Here's the lowdown...Promptness counts when it comes to thanking friends and family for their gifts. You may have heard that you have up to a year after your big day to send out your notes, but that is absolutely not true (sorry!).
Here's a timeline for all your special occasions:
Engagement party and shower, within two to three weeks of the festivities;
Gifts sent before the wedding date, as soon as possible, but definitely before the wedding;
Gifts given on the day itself, within three months;
Gifts received after your wedding, within two to three weeks.
To avoid getting behind, it's best to write your thank-yous as soon as gifts start arriving. Keep a list of what you've received and what notes you've sent.
Get your fiancé involved as well. He can write to his family members and friends. Just don't use e-mail. For a wedding, only handwritten notes are acceptable. Don't drop the ball on this important task. Your friends and family deserve to know that their gifts and thoughtfulness are important to you.