After Your Wedding: Who to Thank and How


Darek Smietana via Confetti

I remember after my own wedding feeling overwhelmed with gratitude – for the people who came, for my parents’ help in the months and weeks leading up to it, for our wonderful officiants, for my husband’s aunts who played the piano and sang during our ceremony, and my grandmother for making my wedding dress. I could go on and on, and even now I still feel I should thank them all again for making our day so special!

Like most brides, I was planning to send thank you notes for the gifts we received, but I knew those would take more time and it might be a few months before our guests received those. In the days and weeks following our wedding, I was so grateful that people had come to help us celebrate that I wanted to send a little token of my appreciate. In the blur after our wedding, I wish I had had a reminder of who to thank and when after the big day was over. I’m not sure anything could have helped convey exactly how overwhelmingly grateful I was for everyone who helped, but at least it would have given me a good place to start!

wedding party

Focus Photo Inc. via Wedding Chicks

Bridal Party

You likely thanked them in person on the day, and perhaps before your wedding, but your list of little thank you’s can start with your bridal party. Start by sending them a quick text message from the airport on the way to your honeymoon, and follow that up when your return with a handwritten thank you note and a few printed snaps of you and your girls.

If options Printic had been around, it would have been a great option – you just download the free app to your phone, then choose photos that Printic sends directly to whomever you want. It’s inexpensive and fast and will put such a smile on your ‘maids’ faces while you zip away on honeymoon!


Brumley and Wells via Magnolia Rouge

Parents and Grandparents

One of the best ways to thank parents and grandparents is to get photos printed for them quickly – they want to show their friends and family who couldn’t make it to the wedding well before you get your photos back from your photographer.

Consider putting together a little printed album from Instagrams of the day that your parents can see a little sooner, and you can even include a message in the front with thanks for their help! Artifact Uprising has beautiful options for soft cover books that won’t take you long to compile from your phone photos before you have the professional ones in hand.

Officiants and Vendors

We had officiants and vendors who went above and beyond to help make our day perfect, and now that I’ve been working in the wedding business for a few years, I know exactly how much it means for them to hear your gratitude once the day is over. We sent handwritten thank you notes and a sweet treat to each of ours, just to thank them for going the extra mile.


Bryce Covey Photography via Style Me Pretty


Your wedding wouldn’t have been the same without all of the people who came on the day to watch you tie the knot, and we all know just how hard and expensive it can be to make it to a wedding. We had friends and family come all the way from Ireland and California to Maine! And we couldn’t have been more grateful that they went to all that trouble and expense.

We sent handwritten thank you notes for each gift we received, but that took a few months to accomplish. I wish we had done something to say thank you that was separate from the gifts and a little sooner after the wedding. We recently attended a wedding and a few weeks later, the bride sent a handwritten note just to say thank you for coming. It was so sweet and exactly what I would do if I could turn back time!

A Few Thank You Don’t’s

Saying thank you can almost never go wrong (who doesn’t love a thank you?!), but keep a these few tips in mind:

  • You don’t want to wait too long to send this type of impromptu thank you, within a week or two.
  • Handwritten notes are more special than email, but for this informal type of thank you, do whichever you have time for in the busy weeks after your wedding.
  • The idea is more to give an extra dose of gratitude, so remember to keep notes heartfelt and not formulaic. If you feel yourself getting tired of writing them, put them down and pick them up when your mind is fresh!

Do you have anything special planned to thank people who helped you make your dream wedding come true? We’d love to hear your ideas for creative ways to thank everyone who helped and made that day special!

em_westbrooks_175Emily Westbrooks is an American-born writer and blogger based in Dublin, Ireland. She is the Online Editor for Confetti Magazine, one of Ireland’s top bridal magazines. She also writes her own lifestyle blog, From China Village, where she chronicles her adventures in Dublin, travels around Europe, DIY projects and Irish design. She shares her home with her husband, one cat, and four sassy chickens!


Wedding etiquette: How do you gracefully deal with wedding “suggestions” from family or friends?


A Fist Full of Bolts

QUESTION: How do you gracefully deal with wedding “suggestions” from family/friends about how to plan or create your wedding day?

GINA’S ANSWER: Ah the old unsolicited advice debacle. It’s hard, but I think the most gracious way to respond is to listen, say ‘thank you’ and change the subject. Don’t get caught up in the details or you may each end up arguing your points and no one will walk away satisfied. Let your advice-giver know you appreciate their suggestions, make no promises, and go forth with your planning.

JESS’ ANSWER: Nod and smile! Always graciously accept advice, but that doesn’t mean you have to take it! But something to remember, is that friends and family have been through this before! Even if you don’t like hearing nagging suggestions like, “be sure you don’t forget to eat lunch!” and “you need to make sure you plan for rain!”, your experienced loved ones know what they’re talking about!

Make sure you don’t discredit everything they’re saying. Now, if it’s something like “you absolutely need to hire a calligrapher for your placecards” or “you HAVE to have succulents in your bouquet”– these are suggestions you can graciously accept, but don’t need to.

ASHLEY’S ANSWER: Personally, I hear about this topic often. Always acknowledge others input, however you may politely decline if it is not in your highest regard. You can tip toe around this subject by explaining to people that you have very specific ideas in mind already, or maybe it is not in within your budget, or even explain that whichever the suggestion is will not work with the venue or scenario.

It is your event and you should never take or act on suggestions you do not wish to incorporate into your wedding. I would offer them another event surrounding the wedding in which they may suggest input, like the rehearsal dinner. This way they are being included and have something to do for you.

Need more wedding etiquette, advice and tips? See previous etiquette posts here.

Gina and Matt_web_175Gina Heideman is a bride-in-training from Boise, Idaho. When she’s not planning her navy/preppy/downtown wedding, she spends her time perfecting her crab cake recipe, drinking wine and playing cribbage with her fiance, and playing outside. She’s an avid swimmer, runner, gardener and reality TV junkie. By day she works as Executive Director of a statewide nonprofit organization that focuses on meth use prevention. By night she’s a freelance graphic designer (


Jess Keys is a Journalism graduate of Indiana University, a Chicago transplant and Founder of The Golden Girl Blog. She was first bitten by the wedding bug at age 11, when she purchased her first Brides magazine in the Lexington, KY airport. She’s partial to red lipstick, French Bulldogs, and a lover of the written word. When she’s not writing for Wedding Party, you can often find her at the closest Dim Sum establishment, or exploring the Windy City with her camera in tow.


Ashley Smith is the wedding planner for Buzzworthy SF. She believes that purpose, craft, design, and strategy are all cohesive elements to produce a successful event. Ashley is available for weddings in California and worldwide. Her expertise is in the Bay Area, but her heart is in Mexico, where she is certified by the board of tourism to plan and work. If she is not in San Francisco planning weddings and being social, you’ll find her on the beach at Playa Azul, Papaya Playa, or exploring the coast lines in Central America via bicycle.

How Much Does Being a Bridesmaid Cost?


Krystin Hogan Photography

Having been a bridesmaid in three weddings before planning my own, I had very strong ideas about what I wanted for our bridal party. It was very important to me that our wedding party had a very clear understanding of what we were expecting from them, particularly my bridesmaids. Given my personal experience, there is typically one bridesmaid (or groomsman) who ends up being surprised at the financial obligations. (Full disclosure: during at least one wedding, that bridesmaid was me.) So let’s talk about how much it really costs to be a bridesmaid.

CNN released an article a few years back that announced that it costs about $1,695 to serve as a bridesmaid. This number is absolutely staggering! But for an engagement that lasts a year or more, it’s easy to spend a little here and a little there before it all adds up. For the purposes of this article, I calculated bridesmaid costs for the three wedding parties that I have participated in, as well as my own wedding party’s costs. Every wedding is going to have a unique breakdown of costs, but I found myself wondering how my wedding (and the other weddings I have participated in) compares to the national average. By my account, bridesmaids are expected to contribute both time and money for a variety of events and tasks throughout the planning process. This article will exclusively discuss the financial contribution.

Engagement Gifts: $30

It’s not necessary for every engagement, but it is typically expected if you’re invited to an engagement party. Across four weddings, this cost an average of $20. Being in a younger social circle, my recently engaged contemporaries only plan engagement parties about 50% of the time.

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All About Lace: Lace Wedding Dresses for Any Bride, Any Time


Awake Photography

If you’re reading this now, you’re probably getting married in 2014. Or maybe even 2015. You’re a modern, 21st century bride with modern, 21st century taste and style. In which case, you may be thinking lace is so last century. Lace is more your grandmother’s table cloth than your wedding dress. Right? Wrong. Think again! Lace isn’t old or outdated. Lace is timeless. And so are lace wedding dresses.

That’s right, lace wedding dresses! Lace wedding dresses never go out of style–whether it’s 1914 or 2014. And not only is lace timeless, it’s versatile. Lace comes in a variety of colors, patterns and textures so you can pick the perfect one for you.

Check out this list below of gorgeous lace wedding dresses to inspire your own wedding dress shopping.


Wildflowers Photography


First Comes Love Photo


Bryce Covey Photography


Caroline Lima Photography


Josh Gruetzmacher Photography


Erin Hearts Court Photography

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