Wedding Wishes: What to Write in a Wedding Card

Trying to decide what to write in a wedding card? Use these wedding wishes to offer your congratulations to the bride and groom.
by elena donovan mauer
Gray wedding card mailbox with pink and orange flower flag on wedding reception table
photo by J. Harper Photography

We've been there: You shop long and hard to find the perfect wedding card for the soon-to-be married couple and then you get home and have a pretty rough time figuring out what to write in it. The good news is, there are no hard-and-fast rules about what to write in a wedding card. As long as your wedding congratulations message is heartfelt and offers the couple a positive wish for their marriage, you're good to go.

Wedding Card Etiquette 101

It should almost go without saying that wedding cards are customary for anyone who wants to send wedding wishes to an engaged or newly married couple. If you're following traditional wedding guest etiquette, you'll either want to bring the card to the wedding reception or mail it directly to the couple (usually between the time you receive the wedding invitation and a few weeks after the wedding). Honestly though, you can send it whenever you want. You could even send a nice card if the wedding is small and you're not invited. Simply put: Wedding congratulations are welcome anytime by anyone!

As for the card itself, wedding cards come in lots of different formats—from standard greeting cards you find at a cute stationery shop to homemade cards, small tags attached to gifts and even simple, digitally created wedding messages that are printed and shipped to the couple with their gift. All of the above pass as a wedding card and are considered okay, so don't feel the need to have more than one. (Then again, if you bought a gift off the couple's registry and want them to also have a pretty card from you, take one to the reception and drop it in a wedding card box or on a gift table!)

Is It Okay to Write the Term "Congratulations?"

In short, yes. That said, it used to be saying or writing "congratulations" to a newly married woman was once considered a faux pas because it was thought of as congratulating her on actually landing a man! (Yep, you read that right.) Today though, that's considered an outdated rule and school of thought. Still, if the couple happens to be very traditional or come from a very traditional family, you might want to avoid the term altogether and just say "best wishes."

What to Write in a Wedding Card

The perfect wedding wish is sentimental, sweet and totally tailored to the couple. Is it for your favorite cousin and his new wife? Or your hilarious college roommate who finally settled down? Below are dozens of examples of wedding wishes quotes for inspiration. Use the quick links below to craft an amazing (genius!) wedding message:


Formal Wedding Wishes

Just because it's a formal wedding with floor-length dresses and tuxes doesn't mean you have to send a formal card with stuffy wording. (The card doesn't have to perfectly match the event.) Still, if you want to write a nice message that's timeless and romantic, a formal note is the way to go.

Examples:

  • "Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness."
  • "Your wedding day will come and go, but may your love forever grow."
  • "Best wishes on this wonderful journey, as you build your new lives together."
  • "May the years ahead be filled with lasting joy."
  • "May the love you share today grow stronger as you grow old together."
  • "May your joining together bring you more joy than you can imagine."
  • "May today be the beginning of a long, happy life together."
  • "Thank you for letting us/me share in this joyful day. We/I wish you all the best as you embark on this wonderful union."
  • "Wishing you joy, love and happiness on your wedding day and as you begin your new life together."
  • "May the love and happiness you feel today shine through the years."

Casual Wedding Wishes

If you don't feel comfortable with formal wedding sayings, then don't do it. Be yourself. It's completely fine to write a more casual wedding message in the card, no matter the recipient. Put it this way: Short and sweet is always fine, as long as you're saying something nice or including a wish for the couple's future.

Examples:

  • "Best wishes!"
  • "Congratulations!"
  • "Congratulations on your wedding!"
  • "We're/I'm so happy for you!"
  • "Wishing you lots of love and happiness."
  • "We/I love you. Congrats!"
  • "Lots of love today and beyond."
  • "Here's a little something to start your life together." (If you're including a gift.)
  • "Hugs and kisses."
  • "Wishing you a long and happy marriage."
  • "Here's to a long and happy marriage!"
  • "Wishing you the best today and always."
  • "So happy to celebrate this day with you both!"
  • "Best wishes for a fun-filled future together."

Funny Wedding Wishes

Go ahead and write something funny in the card that you think will make them laugh. Just be careful with your marriage wishes. What might easily come across as a joke in conversation could be taken the wrong way on paper. As a rule of thumb, avoid jokes that are sarcastic or snarky. Also off-limits? Steer clear of anything that could be considered insulting, imply that one of them is the "better half" or mention anything about it having taken way too long (or way too little time) to get married. Oh, and no divorce jokes!

Examples:

  • "As Bill and Ted said, 'Be excellent to each other.'"
  • "Thanks for inviting us to eat and drink while you get married. Congrats!"
  • "Wishing you lots of love—and lots of makeup sex!" (If this is appropriate given your relationship with the couple.)
  • "Our marriage advice: Love, honor and… scrub the toilet." (Or fill in any other funny advice you have.)
  • "Love is all you need… stick with that crap and you'll do great!" (If this is appropriate given your relationship with the couple.)
  • "Treat marriage like a hockey game. No roughing!"
  • "Thanks for the free booze. Best wishes on a long, happy marriage!"
  • "Getting married is like going to drama school. May there be more comedy than melodrama."

Religious Wedding Wishes

If the couple is religious, then this might be the best option. Religious wedding card messages can mention God, tell them of your prayers or quote scripture. Before writing a religious message in a wedding card, consider the couple's beliefs and practices, and customize the message to them. If they aren't too religious or don't worship regularly, something very religious could make them uncomfortable, so it's be best to tone down religious elements or avoid them altogether. And if you're unsure of what religious message to write, opt for more general wedding words instead.

Christian Examples:

  • "May God bless you and your union."
  • "May God grant you all of life's blessings and love's joys."
  • "Sending you prayers for unending love and happiness."
  • "God bless you both on this day with a lifetime of shared love and joy."
  • "May the One who brought you together bless your marriage, enrich your lives and deepen your love throughout the years."
  • " 'God has poured out His love into our hearts.' – Romans 5:5"
  • " 'Love is patient. Love is kind… Love never fails.' – 1 Corinthians 13:4-13"

Jewish Examples:

  • "Mazel Tov! May the joy that is yours today always fill your life."
  • " 'I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine.' – Shir Ha'Shirim/Song of Songs 6:3" Or " 'Ani L'Dodi, v'Dodi Li.' – Shir Ha'Shirim/Song of Songs 6:3"
  • "May you be blessed."
  • "Mazel Tov on your wedding!" or "Mazel Tov on your marriage!"

Wedding Wishes for a Family Member

When writing a wedding card for family, you can go very general or very personal—it's completely up to you and the type of message you want to convey.

Examples:

  • "Congratulations on your marriage, and welcome to the family!"
  • "We are/I am so happy to welcome a new family member. Best wishes to you both!"
  • "We're/I'm so happy [name] has found 'the one.' Welcome to the family!"
  • "We're delighted to share this day with you both."
  • "What a wonderful day for our family, and especially you two. May the joy you feel today last a lifetime."
  • "Today, we add one more member to our family, and we couldn't be happier. Best wishes to you both."
  • "What a wonderful addition to our family. We're/I'm so happy to share in your celebration. Congratulations!"
  • "We/I couldn't be happier to call you both family. Best wishes for a long and happy future together."
  • "We/I love you both. Thanks for letting us share in your celebration!"
  • "Congrats! Love and hugs."

Wedding Wishes for Your Sister or Brother and Sister-in-Law or Brother-in-Law

So you're writing a message on your brother's or sister's wedding card? The key here is personality. In some cases, sibling relationships are strained, in which case you might want to go general. But more often, your brother or sister is the person whom you know best, to whom you can make inside jokes or recall some of your favorite moments together. Just remember to mention the new spouse in your note!

Examples:

  • "It seems like yesterday we were playing 'house' in the backyard, and now you get to do it in real life. I couldn't be happier for you both. Congratulations!"
  • "I always wanted a brother/sister and now I get one. Congratulations to you both on finding one another."
  • "Best wishes to my best friend and sister/brother and new sister/brother as you start your life together."
  • "We/I love you both. Today I gain a new sibling and I couldn't be happier!"
  • "Lots of love and happiness to you both on this exciting and joyful day for our family."
  • "Remember when you made that list of qualities of a 'perfect man/woman?' Well, you found him/her. Lots of love now and always."
  • "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!"
  • "You bring my sister/brother so much joy. All my love!"
  • "I'm so thankful to have a sister/brother like you. And I wish you and your new husband/wife lifelong joy."
  • "My/our deepest love and very best wishes to you both."

Wedding Wishes for Your Son or Daughter and Son-in-Law or Daughter-in-Law

It's a big deal when your son or daughter marries. And when you're the mother or father of the bride or groom, you'll most likely feel a flurry of emotions that are extra tricky to get down on paper. What's most important is that you wish the couple well. From there, add in some personal touches to the otherwise standard wedding wishes quote to give your wedding card message meaning. If you're happily married, you could even add some of your own marriage advice.

Examples:

  • "We are/I am so happy to welcome a new son/daughter to the family."
  • "What a wonderful day for our family, and especially you two. May the joy you feel today last a lifetime."
  • "Today, we add one more member to our family, and we couldn't be happier. Best wishes to you both."
  • "Best wishes to my son/daughter and son-in-law/daughter-in-law as you start your life together."
  • "We/I love you both. We/I couldn't be happier!"
  • "Lots of love and happiness to you both on this exciting and joyful day for our family."
  • "My/our deepest love and very best wishes to you both."
  • "Son/daughter, I/we feel many emotions on this day. Most of all, I'm/we're happy you've found someone wonderful to share your life with. Best wishes to you both."
  • "We/I know we're/I'm not losing a son/daughter. We're/I'm gaining a son/daughter. Much happiness to you."

What to Write on a Wedding Card to a Friend

It's just as good of a choice to go classic with wedding wording on a friend's wedding card as it is to get specific and personal. Before you write, consider your relationship and how funny, serious, personal or sentimental you want to get with your wedding wishes. Then go from there.

Examples:

  • "I'm so happy to call you both my friends. Congratulations!"
  • "That fortune-teller we saw in Vegas was right. You did meet the man/woman of your dreams. Best wishes to you both!"
  • "Of all the big life events we've celebrated over the years, today tops the list. Congrats!"
  • "Thank you for inviting me to share in this day with you and your family. Best wishes."
  • "I'm/we're so thrilled to celebrate this wonderful day with you both."
  • "Best wishes for a long and happy life together."
  • "May you bring each other as much happiness as your friendship has brought to my life -- and more!"
  • "We've had so many laughs together! May you always make each other laugh!"
  • "Here's to love and friendship!"
  • "Congratulations to a wonderful friend and his/her new husband/wife."

What to Say in a Wedding Card to a Coworker

When writing a card to your coworker who's getting married, you're probably not going to want to wish them "lots of love." Instead, it's best to go with general wording. Use one of the formal or casual examples above, or see below for a few appropriate, work-inspired quotes. All that said, it's more than possible that your coworker is a good friend. If that's the case, scroll up to "Wedding Card Wishes for a Friend."

Examples:

  • "Thank you for inviting me to share in this day with you and your family. Best wishes."
  • "I'm so glad to have gotten to know you at work, and I wish you and your new husband/wife a long and happy life together."
  • "Best wishes to a very cool coworker and his/her new husband/wife."
  • "Wishing you success—and most of all happiness—in your marriage."
  • "You've got a new title: husband/wife! Wishing you and your spouse the best."
  • "What a wonderful day to celebrate my coworker and his/her spouse. All the best to you both in your marriage."

Wedding Card Sayings for a Parent and Stepparent

Whether you're thrilled or lukewarm about the union, if your mom or dad is getting married (or remarried), it's completely normal to agonize a little over the right wedding card wording. Our best piece of advice? Be honest and tell the truth. Don't say you're crazy about the new husband or wife if you're not, but instead wish them both a happy future together. After all, isn't that what you want for your parent?

Examples:

  • "Congratulations! [Name of stepparent], you make my mom/dad so happy. I look forward to getting to know you better."
  • "Mom/Dad, I'm so happy you found a partner to share your life with. Congratulations."
  • "I'm/we're thrilled you make each other so happy. Best wishes!"
  • "Welcome to the family. We love you both!"
  • "Mom/Dad, thank you for all the advice you've given me over the years. Now here's mine: [Fill in your own advice]."
  • "I'm overjoyed to see you so happy. Lots of love."
  • "Mom/Dad, we/I love you. [Name of stepparent], we/I warmly welcome you to the family. Congratulations."
  • "I'll give you the advice you once gave me. [Fill in your parent's best love advice.]"
  • "To the best mom/dad I could ever ask for, and his/her new husband/wife. Much happiness to you both."
  • "So now we get to enjoy [stepparent's name]'s cooking on holidays? Yes!" (Or refer to something else you really like about the new stepparent.)

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