Do I Need a Wedding Card?
Yes. Regardless of whether you can attend the wedding, it’s proper etiquette to include a wedding card with your physical or monetary wedding gift to congratulate the happy couple. They serve two purposes:
- To let the couple know who the gift is from.
- To share your well wishes with the couple.
If you purchase a gift online and ship it to the couple directly, then the “send a message” feature provided by the online retailer replaces a traditional paper wedding card.
5 Things to Consider Before Writing a Wedding Card
Before you begin writing your message, consider the following:
- How well do you know the groom or bride? How well you know the couple will help guide the length and content of what you write in the card. If you’re close to the newlyweds, your message should be more heartfelt and personal, for example, providing marriage advice or recounting the fond memories you made with them as a close friend. On the other hand, a quick and heartfelt congratulatory note is more suitable for acquaintances and distant family to send your warmest wishes.
- What’s the couple’s personality? What you write as your wedding message should depend on the personality of the couple. A more reserved couple might not appreciate a witty one-liner, but would love more formal and heartfelt congratulations so that they can further cherish their big day.
- Is the couple religious? If the couple adheres to a particular religious tradition, a spiritual verse or message can be a nice gesture. However, we caution against including religious wording if the couple is of a different faith or if you are unclear about their beliefs.
- Are you attending the wedding reception? If you are unable to attend the wedding, there is no need to explain your absence, but sharing that you wish you could be there to celebrate their big day is a nice addition. Be sure to thank the couple for their wedding invitation whether or not you are able to attend.
The Anatomy of How to Write Your Message
1. Address The Couple
Start off your message by addressing the couple directly:
- Ellen and Portia
- Mr. and Mrs. Jones
Next, congratulate the couple on their union:
- Congrats, you guys!
- Congratulations and happy wedding day!
3. Wish Them Well
Share well wishes for their future:
- May your life together be filled with lasting joy and great memories.
- Looking forward to seeing your marriage and love for each other grow in the years to come.
- Life is a blessing when you find true love. Wishing you both a happy marriage and a wonderful journey together!
4. Share Some Thoughts, Memories, or Advice (Optional)
If you know the couple well, share some additional thoughts, words of wisdom, or a sweet memory:
- Remember that double date we went on together? We knew then that you guys were meant to be!
- The key to a happy life is remembering to cherish the little moments and each other.
- It is heartwarming to see you both find happiness through this special day.
- So happy to have witnessed your love for each other from the beginning. I'm excited to watch your marriage blossom as newlyweds.
5. Give Thanks (or Express Regrets)
Express thanks for being invited or regrets for missing the celebration:
- Thank you so much for inviting us to celebrate your special day.
- Wish we could be there to see you two tie the knot!
6. Sign Off
Close by signing off and adding signatures:
- Best wishes
- Congrats again!
Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Wedding Card
- Be genuine. The key to a great wedding card message is to write from the heart. To avoid your sentiments feeling awkward or forced, don’t add quotes or lines that you wouldn’t actually say in person.
- Write the card to the couple as a unit. The wedding card should be to the couple as a pair, not just a personal note to the individual you know best. It’s their wedding day as a couple, so your wedding congratulations should address both the groom and bride.
- Prepare what you’re going to say. To avoid mistakes, write out a draft of your message on a separate piece of paper before copying it to the wedding card. This will help you gather your thoughts and avoid mistakes.
- Write too much. Keep your message short, sweet, and to the point. While it’s fine to want to express your joy or share a special memory, long stories or messages aren’t ideal for the small writing space available in a wedding card. If you have a lot to say, save it for an email, letter, or in-person conversation.
- Scratch out mistakes. Mistakes happen, but it looks messy to just scratch out your error and keep writing. Either erase your mistake with a correction fluid (like White Out) or start over with a new card.
- Make spelling errors. Proofread your note to make sure you haven’t made any spelling mistakes or misspelled the name of one of the newlyweds.
- Get too personal. Although we encourage you to be genuine, the wedding card isn’t the right place to share a particularly personal (or inappropriate) message.