Writing thank-you notes is never a fun task but it's absolutely necessary. Not only do guests appreciate the acknowledgment of the gift they gave but it's also a confirmation you received it. In most cases the guest does not personally hand you their gift. Typically, there is a gift table at the reception with many gifts or it's ordered from a store or on-line and sent to your home. Either way, the guest has no way to confirm you received it except for the thank-you note. Thank-you notes should be written for every party or shower as well as the wedding. So how do you keep up with it all?...
Keep a guest list spreadsheet. On the spreadsheet, make large columns for each party you're having and one for the wedding. Separate each party column into "invited", "gift given", "thank you note sent". Use the list to record gifts received and indicate whether or not you sent a thank-you note. Listing the actual gifts will help when you sit down to write your notes. You can also make an RSVP column to help manage your guest list later on.
Send Them Right Away
The longer you procrastinate, the worse it'll be. As soon as you get a gift go ahead and write the thank-you note. You'll avoid rushing towards the end and feeling the pressure. You have 2 weeks to send thank you notes for pre-wedding parties and 30 days after you return from your honeymoon to send those for the wedding. Many wedding guests send gifts to your home prior to the wedding. Write the notes as soon as the gifts is delivered, even if you don't post mark them until you return. You'll be so thankful you did.
Divide the Task
Thank you notes are not a "bride only" to do, grooms can help too. After all, half of the notes being sent are going to his friends and family. Split up the guest list, you can write all the notes to your friends and family and he to his. Chances are they'll recognize the handwriting and know you took the time to think of them. It is also a nice touch for both of you to sign every note.