What should I write in a wedding card?
Written by Jo BryantThe English Manner, The UK’s Leading Etiquette and Protocol Training Institute 310 310
Read it in 3 minutes
Described by The Telegraph as ‘the empress of etiquette’, Jo joined The English Manner in 2019 from Debrett’s, where she spent over a decade as a tutor and the editor of more than fifteen acclaimed books on etiquette and modern manners.Connect with Jo Bryant on LinkedIn Follow Jo Bryant on Instagram
7 August 2023
Wedding cards are a relatively new concept in the UK and are essentially a greeting card to congratulate and send good wishes to a couple.
They can be sent by anyone, whether they are attending the wedding, are invited but are unable to attend, or are not even invited.
But what do you write in a wedding card?
First of all, it is correct to take the wedding card to the wedding if you are attending.
Hang onto it until the reception, where there should be a dedicated table/area or box for cards and presents.
What to write: Something congratulatory and thanking the couple for a great day. Try to include a personal link or joke.
Note: If money is being given as a gift, arrange this separately via ‘official’ channels set up by the couple rather than leave an envelope of cash lying around the reception venue.
The salutation: Use the couple’s first names – e.g. ‘Dear Ginny and Harry’.
The sign-off: Something heartfelt – e.g. ‘Wishing you a lifetime of happiness’ or ‘With all our best wishes on your big day’.
The envelope: Use the couple’s first names, their new married style (e.g. Mr and Mrs Potter), or even just ‘The Newlyweds’.
A wedding card taken to the event, or sent ahead, is not – however – a substitute for a thank you letter after the wedding ends.
Those who cannot attend can still send a wedding card to the couple in addition to, and separately from, their invitation reply. Cards can be sent either in advance of the day or afterwards.
What to write: Guests sending them in advance could wish the couple luck and best wishes and reiterate their disappointment at being unable to attend. Those sent after the day can include heartfelt congratulations and good wishes.
The salutation: As above.
The sign-off: As above.
The envelope: For cards sent in advance, use an unmarried joint form of address (e.g. Mr H Potter and Ms G Weasley; Mr A Smith and Mr B Jones). For cards sent after the big day, use the new married style if names have been changed (e.g. Mr and Mrs Potter).
Wedding cards can be a nice gesture for people to acknowledge a wedding even if they are not attending. For example, colleagues, teachers, hairdressers, neighbours and the like.
They may be sent as a group card, for example, from a whole team or department. Alternatively, they privately acknowledge a wedding when the sender is (rightly) not invited to the big day.