Divine Dinner Party

Ideas for Dinner Party Thank You Notes, Cards, and Emails

The party doesn't end with putting the food away! There's still the matter of sending dinner party thank you notes-- whether you're a guest thanking a host for a wonderful invite, or a host who'd like to thank a guest for coming.

A Successful Fun Dinner Party Should Come with a  Thank You Note!
The truth is, thank you notes are a highly overlooked item in today's drive-through society. This actually means they can make an even bigger difference in how a dinner party is remembered-- people simply don't receive them any more! It's a small gesture with huge impact, and shows a lot of appreciation and thoughtfulness.

For those who have never tried writing a dinner party thank you, the thought might feel intimidating. Stop worrying! Unless the dinner party was very formal, your note does not have to be a work of Shakespearian genius! This is one area where it really is the thought that counts.

Stilling the planning stages for your dinner party? Check here for all the dinner party recipes, planning, and help you could want.

Dinner Party Thank You Note Writing 101:
Handwritten or Typed?

Most experts in the matter tell us that handwritten notes have more impact than typed ones, or cards that just bear a signature and nothing else. Generally, I agree.

However, if you have deplorable handwriting... go ahead and type! A thank you note won't do much good if folks can't read it! In the age of computer technology, typing your note means also having a world of graphics and fonts available to you so you can really "spiff" it up. Look at borders, or images that reflect the theme of the dinner as a starting place.

Of course, if you're a host sending out a dinner party thank you to a lot of guests, it's also a great way to make the job a little quicker. But that doesn't mean your guests have to see it that way!

Personalizing a Thank You Note

By far this is the most important aspect of writing a dinner party thank you note. Have you ever been at a party where thank you cards were handed out as guests left? If so, how did that make you feel... particularly if you were thoughtful enough to bring a hearth gift or contribute to the meal in some way?

When the host or guest didn't have time to actually think about the evening or your contribution, the gesture probably seems a little hollow and not-so-meaningful. This is the perfect illustration of why personalizing your thank you is so very essential.

For Guests: Personalizing Thank You Notes

If you were a guest at a dinner party, think about the offerings that you really liked, or perhaps what your host/hostess was wearing. Comment on that. For example, "Dear X, I can't begin to tell you how tasty the barbecued ribs were – what's your secret? Thank you for a fantastic party!" Or, "Dear X, I noticed that your outfit was new. The color was incredible on you. Where did you get it? The party was wonderful – thank you for all you do."

Do you see how that changes the delivery of the thank you completely?

For Hosts: Personalizing Thank You Notes

If you're the host or hostess of a party creating dinner party thank you notes for your guests, make sure to acknowledge anything they brought with them. For example, "Dear Y, I am so thankful you brought that Shiraz – it tasted so good with the meal. I look forward to having you over again soon. Thanks for coming!"

Or did the guest in question lend a hand in the kitchen, or stay around afterwards to help clear the table? Be sure to send them an extra special thank you so they know you appreciate their efforts.

Cards or Stationary to Use for Thank You Notes

When looking for stationary or cards for dinner party thank you notes, you've got plenty to choose from. There are a lot of great thank you cards with images that speak volumes. If you decide to use a card instead of personal stationary it's perfectly acceptable. Just don't forget the rule: personalize, personalize, personalize. The card itself cannot speak for you.

Personal stationary is another option, and again it's fine except perhaps for very formal affairs. Realistically most folks would be happy just to get the note, even one scribed on plain white school-lined paper, rather than to wonder if you had a good time at all.

Some of the thank you cards below can give you an idea of what's available out there. A lot of thank you cards are intended for weddings, but most of them --especially the simpler ones-- can be used for any occasion.

Dinner Party Thank You Emails

Want to make life easier for yourself? There's nothing wrong with sending out a thank you note via email. There are a lot of companies out there that allow you to personalize and send thank you notes online-- and come with cute little e-cards that your guests or host will love.

Don't worry if a thank you email is all you have time for... they're fast, they're green (no paper wastage!), and it really IS the thought that counts.

When to Write Your Dinner Party Thank You

Don't procrastinate – sit down and write your thank you notes while everything is fresh in your mind. Etiquette tells us that the note should go in the mail no latter than one week after the event. Past that point it will feel contrived-- a little like an afterthought. So if you want to order custom cards (I love the idea of a dinner thank you card with a photo of guests having a fun at the event) it's important to order them the very next day.

Salutations and Addresses for Thank You Cards

As previously mentioned, the vast majority of your dinner party thank you cards or notes are likely to be casual. The way in which you open a note and how you address the envelope is directly related to what kind of relationship / level of intimacy you have with the individual. Friends and family definitely are "first name basis" folk, whereas business partners and bosses are better addressed as Mr., Mrs., or Ms.

To sign off, you'll again want to consider your relationship with the guest. For close friends and family members, "Love," is always a good option. Or even a "Thanks!" or "Kisses!" For a more formal dinner party thank you, go with "Sincerely" or "Regards."

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Share and share alike! If you have a great dinner party idea or tip, send it in!

After all, what better way to pass on your knowledge than to share it with other hosts and hostesses?

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