What to Write in a Wedding Card
What to Write in a Wedding Card: Tips, Advice, and Inspirational Messages
For some people, the art of writing pithy sentiments comes naturally, the words flowing naturally like a cool brook over smooth rocks. There are no impediments to the creative process. Indeed, these people often struggle to understand why anyone would have trouble with what appears to be a simple, straightforward process. Their most common advice: “Just write from the heart.”
This may be good advice in theory, but what happens when you look inside your heart and find nothing worth committing to the page? There are times that “just do it” is a perfectly valid approach to life, and there are times this axiom falls far short of what we need to get started.
So if you’re not one of those people who can sit down with a card and a pen and pour your heart all over the page, what do you do? Specifically, what do you write in a wedding card?
Striking the Right Chord
One of the biggest roadblocks for struggling writers – and this is true of penning everything from an email to a novel – is the plethora of options available before us. Before you’ve committed yourself to an opening line, an entire world of choices remains to be winnowed. That’s a lot of winnowing! It’s no wonder that so many people get stuck at the start: How can you ever know which path is the right one? So before we get into some specific advice about what to write in a wedding card, let’s consider some of the basic options that lie before us. To put a finer point on it, let’s talk about the emotional tone you’re aiming to nail down.
Thoughtful: You may want to write something that sums up all of your collected wisdom on the institution of marriage. This is an excellent option if you have a lot of that wisdom to give; for instance, you’ve been married for 25 years and you have a pretty good idea of the basic obstacles and joys this couple will encounter along the way. A marriage is a journey without a map, but that doesn’t mean you go alone. If you can provide the couple with a few hints and guideposts, you’ll have done them an immeasurable favor.
Emotional: Depending on how well you know the happy couple, you might be better off trading your wisdom hat for something a little more snuggly. For instance, if you’re the mother of the bride (and you have this kind of relationship with your daughter), a well-crafted note expressing your love for her might be more appropriate than a dry approach. On the other hand, if the bride is your second cousin that you haven’t spoken to in years, a long, schmaltzy ode to your bond may come off as strange and forced.
Funny: There are times when a humorous message is the perfect thing to write in a wedding card. Couples who can’t find the funny side of life are in for a long, grinding slog. Whether it’s reminiscing on a chuckle-worthy anecdote from the couple’s past or just a witty quip about the institution of marriage itself, a well-crafted joke can add levity and charm to the big day.
Before You Write: 5 Considerations to Ponder
We’ve covered some (but not all) of the basic emotions you may wish to emphasize when crafting your message, but these categories won’t do all the work when it comes to narrowing down your options. For further help in finding your voice, think about these 5 considerations.
#1 – What is the couple like? Personality goes a long way in determining the appropriate message for a wedding card. If the couple is serious and family-oriented, a “fun” message about partying is going to strike them as odd and ill-fitting. If, on the other hand, the couple is all about hitting the clubs and living it up, a solemn message about God’s plan for them is going to land flat. Remember: The wedding card is about them, not you. Tailor your message accordingly.
#2: How close are you to the couple? We talked a bit about this consideration above, but it’s worth emphasizing a second time. This is a powerful tool for figuring how what to write in a wedding card. If you haven’t spoken to the bride since you guys shared a chemistry class seven years ago, a perfunctory message will be more than sufficient. But if, for instance, you and the groom are thick as thieves, it makes sense to put a little more time and care into the card.
#3: Are you in the wedding party? If you’re a groomsman or a bridesmaid, you can use this as a jumping-off point for your card. Thank the couple for letting you be such an integral part of their big day, thank them for any gifts they may have given you as tokens of their appreciation, and give them your best wishes. When you have a clear point and purpose for your writing, the message will practically create itself!
#4: What does the couple believe? In other words, do they subscribe to a particular religion? Are they entering into the sacred bonds of marriage as a faith-based union? If so, it might be well worth your while to include a Bible verse (or a piece of scripture from the holy book of their preference) that relates to marriage. If, on the other hand, you’re not certain about the couple’s religious beliefs, this is a category that you should steer well clear of.
#5: Will you be in attendance? Messages will differ depending on whether or not you’re actually going to the wedding. If you’re not going to be there, sending a card is a beautiful gesture of goodwill, and you can use a portion of your message to express your sincere wish that you could have been there to celebrate and witness their ceremony. Extend your gratitude for the invitation, even if you’re not able to go.
What to Write in a Wedding Card: Basic Construction
Now that we’ve covered some of the key things to take into consideration when writing your message, let’s get down to simple, basic nuts and bolts. If you’re the type of person who nearly breaks out into hives when put on the spot to write in a card, you can use this template as an unerring guide to a simple message. The great thing about following a pattern like this is that it greatly narrows down your choices. That may seem as if it steals all of the spontaneity and creativity from the process, but the truth is that adhering to a formula is exactly what unlocks the muse.
First: Begin the message with a basic greeting, just as you would when writing a letter. The greeting should (of course) include both halves of the couple; whether you prefer “Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So” or two first names will depend on a host of factors, but in many cases, it’s completely up to you.
Second: Congratulate the couple on coming together in matrimony. This is the essential heart of any wedding card message. You can mess up any other part of this construction template and be okay; you cannot, however, skip out on this part. This line can be as flowery or as basic as you like – the important thing is that you let them know how happy you are for their union.
Third: Wish them a happy marriage. See how easy this is when you break it down into its component parts? This is the section where you can feel free to be as creative, inspirational, or metaphorical as you like. If you have a great quote, this is a terrific place to use it. If you have some solid, first-hand advice, this is a nice place to dispense it. If, on the other hand, you want to keep it to a simple, “May all your years be filled with joy,” that’s perfectly fine as well. You’re not penning the Great American Novel, and the happy couple is going to have plenty of cards to go through and read. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself!
Fourth: Extend your gratitude. A simple, “Thanks for inviting me,” works great here. It’s an important thing to include, and if you have the words and/or a good reason to say something more elaborate in this section, go for it. But if you don’t, then just keep it short and sweet.
Fifth: Sign the card with a typical letter-ending greeting such as “Best wishes” or a second “congrats” and you’re done.
Now, there’s plenty of room within the formula above to play around, get creative, and say whatever comes to mind. Which brings us to one of our most important tips: Write your message out on a piece of paper before committing it to the card itself! Not only will this do wonders when it comes to unlocking your writer’s block, it will prevent you from making inclusion/grammatical/construction errors that you have to cross out with a pen. Scratched-out words do not look great on a wedding card.
What to Write in a Wedding Card: Inspiration for Your Message
If you still feel stuck when it comes to delivering the right message to the happy couple, we’ve compiled a list of possible sentiments that you can use as a jumping-off point for your own unique and memorable card. If you feel the task before you is simply too herculean to accomplish, feel free to directly adopt any of these quotes in their entirety. If you just need that last little push, though, use these examples to fire up your creative juices and deliver a message that will make their big day just a little more special. We’ve broken the messages down into categories for easier perusal.
Conventional Wedding Card Messages
“Best wishes for an unforgettable wedding day and a beautiful marriage.”
“Wishing you nothing but love and happiness for the rest of your lives together.”
“May the years of your togetherness strengthen the bonds you forge today.”
Informal Wedding Card Messages
“I’m so happy you guys are making it official – congratulations and good luck!”
“Don’t ever forget the love you had for each other on this amazing day.”
“Here’s to many years of adventure, laughs, and love.”
Faith-Based Wedding Card Messages
“To fully know someone and love them – that is the essence of true romance.”
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8”
“Keep God first in your marriage and everything else will fall into place.”
Funny Wedding Card Messages
“Wishing you a lifetime of love and Netflix binges!”
“Congratulations on avoiding the life of a lonely cat lady.”
“Forever is a long time…Have you really thought this through??”
Thoughtful Wedding Card Messages
“May your marriage be blessed with the simple joy of knowing that you’ll be there for each other always.”
“As great as it is to marry the one you love, it is a blessing to love the one you marry.”
“Here’s to the beauty of falling in love with each other over and over again.”
Giving the Gift of Your Heart-felt Message
We recommended earlier that you keep in mind that the weight of the world does not rest on crafting the perfect wedding card message – and we stand by that advice, particularly if that pressure is preventing you from putting pen to page. At the same time, we want to emphasize that what you write in the card IS important. At some point – probably after the honeymoon is over – your beloved couple is going to sit down amidst a sea of well-wishes and read them together. We’re not saying you should be afraid of their judgment; we’re saying that you should write with an eye towards that moment. What can you write that will send them off into this glorious journey with your complete congratulations? It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare…it just needs to show them that you care. Good luck!