Some will tell you not to bother, there are other ways you can say thank you to your guests. Others think thank you cards are completely necessary.
What I think: they are a pain, but do them.
Some vendors say if you have a photo booth put a thank you note on the photos and you don’t need to do thank you cards. Others, you put a thank you tag on your favours and that is good enough.
Personally, these people took time out of their lives to come celebrate you and your partner, show them you appreciate that with a small note -personally thanking them for what they did.
For instance, my bridal shower a lot of my fiancés side came down from Sudbury. For them it wasn’t just a Sunday event, but a few day event with a five hour drive each way, renting hotels, and booking some time off work.
When it is a smaller event, take the time to write a short personal message to each guest. It lets them know how grateful you are. For something a bit bigger (a large wedding say), You could print thank you cards with a nice message, but you need to go through and sign them all, and maybe add a short note to close family, or to those who traveled far.
After an event, you need a few days to recoup (or go on your honeymoon), but don’t let this task slip by!
If you plan on including photos with the cards then you’ve bought yourself a bit more time because you need to wait for the photos, select, then print. However, I would say try and keep a 4 month cap on this.
After my shower, I started them the next day with the goal of having them mailed out in less then a month (it took a bit longer).
The longer you wait the harder it gets, so try and knock this out as soon as possible.