Stationery and Invitation Etiquette

Stationery Etiquette

Receiving a handwritten note on quality, heavyweight paper is not only special but a personal gesture in our day and time of social technology. There’s something about a hand addressed envelope that makes you want to open it so much faster than all the rest! You can’t feel an email or text message but you can save a personal handwritten note and in time it becomes a memento of someone else’s investment in your life…someone who cared to sit down with special paper and think about what they wanted to say to you. No surprise that it has often been said that paper stands the test of time!

Stationery wardrobe choices are “personal”, including business correspondence papers, as they reflect something about you and how you want to be perceived…your personality, your likes, your style. Having said that, your stationery wardrobe consists of Gift Enclosure Cards or Calling Cards, Fold Over Notes or Flat Correspondence Cards and due to their popularity we might include Gift Stickers and Return Address Labels.

Gift Enclosure Cards are meant to be included in or on a gift you are giving. You may buy them flat or folded if you prefer to be able to write a brief inside message.Folded Gift Enclosure Cards should come with envelopes. Another primary use for Gift Enclosure Cards or Calling Cards is for social networking. In this case the card would include not only your name but your contact information as well. One example of using Gift Enclosure or Calling Cards for social networking is the Mommy Play Date Cards which are great for arranging parent-child outings. Business Cards are used only with your professional contact information to keep home and work separate.

Gift Stickers are meant to be on the outside of the gift or favors. Children’s Gift Stickers are especially helpful in insuring that the received gift does not lose its identification, especially when delivered by little ones! Gift Stickers may also be used for favour labels for parties.

Thank You Notes are appropriate either flat or folded. The note should be inserted so that when it is opened you see the front side of the note. Flat notes should be handwritten on one side only. Folded notes, often referred to as informals, should be written on the inside only but it is appropriate, if you need more space, to write on the top inside of the card rather than the back.

Return address labels are an added embellishment to the outside of your envelope and save the addressee from handwriting many return addresses, especially for birth announcements, save the dates, large parties and Christmas photo cards.

Miscellaneous Thank You Note Do’s and Dont’s

  • As mentioned earlier, your choices say a lot about you so it is a good idea to have more than one design style available for you to send depending on the occasion. For sympathy notes you may want to choose a different design than possbily a thank you note following a dinner party.
  • When writing a thank you note, regardless of the occasion or event, do your best to make it special. A note does not have to be long to have a personal touch as length does not matter nearly as much as content. Include a comment about the occasion, the gift or the kindness you received to make your note well received. For gifts given by people you do not know as well, as in a wedding or baby gift, ask family members for any anecdote that will make your note a joy to receive.
  • When writing notes and addressing envelopes be sure to use black, navy or dark chocolate ink. These, especially black, are the most formal ink colors.
  • Use your best handwriting when note writing! If that means printing, then do so! Many people find that printing is their most attractive handwriting and easiest to read. It is far more important for the receiver to understand what you have written than whether you print or write in script. But be consistent. If you print your note then also print your address.
  • Write your thank you notes as soon as possible. For most occasions such as birthdays and dinner parties it is good to respond with a thank you note within 2 days. For occasions such as weddings or births when there might be many notes to write, some experts say that they must be written within 6 months and others say within a year. Even others say that it is never too late to say thank you! What is most important is that you do say thank you for kindnesses and gifts from those who thought of you.

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