What to Write in a Wedding Card to the Newlyweds

What to Write in a Wedding Card

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Writing well-wishes for a newlywed couple can feel like a daunting task. How do you sum up the joy and excitement you feel for their new adventure in a few simple phrases? If you’ve got a case of writer’s block, we have tips to get you started along with etiquette from expert Myka Meier to help you avoid any faux pas.

Meet the Expert

Myka Meier is the author of Modern Etiquette Made Easy and the founder of the NYC-based consultancy Beaumont Etiquette and  The Plaza Hotel Finishing Program. Her etiquette advice has been featured in Vogue, People, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and Town & Country.

Follow our guide to what to write in a wedding card and discover example wishes to make your own.

Wedding Card Writing Tips

Mention both names.

When writing wedding wishes, the most important thing to remember is to make out the card to both members of the couple. “If you know the bride, don’t make the mistake of addressing something very personal to just her,” says Meier. “Now that she is married, the contents of the card should be relevant to both of the newlyweds.”

Make sure it's not generic.

Always include a note beyond what is pre-written on the inside. “Never just sign your name under a Hallmark message,” says Meier. “If you’re short on words, say that in your writing. Try: ‘I found this card, and these words were exactly how I felt.’ That gives added emphasis to the card itself.”

Be careful with humor.

Sarcasm on paper can be hard to read without a smiley face or exclamation point. Avoid topics that could be sensitive to the couple, such as money or length of the relationship, and, though it should go without saying: no divorce jokes.

Get personal.

The better you know them, the more personal the card can be. Go with a memory that involves the couple. Sign-offs can be full of love; Meier’s favorites include: “XOXO,” “Elated for you,” “Over the moon for you,” and “Madly in love with you two.”

Wedding Card Etiquette

Bring your card to the ceremony.

You should never show up to someone’s home without a token of appreciation for being hosted, and the same goes for weddings. “It’s a nice gesture that shows gratitude for being invited,” Meier says. This remains true even if you’ve already sent a gift to the couples’ home or contributed to a honeymoon fund. “I would write in the card: ‘We hope you enjoy the gift we sent to your home,’” says Meier. That way, you’re tactfully acknowledging that a gift accompanied your card.

Hand it to the right person.

If, upon arrival at the ceremony, you do not see a gift station or card box, seek out the wedding planner or venue manager. They’ll ferry your card to the bridal suite or another designated place for safe-keeping. No event professional on hand? Give your card to one of the fathers of the couple, or the best man. “The reason has nothing to do with gender,” Meier says. “It’s about what they would be wearing. They would likely have a suit with pockets, whereas the mothers or maid of honor likely have a tiny evening purse or no pockets at all.”

Consider how you address it.

Unsure of how the couple will be handling last names? There’s an easy workaround: Address the envelope with “To the newlyweds,” “To the Mr. and Mrs.,” “To the Mr. and Mr.,” or “To the Mrs. and Mrs.”

Go with a check, not cash.

Planning on including a monetary gift with your card? “If cash gets misplaced, that’s it,” says Meier. “But if you give a check, you can track it. If you see, two months after the wedding, that the check has not been cashed, you can make sure the couple received it.”

Send one even if you can't attend.

If you’re invited to the wedding but unable to attend, feel free to mail your card anytime between when you receive your invitation and a few weeks after the big day. There’s no real-time limit on telling a couple how happy you are for them.

Wedding Card Examples

Unsure of what to say when it comes to specific relationships? Here are some specific guidelines from Meier of what to write in a wedding card.

For a Couple You Don't Know Well

Dear [Couple's Names],
Congratulations on your wedding day. I wish you a lifetime of health and happiness.
Best regards,
[Your Name(s)]

For a Co-Worker or Employee

Dear [Couple's Names],
Thank you for inviting me to share in this special day! May your marriage be filled with success and happiness.
Best wishes,
[Your Name(s)]

You don’t have to be professional in verbiage, but keep things more formal. Avoid “love” in your sign-off, even if you are close. “May you live happily ever after,” “Wishing you endless love and happiness,” and “Wishing you happiness and health,” works perfectly here.

For a Religious Couple

Dear [Couple's Names],
Many prayers for a happy and healthy union. May God bless you and grant you all of life’s joys together.
With love,
[Your Name(s)]

For a Close Friend

Dear [Couple's Names],
I should have known the first time I caught you playing footsie underneath the table in our college cafeteria that we’d end up here one day. From late-night library sessions to even later-night McDonald’s runs, it’s been such a joy adventuring through life with you these past seven years. Here’s to seventy more. 
XOXO,
[Your Name(s)]

For a Sibling

To the newlyweds—
I’ll never forget that first Thanksgiving when Everett let his new girlfriend take the last slice of pumpkin pie without complaining. I knew something was different then, and now, here we are! Lindsey, you’ve been like a sister to me these past few years, and today, I couldn’t be happier to officially call you my sister-in-law. Welcome to the family! I’m so happy for you both.
Love and congratulations,
[Your Name(s)]

For a Child

[Couple's Names],
The greatest hope a parent has for their child is that they find a partner to travel through life with. Today, my daughter/son gains that partner and I gain a son/daughter. What a wonderful moment for our family, and for the one that you two have now begun. May everything that comes next be as filled with joy as this day is.
All my love,
Mom and/or Dad

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