How To Write the Perfect Valentine’s Day Love Letter

loveLove is in the air. And, hopefully, on paper. Dozens of the finest roses and boxes of the most decadent chocolate can’t top a beautifully crafted love letter. Here’s how to create an amorous ode that’ll capture her heart forever.

Be Sincere
It may seem obvious, but don’t write a love letter unless you’re, oh, in love. If you’re not in that point in your relationship yet, don’t force it — better to share your desire for a romantic trip to Paris when you actually want to take one.

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Thank You Note Etiquette: How to be Wonderfully Gracious on Paper

Thank You NoteMy, what lovely loot. Now that the wrapping paper has been cleared, it’s time to thank everyone who wrote your name on a gift tag.

Here are our etiquette tips on how to craft the perfect Thank You Note.

Say it with style. Your Thank You Notes should reflect your aesthetic, whether it’s classic, romantic, minimalist or modern. The recipient of said note should know who it’s from even before he/she reads a word.

Be gracious in a timely manner. Thank You Notes should be sent out as soon as possible after you receive the gift. One to two weeks is the sweet spot, as your note should be a thoughtful gesture, not a reminder for what was given.

Give credit where credit is due. Make sure to address your Thank You Note to the person or persons who gave you the gift. If the gift was signed from your friend and her husband, your note should address both individuals (even if you know she “did all the work”). Everyone likes to feel appreciated, after all.

Name drop. Mention the gift you received by name. It may seem like a small detail, but in an era of generic, automated emails, it’s nice to receive something that is personalized just for you.

Go the extra descriptive mile. Everyone hopes that the gift they give isn’t going to collect dust, destined for the Goodwill bag when Spring Cleaning comes around. Prevent such worry with a sentence or two about how/when/where you might use the gift and how excited you are to do so.

Let’s practice, shall we?

Dear Lindsay, Jeff and Gabriel,

Thank you so much for the gorgeous silk Hermes scarf. You know my taste so well! I can’t wait to wear it out to dinner with Barrett, it really is the perfect accessory for a lovely night out in the city. I hope all is well, much love to you all.

Truly,
Olivia

Wedding Etiquette in the Age of Social Media

Navigating through the rules of wedding etiquette has always been difficult, but now social media is taking it to a whole new level. Engaged couples already have enough on their plates without having to worry about when or when not to post, tag or share. To make it easier, here’s some tips and tricks for celebrating a wedding in the digital age.

Do’s and Don’ts

  1. Don’t Change Your Facebook Status First: Getting engaged is incredibly exciting, but be sure to personally contact those who are most important to you (such as your parents, your siblings, grandparents, etc.) before posting your engagement on social media accounts.
  2. Do Think About Different Invites: If you’re going to have a formal engagement party or Jack and Jill, then it’s best to send traditional invitations, but if they’re going to be casual and low-key, then you can feel free to send a Facebook invite.

    UntitledEngraved Embassy Regatta Wedding Invitation

  3. Don’t Brag About The Bling: It’s perfectly fine to post a picture of your engagement ring, but steer clear of creating hashtags or commenting on the carat weight, where it’s from and, of course, the price.
  4. Add Tech to Save The Date: There is nothing more special than receiving a Save the Date! Guests love the personal feeling of being thought of and included in your special moment. Don’t forget to add all of your social media and wedding website information on your stationery! This way, guests will know from the beginning what your hashtag is and will be able to see all of the pictures and information about your special moment from the start.
  5. Don’t Do Everything Online: Wedding invitations should always be physically mailed because the digital ones are impersonal. However, it is perfectly acceptable to allow your guests to RSVP digitally. Simply instruct them to text, use Facebook or your wedding website to RSVP. Likewise, thank you notes should be physically mailed, and hand-written, anything else seems cold and impersonal.

    Untitled1Engraved Marquis Buchanan Invitation

  6. Do Be Honest! If you prefer a phone free/technology free wedding, tell your guests you prefer they don’t take or share photos of your wedding (you can do this online or on your wedding invitations). Be sure to let them know that you will be making wedding photos available for anyone who wants them.
  7. Don’t Update Social Media Immediately: While some couples are so excited they change their Facebook status to married right at the altar, it’s best to wait until after the reception so you can take the time to enjoy your special day.
  8. Do Share Your Location: Be sure to share your Google map location for the church as well as the reception with your guests to make it easier for them to navigate especially for those who are coming from out of town.

Creating a Wedding Website

Creating a wedding website is a fun, easy and efficient way to organize all of your wedding plans and activities. You can use your wedding website to create and share a wedding checklist with the rest of the wedding party, share updates about the wedding with your guests and create a link straight to your bridal registry.

This is ideal for couples who are registered at multiple places because most sites combine all your registries into one easy access gift list. In addition, your guests can quickly and easily RSVP right from your site.

Free website platforms make it easy to find a wide array of wedding themes and designs. That are also well-known wedding sites that offer hundreds of wedding website templates, that make it easy to create and personalize yours.

These platforms allow you to create personalized URLs as well as link your wedding hashtags and all your social media accounts to your site so that all your wedding moments are saved in one place.

How and When to Create Wedding Hashtags

Untitled3Engraved Lily Table Card

For those who embrace having a digital wedding and want their friends to take pictures of their special day, creating personalized wedding hashtags is great way to access all of your wedding pictures and videos online. It is important to make your wedding hashtags are personal so that they stand out from the rest.

When Creating Customized Wedding Hashtags You Should:

  1. Try to incorporate your first, last and/or nicknames. It’s also popular for couples to use mashup names in their hashtags.
  2. Use numbers in your hashtags because there may be a ton of #WeddingReception, or #JackandJill’s out there but few #WeddingReception060516. While it’s best for the numbers to be associated with the wedding date if those numbers are not available, try using the day you first met or another number sequence that is meaningful to you and your future spouse.
  3. Be sure to test your hashtags out to verify that the pictures are actually associated with them before instructing your guests to use them.
  4. Once they have been created, be sure to include the hashtags you want your guests to use on your save-the-dates, wedding invites, and all of your stationery so everyone knows well ahead of time which ones to use.

Naomi Shaw lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids. She is a free-lance journalist and stay at home mom that enjoys writing on fashion and beauty around the web and is a regular contributor for Brilliance.com.

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Business Essentials: A Primary on Invitations and Announcements

We receive many queries from businesses concerning wording, be it for a gala or a move to a new office. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on invitations and announcements.

business essentials-invitations-and-announcements

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For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Business Essentials: A Primary on Correspondence, Monarch and Jotter Cards

Whatever your job title may be, you will almost certainly find yourself at some point needing to pen a handwritten note. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on the differences between correspondence cards, monarch cards and jotter cards—and when to use which.

business essentials-correspondence-cards

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For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Business Essentials: A Primary on Letterhead

While the executive sheet is the basic stationery used by most businesses, the monarch sheet is slightly smaller and therefore more personal. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on letterhead.

business essentials-letterhead

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For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Business Essentials: A Primary on Business and Calling Cards

If you are incorporating a social media handle into the information on your business card, ensure that it is appropriate for your line of work. For example, a fashion designer may wan to include his/her Instagram handle, while an accountant would not. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on business and calling cards.

business essentials-business-and-calling-cardsClick the image to enlarge.

For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Business Essentials: A Primary on Printing Processes and Paper

One should consider his or her paper as he or she would consider any wardrobe piece: with thoughtful attention to detail, quality and style. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on printing processes and our 100% cotton stock.

business-essentials-processes-lores

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For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Post Script: Protocol School of Washington President Pamela Eyring

This weekend the Protocol School of Washington will celebrate turning 25 years old with a Global Summit. Attendees will participate in workshops such as “The Protocol of Titles and Forms of Address” and “Keep Calm and Protocol On: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Royal Visit.” The PSOW also has served as a consultant for several editions of our Blue Book of Stationery, which has been the go-to guide for proper correspondence since the late 1800’s. So, we thought it both timely and appropriate to speak with PSOW President Pamela Eyring, who shares with us thoughts such as the pen pal worthy of a letter closing with “Fondly” and why she just might have been the next Florence Nightengale.

Pamela_Eyring_Facilitator

How long have you been at the PSOW and how did you end up there?
I graduated from PSOW almost 15 years ago and have proudly owned the school for the past nine years.

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How to Write the Perfect Holiday Letter

In an era when we are (whether we like it or not) updated on the lives of our friends and family minute by minute, the idea of writing a letter might seem unnecessary.

Holiday-Photo-and-Letter-Card-Written-Letter-blogLiving in a stream-happy society is fun. It’s exciting. It helps us miss our loved ones who live far away a little less. But there are still occasions when sending a text message or posting on someone’s wall just isn’t enough. The holidays is one of those occasions, and the holiday letter is one of those traditions that helps us remember the power of the written (or at least typed) word.

We’ve put together five tips on how to craft the perfect holiday letter. Happy writing!

Make a timeline. Travel back in time and outline all the major events of the year. Be sure to ask your spouse and children for their input as well — you might not remember a soccer goal, but your daughter who scored it certainly will.
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