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Ask a Disney Bride – How Late is Too Late to Send Thank You Cards?

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It’s time for another installment of

Ask a Disney Bride

This is a topic near and dear to my heart, because more than three months after our own wedding, we have yet to send out our thank you cards.  Em-barr-as-sing.  But hey – working and blogging and watching a lot of reality TV is time consuming, y’all!

So here’s a question I can relate to ….

Disneyland Wedding - Thank You Signs
Photo credit: Julianne Fishell 

Dear DWI:

I hope that you can help me with an embarrassing issue I’ve been keeping secret for a while now.  Our wedding was almost three years ago, and I have a stack of wedding Thank You cards I have never sent out! You see, we were waiting to get our pictures from our photographer so I could include pictures of each guest with their Thank You card, and the pictures took longer than expected to receive, and then we couldn’t afford to get them all printed right away, and then before I knew it, three years went by.  I’m so embarrassed.    Do I even send them out this late?  Or do I just try to pretend like I’m not the jerk who didn’t send Thank You cards?

Embarrassed in Encino.

Dear Embarrassed,

First of all, you’re not a jerk. And I’m not just saying that because you’re making my three month delay look saintly.  Look, sometimes life gets crazy busy and we may have the best of intentions but things slip through the cracks.  It’s going to be okay, I promise.

By now, most of your guests have probably completely forgotten or never even realized they didn’t receive a Thank You card from you. I know that every time I get a Thank You card in the mail for something, I always say “Oh yeah, that thing.”

On the other hand, if your loved ones were kind enough to come to your wedding and give you a gift, then a Thank You card, in my opinion, is a requirement.  And my basic rule on the topic is, better late than never.  Here’s some tips that will hopefully help you smooth the situation over:

  • Own up to your mistake.  Once your guest gets your card and realizes what it is, they are going to think, “What the ….” So beat them to the punch.  Maybe put a little label on the back of the envelope that reads “Your Name and Partner’s Name humbly request your forgiveness …”  Or do something cute with your names on the return label – “Mr. and Mrs. Forgetful.”  This will hopefully set a playful tone of we-know-we-screwed-up-but-let’s-all-laugh-about-it-okay?  
  • If your card is already written and simply hasn’t been mailed, include an index card or a business-card sized note with your mea culpa for it’s tardiness.
  • Don’t come up with a bunch of excuses.  Your card is late.  You’re sorry.  Unless you have a really good excuse (like a sudden illness or natural disaster), nobody cares.  People make mistakes, and other people forgive those mistakes.  This is a little one in the grand scheme of life.  So keep it short and sweet – “We wrote these out after the wedding and never got around to sending them until now.  We apologize for the late response but wanted to make sure you know how much you mean to us and how grateful we are for coming to our wedding celebration and for the great gift.”
  • Both of you should sign the card.  50/50 now, remember?  Your mistakes are my mistakes, my mistakes are your mistakes.  We’re aaaall in thiiiis toooogether … *dance break*
I’d love to have the readers chime in.  What do you think of my advice?  Did I get this one right?  Etiquette can be so tricky and subjective.  What would you do?  And what would you think as a guest if you received a super-late Thank You card? Please tell me in the comments!


About Mindy

Mindy Marzec is a life-long Disney fan who grew up in Los Angeles. She started This Fairy Tale Life to share Disneyland travel tips for adults. When not at Disneyland, you can find Mindy at home snuggling with her cats and re-watching Thor: Ragnarok for the billionth time.