The Evolution of Etiquette / Thank You

6 years ago by


Pia Moore

So you made it through the dinner party. You brought the perfect gift to accompany your attendance, you conversed equally (and hopefully intriguingly!) with your seat mates, danced, drank the wine, and left when the host signaled it was time.

Now what?! Do you send a thank you? Is it just a card or should it be a thoughtful gift? Is an emoji-embellished text message or email acceptable? Where does one even get personalized stationery?? Our etiquette expert Jeffrey is back to show us the way.

The art of the hand written thank you note is a beautiful one (it’s pretty chic too). However, in today’s electronic world of hurried email responses and texts when words become one letter abbreviations or an emoji, dare I say it is dying? There are many reasons why the hand written note seems to be going the way of the English Carrier Pigeon. If only we all took the time to elegantly script prose of gratitude to our friends and loved ones on personalized stationery! However, the lesson here is not in how the gratitude is expressed, but that it IS expressed.

When to send your thank You

Ideally, your note goes into the mail the day after the event or experience for which you want to thank the host. But realistically if you can post it within the week, that’s acceptable. It is my belief that it is never too late to send a thank you note. There are no hard and fast rules of when to send or not send a note. Do what your heart tells you. If you were genuinely touched or appreciate something, be sure to TELL THEM.

Electronic vs. handwritten

Do what feels right. Some say you respond in the same manner as you were invited. But a mailed, hand written note is always more poignant than an email. Take pride in your note. Invest in personalized stationery, it is worth it. At its simplest, just make sure to say THANK YOU!

Where to send it

If your correspondence begins in a professional setting, it is safe to assume that said correspondence should remain professional until your counterpart has made it clear that a more personal approach is welcome or appreciated. If you are unsure, best to keep things professional and send your gratitude to their office. Also, don’t send a flower arrangement to an apartment if you don’t think someone is there to receive it. Usually, there’s always a person at an office that will accept your gracious gesture.

What to send

Like a hostess gift, you can be as simple or extravagant as you like. The important thing is thinking about what your hostess would like and sending a gift that reflects that. When it comes to flowers, I like to send an orchid plant or amaryllis that will last far longer than cut flowers. The recipient will think of you that much longer ;)

What to say

Be genuine! Express how you feel! You can gush over all the details that made the gathering special or you can simply overwhelm the note card with magnificent handwriting inscribing a simple, gentile, exploitive like DIVINE, LOVE YOU!, YOU ARE PERFECTION, XX. It really has to do with your relationship with the host and how cheeky or loving you want to be. However, don’t start your note with ‘Thank you’ and use ‘I’ sparingly, if at all. You are more original than ‘Thank you’ and the note is truly about them, not you.

Some of Jeffrey’s favorite personalized stationery:
Dempsey & Carroll
Mrs. John L Strong
Mapleshade Press

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  • C’est tellement chic, d’envoyer une carte de remerciements! Surtout manuscrite (et si en plus on sait faire un peu de calligraphie, là, c’est parfait). C’est mieux qu’un cadeau à mon avis, parce que ça n’embarrasse pas celui qui la reçoit.

  • I think these suggestions are very clever and very useful!

  • Un petit mot manuscrit c’est vraiment le summum de l’attention ! Prendre le temps de prendre son stylo et d’écrire( aujourd’hui) montre bien l’attention portée à la personne. En plus on trouve tellement de jolis papiers.

    Amélie – Charles Ray and Coco

  • I never send thank you notes, but this post opened my eyes to a old way of doing something elegant :) Thanks for sharing.

    Find out my favourite over the knee boots to go shopping.

    Have a lovely day! MG

  • jane with the noisy terrier December, 14 2016, 4:41 / Reply

    Could not agree more! When I still worked in an office, I used to keep a box of thank you notes in my desk so I could jot off a quick note of appreciation on the spot. And not just for a meal or a party, but to the hairdresser after a great haircut, a particularly helpful sales person — anyone who deserved appreciation for a job well done. And when it comes to hostess gifts, I avoid bringing cut flowers as the host is busy enough without trying to find a vase and cut stems. I stock up on pretty pots when I see them at HomeGoods and add a potted plant. Or bring two pints of ice cream so the host has something to enjoy after cleaning up, once everyone has left!

  • I think you meant embellished, not embezzled. I like the phrase emoji-embellished though. And good topic…

  • i love these etiquettes posts-
    thank you for including them on your blog-they are some of the most helpful posts i’ve read.

  • Si l’usage du mot par lettre se perd un peu, je pense toujours à remercier par un petit sms. Sauf si je suis invitée en grandes pompes dans les règles de l’art !!! (mais ça devient très rare)

  • Fantastic picture!

  • Le mot de remerciement est appelé “lettre de château”. Sur le blog Apprendre les bonnes manières, nous l’avons rebaptisé “lettre de château 2.0″ ou ” sms de château”.
    Comme dit votre invité, il est important de remercier. On laisse tomber les règles du “comment remercier” pour simplement “ne pas oublier de remercier”. En un sens, c’est triste. Autrefois, il aurait été impensable de ne pas remercier pour une invitation. Aujourd’hui, les personnes qui prennent le temps le lendemain pour envoyer un mot (texto, mail ou carte) sont celles qui se distinguent.

    Belle interview ! Je vous remercie, c’est un plaisir de la lire :)

    A bientôt sur le site :

  • I love the idea of sending a thank you note but my handwriting is horrible

  • Une petite carte manuscrite, surtout quand elle est inattendue, quel bonheur ! Un peu le même charme désuet que la carte postale, en moins kitsch !
    Un joli stylo plume est surement dans vos vieilles trousses et n’attends qu’un regard de votre part pour ré-écrire de plus belle !


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