The wedding day was a success, and you’re back from the honeymoon. It’s all over – right? Wrong. Time to send thank you notes – the non-negotiable end to the wedding process, says Colleen O’Neill, owner of Remember Me Stationary in Moorestown.

“I understand that you’re sending 100, sometimes 150 thank you notes, and it’s a little tedious,” she says. “But you want to convey how happy you are this person was able to attend and how appreciative you are of the gift.”

To cut down on writing, it’s fine to order a thank you card with a photo or a pre-printed message – but you’ve still got to add something extra, O’Neill says. “Add your own sentiment after that and make it more personal. It doesn’t have to be long, just simple and sweet.”

As for design, “go with something that coordinates with your wedding suite,” O’Neill advises. Ideally, order your thank yous at the same time as your invitations, so they match. If you don’t want them to match exactly to create a less formal look, incorporate just one part of your wedding invitation, like a monogram, ink color or font style.

Another bonus for ordering thank you notes at the same time as your invitations? The thank you notes will be ready and waiting when you return form your honeymoon, O’Neill says. And don’t wait to write them – the ideal time to get them out is within three months of the wedding, although O’Neill adds that a deadline of six months is fine too.

“And parents – or anyone from that older generation who loves to send out thank you notes and convey that message in the old-fashioned way – can nudge that younger couple if they’re taking too long to sit down and write their thoughts out,” she says. This is one wedding task that must be done by the newlyweds – no help allowed. “You’re married,” says O’Neill. “You’re responsible and old enough. You are able to handle that and get them out on your own.”

There is a cardinal rule when it comes to thank yous, O’Neill says. “No emails! It’s just so impersonal. The whole wedding event is such a personal, intimate affair, that to end it on that note – I can’t even imagine.”

Brides and grooms: Take note.

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