Thank You Note Etiquette

There’s no better way to thank someone for a gift or a kind gesture than a hand-written note.  Sometimes it seems like we’ve forgotten how to pick up a pen lately, with the whole technology, ‘need to have it now’, craze.  We forget how impersonal texting, emailing or calling can be, and facebook thus becomes one of our main forms of communication.  In the etiquette world?  SO WRONG.

Make an impression upon your recipient, just as they did on you with their kind gift or gesture, by sending a hand written thank you note.  It doesn’t have to be long, in-depth or hard to write, but just a simple “Dear Friend, Thank you so much for the lovely flowers you sent when I was sick.  They truly brightened up my room and made me think of you daily.  Can’t wait to see you in July!  Love, Tara” is significant.  When writing a thank you note, you simply need to thank the recipient, mention the gift and then maybe add a funny or nice comment about the gift or the event they attended.  Sign your name and you’re all set!

Just how long should, (0r can), you wait to send out a thank you note?  For brides who are likely bombarded with gifts, you should send your thank you notes within three months of your wedding date.  If you’ve been caught up in wedding life and it’s four months out, send a thank you note anyway, even if it’s late.  A late thank you note is always better than no thank you note at all!  For a more casual event, one to two months is more appropriate.  The easiest thing to do is to send a thank you note a week or two after receiving any gift you receive.  Especially for brides, this can be extremely helpful.  That way you’re not up to your eyeballs in gifts and thank you notes to write, the day you return from your honeymoon trip!

Remember that pre-printed thank you notes are never an acceptable option, according to proper etiquette.  They are considered tacky all the way around, and may even offend some guests.  If you have children writing a thank you note, choose a fill-in thank you note instead of a blank canvas where it can be very hard to write.  If you are ill, remember it is always acceptable to have a close friend or relative write your thank you notes for you.  If none of the above, and you just have two hundred thank you notes to write for a sweet 16 or your wedding, make it easy on yourself and make a goal to write out 3-5 thank you notes each night before bed.  You’ll be done quicker than you know it and everyone will be pleased with you taking time to hand write that many notes.  Nobody wants to offend Grandma by sending her the same thank you note you sent to your entire guest list!

When choosing your stationery, remember that women traditionally use an ivory or white folded note with their names on the front center or their monogrammed initials.  Men typically use flat note cards in white or ivory.  If the couple is married, most of the time folded wedding stationery is used.  Make sure you choose stationery that best reflects your style and personality – if you enjoy looking at the notes when you write them, they’re more fun to write, and your guest will know that it’s from you, as soon as they open that envelope!

Tags: flat thank you notes, folded thank you notes, hand written thank you notes, how to write a thank you note, pre-printed thank you notes, stationery for men, stationery for women, thank you note etiqutte, thank you notes, wedding stationery

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