Wedding Card Etiquette

Luxury handmade wedding card image by Andrejs Pidjass from

Although most couples register for wedding gifts, not all guests will want to give them a gift from their registry. Some guests might prefer to give the couple cash to spend on their honeymoon or to let them complete their registry as they choose. These guests can give their gift in a well-worded wedding card. Guests can bring these cards to the wedding and leave them in the card box or drop them in the mail before the event. When writing and delivering a wedding card, there are a few considerations to make.


Include a thoughtful message wishing your congratulations to the newly married couple in the card. What you choose to include should depend on your relationship with the couple and your timing. For instance, if you send the card before the wedding, you can mention how excited you are for the wedding day. If you bring the card to the wedding, express your best wishes to the couple. Personalize your message depending on how well you know the couple. For example, the best man will want to include a more personal message than a coworker of the bride’s father.


Guests can choose to bring their wedding card to the event or drop it in the mail before the big day. Most couples include a decorative card box on the gift table where guests can leave their cards. However, if you’d rather the couple receive the card in advance of the wedding, sending it ahead of time works as well.

Addressing the Card

If you are mailing the card before the wedding, send it to the bride or groom--or both of them, if they live together. Include both names on the envelope, and use the bride’s maiden name. If you bring the card to the reception, you can write “Mr. and Mrs. Husband’s Last Name” on the card, assuming the bride plans to change her name. If you’re not sure, you can always write the couple’s first names only.


In many cultures, money is the preferred wedding gift, according to The Emily Post Institute. Couples will always appreciate this straightforward gift, as they can choose to spend the money as they wish. If you include a check in the card, write it out to “Mr. and Mrs. Husband’s Last Name” if you give the gift on the day of or after the wedding--so long as you know the bride plans to change her name. If you send the card in advance of the wedding, include both couples’ names on the check, using the bride’s maiden name.

Other Gift Card Options

If you are not comfortable giving cash to the couple but want them to choose their own gift, you can include a gift card inside the wedding card to a store where they have a registry. This way, the couple can complete their registry as they wish. Or if you know where the couple is honeymooning, contact the hotel or resort and request a gift card so that the couple can enjoy a romantic dinner or exotic excursion on your dime.