Your wedding is just around the corner, and you barely have time to catch your breath. Amid all the hubbub of planning, you realize that you haven’t even been able to stop and really connect with your spouse-to-be lately. Of course, the feelings behind the occasion are still there, but you don’t have much time to stop and really take them in–which is ironic considering that you’re about to get married.
Enter the wedding card. Many couples choose to write wedding cards to one another, which are exchanged on the morning of the wedding. This tradition is a fantastic way to cut through the noise of preparations in order to bring your mind and heart back to center on what truly matters: the bond you’ve built and your commitment to move forward together.
Below is our definitive guide to writing a wedding card. We’ll go over why it’s so important to express your feelings, how to choose the right words, what to include in a wedding card, a few samples to get you started, and some FAQ.
We often take it for granted that our partners know how we feel about them, but they may not–especially if it’s been awhile since the last opportunity to connect on a deep level. Love and care are emotions that need to be continually expressed in order to be continually felt, and a wedding letter does just this while setting the tone for the big day. In case you’re not convinced yet, here’s more on why expressing feelings in this way is so beneficial and what the effects of doing so are.
The words you will pen down carry a lot of emotional value and become a part of your treasured memories as a couple. Putting your feelings into words gives you the chance to express the depth of your emotions in a thoughtful way that you might not have done before.
Bonding and Vulnerability
Giving your spouse-to-be a heartfelt letter will strengthen your bond even more. Why? Because opening up about your feelings entails a considerable amount of vulnerability, especially when you’re opening up in the form of written words, which are preserved indefinitely and won’t disappear into the ether like spoken words do. Vulnerability is an essential practice in healthy relationships, and it fosters trust and openness–both of which are instrumental to bonding.
Insights to Take Forward
The act of thoughtfully writing a wedding card makes you pause during a crazy time and reflect on where the two of you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going. This process leads you to a deeper understanding of both your own feelings and the dynamics of your relationship with your spouse- to-be, and the fact of going through this process right before your wedding also helps to set the scene for some very potent, meaningful reflection. Any new understanding you gain translates to insights that will be advantageous in successfully navigating your shared life.
Preparing to Write
Writing is not unlike exercise in that the entire process will be far more successful if you get ready by warming up first. In this case, warming up means setting the mood by creating the right environment–both internally and externally. The physical, mental, and emotional space in which you write makes a real difference. Writing in a calm, comfortable environment promotes concentration and will help you gather your thoughts, so before you sit down to write, make sure you’re in the ‘write’ space! Here’s how.
Firstly, select a quiet and comfortable place where you’re unlikely to be disturbed. That might mean curling up in your favorite armchair, retreating to a cozy nook in the back of your favorite bookstore cafe, or perhaps taking your hammock to the park or to another natural space.
Another important consideration in choosing the right space is lighting. Lighting can significantly influence your mood; think about how you feel in a room with soft lighting versus a room with fluorescent lighting, for example. If you’re opting for an indoor environment, select something with lighting that makes you feel good; light a scented candle or two if that helps, too. If you’ll be outdoors, make sure the sun is neither too bright nor too dim for writing.
If you’re going to be writing at home, ensure that the space is clean and uncluttered. External mess can fuel internal mess, just as a tidy workspace boosts productivity and mental clarity.
Once you’ve chosen a spot, choose some music to help get you into a suitable frame of mind. Play tunes that soothe you or put on a playlist of songs that remind you of your relationship. Then, take a few minutes to reflect on the partnership the two of you have built.
If you’re so inclined, make this into a meditation of sorts: Close your eyes, focus on your breathing for a few moments, and then begin slowly calling to mind the feelings associated with your relationship and the important moments you’ve lived together. This meditation can help you focus your thoughts and emotions, making it easier for you to express them in writing.
Taking some moments to select the right space and set the right mood will help your emotions to become words and the words to flow freely.
Choosing the Right Words
Once your space is set up, you’re ready to start writing. Worried about choosing the right words? That’s understandable. When it comes to such big emotions, finding the right words to capture them is no easy task. But don’t stress–we’ve got you. Here are two tips to guide you to the right words:
Keep it Authentic
Authenticity is key when writing a personal message. Don’t try too hard to use an abundance of fancy or flowerful language unless that’s how you actually talk. Instead, use words that you would naturally use in conversation. They’ll make your message more relatable and sincere. You don’t need to be overly poetic, unless that’s a natural and known way that you express yourself regularly. The most important thing is that the words you choose genuinely come from your heart.
Use Descriptive Language
Descriptive language can help paint a vivid picture of your feelings. Instead of saying “I love your eyes,” say something like “I love that mischevious little twinkle that comes into your eyes whenever you tease me.” Writing descriptively will help your partner grasp the message and feelings you’re trying to convey.
What to Include
Now you’re ready to start writing, but what the heck are you supposed to write? How can you possibly shrink down everything you’ve been through together into just a card? Good news: You don’t have to. You’re not trying to write everything, you just need to highlight a few key aspects of your relationship. Whether your mind is blank or too full with possibilities, here are some ideas for what to include. Feel free to take what feels suitable and leave the rest.
Incorporate special memories, inside jokes, cute nicknames you have for each other, or a memorable line from a song that you both love. Any element that is unique to your relationship is a great thing to reference. Personal touches make the letter more meaningful.
Acknowledge the many ways your future spouse enriches your life. Point out the specific qualities you love in him, such as his quick wit, or his ability to make friends with anyone, or his integrity. Explicitly appreciating these traits shows him that you see and value his character.
In addition to expressing appreciation for his personality, highlight your appreciation for the efforts he makes to maintain and strengthen your relationship. How does he support you during difficult times? What small, everyday gestures of love does he demonstrate?
No matter what you appreciate about your partner, be as specific as possible. “I appreciate your capacity to listen to me with patience, even when I’m spiraling” is a lot more specific and relatable than “I appreciate your steadfast support and encouragement”.
Write about your shared dreams for the future and the steps you’re ready to take in service of these goals. Do you want to start a family together? Travel the world on a sailboat? Start an animal sanctuary and become the neighborhood weirdos? Write about these plans and how you plan to bring them to lfie; this signifies your dedication to the relationship.
What does your partner need from you in order to flourish in the relationship? Promise in writing to do these things. For example, if your partner is someone growth-oriented who really wants to develop as a person, promise to support his growth–and give examples.
Written promises relating to conflict management in your relationship are also very meaningful. How have the two of you successfully managed conflict so far, and how can you take that forward? You might promise to cultivate patience and understanding during times of disagreement, or to give your partner space when they need it, or to be willing and eager to repair after a rift. Personalize this part based on the dynamics of your relationship.
Promises come with one caveat: you have to keep them. Make sure you are being sincere and realistic in your promises. They should be commitments on which you are genuinely ready and able to follow through.
These are just a few ideas for elements to include; write anything that you think will make your partner smile.
Still finding it hard to put your feelings into words? Here are three examples:
“To my favorite sloth bear, as we step into the rest of our lives together. Thank you for thinking it’s cute when I snort laugh, for encouraging me to pursue my passion for writing, and for your endless patience with my insistence on borrowing your favorite hoodie. I can’t wait to go on safari in the Serengeti together, start a family with ten million curly-haired babies, and spend many more years just reading side by side on the sofa, competing for the comfy pillow, with our smelly feet up on the table. Here’s to a lifetime of lovingly annoying each other!”
“I’m so, so glad you came into my life. I really thought I had it all–and then I met you, and discovered that my life could be even better. I’ve had such a wonderful time discovering Nepal, Thailand and Australia with you, experimenting with weird recipes from different cuisines, and just staying up late talking about our lives and dreams of starting our ecovillage. I even enjoyed getting lost in the desert with you–that’s the true hallmark of a great relationship, when you look at the person next to you and think “even if we’re trapped here forever, I’ll still never get tired of you!” For real, though, thank you for being here. I really appreciate the spark your adventurous spirit has ignited in me, and I promise to continue being spontaneous with you. See you in a few hours at the end of the aisle. I can’t wait. Love you so much.”
“Michael Rahim Khoury, where do I even start? You are the literal best. Ok, I know you already know that, and usually I don’t like to inflate your ego too much…but today I’m telling you in written form, in a card that you’ll keep for the rest of your life, that you are THE BEST. The best man for me, the best lover, the best partner in crime, and also the best competitive cornhole player even though I did beat you that one time. Since you claim not to remember that, I promise to spend a lifetime reminding you.
In all seriousness, though, I promise to support your aspirations for the rest of our lives. I promise to support your dream to build your own tech education platform, even if the entrepreneur thing takes a few tries. I promise to stay up late and strategize with you, hand in hand. I promise to rub your back with coconut oil when you’re feeling stressed, to make time to spend together even when we’re both in busy periods, and and even to always let you eat the last chocolate chip cookie bar. Ok I lied, sometimes. But you know I’ll always make more, so please stick around to eat them with me for at least the next 50 years, ok? Sending you all my love and admiration. Can’t wait to start this next chapter together.”
Notice that each of these examples is very specific. Feel free to borrow elements and inspiration from these samples as you see fit, but be sure to be as specific as possible in the context of your own relationship and to write in your own voice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about writing a wedding card
Q: How long should a wedding card message be?
A: There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends entirely on your personal preference. It could be as short as a few lines or as long as a few pages.
Q: Can I include humor in the wedding card message?
A: For sure! Especially if you have a humorous relationship dynamic. Inside jokes in particular make a great addition.
Q: Should I write the card in advance?
A: Yes, you should. On the wedding day itself you’re going to have a lot to think about, and you will also be feeling jittery. Write the card at a time when you’re feeling calm and collected, or write and edit it over the course of a few sessions.
Q: Should I use formal or informal language in the wedding card?
A: The tone you use should reflect the tone used in communications in your relationship. If the tone of your communication is more formal, you can use elegant and poetic language. If your relationship is underscored by a sense of casual playfulness, use a more relaxed and informal tone. That said, no matter what tone you choose, the most important thing is to write sincerely and genuinely.
Writing a wedding card to your spouse is a beautiful opportunity to express your deepest feelings, seal your love with words, and set the tone for the rest of the day–and the rest of your lives. So take a deep breath, let your emotions flow, and write that heartfelt message your spouse will cherish forever.
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]