The Lost Art of Invitations and Written Letters

The world keeps spinning and making amazing technological advances. Social networking and emails have made it incredibly easy to invite everyone to an event or party at the click of a button. Of course most people still send paper wedding invitations by mail. Even some wedding “stationery” has been taken electronic like save the dates and wedding announcements. Free wedding websites have really diminished the need for a variety of inserts traditionally included in wedding invitations. It seems the art of handwritten invitations and notes are lost. Here are some great reasons to start practicing that penmanship again.

It may save your note from the garbage bin- Think back to the last time you went to your mailbox. Many people scan for bills and anything important and trash the rest. It can be easy to miss something important or special and throw it away. Handwritten mail is so rare these days that most times it will catch the attention of the recipient. This quick second of attention grabbing can be all it takes to save a note, card or invitation from the recycling bin.

DIY and affordable just makes sense- Many companies have adopted electronic marketing or at the very least mass printing. It is just cheaper and more efficient. When a company does send a hand addressed card to customers on their birthday it will probably get opened more quickly than just another flyer. A lot of time and effort goes into writing a message whether it is for advertising or just to say hello. Handwritten notes will still cost the same postage to send as flyers or something printed it only costs a little more time. It may never be practical for large companies but small businesses and individuals should give handwriting messages a try over emails or marketing flyers. A personal invitation to a sale or child’s recital will get more attention than a mass emailing or marketing flyer campaign.

Still eye catching- Social networking has made it easier than ever to quickly and easily invite people to events. Friends access their account and the invitation is right there, what could be simpler? Most sites will give a yes, no or maybe option. It is becoming a widely accepted joke that RSVP s on such sites really don’t mean anything and that replying maybe is just a nicer way of saying no. Making a cute flyer on card stock and hand deliver them helps to pin down more committed answers. Anything handwritten in the mail will catch just as much attention as a notification lit up on a screen, if not more.

Thoughts and sentiments- Seeing a handwritten invitation or any handwritten piece of mail triggers good feelings when the recipient sees it. If someone else got the mail they will be sure the intended recipient gets it to assuage their own curiosity.

Where to start- Practicing penmanship wasn’t a joke. When sending someone anything handwritten it doesn’t have to be perfect but it does have to be legible. A neatly written letter is always an enjoyment. Start with thank you cards for everything. Here are some great reasons to start sending handwritten thank you cards:

• baby shower gifts

• thank you for the baby shower hostess

• gifts received during a hospital stay

• gifts for new baby

• wedding gifts

• birthday gifts

• thank you for being there

• to the host or hostess of any party or gathering

• thanks for help/thanking volunteers

Order pre-printed card stock and keep some on hand for different occasions. A stack of folios may also come in handy. Consider choosing a signature color so when people see that cranberry red folio in the mail they get excited to be getting a hand written invitation, thank you or even a letter.

Other Reasons to Break Out the Pen and Paper

• Birthday wishes- Hand write a birthday card and mail it a few days before the birthday as a nice and welcome surprise.

• Love letters- There have been entire books written about love letters found from during difficult times or people saving every letter written between sweethearts for decades. The handwritten love letter is also becoming a lost art in a time of emails and text messages.

• Sympathy card- People post losses as social networking statuses and that is often where they now get condolences. Send a hand written sympathy card for a loss, illness in the family or other event where someone needs thoughts, prayers or just good wishes.

• Just write a letter- A letter can update people on what is going on and let them know you have them on your mind for more than the fleeting moment it takes to buzz, poke or comment online.

• Apologies- sometimes apologizing electronically is hard to take seriously. A handwritten apology can be a gesture that goes a long way.

Stock up on pens and stationery that you love. Buy a stack of signature card stock, envelopes and foliosOrder custom address labels. Set aside a special place where letters get written and these things are stored. Clean out a drawer in a desk and put nothing but writing supplies there complete with different style stamps in different values. Any local post office can help give a basic understanding of how much postage different sized envelopes and weights of paper or card stock will need. They can also provide stamps for nearly any occasion including birthdays and weddings.