It’s such an honor being invited to a wedding. You’re asked to share in a day that, for many people, only comes once in a lifetime. It makes sense that you want to pick out the perfect wedding gift and figure out what to write in the card that goes with it.
These ideas for what to write in your wedding card will help ensure you go above and beyond just signing your name to help you create a card the newlyweds can read and treasure.
1. Congratulations and Thank You
One thing a wedding card should always have is something that sends best wishes to the happy couple. Some cards may already come with “congratulations” emblazoned across the interior of the card, but if not, similar phrasing should be the first thing you add. Also show your appreciation for being invited. It’s a big deal to be included, especially if the wedding is particularly small with a limited guest list.
Congratulations/thank yous can be as simple as saying “Congratulations, NAME and NAME!” or you can elaborate with a more personal statement such as, “Thank you for inviting us to share in your big day. Wishing you many years of health and happiness.” If you play a special role in the wedding, such as doing a reading or acting as a bridesmaid, mention that as well. “Congratulations and thank you for letting us play a small part in your big day.”
Be sure to add some personalization, addressing the newlyweds either by their first names, or, if you know that a name-change is imminent, using their shared surname for an extra thrill.
If you don’t consider yourself a wordsmith or just can’t decide what you want to say in your wedding card, turn to people who have already said it better. Wedding quotes can be a powerful way to share your emotions, and since they’ve been spoken or written by experts, you can be fairly sure your words will hit home the right way.
These quotes can be funny, sentimental, full of wisdom, or any combination of the above. Keep in mind, a quote can also be song lyrics, taken from a movie, or even part of a treasured religious text if you and your partner are so inclined.
A few of our favorites include:
- “We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” – Sam Keen
- “You don't marry someone you can live with — you marry the person who you cannot live without.” – Anonymous
- “All you need is love.” – John Lennon
- "It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it." – Sleepless In Seattle
- “Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.” George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans)
- "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." –1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Offering advice at a wedding or in a wedding card can go one of two ways. Either it’s deeply appreciated by a couple eager to avoid mistakes that others have made and find their way to lifelong happiness, or the bride and groom will take umbrage and you’ll feel a bit odd for oversharing. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to ensure your advice will be a hit — just be nice, deliver it with good intent, and keep it entirely positive.
Some examples might be:
- May every meal at your house contain all the right ingredients for a successful marriage: a heaping helping of love, a dash of humor, a touch of romance, and a spoonful of compassion.
- Always assume the best of one another.
- Put communication first. Almost any dispute can be solved if you take the time to sit down, talk, and — most importantly — listen.
- Surround yourself with friends invested in your success. Those who sow seeds of doubt don’t really want to see your garden grow.
- Laugh. A lot. At everything. Including yourself.
- Prioritize your time together. Even the busiest couple can share a cup of coffee in the morning or leave notes for each other on the car steering wheel. It really is the little things that can help power you through a tough day or an even tougher month.
- Winning isn’t as important as loving.
- Learn from others but don't try to be them. Your relationship is unique and should be treated as such.
Some Quick Dos and Don'ts
As you write the perfect wedding card, here are a few things to keep in mind so you and the couple who invited you are equally happy with the results.
- DO: Address the card to BOTH people. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never met the bride or if you hate the groom. This is the couple’s big day, and if you can’t celebrate with both of them, you probably shouldn’t be there at all. This “DO” also means skipping the inside jokes and burying the urge to make a dig at your friend’s better half, even if it’s meant with love.
- DO: Think about what you want to say. Scribbling something off-hand in the wedding card right as you're about to head into the reception probably won’t result in something memorable, and you want to be memorable, right?
- DO: Remember that your words will make an impact. What you write could end up glued into a scrapbook the couple revisits for years to come and even passes down to their kids. What you write really does matter.
- DO: Match your card to the theme or general vibe of the big day. For instance, a formal wedding calls for an elegant, upscale card, while a beach wedding or backyard bash is the perfect time to hunt down a fun handmade card or personalized version online.
- DON’T: Include anything edgy. Joking about what happened at that frat party senior year or referencing other possibly risky situations from the past might seem funny when you’re writing, but no one will be laughing when the groom’s grandma gets a glimpse or if the bride feels like your ribald limerick ruined the romance.
- DON’T: Use the space to demonstrate your stand-up skills or your idea for the next great American novel. This wedding card isn’t about you, it’s about the happy couple. Keep your words meaningful but say what you need to say and wrap it up.
- DO: Sign off with love and include your name as well as the names of anyone else in your party (your date, spouse, kids, etc.) so everyone who should be included gets mentioned.
- DON’T: Include religious quotes or poems if you’re not sure of the couple’s religious affiliation. Even though you mean well, a couple with different religious beliefs might be put off by a guest inserting their own religion into something as sacred as a wedding card.
- DO: Be authentic. You love this couple — after all, that’s why you bought nice clothes and traveled just to be at their wedding! So let your love and respect for them shine through in what you write. There are no expectations to be anything you’re not. If you feel funny, make an (appropriate) joke. If you want to keep it short, keep it short. The couple knows and loves you, and it’s you they want to hear from, not some version of you that you think sounds better.
Now that you know what to write in your wedding card, how about that gift? These wedding gift ideas are perfect for surprising the bride and groom before their wedding (check out those engraved hangers) or after (can coolers for the honeymoon).