Ask the Thank You Diva:
Should an explanatory letter be included with belated wedding thank you notes?
Guilt-ridden Neurotic Newlywed asks the Thank You Diva whether it is OK to include an explanatory letter about recent difficulties with wedding thank you notes that are now a year overdue.
Dear Thank You Diva,
I am now a month after my one year wedding anniversary and I am ridden by guilt that I have yet to write my thank you notes from our wedding. I like to think that the various hardships that plagued my husband and myself leading up to, and continuing for many many months after our wedding (being laid off, moving, being unemployed for months on end, not having a permanent address, and moving again), excuse my behavior, but the fact is I'm terrified to get started and by how to come across as sincerely grateful for all our family's generosity as we are. I even told myself that I needed to wait until we had our new permanent address so that people would have it, and so I didn't send out Christmas cards for our first married Christmas together. I sit here typing this tearing up at the shame I have over this.
I have drafted a Christmas card-style newsletter of sorts to include along with the handwritten notes I intend to write, outlining the events of our lives since our wedding (of which many of the recipients are unaware). Is including this with the thank you cards self-centered or selfish? I don't mean to make excuses for my tardiness, but rather fill everyone in for almost a year of silence and depression. What are your thoughts??
The Neurotic Newlywed
The Thank You Diva responds:
Dear Neurotic Newlywed,
Oh you poor thing - I can feel your pain. I truly hope that this e-mail will encourage you to act now
- send out those cards and put the whole painful episode behind you forever!
Certainly include a newsy letter with your thank you cards - your friends and family may have all kinds of worries about why they haven't heard from you since your wedding (illness? problems with the law? marital breakdown? Eeek!). Not only will your letter put their minds at rest, it will also give them something to reply to, meaning that you can get your relationships with them back onto a normal footing as soon as possible... and certainly before Christmas, so you don't miss out on yet another year.
When writing your letter/newsletter, by all means mention the hardships that you have suffered since your marriage, but be careful not to over-elaborate or go into too many unhappy details. A long litany of miseries may tend to make your thanks appear less genuine. After all, you want your friends and relations to feel uplifted by your thanks and gratitude for their contributions on the occasion of your marriage, not to feel terribly sorry for you and miserable on your behalf.
You friends and family care for you and they want to know that you are OK. Write a heartfelt note in each thank you card, try to put a positive spin on your account of the past year in the accompanying letter, but most of all - put something in the post.
And then rest easy and get on with the rest of your life!
With my best wishes,
The Thank You Diva