When to send a thank you card

The new generation relies heavily on media and the Internet to connect with friends and family. Proper etiquette rules dictate that a quick email or text is never an appropriate way to thank someone for a gift. Handwritten thank you cards should always be sent in these instances:

Wedding gifts
To ease the strain of writing a long list of thank you’s to your wedding guests, start planning ahead of time. After putting your guest list together, import your contacts’ addresses into your computer or spread sheet so you have their mailing information on hand. You can even start addressing envelopes ahead of time if you’d like. It’s standard for most couples to send their wedding thank you cards within three months after the big day – even if you can’t meet this allotted time frame, you should still send one out, no matter how late it is.

Bridal and baby showers
After the party, make sure to write a thank you note to each guest. It’s important to specifically thank them not only for the gift, but for taking the time to attend the social event and celebrate with you. Make sure to also send thank you cards to guests who send a gift, but are not in attendance.

Birthdays, Bar/Bat mitzvah, graduation and housewarmings
Proper etiquette dictates that any time you receive a present from someone you should send them a thank you card in exchange. Another instance in which a thank you card is appropriate is when you receive a gift (including letters, flowers, mass cards or donations) after losing a loved one.

Instances when a card is not required, but recommended
Some instances when a thank you card is not necessarily required, but definitely considered a nice gesture include:

  • Thanking a host for inviting you to a party, dinner or other social event
  • If you feel indebted to someone
  • After a job interview (If you do not send a handwritten thank you note, you should definitely send a thank you email to the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you).

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