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Thank You Notes: Samples and Tips

Sarah has been an online writer for over seven years. Her articles often focus on DIY home projects.

Thank you notes can be in a variety of different styles.

Thank you notes can be in a variety of different styles.

Thank You Notes

The handwritten thank you note is a lovely, gracious token that is so appreciated, but writing them can be a difficult task. What do you say? How will you write 250 wedding thank you notes? What if you don’t like the gift? How do you write a note thanking for cash gifts? Do not fear—with a good strategy and some helpful tips, you will be able to write appropriate notes with ease.

In today’s fast-paced world, people have become more relaxed and casual about thank you notes. You may receive a phone call, email, or even a text thanking you for lunch, for listening, or for just being a friend. But there are times when you need to send a handwritten note. When you receive a wedding or baby gift, there is no excuse for not sending a formal thank you note. The general no-fail rule is that all gifts deserve a note.

Guests and gifts organizer

Guests and gifts organizer

Wedding Guests and Gifts Record

Include the following information on your guests and gift cards to keep track of who is coming to the wedding and what gifts they gave.

  • Guest name
  • Mailing address
  • Whether or not guests will be attending the wedding
  • Gift description
  • Date thank you note sent

Wedding Thank You Notes

While it is traditional that the bride writes the thank you notes for wedding gifts, it is common today to see notes written by the groom as well. If you have received a large number of gifts, it may be a good idea to split the job between bride and groom. One of the best ways to keep track of gifts received is to use an index card system. If you cannot find a Wedding Guests and Gifts organizer, you can use a small recipe box with index cards. To the right is the information that should be included on each card.

Wedding thank you notes should be written on a folded note. Many couples have their name or wedding monogram printed or engraved on the front of the note. You begin your message on the inside bottom of the note, under the crease line. Your note should be signed by the one who wrote the note, as opposed to “Mary and Steve.” This is not like a group birthday card that everyone signs.

Notes for Wedding and Baby Showers

  • Assign a friend or relative to record who gave which gift and gather mailing addresses if necessary.
  • Notes should be written by the bride or mom-to-be, unless the occasion was a couples' shower, in which case, the groom or father-to-be can help out.
  • Often, especially with larger baby gifts, several people go in together for one gift. Be sure to thank each person separately.
  • For formal notes, use a black or blue ink pen. Avoid ballpoint pens.

Birthdays and Other Occasions

Sending a thank you note for every gift received is always the best way to go, though some people forgo the formality if they can issue the thank you in person. Whether it is a birthday or holiday gift, a quick note will be appreciated, especially if the gift was not delivered in person. The gift-giver will want to make sure you received the gift and will be thrilled that you like it. Folded notes are good for the casual thank you, but a postcard-style card works well, too.

Another time when a written note would be appropriate is when someone brings you a meal. Whether you are a new mom, have been ill, or have experienced a death in the family, it is advisable to send a written expression of gratitude to the person who was so thoughtful as to provide your family with a meal. If the meal was delivered in a container that needs to be returned to the owner, wash the dish and return it with the note attached.

Wording Is Key

If the wording for a note does not come naturally, you may want to follow a template. This does not mean that you should send a form letter. The worst notes I have received said something like, “Thank you for the lovely gift. We will enjoy using it.” That same message was duplicated for every guest, and every guest knew it. Instead, a personal and sincere message should be your goal. Each note should include at least a:

  • Greeting sentence
  • Sentence thanking for the specific gift
  • Sentence about how the gift will be or was used

You do not need to use a thesaurus to come up with fancy words for your note. It is much better to be yourself and write from the heart. There are times when you may have to be creative, though. If you receive a gift you don't like, you still can be gracious. It is the thought that counts, remember? You may also be stumped on what to say for a cash gift. Avoid listing the exact dollar amount, but you can certainly tell how the money might be used. There are samples below for these types of situations and more.

Baby Shower Thank You Note Sample

If you receive one large gift from a group, be sure to send a thank you note to each person.

If you receive one large gift from a group, be sure to send a thank you note to each person.

Birthday Present Thank You Note Sample

Don't forget to send thank you notes for birthday gifts, as well.

Don't forget to send thank you notes for birthday gifts, as well.

Thank You Note Sample for Providing a Meal

Write a thank you for a meal!

Write a thank you for a meal!


Boo McCourt from Washington MI on June 20, 2014:

Great ideas. One my mom always followed, if someone gave you food, you never return the dish empty. She would often times return the dish with flowers or a dainty washcloth or some little trinket. I am always on the lookout for sentiments because I like to send real cards and letters to friends and family.

daisyjae from Canada on September 26, 2012:

This hub is great. It seems no one wants to write thank you cards anymore. I will be sharing this one.

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on May 23, 2012:

Hi, teaches12345. My biggest struggle is sitting down to write a thank you note - always seem too busy, but it really doesn't take much time. I think I will put a box of notes on my desk with a handy pen as a reminder!

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on May 23, 2012:

Hi, melbel. I agree. Some of the best thank you notes I received were unexpected ones for random things. I have even kept a few over the years.

MaryBeth Walz from Maine on May 23, 2012:

Great hub about a seemingly lost art. Thanks for helping to bring it back! Voted up and shared!

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on May 23, 2012:

This is a very useful hub worth reading. In the age of the internet, many people might think that an email thank you will suffice instead of a thank you note. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Voted up and sharing.

Dianna Mendez on May 23, 2012:

Beautiful ways to make sure that a note gives the proper meaning to the receiver. Great suggestions for writing those notes. I often struggle with words to express my sentiments. Thanks for sharing.

Melanie Palen from Midwest, USA on May 22, 2012:

I wish thank you notes were used more often. Nowadays it seems that people only use them when receiving graduation, wedding, and baby shower gifts. It would be so touching to receive a thank you card for doing something random... (like thank you for giving me a ride to work that day.) Not that I expect it of anyone, but it would be nice to get. Maybe these tips will clarify the thank you card writing process and more people will send them out. :)

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