While it is customary to give a gift to the happy couple if you are invited to their wedding, adding a thoughtful card is a great way to express your joy at their union. A card can say much more than just congratulations or best wishes, and many couples will keep their wedding cards for years, even if they eventually discard wedding gifts as their tastes change. With the right words written inside it, your wedding card can become a cherished memento of the couple's special day and their relationship with you.
What to Say in Cards
While your wedding wishes for the couple should always be heartfelt and personalized, there are some things that should be said in a wedding card, even if they've already been expressed during the couple's engagement.
A wedding celebrates a couple's union and acknowledges the commitment they're making. Congratulating them on this step is a common sentiment in wedding cards.
- Congratulations as you start your new life together--as two families join as one.
- Big congratulations are in order for one of the biggest steps you'll ever take in life--marriage. It's a hard, but fulfilling step to take.
- We couldn't be happier for you and we offer you warm congratulations on your big day.
Expressing love for the couple shows your support of their union and enhances the romantic ambiance of their wedding day, letting them know that even as they make their vows to one another, they aren't alone.
- Love is indeed a many splendored thing and we hope your love continues to blossom and bloom in the years to come.
- Love only grows stronger with time, so as your love for each other continues to grow, enjoy it and relish in it.
- The love the two of you share is amazing. We are honored to be a part of it and are looking forward to watching your love grow and change in the years to come.
It is always appropriate and appreciated for a family member to include a welcome note in a couple's wedding card, letting their new in-law know they are happy to have them in the family.
- Welcome to the family. We are honored that we now have a new sister/brother/cousin/aunt to call our own.
- Family bonds are as strong as the love that binds the two of you. We're happy to welcome you as the newest member of our family.
- We welcome you to the family with open arms. You are a special person and make a great addition to our lovely family union.
Adding good wishes not only for a couple's special day but also for many happy anniversaries is a great way to share with them the thought that their relationship is one that will stand the test of time.
- May you be as happy for the rest of your lives as you are today.
- We wish the best that love and a life together have to offer. Your love has stood the test of time in the past and is sure to continue this way in the future.
- We wish you the very best. We wish you love, health, and happiness forever and always.
Words of Wisdom
Individuals who are already married, particularly if they have been married for many years, often add a bit of marital advice to the wedding. Something as simple as "Hug every day" or "Always kiss good night" can be a priceless bit of wisdom to help the couple share many years of marital harmony.
- Marriage can be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be. Communication is the key to a happy marriage. Always be open and honest with one another. It will enrich your marriage, your life, and your relationship.
- The key to a happy marriage is to never go to bed mad. Make sure that you talk things over before you put your head on your pillow at night, so you can sleep with a clear mind and wake up with a clear heart.
- It takes two to make a marriage work. It's not a 50-50 thing, either. Marriage takes 100% from both sides to make it a success.
What Not to Say
There are certain sentiments that should be avoided in wedding cards.
- Long letters: While you may want to express many things in a note to the couple or want to share years of advice with them, remember that they will have many cards to read. Choosing just a few words to write in wedding cards ensures that they are more memorable than a long, detailed letter.
- Judgments: A couple's wedding day is one for celebration, not judgment. Even if your judgment is positive, it can sound critical and may not seem as congratulatory as you mean it to be. Save judgments for another time if necessary.
- Criticism: No matter what the state of the couple's relationship or how they get married, no guest should ever criticize them in a wedding card. To do so is in poor taste and can jeopardize a friendship or familial relationship for years after the wedding.
- Explanations: Many guests who may be unable to afford a gift or who cannot attend the wedding are tempted to offer explanations in a wedding card. First, however, couples should not expect gifts, particularly from individuals who may be struggling financially, and second, any explanation for a negative RSVP should have been given long before a wedding card would be sent. Rehashing the explanation in a card simply emphasizes the absence unnecessarily.
Tips for Writing in Wedding Cards
To write the best greeting to the happy couple, follow these tips:
- Write legibly so there is no difficulty in reading your sentiments and good wishes.
- Always sign your name clearly so the couple does not have to guess who sent the card.
- Choose a non-smearing pen so the ink will not smudge as the card is closed.
- Greet both the bride and groom in the note, even if you are only acquainted with one of them. The card, after all, is meant for two.
- Be sincere in your sentiments. If you feel like you cannot say the appropriate things, choose a card with a pre-printed verse and keep your note short and happy.
When to Send Cards
Cards for the happy couple should be sent one or two weeks prior to the wedding. If circumstances prevent you from mailing a card early, it should be sent as soon as possible after the couple's wedding date, and no later than a week or two after they've wed. If the card is sent any later, a brief apology for its belatedness is appropriate.
Offer a Sincere Message
While many resources will offer you the exact phrases, verses, and words to write in wedding cards, the best advice for what to write is simply to be sincere. By following these easy tips, you can write a happy and appropriate note in a couple's wedding card they will remember and appreciate long after their wedding day.