What to say on an anniversary card

Updated February 21, 2017

A wedding anniversary is the time to remember the love that drew a couple together and the life they have shared over the years. Knowing what to say in an anniversary card can be challenging, even if you have a way with words. How can you tell your husband what he really means to you in a simple paragraph? How do you tell your wife that your 25 years together have been amazing without sounding hokey? What do you say when you have faced challenges during the year? When you've lost your father, what do you say to your mother on their anniversary? You don't have to be a professional greeting card writer to say something special.

Write about when you first met each other. What attracted you to your spouse? Was it his eyes or her smile? Did you love his goofy attempts at telling jokes or the way she listened when you talked about your goals? How about the way he would do spontaneous things, just to make you smile? Did she show up at your work unexpectedly with a picnic lunch for the two of you? Did he give you a pair of earrings just because it was a Tuesday? Did she ask your mother for the recipe for your favourite lemon pie? Find something unique about your situation and your spouse and recall the details on paper.

Mention highlights from your previous year together. Did you buy a home? Did you have a baby? Did you take ballroom dancing lessons together? Did you go on a dream vacation? Even recalling a seemingly minor moment can mean the world to someone else.

Comment on the enduring qualities of your marriage. Are your religious beliefs central to your marriage? Maybe it's your commitment to your children or your extended family that ties the two of you.

Comment on the strength of your marriage during challenging times. If you're going through a difficult period in your life--such as the loss of a job, a miscarriage, other health issues or relationship problems with your children or other family members--mention how your spouse's love and support has been important. If the struggle is your marriage, look for something encouraging to say, even if it's that you appreciate his willingness to go to counselling together.

Do something special for milestone anniversaries. If your 25th anniversary is a month away, buy a pack of 25 note cards. On the first card write, "Nov. 9, 1974; our wedding day." Mention how beautiful she looked in her dress or how it touched you to see him cry as he recited his vows. Continue to write something special from each year of your marriage on a separate card. Seal the envelopes with a heart or flower sticker. Give the cards to your spouse in a unique way, such as mailing them one day at a time leading up to your anniversary (or all in one big bundle), or by hiding them around the house with a special map to find them.

Mention the things you notice that your parents do, such as still holding hands after 45 years, or the way their eyes light up when the other walks in the room, or the fact that your mother has every letter or note your father ever wrote to her. Don't be afraid to mention the hard times in their life and how they faced them together.

Send your parents a card on your wedding anniversary. Thank them for the example they set for you and your spouse. Mention something they do in their marriage that you have incorporated into your own, such as celebrating each month leading up to an anniversary or hiding a note in your husband's suitcase when he goes on a business trip.

Remember your parents' anniversary even after one of them has died. This will be a difficult day, but it will help the surviving parent to know that other people remember. Avoid the "Happy Anniversary" cards, but instead find one that says, "I Remember." Keep the message simple; share a memory of your parents and mention that you know this will be a day of joy and sadness.


Write the number of the anniversary and the full calendar year on the outside of the envelope and also on the inside of the card. In the future, when you take the card out of your memory box, you'll know that your husband gave you this card on May 18, 2008, on your first anniversary.

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About the Author

After attending Hardin Simmons University, Kay Dean finished her formal education with the Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1995, Dean has written for such publications as "PB&J," Disney’s "Family Fun," "ParentLife," "Living With Teenagers" and Thomas Nelson’s NY Times bestselling "Resolve." An avid gardener for 25 years, her experience includes organic food gardening, ornamental plants, shrubs and trees, with a special love for roses.