Here's How to Say "Congratulations on Your Child's, Son's or Daughter's Wedding"

These are the best ways to congratulate the newlywed's parents.
Mia Maguire
by Mia Maguire
Updated Dec 19, 2023

Whether they're your best friend of two decades or your work bestie who spends the better part of their week with you (and discussing each other's kids), when your friend's son, daughter or child becomes engaged, it's always a reason to celebrate. Saying, "congratulations on your daughter's wedding/son's wedding" or whichever phrase fits best is just as important as congratulating the couple themselves, especially if your relationship is mostly with one of their parents.

The parents of the spouse-to-be deserve some credit for their child's big accomplishment and we're here to help you come up with ways to honor their expanding family and their child's big day.

No matter if you're searching for some congratulatory wedding wishes to include in a card to your friend, a thoughtful gift for the parent of one of the soon-to-be-spouses or a combination of both, this guide has got you covered with basic etiquette essentials, thoughtful wedding wishes and gifts for your friend to celebrate the milestone.

In this article:

Etiquette Advice

When it comes to etiquette, the biggest consideration is how well you know your friend and whether or not you know their child who has gotten engaged. There are some overarching points to acknowledge, mandatory congratulatory phrases to mention and potential gifting ideas that may or may not fit in with your evolving plans to celebrate the parent or parents of the newly betrothed.

Whether they're a work friend or your best friend of a decade or more, a congratulatory card is almost always a must. The simple, yet thoughtful gesture will show them your appreciation for the big milestone they're celebrating with their now-grown child, but it's also a tangible token that reinforces the bond of your friendship. When possible, we suggest opting for a simple card with minimal prewritten sentiments, allowing you to fill in the proverbial blanks with your own heartfelt wishes. You don't have to craft an epic poem, but it really is the thought that counts. Whether you pen one or two sentences or upwards of a paragraph with your best wishes for their new roles as a parent-in-law), this card should have your own writing in it in some shape or form—and not just in the signature, if possible.

When it comes to gifting your friend whose child just became engaged, it's important to remember that they're not the ones who are tying the knot. In other words, this isn't the time to gift them with kitchen and household essentials that one may find on any given wedding registry. Instead, opt for something more experiential, like a stress-reducing massage, manicure or pedicure or a spa day to help them unwind when the stress of helping to plan a wedding becomes palpable.

Of course, a tasteful bouquet, box of sweets or even a handsome plant is a suitable gift that can be delivered in person, via messenger or even your preferred handy delivery service like Postmates. As with any holiday or milestone worth celebrating, it's of the utmost importance to consider cultural, religious and social traditions that your friend and/or their child may observe when it comes to both their card and gift, so don't forget to ask thoughtful questions when it feels appropriate to do so.

Card Message Ideas

Again, the way you approach your card message and overall tone is going to be dependent on how well you know your friend and their child who is getting married. If they're your best friend of several years, getting more sentimental in your wishes is appropriate, whereas if you only know them through the office crew or they're more of a friend of a friend, you may wish to take a more simple approach with heartfelt, yet brief words. Either way, it really is the thought that counts, so the gesture alone is going to show them you value their friendship and are so happy for their expanding family as well as their child's next chapter in life and love. Scroll through below for a few universally appealing prompts to help get you started.

  • Congrats on your expanding family! So honored to celebrate this milestone with you.
  • To the mother/father/parent of the soon-to-be-spouse, we couldn't be more excited to toast to this major milestone! Sending all of the love and happiness to you and your family.
  • So happy for you and (son/daughter/child's name)! We are beyond thrilled to celebrate with you and your family on their special day. Sending all the love to you and your family!
  • Congrats on becoming a future mother/father/parent-in-law! We couldn't be more thrilled to watch (child's name) start this journey. Please send the happy couple all of our love!
  • Your (son/daughter/child) has had the best role models growing up—I can't wait to cheer them on during their wedding day with you!
  • Congrats to the happy family on your first born's engagement! It's such a special time in your family's life and we're so happy to be there to celebrate you.

Gift Inspiration

If you'd like to give your friend a congratulatory gift, there are plenty of options to choose from that honor the milestone. This gift is for the parent of the child in question, so think "classic congratulations" rather than "wedding."

The best bets? A floral arrangement, something to make their lives easier (food delivery gift card for when they're up late helping their kiddo wedding plan) or an appointment at a spa to get some relaxation time is a good move. You can also send them a chunk of cash—they'll likely be appreciative if they're responsible for helping out financially with their kiddo's big day. Either way, it certainly lowers the stakes when it comes to celebrating your friend in honor of their offspring's upcoming nuptials, but the sentiment behind it will be beyond appreciated.

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