How to thank people when "thank you" isn't enough

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by KiusLady

magic the gathering thank you cards

Since we didn’t go on a honeymoon immediately after our wedding, I was able to get thank-you notes out right away. I wrote them to everyone from my karate instructor who got us the ubiquitous wedding blender, to my wonderful roommate from college who brought her family hundreds of miles to be there, helped with the setup, AND let us use their motel room as a holding area for all our stuff. Parents, friends, family — everyone got a handwritten, personal thank-you note.

Everyone, that is, except the core group of five people who were instrumental in making this whole wedding happen. One was our officiant, one was my go-to wedding planner, one was my Honorary Maid of Honor, one smashed coconuts at the end of the ceremony (with his bare hands), one was an usher and crying-shoulder for our poor, frazzled planner. We see these people at least once a week at Monday Game Night where we all gather at one of our residences to play board games like Settlers of Catan, Thunderstone, and the Resistance. I go to karate with half this group twice a week, and I run a small craft business with another member. We’re a close-knit group of geeky, quirky friends, and I’ve been at my wit's end for months as to how to properly thank these folks.

Luckily no one has minded not getting a formal “thank you.” After all, a traditional card would just be silly and oddly impersonal since we see each other constantly. Money would be insulting actually — we’re always helping each other out, doing little things for each other as the need arises. We help each other move, we’re there when someone’s sick, we swap recipes, TV show obsessions, and dirty jokes. We’re closer than family in some respects. Still, I’ve been wanting very much to give all five some tangible “thank you” that was properly meaningful.

And at last it came to me a few days ago — my special wedding thank yous — and I kick myself for not thinking of it sooner!

Homemade Magic: The Gathering-style thank-you cards!

magic the gathering friendship thank you cards

I scrounged through all our wedding photos trying to find a picture with all five of them (and preferably with my husband and myself in it as well). No go. It simply never occurred to any of us to get a nice pic of all us seven together, so I had to settle for a candid shot that doesn’t even show everyone’s faces (that’s okay though — they all know what they look like!).

The message at the bottom of the cards ends with a line that’s become a running gag through out the group. One day when we were playing Elder Sign, things weren’t going well, and someone said, “Hey, it’s okay, guys. It’s not even a thing!” We actually ended up beating the big baddie at the end despite the odds, much to everyone’s surprise and soaring triumph. That phrase “it’s not even a thing” laughingly comes up constantly now whenever we're in a tight situation (either in a game or in life).

Cards_forPrint_Back

The five hearts on the back of the card represent these five friends — each with their own color that they’d likely be able to pick out without much help from us.

It’s just the perfect “thank you” for people we could never thank!

What special ways did you find to say "thank you!" to those people who deserved more than a thank-you card?

  1. I don't have bridesmaids, but I do have an unofficial "council of women" who have had an enormous impact on my life and are making this wedding happen. I'm also moving pretty far away from most of them, and it's hard knowing that we won't be as close geographically anymore. We played D&D together once or twice, and given that the wedding was going to be in the woods, I sent each of them this:

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/184277161/personalized-hatchet-gifts-for-men-axe?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=axe&ref=sr_gallery_1

    Engraved with their name and "Council of Women" below it. I also included a small note on why I thought they were an important part of my life and why I was so grateful to have them around. They can use it to cut down trees OR as a playful addition to a cheese platter! Of course, I couldn't send one to my buddy in Saudi Arabia, but for my state-side friends it seemed like a fitting gift. There's no better way to tell my friends "You have my axe" than sending one to them!

  2. My MOH has gone above and beyond for me every step of the way. Along with her regular gift that all of my attendants are getting I'm getting her the complete Harry Potter series of books. The one that comes in the awesome Hogwarts trunk. She's a huge fan of the movies but she actually just started reading the books and is only on Half Blood Prince right now. It's not a super personalized present but she lives on a shoestring budget and has been borrowing the books as she's been reading them because even so many years later those things are damn expensive!

  3. Our flower woman was awesome just volunteering to care so much before, during, and after our wedding. From crafting decor, helping out on the day of, and making sure our fur babies were in good hands while we were away on our honeymoon.

    We showed our appreciation to this wonderful lady, who loves baking and lives simply, by supplying her kitchen with specialty flour.

  4. Since I didn't have bridesmaids, I missed out on the only aspect of a wedding party that appealed to me personally: the chance to let my special ladies know how much they mean to me. So I got my best girls token gifts and took the chance to sit down with them alone at some point in the months leading up to the ceremony to give them their gifts and let them know why I love them. The gifts were small but meaningful, like a metal bookmark with an amethyst topper for my bookworm who loves purple or a hand-decorated mug that says "Show me your kitties!" for the friend who loves coffee and cats and has a bawdy sense of humor. For my now sis-in-law, my husband and I took her and her daughter out to dinner at her favorite Nawlins-style restaurant and we gave her a hand-drawn travel coffee mug with her favorite designs – she gave us so much love and material support through our wedding that it still seemed inadequate, but the small gifts plus many tearful words of love made us all feel connected and appreciated.

  5. We didn't have a wedding party but we did have a lot of friends who were instrumental in making our wedding happen. Friends who helped with decorations and setting up, a friend who made us a beautiful cake, friends who offered their photography and musical talents, etc. And we've been struggling to think of how to properly thank them beyond the handwritten card we're still working on (a month and a half later- we're epic procrastinators).

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