With so many technologies at the tips of our fingers these days, it’s incredibly easy to communicate. So much, in fact, that we sometimes forget about one of the oldest methods around – pen and paper. It might sound primitive now, but what makes the pen and paper so great is that it makes for an elegant gesture that will never go out of style.
There are thank you notes. And there are gracious thank you notes. Both are acceptable and anyone can tell you that a thank you card, no matter what it looks like or how it is written, is worth the effort. But, have you ever received a thank you note that left you wondering if the person really appreciated the gift at all?
Getting married lends several opportunities to write thank you notes. Whether it’s a project that someone is helping with, or a bridal shower gift, or even the big wedding gift, it’s important to handwrite a meaningful thank you note that leaves the recipient smiling from ear-to-ear, and you, well, gracious!
Yes, it takes time! But, guess what? It took a lot of time for the person to do something for you. So, share the love – even if it’s in front of the television with your favorite cup of joe.
As you reflect on what you are thankful for this holiday season, take time to figure out how you are going to cordially thank someone for their kind gesture or gift.
Follow these important elements for a fool-proof thank you note:
This is my favorite part! Always have your supplies on hand – even for small, unexpected moments. Be prepared with a stock of basic notecards (or, custom cards for your big wedding day), stamps and your favorite writing pen. You can buy thank you notes just about anywhere, both in-store and online. Here are my favorite picks:
Option 1 | Big box stores are an easy place. They usually a pretty good selection of all types of styles, and the bonus, they’re super inexpensive. Be wary, though, everyone else shops at these stores so you might pick a popular choice.
Here’s a cute, sparkly option from Michaels:
And a whimsical, pretty (and very fitting, I must say) option from Target:
Option 2 | Boutique paperies and gift shops are going to be a little more expensive. But their high-quality paper and designs are worth it.
Like this classic embossed card from Paper Source:
Option 3 | Online retailers are another way to go. They offer bulk options and you can shop in your pajamas on the sofa!
This popular chalk-board art option is available on Amazon.com:
Option 4 | Another idea is to bust out your crafts and get busy. Visit Pinterest for fun ideas. You can incorporate embellishments and photos, making the card truly one-of-a-kind.
This intricate design was created by a blogger using a dicut machine. Just select your paper, the cuts and glue!
Option 5 | Specialty online retailers who focus on photo-based products and cards offer a full array of customized choices. They’re designs are hip and fresh, and you can personalize them as much as you want. Just understand that the more options you add on, like pre-printed envelopes and foil printing will cost you.
Minted.com is a paper-lover’s dream. It’s an online marketplace of independent artists and designers, meaning they have premium-quality, modern designs. There are so many options, you might have a hard time deciding. But, the great thing about this site is that you can find customized thank you cards with your name printed, or even your favorite photo. Just be prepared to spend a few bucks per card.
Before you start writing, make a list of everyone you need to thank. Of course, skip this step if you just need to thank one person. Not only is a list helpful to cross off completed notes, but it comes in handy for times when you need to refer back when you forget what someone gave you. Trust me, by the time you open the last wedding gift or write your last thank you card, your mind will be a little mushy.
Timing is everything.
Everyone has their own idea of when to send thank you notes. A simple gesture or random gift can be recognized right away. It really only takes a few minutes to write a card. But sometimes, especially if a gift is involved, don’t pick up that pen too quickly. I like to sit on it for a few days or even a week to enjoy the gift so that I can tell the person how it is being used. For parties where you receive multiple gifts, try to get them out a few weeks after the event. Of course weddings are the exception. You might have to wait for that special photo from your photographer, or maybe you went on a really long honeymoon. Whatever the case, try to send your thank you cards a few months after the big day.
State the Obvious.
Express your thanks by beginning the note with the most important words: “thank you for…” or something along those lines. If you get stuck, do a quick internet search for thank-you messages and ideas. You’ll be amazed of how many ways you can say thank you. Don’t worry about repeating the same message template for each person. Chances are people won’t be comparing your notes. Just make sure to use your voice to express a genuine gratitude. Sometimes it might be hard to thank someone for a gift you don’t like (hey, it happens), but if you focus on thanking them for the gesture, you’re bound to write a pleasant note.
Adding details about how you plan to use a gift shows the giver that you really appreciate the thoughtful gesture. If you thank a person for something other than a gift, tell them why you are thankful. Maybe you couldn’t have done it without them or you want to return the favor for them someday.
Make it personal.
Here’s the perfect chance to give a more personal touch to your thank you note. Add something about your relationship with the giver, such as telling them when you’ll see them next or why you enjoy being around that person. A simple one- or two-liner can really make a card feel more personal and genuine.
Wrap it up.
Restate your thanks by saying thank you in a different way than you did in the beginning of the note. For example, if you said “thank you for…” in the beginning of the note, close with “I really appreciate…” and then end with your regards, sign your name and seal with a kiss (ok, that might be overkill).
If you take anything away from this, always remember to write from the heart and your gratitude will be well received.
Can you remember a time when you were impressed by someone’s thank you card? Tell us about it.