How to Say Just the Right Things in a Card to the Happy Couple
It's easy to get a case of writer's block when you're filling out a card for a couple whose lives are about to change forever. What do you say to friends or relatives who are about to get married? Talk about pressure! Whether it's for the wedding, bridal shower, or celebrating their engagement, you want to say just the right thing to the happy couple. So we chatted with Ashley Austin, owner and designer of Fine Day Press, a boutique paper and design studio, on the specifics of what to say for different wedding scenarios. We also tapped ideas from our own Executive Editor and longterm gift and etiquette expert Dana Holmes. Here are 8 tips for what to say in the wedding card, so that you send just the right message to the happy twosome.
1. What are some of your favorite sayings or quotes to use in a wedding card, because they speak to the topic of love and getting married?
Ashley: Currently, I’m loving these sweet and simple quotes:
"The best thing to hold on to is each other" - Audrey Hepburn
"The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched; they are felt with the heart" - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“I love it when great things happen to great people!”
“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
2. What's important to include in a card to any couple getting married?
Ashley: When you’re writing a card to a soon-to-be-married couple, you can include a number of different sentiments. For example, you could focus on your joyfulness about their upcoming wedding day, and how much you’re looking forward to it (if you will be there). You might express your excitement over a recent engagement. Or you can refer to the future and their life together. If you’re a married couple with some years of experience, it is a great time to provide lighthearted advice, or if you know the couple well, thoughtful words of wisdom about the joys and challenges of married life.
3. It's easy to feel stuck on what to say in a wedding card for someone who you're not that close to (like a co-worker or distant cousin.) What's your advice for what to write in the card for that scenario?
Ashley: For someone who you don’t know very well, it’s a perfect opportunity to focus on the essence of the wedding ceremony: the joyful celebration of two lives coming together. For example, you might say:
“Wishing you a lifetime of joy and happiness together.”
“Best wishes on your wedding day.”
"May today be the wonderful start to a lifetime of love."
"Congratulations to you both as you join together in marriage."
"What a magical day! Thank you for including us as you begin your journey together."
Dana: You can still customize it even if you don’t know them well.
“We’re super excited for you both! Congratulations!”
Or, “Cheers to an amazing and inspiring lifetime together!”
4. What's the etiquette on giving a wedding card — should you always bring it with you to the wedding, or is it ever better to mail it to the couple?
Ashley: It’s perfectly fine to bring your card to the ceremony, especially if your card is accompanying a gift. Usually there will be a designated area at the reception location for cards and gifts. However, some people choose to mail a gift (this can be convenient with gift registries), and if that’s the case, mailing a card separately is a nice option. Of course, if you are not attending the wedding in person, a mailed card is a wonderful way to share your sentiments. And don’t forget, an engagement party or bridal shower are also great times to bring a card to the bride or happy couple.
Dana: You should never put cash in a card that is mailed or put in a public space at a wedding. If you include a check or cash, hand it directly to the Maid of Honor or other trusted family member to make sure that your gift is received.
5. What's the etiquette on how to approach writing a card to your soon to be daughter-in-law?
Ashley: Express your excitement about having her join the family. You can also share memories of when the two of you first met, or how your relationship has grown with time. Think about what qualities she brings out in your son, and what you see in them when they’re together. This is also an opportunity to share the wisdom of your marriage experience, in a gentle, friendly way. Above all, make her feel welcome and loved.
6. What's the best tone to use in a wedding card?
Ashley: Let your personality shine. If you’re a more thoughtful or religious person, that can come through in your note. On the other hand, if funny and spirited is your approach to life, you can go a bit more whimsical.
7. How do you approach a card for someone getting married for a second time?
Ashley: For a second marriage, keep it fresh and relevant. It’s not a time to look to the past, but rather a moment to look to the future ahead.
Dana: Keep it light. They've already been through the big serious wedding, most likely. This time around it's more about simply being happy together.
8. Do you have a favorite card you've given for a wedding?
Ashley: I have two favorites from our line that always bring a smile. The first one is our “Somebody’s Getting Married!” letterpress card. It’s printed in a fun, bright purple ink and is very festive — perfect for an engagement party! My second favorite is “Break out the Bubbly”; which is also letterpress, but in a more sophisticated black and white — a perfect one to take to the ceremony!
Looking for gift ideas for the happy couple? Here's how to pinpoint the perfect wedding gift, how to choose gifts for couples, and even anniversary ideas.