One of the first items on your post-wedding to-do list is probably putting together and sending out thank you cards. Traditionally, thank you notes are sent between two and three months after the wedding to guests who attended and brought gifts.

Related: The Perfect Gifts for Your Wedding Guests

The purpose of a thank you card is to show your gratitude for the guest’s presence and presents, so heartfelt writing is the name of the game. It’s not enough to just “copy and paste” the same message into every card and call it a day.

But sending out cards doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s the perfect opportunity to send a handwritten note to someone (remember those?) and brighten his or her day.

Black and white photo of a women's writing with her right hand in a card on a wooden table at Lenoir Restaurant in Austin, Texas. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

You can also get creative with your wedding thank you cards. If you want to go the popular route, you can include a posed photo of you and your spouse inside the card along with your handwritten message. But there are many other creative and unique ways to show your gratitude. Some of these ideas offer you the opportunity to personalize the wedding thank-you note outside of just the message.

But before we dive into these ideas, let’s briefly discuss what your message should include.

  • Show your appreciation: Thank you for making our day even more special by celebrating with us.
  • Name the gift and how you’ll use it: Thank you so much for the [gift]. We really appreciate it and can’t wait to [use it at our first dinner party, display it in our home, etc.].
  • Wrap it up: We feel so blessed to have you as a friend and thank you again for everything.

Unique Design Ideas for Wedding Thank You Cards

Make It Personal: It’s no secret that people appreciate personal details, so although your guests will like seeing a photo of you and your spouse when they open the card, they’ll love seeing a photo of themselves. Look through your collection to find a candid picture of the guest or a group shot that includes him/her.

Wish You Were Here: If you want to send a few thank you notes out while on your honeymoon, download a postcard app that allows you to send a photo message from afar. There are a plethora of apps to choose from, each giving you the chance to create, sign, and send a postcard from and to anywhere in the world - no stamps required!

If you don’t want to go the digital route, consider picking up some actual postcards from your honeymoon destination.

More Postcard Fun: You can also create a photo postcard using a photo of you and your spouse holding a thank-you banner or some other kind of prop. Many online wedding invitation sites give you the option to create thank you postcards that match your wedding invite theme or design something entirely different.

Against a leather background are two small polaroid photos of the bride with her mother getting ready for the wedding. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

Crafty Cards: If you’re of the crafty sort, consider handmaking your wedding thank you cards and sending your guests a mini work of art. Ideas for handmade cards: pressed flowers, rubber stamps and embossed notes (you could use your new monogram), paper cutouts, ink block printing, duotone prints, vintage scrap paper. All it takes is a quick stroll through your local craft store to get the ideas flowing.

Retro Inspired: Just like snail mail and vinyl records, a Polaroid picture is an appreciated lost art. Okay, not entirely lost, and thank goodness for that! In fact, you can take your love for all things retro and send your guests a wedding thank you card inspired by those fun instant photos of yesteryear. Do a quick online search and you’ll find plenty of companies that offer cards printed in the style of a Polaroid with a wedding photo/text on the front and space on the back for your heartfelt message.

See! Writing thank you notes doesn’t have to be a bore. It can be a creative endeavor that acts as a gift of gratitude and sets a kind tone for you and your spouse going forward.

Related: How to Say No to Family and Friend's Wedding Services

There are many creative ways to show gratitude to your wedding guests! Interested in more unique ideas for personalizing your wedding thank you cards? I'd love to share with you what other brides have done!

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