5 Tips for Writing a Thoughtful Wedding Card to the Couple of the Hour

At a total loss for words? These ideas will guide you.

Photo: Bryan Gardner

Wedding guests know that it's customary for attendees to give the couple of the hour a card with a meaningful, heartfelt message in honor of their marriage. That's why you've likely scoured your favorite stationery store for a beautiful card that speaks to this momentous occasion—but that's the easy part. What happens if you're at a total loss for words as soon your pen lingers above the paper? For those struggling to come up with the perfect sentiment to include in a congratulatory card to the bride and groom, we're sharing several ideas that are always well-received by newly-married pairs.

Congratulate and Thank Them

Getting married is a huge milestone, so congratulations are certainly in order. The tone of your message depends on your personal relationship to the couple, as well as the overall formality of the big day. You can stick with for elegant and traditional wording, like, "Warmest congratulations to the couple," or "Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and love." Alternatively, you can go for a more casual vibe, like, "So happy for you!" or "Best wishes!" A sentiment expressing your thanks is also in order, since the duo chose to invite you to their wedding and to host you for an evening of food, drinks, and dancing; it's in good taste to convey your gratitude. If you're writing an elegant card, say something along the lines of, "Thank you for sharing your special day with me." If you're close with the couple and prefer something more lighthearted, try something like, "Thanks for the party! I loved spending this day with you."

Get Personal

Have you been best friends with the bride since second grade? Is the groom your favorite cousin? Devote a line to the sentimentality of your relationship. Something like, "I remember when we dressed as brides during our play dates, and now you're tying the knot for real!" could move your loved one to tears—of the happy variety, of course. On the other hand, if the couple is the latest addition to your family—perhaps as a brother-in-law, sister-in-law, or daughter-in-law—make them feel welcome with a sweet note that goes above the standard wishes. Saying something like, "I'm thrilled to gain a new daughter!" or "I couldn't have asked for a better addition to the family," is guaranteed to spark warm feelings.

Include a Religious Message

If the wedding ceremony is a religious one, you may decide to write a spiritual message in your card. Of course, the exact phrasing depends on the couple's faith and beliefs. "God bless your union," and "Many prayers," are both suitable options for a Christian wedding, while those attending a Jewish wedding can write "Mazel Tov!"

End with a Sweet Closing Statement

No matter the tone, wording, and length of your wedding note, you should sign off with a warm closing statement that emphasizes your support. Consider the following options: "lots of love," "best wishes," "warmly," "love always," "blessings," and "with love."

Say This If You Weren't at the Wedding

Anyone invited to the wedding should send a note, even if they can't attend the celebration. The message should express regret for declining the RSVP, but avoid explaining why you can't make it. A simple, "So sorry for missing your big day," "I wish I was there to celebrate," or "My thoughts are with you both!" are sufficient. And if you know the couple, but didn't receive an invitation? Don't take it personally. Some duos prefer to have a smaller ceremony, and narrowing down a guest list is tricky. Feel free to send a heartfelt note to the happy couple anyway, as long as you keep the message simple and civil. For example: "Wishing you the best on your wedding day!" or "Thinking of you with love!"

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