We all know we need to write thank you notes. Definitely for gifts given, and, if you want to up your game, even when you are invited to a dinner party or someone did you a favor, like lend you hotel points, or gave you world series tickets. (we wish)
When we plan and celebrate our weddings, there is a lot to be thankful for. Even if a guest came, but maybe didn't give a gift, it's nice to acknowledge their attendance. You don't want your thank you notes to sound like they were written by a robot, though. Simple formulas are great for kids to follow when they are writing their bar/bat mitvah or graduation thank yous, but we adults probably should sound a bit more eloquent. Here are some tips to write a grown up thank you note:
1. Greeting. A good rule is to match the greeting and sign off with how well you know the person. If it's your brother or best friend, a simple Matthew, is just fine. But for most relatives and friends, "Dear" is great way to start. It's formal as well, so works for that job interview follow up.
2. Attendance. Start with a few sentences about seeing the person at the baby shower, wedding or wherever the gift was given. Before you even express your thanks for the gift, it's important to show your appreciation that the giver made the effort to attend the occasion. Remember, they made time/maybe missed work to attend, and they likely had travel and outfit/hair/makeup costs as well:
"What a whirlwind our wedding weekend was - we loved catching up with you at the welcome reception. "
"It was so fun to spend last Sunday afternoon with you! I'm so glad we were able to share the arrival of our little one with friends like you."
"Seeing you and Paul was such a treat - I'm so glad you were able to take a few days to celebrate with us."
"It was so great to connect with so many neighbors at your cocktail party-now I have names for the faces!"
3. Include something personal about the giver:
"You sure stood out in that gorgeous blue dress."
"I appreciated you answering the door; it freed me up to get food on the table."
4. If a your note is for a gift given, include a line about how you'll use/appreciate the item. This really takes the place of "thank you for the espresso machine." It's way more personal, and shows the giver that you truly acknowledge their gift by telling them how you plan to use it. They will appreciate and picture the gift in use, and that's how we connect with one another:
"The vase you sent looks lovely in our foyer, what a great excuse to run out and pick up some fresh flowers to brighten our entrance!"
"The receiving blankets are washed and ready to go in the baby's room- we can't wait for her arrival."
5. Sign off. This can be as formal or casual as you are. I like to hint at the next time I will see someone, like:
Talk soon, Sarah
Can't wait to see you in the fall, Sarah
or if it's a close friend or family member:
Lots of love, Sarah
BONUS TIPS: Use your own handwriting- even if you don't love it, it's so much more personal than a font.