Why (and When) to Write a Memorable Thank You Note for Weddings & Everyday

Thank you notes — don’t you love getting them? You open a hand-written note before any bill or catalog in your mailbox, right?! Well, there’s also lots of feel-good satisfaction in sending them. (Read “7 Reasons to Bring Back Thank You Notes”) How exactly can you write an unforgettable thank you note? Sometimes, it can make a person’s day. That’s your goal. To make them feel appreciated and how their act of kindness sincerely touched your life. Writing a thank you note has the potential to leave a lasting impression. Instead of sending a quick text message or email, send a thank you to help you make new connections, grow relationships, and show your thoughtfulness.

I was born in the Millennial Generation, but I write thank you notes like I’m from Gen X (plus, I co-own a stationery store, so I love putting pen to paper!). It’s not an “old” habit, though. It’s a great and life-changing habit for both you and the recipient. Whether it’s a gift, time, advice, or a helping hand…it’s more than enough reason to genuinely thank them.

Have you ever gotten a thank you note that was….less than compelling? Hey, at least they wrote a note. Have you even been thinking you’d receive a thank you note…and it never came? It’s a little disheartening and makes you wonder if they really did appreciate your gift. That’s why I write thank you notes…especially when they’re unexpected.

Tips on Writing Thank You Notes:

  • Write the words “thank you” even if the card already says it on the front. Seeing it in handwriting makes the recipient feel all warm and fuzzy, and you look more genuine.
  • Don’t start the note with “Thank you for the…” This makes it seem like you are being forced into writing the note and comes off as not genuine. Instead, romance your way into saying “thank you” in the second or third sentence.
  1. Example: “I received the most gorgeous green sweater today and put it on the moment I opened it. I absolutely love it. I cannot thank you enough for sending such a thoughtful gift.”
  2. Real-life example from Renee: “It brought tears to my eyes today when I thought back about how much we accomplished in making that wedding so beautiful and so seamless. It was because 1.) I’m a sensitive soul anyway and 2.) because it meant so much to me to have you helping with that event and grow Hitch overall. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support at weddings and for being Hitch’s cheerleader. Love, Renee
  • If the gift was a gesture and not a physical item, state how it made you feel or how it helped.
  • “The Anatomy of a Thank You Note”. It’s a really great article.
  • Mention the specific gift, give an example of how you will use it, and how it makes you feel to have received it.
  • For gifts of money, do not mention the exact amount. Instead, thank the guest for the “generous gift”.
  • If they came, thank the person for attending your wedding.
  • For gifts received before the wedding (at your bridal shower), the general rule is to send thank you notes within two weeks.
  • Gifts received at (or after) the wedding, send thank you cards within one month of returning from your honeymoon after the wedding (or before!). Some say you have a year to send out thank-you cards, but Midwest etiquette says you have three months max.
  • Try not to be stodgy or formal in your note. Just because you’re writing a million thank you notes (so it seems) doesn’t mean you have to adopt an unnatural tone. Be fun, be you and be sincere. Even if you didn’t like their gift, thank them for that softball-sized rosary anyway….for “making your house feel like a home”. (Yes, I had a friend who received a softball sized rosary for her wedding along with a gallery-sized print of the “Last Supper” that was the size of a couch.) Thank them with graciousness anyway.

Here’s a tip from Something Detailed: “I always suggest to keep a set of thank you notes, a pen and stamps out on your kitchen counter or table. As gifts come in from your online registry, and as you unpack them, go ahead and write your note that day. If you want to save them and do a few at once, pick a day of the week to write a few at a time. Make sure to save the packing slip and note included in the online shipping box. Add your own notes to make sure you don’t miss anything or mix up anyone’s gift. Stack up those packing slips next to your thank you notes and make sure to stay on top of it! It is so much easier to write a few at a time than having to write even 10 or 15 at a time.”

Now, here’s an idea: hire Hitch Design Studio to design custom thank you notes with your photo on the front. People love to see photos from your big day, along with your personal note! We can design a flat card, a postcard or a folded note card all with your new last name, a photo from your wedding day and a monogram! Whatever you’d like. That’s the best part of getting something designed from Hitch Design Studio.

Here are more resources to writing the perfect thank you note:

Hitch Studio’s advice on “Thank You” wording
Wedding thank yous
Tips from TheKnot.com
How writing 365 thank you notes can change your life

Because when it all boils down to it, expressing your love and feeling loved back is the most important thing in our lives. So, don’t hold back. Send a thank you card today!

By Renee Halgerson, Owner/Designer, Hitch Design Studio

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