How to Write a Keepsake-Worthy Thank You
Have you ever received a thank you note that felt really great to read? Maybe you even teared up a little bit? A well-written thank you note makes the reader feel uniquely appreciated—a potentially difficult feat to achieve when writing thank you notes en masse after a wedding.
My mom taught me how to write thank you notes by having me do so after every gift-giving occasion, and—more importantly—by writing me the most heartwarming, affirming thank you notes herself. “People want to feel appreciated for who they are to you and your life, and not for what physical object they gave you,” she taught me.
I’ll elaborate with three important points to make your wedding thank yous heartfelt:
1. Appreciate your gifter for their presence at your wedding, first and foremost.
Going straight to the thank-you-for-choosing-something-off-our-registry part of your message can have the adverse effect of feeling a little cold or business-like. Instead, reference a memory of them at the wedding, or just tell them how great it was to see them celebrating with you.
We were so happy to see you livening up the dance floor at our wedding! Grandma said you absolutely made her night!
Dear Leslie and Lyle,
We can’t tell you how privileged we feel that our two closest friends made it all the way out from Vancouver to celebrate with us.
Dear Aunt Iris and Uncle Billy,
Coming down the aisle, surrounded by family that has loved and supported me my entire life, was such a treasure. Your presence added so much joy to our celebration.
2. Compliment them on understanding your needs or taste with their choice of gift.
I always try to avoid the standard “Thank you for ___,” because it feels a bit cookie-cutter. Instead, say thank you by showing that you understand the time it took them to select the perfect gift for you.
It’s standard to create a registry of wish-list items for guests to purchase from, or even to request monetary contributions to a honeymoon or general newlywed fund—it might feel a little disingenuous at first to piece together a sincere thank you when really, not too much thought had to go into choosing your gift. Instead, try to reframe this in your head: while choosing a gift may have been easy, no one was technically obligated to buy you a gift. Everyone made the choice to put their hard-earned money toward supporting you and your happiness, registry or otherwise. Plus, extenuating circumstances sometimes make showing up to a wedding plus sending a gift difficult for some people. That definitely deserves some kudos.
We know we can always rely on you to bring a splash of color into our lives. As soon as I saw those towels, I knew they were from you!
We are floored that, in addition to flying all the way out here for the wedding, you also gifted us a romantic wine tour for our honeymoon. We’ll be sipping those Malbecs while remembering all your tasting notes!
You’ve always been so thoughtful on birthdays and holidays, and I’m reminded again how much love I have in my life. Your gift helps us establish our new life together.
3. Conclude with a wish, hope, or promise.
As whimsical as that sounds, it really is a pleasant thing to read for the recipient of your thank you note, and helps wrap things up.
Keep bringing your infectious, vibrant energy into our lives—and let’s plan a salsa night when we get back from our honeymoon!
We’re already thinking about our next trip out to see you, and we’re absolutely bringing you back a bottle (or three)!
We wish you a happy and healthy year as you get settled in your new house. Looking forward to seeing you again at the family reunion!
There are a lot of unique situations to consider when writing super personal thank you notes, and we’ll cover some of those in future posts. Hopefully this gets you started, and you can communicate to your friends and family just how appreciated they are.