Picture this: the wedding you were invited to starts in two hours. You have your outfit all sorted, the check has been signed and thanks to Menschions (wink, wink) you found the perfect Jewish wedding card to give to the soon-to-be married couple. You pull out a pen and everything you ever imagined telling the newlyweds comes pouring out of you like a Shakespeare soliloquy, right?
If you're like most of us, figuring out what to write and say in a wedding card isn't second nature and calls for some real thought and assessment. The truth is - what you say and write to the couple depends on your history and connection with them. Aside from a simple "Mazel Tov" there's no blanket term that works for everyone and how you write and address a card will depend on your history with the couple and current relationship with the couple.
Check out our suggestions on what to write in a Jewish Wedding Card!
WHEN YOU'RE CLOSE WITH THE COUPLE: Believe it or not, couples actually read the wedding cards, and often together. When you're close with the couple it's important to use this as an opportunity to gush over them and honor this big step in their lives. In a way, think of it as a "mini speech." Talk about what makes this couple so special, throw in a memory or an inside joke and speak about all of the things you can't wait to celebrate with them in the future (trips, new babies, future concerts, etc). Your words go a long way and they'll likely hold onto the wedding card for a long time!
WHEN YOU'RE CLOSE WITH ONLY ONE OF THE PEOPLE GETTING MARRIED: We all have that one camp friend or third cousin who we love to see whenever we can, even if it's sporadically! And while you may have a rich history together, rife with inside jokes and hilarious moments, you never quite got to know their significant other. This scenario happens more than you think so when it comes to writing the card, don't overdo your note with memories from 10th grade and song lyrics you shared on each other's AIM profiles. It's okay to admit that you've known one partner longer, but make sure to finish that thought with something like "and I'm so glad you met someone who compliments you so perfectly!" Speak broadly but from the heart.
WHEN IT'S AN EX: If you somehow stayed friends with your ex and find yourself strong and brave enough to attend their wedding, the obvious question comes up: do I joke about our past in the card? Most people we spoke to said no, unless you somehow find yourself good friends with both your ex and their soon-to-be spouse. For a situation like this, you (1) wish them well (2) thank them for including you and (3) keep it short. The truth is your ex and their spouse will likely be reading this card with bated breath so keep it short, sweet and respectful. By the way, speeches are still fair game!
WHEN IT'S A COWORKER: For coworkers, it's always best to keep things succinct and professional, while also being complementary and endearing. Most of the time you want to keep it at three or four lines. The first line should congratulate their matrimony, the second should thank them for including you, the third line can be a little joke about work (it's great to see you looking so amazing, and off of Zoom for a change) and the fourth should simply wish them a lifetime of happiness. Just don't write "Kind Regards'' as your sign off - this isn't an email!
WHEN IT'S A RELATIVE YOU'RE NOT SUPER CLOSE WITH: Much like a coworker you may not have a lot to say to your third cousin's son. Still, it's important to acknowledge the familial tie and first and foremost thank them for including you and providing a beautiful opportunity to bring the family together. Lean into the appreciation of it all and sign off with a heartfelt Mazel Tov before writing something like, "Looking forward to many family celebrations ahead." Simple, sweet and sincere!