How to Not Suck at Writing Thank You Notes

thank-you-note-stationery-wedding-paper-divasEven the most etiquette illiterate person knows that thank you cards for shower and wedding gifts are a social necessity but actually putting your gratefulness into written form isn’t an easy task.

I have my aunt to thank for drilling the art of thank you note writing into my head at a young age and over the years, I’ve managed to master a formula that can easily be applied specifically to weddings:

Greeting: I’m partial to the traditional albeit formal “Dear so-and-so” but feel free to revise based on your relationship with the person.

Paragraph One: The body of wedding thank you notes are a little more difficult to write because your gifter likely picked your present from the registry so you can’t very well gloat on your own impeccable taste. Instead, be specific with how you’re going to utilize said gift and use your own voice instead of a string of adjectives that you’d never say in a real-life conversation (i.e. would you really ever say “treasured” in person?). The note is coming from you, not Emily Post. Being specific with how you plan on using it will let your gracious loved one know that it’s not just going to sit on a shelf for years and it will also show that you put a little bit more effort than a typical fill-in-the-blank thank you card sentiment.

Paragraph Two: If applicable, this is when you can focus on them with a quick quip (no more than a sentence of two) about seeing them at the wedding. It can range from “So fun seeing you at the wedding! You have some killer dance moves!” to “It was great chatting with you — we’ll definitely be taking those words of wisdom you gave us to heart!” They’ll be touched at hearing any memory you have of them during the most chaotic day of your life. Also, if they helped in any way, whether it was bringing you a plate of much-needed reception food or helping clean up post-shower, be sure to give it a shout out in your note.

Closing: A simple “With love” or “Fondly” will do and I’m a fan of you both signing to show that it’s a joint effort.

Other tips:

Get a good pen: In this computer age, handwriting is way harder on our hand muscles than it was when we were in grade school. A solid ballpoint pen makes scripting smoother, even when your hand is shaking from overuse.

Don’t Wait: Start sending out thank you notes as the gifts come in. It’ll make the mountainous chore seem more like a steady hill. Rule of thumb: for gifts sent before the wedding, notes traditionally should be sent within two weeks of receipt. Gifts received at or post-wedding have a two-month time frame to send your thanks.

Set the atmosphere: No one truly enjoys writing thank you notes, so get yourself an indulgent snack, put your favorite tunage or trashy reality show on in the background and get crackin’. And trust me, don’t try to pen them all in one sitting!

 

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