If you’re preparing to get married, chances are you’re going to be writing quite a few thank you notes in the near future. Today, we’re going to discuss how to write a sincere, gracious thank you that will leave both you and the recipient feeling warm and fuzzy inside!
For many people, the first step in writing an above-average thank you note is to reframe your thinking. If you are saying to yourself, “This is such a pain,” “Can’t I just text them?” or “This is a waste of my time because they’re just going to throw it in the trash anyway,” you’re approaching it all wrong. It is rare in this age of fast-paced technological frenzy that people actually take the time to genuinely express their gratitude to someone beyond a simple “thanks, Hannah!” And really, what makes you feel more loved: a hastily typed email in Times New Roman or a handwritten, thoughtful note on stationery handpicked by the writer that you can tuck in your drawer and pull out to read years later as memories come flooding back? I know I’m being a little melodramatic and romantic here (does this really surprise anyone?), but truly, thank you notes are an opportunity to connect with others on a more intimate and emotional level, not a chore.
Now that you’ve at least attempted to get in the right mindset, it’s time to begin writing! Date your note in the top right hand corner. Begin with “Dear ___,”.
I personally tend to cut straight to the point with my notes. My first line might be something like, “Thank you so much for the waffle maker.” Next, state why you love this particular item or what you might use it for. Be as specific and personal as possible. For example, “It reminds me of when I would spend the night at your house growing up and we would make delicious waffles the next morning. Wes and I can’t wait to try out the countdown timer feature!”
Feel free to be as lengthy as you’d like with the first section. Next comes the more general “thank you for being such a first-class friend/mother-in-law/random coworker of my father’s” section, which is really what will connect emotionally with the recipient. Thank the person for attending the shower/party/wedding (if applicable) and recall any poignant moments from the occasion. For example: “It was so nice to have you at shower—thank you for graciously greeting people as they arrived. ” Next, thank the person even more generally for what they mean to you. For example: “I am so glad that we have remained friends all these years and am appreciative of all of your support throughout the wedding planning process.”
Finally, point toward future good times that you are excited for. This is especially easy if you are writing a thank you for a shower or engagement party gift…simply tell them that you can’t wait to celebrate with them at the wedding! If it’s post-wedding, perhaps you can think of an upcoming occasion (i.e. 4th of July cookout, double date night, family Thanksgiving) that you’re looking forward to seeing them at, or you can do a more general “Let’s see each other again very soon!”
So, the outline for the note would be something like this:
- Thank the person for the gift
- Tell why you love the gift and what you’ll use it for
- Thank them for coming to the occasion (if applicable)
- Thank them for being such an awesome, supportive person in your life
- Look to the future (if applicable)
Putting together the note fragments above, the full note would read:
Thank you so much for the waffle maker. It reminds me of when I would spend the night at your house growing up and we would make delicious waffles the next morning. Wes and I can’t wait to try out the countdown timer feature!
It was so nice to have you at the shower—thank you for graciously greeting people as they arrived. I am so glad that we have remained friends all these years and am appreciative of all of your support throughout the wedding planning process. I can’t wait to celebrate with you on the big day!
Don’t be afraid to be even more lengthy, and it’s also okay if it’s someone you don’t know all that well and the note needs to be a little shorter. Above all, be sure to write what you are truly feeling in your heart. Don’t be afraid to tell someone how much you love them or how thankful you are for them! And, don’t feel pushed to stick to a rigid outline…customize the above suggestions to what feels right to you. Your recipients might just get a little teary-eyed with how heartfelt and genuine your note is.
Feel free to comment below with other tips/tricks you have for writing thank you notes!