sent out until all of the other cards are finished... probably some time in April.

#5: Make your husband fill out a bunch
Especially ones for friends and family of his you don't know very well. This way, you won't risk writing something really really dumb and having it read by people who may think it's a reflection of your actual intelligence and personality.

I think I'll leave it off there because 5 is a nice number. Though if I was going to make a #6 it would be - send out the cards you've already written because then you'll feel like you HAVE TO finish the task. And #7 would be - don't blog about things you should be ACTUALLY doing.


  1. This is SO funny that you're writing about this, because I just got a thank you card from a good friend of mine who got married...SIX MONTHS AGO! Haha. I have strong feelings about this topic after that little snafu. Good for you for pushing yourself to do it! I can't imagine how monotonous a task that must be.

  2. I love that you are trying!! However I do expect something creative and whitty on mine... cause its cold and I need you to cheer me up...
    Love you and Thanks!

  3. i will definitely be taking note of this as i dread writing thank you cards and always have. i mean i am quite thankful all the time i'm just bad at showing it via a card. but i like these tips and i will definitely be making matt help me with the cards.