Sending A Letter of Wedding Congratulations

Published: 20th January 2009
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The first thoughts when sending a letter of wedding congratulations to the happy couple is that it is a straightforward communication of your thoughts and best wishes - until you are sat with your pen poised and facing a blank sheet of paper! Often, much like when composing a suitable wedding speech, your mind goes blank and you just don't know how to express your thoughts in words. To help you complete an appropriate letter conveying your congratulations, we've outlined some advice on constructing the letter - leaving you to add the personal details.

It would be simple to just send a preprinted greeting card, but many people feel that this is not sufficient to convey their true thoughts of congratulations. Writing a personal letter of wedding congratulations to the happy couple is far more meaningful and personal.

Start by making a list of thoughts and remarks that you want to include in your letter. Don't worry about grammar or the order that they will appear at this stage, just make a list of random points. When you have your list, write a sentence or two about each point. If any one particular point on the list prompts the memory of a short poem or eminent quotation that you could use, then add that as well. Alternatively, if you wish to include something prophetic, like a poem or quotation that makes your point, an internet search will bring you a wide selection to choose from.

When you have all of your sentences done and any quotes or poems included, sort your list into an order that you wish to say the things you have written in front of you, this will form the main body of your letter. If you have quite an extensive list to sort, you may consider breaking it down further into separate paragraphs.

Your letter should be addressed to the couple jointly and personally, for example "Dear John and Jane". The opening sentence of your letter should be a straightforward remark that sets the theme of your congratulatory letter. If you're stuck for an opening sentence, then something like this will be good: "I write to send my congratulations on the announcement of your wedding." If you are writing a letter of wedding congratulations after the wedding has taken place, then the following would be a more suitable opening sentence: "Congratulations on your recent marriage, I write to send you my very best wishes for your future together". The simplest statements are often the most effective.

If your letter is also your RSVP to the wedding invitation, then your response should be included in your letter of congratulations. It is always better to place your RSVP response in a separate paragraph (even if this is only a sentence or two) to make it clear for your response to be seen. If you're accepting the invitation, then say who will be attending, so your response is unambiguous. If you are having to 'regretfully decline' the wedding invitation, then it is courteous to give a short explanation of the reason.

The final sentence or paragraph of your letter should conclude with your best wishes for the couple's future together and maybe a suggestion (if your letter is after the wedding has taken place) that you arrange to meet with them to discuss their wedding and review their wedding photographs.

The letter can be signed as informally as it has been written. So you can (if you wish) omit the traditional "yours sincerely" and replace it with more personal concluding words, for example "All of our love and very best wishes are with you at this wonderful time in your life".

And there you have it, your letter is complete and says everything that you wish to convey to the happy couple. All that's left to do now is pop it in an envelope, add the stamp and drop it in the post.

Article by Steve Shaw, of Wedding Services and Information. The website offers advice and information on organising and arranging a wedding. Further information and sample letters are available from the web site at http://www.weddingservices.eclectic-choice.co.uk/wedding-speech.htm


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