After what I am now referring to as “The Great Technology Betrayal of 2013” (aka the last week of my life), I thought it would be fitting to do a post on handwritten thank-you notes. These are still the gold standard of politeness by which you should thank guests and friends for your wedding and shower gifts. A handwritten note shows care and courtesy. Here are some basics you’ll need to know.
-Promptly. Try to write a note the day that you receive a gift. It may seem tedious day by day, but trust me, you will be much happier writing a few notes a day rather than writing 200 notes when you get back from your honeymoon! The general rule is to send all thank-you notes within 3 months of receiving the gift, but if you’re approaching that first year anniversary, don’t be discouraged! Just keep writing…
-Together. Your husband (presumably) has hands. Put them to work. With half of the amount of notes to write, it will be easier to personalize each note for each giver.
-From “Us”. When writing your notes, don’t use “I”, use “we”, and don’t forget to sign off from both of you.
-The Right Way. Don’t just sign your name on a card that is printed with “Thank You”. Take the time to do it right.
“Who” (from Emily Post)
-Everyone that gives you a wedding present
-Everyone who gives you money
-Anyone who sends you a congratulatory telegram on your wedding day (You’ll obviously have LOADS of these to write…)
-People who entertain for you (hosts, hostesses, of showers etc.)
-People who house and/or entertain your guests
-People who do kindnesses for you
-Suppliers and Vendors
Make sure that you express real feeling in your note. Pretend that you have run into the giver on the street, and imagine what you’d say. You don’t need to be stuffy and formal (unless you just are), so write from the heart! Here is an example of a note from Emily Post:
“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Gresham,
How did you ever find the beautiful vase? It is perfect in our apartment, and Phil and I thank you for your special gift! We’re so sorry you couldn’t be with us on our wedding day, but we hope to be back in St. Paul during the holidays and we look forward to seeing you then. Thanks again for thinking of us in such a nice way!
Love, Courtney and Phil”
Courtney and Phil sound like they know the Greshams pretty well. So what about all of those guests that you don’t know as well? Your new in-laws friends from Norway? That guy your father works with and had to invite? Follow this “formula”… Open with “Dear…”. Thank them for the gift. Mention how much you like it and why, or how you will use it (for a money gift, mention how you will spend it). Thank them again. Sign off. Done!
What kind of stationery should you pen these notes on? I like flat correspondence cards, but a folded note works just as well! Make sure your ink is legible if your paper isn’t white or ecru. Sign your maiden name before the wedding (when you should still be using your maiden monogram) and use your married name (and monogram) post-nuptial. I love personalized stationery (obviously), but there are so many ADORABLE less expensive options out there, too! My favorite personalized sources are Crane and Dabney Lee, and for pre-printed cards with a “thank you”, I am obsessed with Sugar Paper! They have some cute single-monogram cards, too!
All images: Sugar Paper