Congratulations cards 101

If someone you know is graduating, getting hitched or has a little one on the way, it's time to pull out your congratulations cards and send one over! Congratulations cards are meant to celebrate someone's joy and accomplishments, which makes them one of the most exciting types of greeting cards, both to send and receive. Though saying congrats is pretty simple (as long as it comes from the heart), there are a few guidelines to keep in mind. Take a look at these congratulations cards tips for when to send them and what to say:

When to send congratulations cards
As mentioned before, congratulations cards are commonly sent to celebrate a high school or college graduation, an engagement or marriage and a new baby. However, don't limit yourself to these situations. Any time friends or family members achieve something, a card can help them feel even prouder of their accomplishments and themselves. Say your mom has finished writing a book or your niece has achieved all As in school. A simple congratulations card can make these moments even more special. 

Keep the message simple
When writing a congrats message for a friend or family member, it's not necessary to be formal. Even if you attended a black tie wedding or a graduation, the formality of the occasion isn't as important as the casual relationship you and your friend share. The message you write should be simple and from the heart. For graduations, mention the amazing accomplishment and feel free to include some words of wisdom or advice for the future. For weddings, refrain from unwarranted advice unless you're being silly.

Tips for corporate congratulations cards
Sending congratulations messages in a corporate setting is a bit different than sending one to a friend or family member. It's likely the message will be slightly more formal (or at least professionally worded), though it should still be written with the utmost sincerity. Aside from the personal milestones, such as a wedding or baby, there are several other times you may wish to congratulate someone in a corporate setting. If a co-worker receives an amazing promotion, a note of congratulations may be a nice touch. Or, if an employee has met an important goal or done something praise-worthy, a boss may wish to send a congratulations card. 

If you wish to congratulate a co-worker for a promotion that you were also up for, be careful with your wording. If you're upset that you weren't chosen, make sure that doesn't come across. Avoid cliches and keep the message short and sweet. Say, "Congratulations on moving up! You deserve it, and I know you'll do well in your new position."

Congratulations or best wishes?
Did you know that it's technically bad manners to say "congratulations" to a new bride? Dating as far back as the Victorian era, etiquette rules have dictated that people say "best wishes" to the bride and "congratulations" to the groom. The idea is that the groom should be congratulated for winning over such a great catch. In modern times, the rule may be a little outdated, so it's up to you to decide what to say.