You bought the gift, know what you're wearing, have entered the directions to the venue into your GPS app and... and you just have to write the card. Ugh.
Let's face it, writing meaningful wedding card messages can cause a major headache. First of all, there is the question about the tone you should use. Funny? Sentimental? Thoughtful? Upbeat? Wry? Should you remind the couple how far they've come? Offer helpful advice from your own relationship? Or warn them what not to do?
I know, it's frustrating. This is an important day for the couple and you want them to know how much you appreciate being a part of it. What to do?
First off, set aside a few minutes the day before the wedding and grab a pen and paper. This is not a card you want to rush into or you are liable to end up with something stupid, or insipid, or sappy. By writing the card the day before the ceremony, you avoid the last minute rush to write just anything just to get it done that comes from leaving it until you are rushing out the door.
By jotting down your ideas as they come to you, you will soon find that with a few tweaks, you will have a respectable outline.
Next, think about the couple - this is a celebration of them together. What drew them together - and holds them together? A common background? School? Sports? Hobbies? Politics? Business? Challenges? Children?
As you think about them and what makes them unique and special, jot down a few notes. Including a line or two specifically about what binds them makes a general message into something more personal and memorable.
Next, think about the arc of their relationship. Have they known one another forever? Did they just recently meet? Are they bringing two distinct cultures together? Are they blending a family?
Reminding the couple how far they have come together - and letting them know that the people who love them and wish them well (you) have noticed and recognized how much stronger (better) they have become as individuals because they are a couple - tells the couple that they are not the only ones who recognize how right this union is.
Now think about what you wish for them. Not a boring generic wish like "Best wishes" or "Have a great life", but something more personal - personal to the couple. You want to drill down into something meaningful to the couple.
To begin this step, think about what THEY want for their relationship and life together. What do you know about their dreams and desires? In caring for them, you probably want to see them achieve their own dreams. Letting them know you support them and are cheering for them in what they want for themselves.
For instance, if you know they want to travel the world before settling down (start a charity, move to a new city, start a business, blend a family, or whatever), this is something you can use to personalize and broaden your wishes for them.
OK, so now you have a page full of notes. Now it is time to tie it all together.
Do you remember when you were in school and had to write an essay? A lot of schools teach you to write out a 5-point (paragraph) outline. A wedding card message can be laid out similarly - though not necessarily in 5 paragraphs. For instance:
1- Write one or two sentences about what is unique and special about the couple.For example, "X and Y, I have watched you over these past few years as you pulled together to build a strong, community-focused business, and I have felt great pride over your accomplishments. You've learned to compromise with each other, to develop and stick to a plan, to amend and adjust as needed, and to support each other through it all. Just some of the great skills you now bring to your marriage."
2- Write one or two sentences about the arc of their relationship. In the above example, you could write something like this: "When you first met as competitors in your business, it was impossible to foresee that you'd find yourselves at this day, together. But you noticed that each of you brought the perfect balance to the other, first in business, and now in life."
3 - Wrap it up with a few sentences that include your wishes. "X and Y, your love and respect for each other was first apparent in how you came together for your business. That respect has evolved into a deep love that those who care about you cherish. Now today we (I) celebrate with you as you make this deeper commitment to one another as individuals and to you-the-couple. Please know that I am so very happy for you, so very proud of you, and so grateful that I can celebrate this day - and the many years to come - with you."
Would you like to learn how to write a wedding message to your best friend on her special day? Click here to read 5 Steps to Writing a Meaningful Wedding Message to Your Best Friend
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