My friend Rachael is getting married this year. She was my wedding planner extraordinaire, and I am attempting to return the favor this year as I plan hers.
Although Robby and I were married just six years ago, I had already forgotten how many details go into a wedding.
One of those details that many brides forget about is the thank-you cards.
I never knew this was an issue until after our wedding. As soon as we got back from the honeymoon, I started writing thank you notes to all our friends and family members who supported us in one way or another, whether they threw us a party, donated to the honeymoon fund, or gave us a traditional gift. We took great care to let everyone know how much we appreciated them.
Then, we started to hear it.
I can’t believe you actually sent me a thank-you card! I haven’t received one of these in years!
I just can’t thank you enough for my thank-you card! I thought proper etiquette was dead.
I was flabbergasted! I had no idea that people were actually foregoing this most basic of common courtesies.
The Faux Pas
Reputable wedding sites (such as Brides.com) still dictate that thank-you cards be handwritten and mailed within three months of the wedding (or within two weeks for engagement and bridal shower gifts). Yet an online search will prove that there is a pervasive trend of thanklessness. It’s so bad that jilted guests are threatening to stop bestowing gifts because no one seems to appreciate them.
Some speculate this might be an issue today because young couples feel a lavish reception is thanks enough for those who attended the wedding or gave them gifts. Well, it’s not. We want our thank-you cards!
Now, the man may be the head of the household, but the woman is the CEO of Hospitality. It’s ultimately our responsibility to keep up with social etiquette, from ensuring the thank-you cards get mailed to stocking toilet paper in the guest bathroom. Guys just don’t think of this stuff.
It’s true that social norms change with the times. However, if you want to keep your friends and earn the respect of your new family (especially your mother-in-law), you’re going to have to write those thank-you cards.
The Heart Behind It
As Christians, everything we do is important because we’re representatives of God’s kingdom. Paul even wrote that we should perform all our work “heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men…. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Colossians 3:22-24 NAS).
Thankfulness, in particular, is something we should be ready to share because it’s rooted in love. Not only does love come from God, but Jesus commanded that we love one another as He loved us. Why? “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 NAS).
An Attitude of Gratitude
I’m so proud of my friend Rachael. She’s already purchased her thank-you cards, and she’s included the cost of stamps in her budget. Rachael is prepared to show her appreciation.
If you’re planning to get married soon, I encourage you to approach the thank-you list with an attitude of gratitude. Thank the Lord for your family and friends; thank Him for blessing you with a beautiful wedding, a great husband, and a new life together; thank Him for all the goodies that now fill your home. Then let that spirit of thankfulness overflow as you write to those who cared enough to support you. Your guests will thank you.
“I thank my God always concerning you…” (1 Corinthians 1:4a NAS).
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*image by Lindsay Osborne.