Anatomy of a Thank You Note

Have you ever found yourself sending a late thank you note – or maybe not sending one at all? Fortunately and unfortunately you’re not alone. And like many tasks deferred, they are often left undone all together.

A prompt thank you note is always best, but it’s never too late to send an expression of appreciation.

Thank You!

I’m not gonna lie, after my wedding I sent my thank you notes late – really, really – I’m still embarrassed about it – late.

I sent them late because I was avoiding them. In truth, I was uncomfortable – uncomfortable with everyone’s generosity. Not only had we received lovely gifts, many friends and family traveled in from out of town. And more than a few people were instrumental in helping pull off our perfect day.

Every time I sat down, pen in hand to write in my beautiful thank you cards, I felt an overwhelming pressure to channel Emily Bronte or to find my inner Martha Stewart.

I spent hours googling thank you note etiquette, searching for the words to adequately express my gratitude for all of this love and attention. And with the crushing weight of expectation to write the perfect thank you note, dozens and dozens of individual notes, no wonder I procrastinated – and I procrastinated for months.

Today I have a less intimidating approach to the anatomy of a thank you note and I’ve come to really enjoy the process of writing a personalized note (even with my less than perfect penmanship.)

The more imperfect and casual your prose – the more personal the message.

Take it from me, your thank you note is not likely to be a published work of art and it’s even unlikely that the recipient will frame it and hang it above their mantel. So let go of the pressure to write the perfect thank you note. Find a cute note card that makes you smile and tell them how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness.

A thank you note is an expression of time – that you took the time to send a message and acknowledge the giver and the gift.

4 Easy Steps To Writing a Personal Thank You Note

  1. Use their name in the greeting.
  2. If they attended an event (party, shower, wedding) include a fun memory of the event of how great it was to see them.
  3. Mention the gift and how you look forward to using it and/or how it will remind you of them.
  4. End with a personal wish to see them soon or that your message finds them well.

Writing a personalized thank you note

My last piece of advice, take a cue from Jimmy Fallon, turn on some great thank you note music and have fun! I guarantee that your energy and enthusiasm will shine through in your message.


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