Reception

What to Write in a Wedding Card

For all those wishing the happy couple well, finding the right wording to match the personality of the bride and groom can be tricky. Especially when your date is the ex of one of the soon-to-be-spouses (or you are), or when it’s not the first marriage of one or both parties. (Cringe-y memory: the father of the groom crooning “Love is lovelier the second time around,” as the guests shifted in their seats and looked queasily into their bread plates.) Such complications speak to why we often go for the tried-and-true, the generic and cliché. But there’s a middle ground between TMI and dull. Here’s how to do it.

Wedding Card Messages

This is your opportunity to be specific by sending targeted wedding wishes—but only if you know the couple reasonably well. If they’re really looking forward to that overwater bungalow honeymoon in Bora Bora or are planning to move into that dream house in a month, imagine them being happy in those places and write your wedding congratulations descriptively, from the heart.

Funny Wedding Card Wishes

Again, you have to know the couple well for this to come off, because it’s so easy to step in it. It’s best to write about something funny that the bride and groom shared, an experience that both found equally humorous—preferably, one that you witnessed them enjoying (because a one-party, after-the-fact recounting can be a trap). This probably isn’t the time to recall what the groom texted you about his eventual wife the day after their first date. That only works in rom-coms.

Wedding Reception Card Wording

The spontaneity of writing wedding card wishes while actually at the reception may result in a memorable missive. Beginning the note with “When…” (as in “When I saw you two sharing your first dance…”) will lead you down the right romantic path. Should be attempted only by confident writers who are reasonably sober when they’re scrawling “Happy Wedding Day” at the urinal.

Examples from Real Wedding Guests

Still drawing a blank? Check out some of these examples to get the wheels turning. Whether it’s for a best friend, a friend of a friend, co-worker, or relative, we’ve got you covered. Use them as a starting point and then add your own personal flair based on your relationship with the happy couple. Or, hey, if you’re really feeling stuck, just go ahead and copy one down—we won’t tell. In this case, borrowing from the internet is still better than copying off the guy next to you.

Friends (Best friends, new friends, old friends, etc):

Writing a wedding card for a friend, especially your best friend, involves a unique kind of pressure you probably never really anticipated. It’s the biggest day of his life, and he’s the biggest person in your life. The good (and bad) news is, he has a new biggest person in his life, and this day has much more to do with her than it does with you. Fortunately, this takes some of the pressure off: your wedding card message doesn’t have to be the perfect, all-encompassing testament to your friendship. Sure, make it personal, but no need to sweat it too much. Just keep it cool, keep it classy, and above all, remember your audience. You’re not just writing to your buddy; you’re also writing to his new bride. If there’s even the slightest chance, your well-wishes might result in a cringe, a fight, or an awkward explanation about that inside joke from the bachelor party, leave it out. It’s never worth the gamble.

Examples:

  • Thank you for inviting us to eat your food, drink your wine, and hog the dance floor while you two kids get married. Wishing you lots of love and happiness.
  • I have to say; you two make me want to give this whole marriage thing a try. Congratulations on your wedding day!
  • Congratulations on finally getting hitched! Here’s to this next chapter in your lives being a long and happy one.
  • In all the times we have spent together, I am so happy to be here on your wedding day. You deserve the best and biggest love with your new wife. I can’t wait to see the honeymoon pictures!
  • Congratulations to one of the best couples I know. Cheers to many more amazing years ahead of you.
  • What’s the secret to a happy marriage? I wouldn’t know, but I’m sure you’ll be able to tell me because I have never seen two people more in love with one another. Congratulations!
  • I’m so lucky to have two such great friends, and even luckier that they’re married to each other! Congratulations on your big day.
  • Today I realized that life is not fair for single people like me. Until now I had to buy you a gift only once a year on your birthday. Now I have two birthdays plus a wedding anniversary to buy gifts for. Congratulations to my best friend on tying the knot.
  • I’m so happy that my best friend found his best friend and life partner. Congrats to you both on the big day!
  • Thank you for letting me share your special day. The two of you are made for each other, and I couldn’t be happier to see my oldest friend and my newest friend tying the knot.
  • Congratulations on your wedding! Thank you for allowing us to share this milestone with you. It means so much to us be a part of your big day. Now let’s get this party started, shall we?
  • Since the two of you first met, we all knew that it was meant to be. We couldn’t be happier to celebrate your marriage and be part of your special day. I’m sure it will only be one of many, many more. Cheers!
  • Thanks for the free booze. Best wishes on a long, happy marriage.
  • Of all the big life events we’ve celebrated over the years, today tops the list. Congrats!
  • Couldn’t be happier to see my best friend married to the love of his life. Wishing you both all the best today and every day.
  • Here’s to the next chapter of your life! So happy I got to help celebrate your big day.
  • We’ve been through plenty of milestones over the years, and I’m so happy I got to be there to help you celebrate your biggest one yet. Wishing you both all the best.
  • By the time you read this, I hope to have successfully made it through your wedding without causing any drunken scenes. If so, congratulations and thanks for a beautiful night. If not, I’m so sorry. Congrats to you both.
  • I may have come for the cake, but you guys definitely stole the show. Congratulations to you both on the big day.
  • So happy to share this special day with you both (and the open bar doesn’t hurt either).
  • Thanks for the invite to eat and drink while you two get married! Best wishes to you both.
  • All of the parties we’ve been to together, this is by far the best one yet. Congratulations on the big day!
  • Here’s to a great friend finding the love of his life. Congratulations to you both.
  • You two make this marriage thing seem worthwhile. I’m so happy for you both.
  • Finally husband and wife! Achievement unlocked! You’re in this for the long haul, so you might as well do a great job at it. Don’t forget to have fun as well. Congratulations and all the best to you!
  • Congratulations to you and your new partner in crime. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and adventure.
  • Frankly, I’m still reeling with the shock of you landing someone so warm, funny, and drop-dead gorgeous. Who would’ve thought you had it in you? In all seriousness, I am truly happy for you two. You’re clearly made for each other, and I look forward to watching the two of you grow even closer over the years to come.
  • Congratulations to a wonderful friend and his new wife. So happy you two found each other.
  • Here’s to a great man and his new wife. You both deserve all the best. Congratulations on your wedding day.
  • So happy to see two amazing people so happy together. Congratulations to you both.
  • We’ve been friends since childhood and who would have thought that we all would be married one day. But it happened and today is your wedding! Wishing you two a wonderful wedding day and a beautiful life together.
  • I have no doubt that life brings the best people together. You two are the perfect match. Wishing you all the love and happiness you both deserve.
  • Today you two are kind of a big deal… Congratulations!
  • I am so happy to be celebrating this day with you, and I look forward to many more celebrations to come.
  • Of all the events we’ve celebrated together over the years, your wedding clearly tops the list. I’m so happy that you’re married. Now you can tell me all the dos and don’ts of marriage based on first-hand experience. Congratulations and best wishes!
  • Marriage lets you annoy one special person for the rest of your life. Congratulations on finding your perfect person!
  • May you bring each other as much happiness as your friendship has brought to my life—and more!
  • Seeing the two of you together really gives us single guys hope. Wishing you both all the best in your new lives together.
  • Glad you didn’t elope so we all got to come to this awesome party. So happy for you both!
  • We’ve had plenty of adventures over the years. Now you’re entering into the biggest adventure of your life so far, and I couldn’t be happier for you. Congratulations and best wishes as you begin the next chapter of your lives together.

Casual Acquaintance or Co-Worker:

In this case, it’s usually best to keep things short, sweet, and to the point. You won’t lose any points here for not having the most creative card in the bunch. Frankly, it would probably be weird if you did. Err on the side of caution and enjoy the freedom to relax and write something totally generic and boring.

Examples:

  • Wishing you both all the best today and always. Congrats!
  • Congratulations on taking the plunge! Wishing you both all the best today and always.
  • I’m very honored to witness your special day. Thanks for keeping me in mind. I cannot wait to see the both of you become husband and wife. Congratulations on your new life together!
  • Best wishes for a lifetime of love and happiness.
  • Thank you for inviting me to share in this day with you and your family.
  • May your life together be filled with joy, happiness, and lots of love!
  • So excited for you both as you begin the next chapter of your lives together.
  • Here’s to wonderful new discoveries, exciting opportunities, and forever love. Congratulations and best wishes!
  • Best wishes to a very cool coworker and his new wife. Congrats on the big day!
  • Here’s to success in your new titles: bride, groom, husband, wife, and any more you will pick up over the years together.
  • Congratulations to a beautiful couple. Wishing you a wonderful journey as you build your new life together.
  • Wishing you both the happily ever after you deserve. Congratulations on your wedding day!
  • You’re giving hope to all of the single people left in the office. Best wishes to you and your new spouse with your new life together.
  • Congratulations on your wedding day! I wish you a lifetime of days just as happy and memorable as this one.
  • Congratulations on your wedding! Enjoy the honeymoon—we’ll hold down the fort at work while you’re gone. Have the best vacation ever and you better come back with a tan!
  • Cheers to your future and congratulations on your wedding. I am so happy for you and I can’t wait to see what life has in store for you both.
  • We’ve seen such a change in you at the office and we’re so happy that you’re happy. Congratulations on your marriage and we wish you the best during this new stage of life.
  • Here’s to a bright future and a happy marriage. Congratulations!
  • Wishing you happiness and joy on this special day. Congratulations!
  • What a wonderful day to celebrate my coworker. All of the best to both of you in marriage.
  • I am so glad that I have gotten to know you at work and I wish you and your new husband/wife a long happy life together.
  • Just a note to say how happy we are for you. Wishing you a lifetime of the greatest joy, love, and happiness. Congratulations to a wonderful couple!
  • As I enjoy the free bubbly on your wedding day, I’ll raise a toast to two of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

Family and Relatives:

You have some creative license here, but, as always, use your judgment. When deciding what to write, keep your relationship to your family member (and your new in-law) in mind. It’s fine to poke a little fun if it’s your brother or a close cousin you grew up with, but don’t go overboard. No need to reference any embarrassing moments from childhood or, worse yet, adolescence. It’s also good to remember who else might be reading this card. If you don’t want Great Aunt Wanda to see it, leave it out. Again, the golden rule for wedding card writing is pretty much the same across the board: keep it cool, and keep it classy.

Examples:

  • What a great day for the whole family, especially for the two of you. Today, we officially welcome you to this crazy, loud, but wonderful family. Best wishes to you newlyweds, and may the happiness and love that you feel today last for a lifetime!
  • Congratulations to my brother and his wonderful new wife. So happy for you both.
  • Thrilled to see my brother marrying the love of his life. Congratulations on your new life together.
  • Congratulations! So happy to welcome your new wife into the family. All my love and best wishes to you both.
  • Congrats to my brother and welcome to my new sister-in-law! So glad we didn’t scare you away. So happy to help you both celebrate the big day!
  • I love you both. Thanks for letting our big, embarrassing family share in your celebration!
  • Couldn’t be happier to be welcoming you both into the family as husband and wife. Wishing you both all the best!
  • Congrats on taking the plunge, guess the pressure’s on me now! So happy to celebrate with you and wishing you both the very best.
  • Congratulations to my brother and condolences to his bride: unfortunately it’s too late to escape our crazy family now. Glad you decided he was worth the trouble! All my love to you both.
  • Family parties are stressful, but at least this one has an open bar. Love you both and so happy to be here helping you celebrate the big day!
  • So happy to welcome my new sister-in-law to the family! Thanks for keeping my brother in line. Congratulations to you both.
  • I know that the two of you will do great things in this world together. You are my brother, and a fine man and any person with whom you would share your life cannot help but be equally excellent.
  • I’ve been trying to steal the spotlight from you since we were kids, but I guess I’ll let you have today. So happy I get to be a part of it. Love and best wishes to you both!
  • Thank you for making my brother/sister so happy—we’re so thrilled to welcome you to the family. Love and congratulations to you both on your wedding day.
  • Lots of love to the best sister/brother in the whole world and her/his new partner for life. May you have a marriage full of love and happiness!
  • Congratulations on your wedding, bro. So glad you convinced someone to marry you!
  • Congratulations to my sister-in-law and her new husband, the luckiest man in the world. Don’t screw this one up, man. Love and best wishes to you both.
  • We may be cousins, but I love you like a brother. Thanks for being a great support system throughout my life and I’m so happy to be there for you on your big day. Congratulations!
  • I couldn’t be happier to call you both family. Best wishes for a long and happy future together.
  • Since we’ve all been going to the same family functions for years, I am so glad you get to throw your new spouse into the mix! Now we all have someone exciting and new to talk to. Congratulations on your wedding! Love you!
  • (Spouse’s name), you’ve been like family for a long time, but now it’s official. (Family member), it means so much to see you marrying the love of your life. I’m so overjoyed for both of you!
  • Thank you for showing me what it means to have someone to count on. Take care of her, and be well.
  • We have shared good times and not so good times. And now I have gotten to share with you the joy of finding the love of a lifetime. I am sure there will be even better times ahead, but what a thing to have to try to top!
  • I cannot be happier as a brother than I am to see you so happy now on your wedding day.
  • We could not be more ecstatic to add such an amazing person to our family. Congratulations on your big day. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store!
  • What a wonderful day to celebrate a perfect addition to our family. Lots of love now and always.

-Drew Limsky

Bottom Line

What you write in a wedding card should be thoughtful and positive, especially depending on how well you know the couple. You can never go wrong with “Congratulations!” 

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