This month is all about being thoughtful, so today we’re breaking down the business of saying thank you. As planners, at any given time we likely have plenty of people we need to thank for their contributions to our business–vendors, clients, colleagues, wine. And while it’s easy to get wrapped up in the habit of shooting off a quick email or sending a generic gift when we need to show our gratitude, we challenge you to make 2016 your most thoughtful year yet (and you’re not going to get there by sending fruit bouquets).
Write, Don’t Type
Handwritten notes are such a lost of art, which makes them all the more valuable. Nothing says thank you better than a classic, handwritten letter. Who doesn’t love getting a piece of mail that isn’t junk or a bill? You’ll make your recipient’s day with a small gesture that takes little effort on your part. Ready to step it up a notch? Invest in personalized stationery and even custom postage to complete the package. One of the things that makes handwritten notes more memorable than just an email is the fact that they’re tactile. Channel your inner Martha Stewart and take advantage of this–make them look and feel pretty. Think velum and envelope liners and ball-point pens (Oh my!). We also love the idea of including a pressed flower from a client’s wedding in their thank-you note (just remember to snag one during the event).
Thank Outside of the Box
There are a handful of clear-cut circumstances that we know to thank people for–when someone gives us a gift or after we’ve planned a client’s wedding, for example. But, we often don’t think about thanking someone for an everyday gesture. This year, we’re challenging you to think outside of the box when it comes to who you thank (not just how you do it). We aren’t suggesting you write the grocery-store clerk a thank-you note every time she bags your items, but we are challenging you to pay more attention to the everyday people in your life and notice when there’s an opportunity to show your gratitude.
Did you recently move and leave a ton of boxes for the recycling truck to grab? Why not leave them some cold drinks and a nice note? Is there a vendor you work with frequently who’s reliable and always does a great job? Send them a nice note with a giftcard to their favorite local spot. Do you have an early-morning setup scheduled for a wedding? Bring coffee and bagels for all involved.
Personalize Your Gestures
One of the most thoughtful ways you can thank someone is by showing them you get them. Everyone loves a Starbuck’s gift card (and they’re a great bet if you don’t know the recipient well), but we challenge you to find something more meaningful this year. Is your recipient always on their phone or a total tech-head? We love the It’s On Me gifting app–an app and website that allows you to gift someone items to local restaurants and bars via email or text. Are they an avid traveler? Why not give them a funky passport holder (we love these from My A La Mode)? Gifting experiences is also a great way to say thank-you. Send concert tickets to that music-fiend friend who always comes through for you. Send popcorn, wine and an iTunes giftcard to couples that are midway through the planning process and need a stress-free movie night. Think about what experience someone needs, and make that happen for them.
We could go on for days when it comes to how and who to thank, but we want to hear from you. Any suggestions we missed? Send them our way. And remember, a little thank-you goes a long way.