Which tense in a wedding gift message?
June 2, 2008 2:37 AM   Subscribe

I'm a bit confused about whether to use the past or future tense in a message with a wedding gift, given the message arrives before the wedding but the gift arrives after. To quote the wedding list website 'Your gifts will be packed in presentation boxes and delivered to the couple with the rest of their gifts, after their wedding. They will, however, be notified of your gift today and sent your personal message' Do I hope they had a wonderful wedding or do I hope they do have a wonderful wedding?
posted by edd to Writing & Language (9 answers total)
What if instead you wished them a wonderful marriage? E.g., "best wishes for a long and happy marriage," or something like that.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 2:50 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I will would have wished you a happy day.

No, I'd just write it like you were/are in the present:

Dear couple
Hope you have a delightful day. Enjoy the toaster.
Much love

If they make a fuss over a tense that was right at the time it was written, then they're wankers, they deserve to be miserable over a friendly note, and it doesn't matter what they think.
posted by b33j at 2:52 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Wish I'd thought of the present tense, that seems perfect.

They certainly won't make a fuss either way, but I just like to be correct
posted by edd at 2:55 AM on June 2, 2008

Response by poster: Actually that's not quite the present is it? Anyway I think b33j has nailed the phrasing for me.
posted by edd at 2:57 AM on June 2, 2008

I just got married and we didn't care about tense, if I did then, as b33j, I'd be a wanker.
posted by wangarific at 5:48 AM on June 2, 2008

How about wishing them a wonderful marriage and future? Takes care of the tense issue, and really, wouldn't you rather have a good marriage than a good wedding?
posted by Work to Live at 7:06 AM on June 2, 2008

I always use Work to Live's technique on wedding gifts, though not particularly to avoid grammar complications -- you're congratulating them for getting married, not throwing a party, so I like to focus on the marriage rather than the day.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:28 AM on June 2, 2008

Who among us hasn't been to the beautiful wedding of a happy couple that ultimately ended in an acrimonious divorce? Wish them a long an happy marriage. It's the marriage that is important, not the wedding.
posted by Daddy-O at 7:28 AM on June 2, 2008

Response by poster: I've already wished them both of those. Anyway, message sent, but feel free to continue discussing the linguistics. Just not whether they should worry about it - as I already said they wouldn't complain and it's me being picky about it, not them!

Congratulations by the way wangarific!
posted by edd at 7:30 AM on June 2, 2008

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