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How to Write a Congratulatory Message, With Examples

Updated on April 2, 2019Writing Tips

It’s not every day that someone you know reaches a new milestone or achieves something noteworthy. When it does happen, it’s considered kind or polite to offer your congratulations to mark their success.

Whether you’re a seasoned wordsmith or someone who feels like a deer in headlights when faced with a blank card, we’re here to help you craft a congratulatory message that anyone will appreciate.

In this blog, we’ll cover when you should send a message of congratulations and what it should include, and we’ll provide some examples to kickstart your creativity!

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What is a congratulatory message?

A congratulatory message is a form of communication that is sent to someone to express your delight, praise, admiration, or good wishes for their accomplishment or milestone. These messages are typically sent in celebration of someone’s achievement or to mark a special occasion, like a wedding or promotion.

Congratulatory messages can take various forms, such as handwritten notes, cards, emails, text messages, and even in-person words.

Depending on the occasion and your relationship with the recipient, congratulatory messages can be short and kind or heartfelt and personal. No matter the tone you take, the main thing is to make sure your message conveys positivity and support for the person’s special moment.

When should you send a congratulatory message?

The truth is, there is no right time to reach out and congratulate someone on their recent achievement. If you’re unsure whether to do this at all, err on the side of sending one: It’s almost certain that the recipient will be happy to have your complimentary note.

Here are several occasions when you should definitely consider sending a congratulatory message:

  • Graduation: When someone in your life completes their education, such as high school, college, or any other degree or certification
  • Engagement: When a couple gets engaged, it’s a great time to offer your congratulations and send positive wishes for their future together.
  • Wedding: Congratulate the newlyweds in your life by sending a thoughtful wedding card so they know you are wishing them all the best as they begin this new chapter.
  • New job or promotion: When someone reaches a new career milestone or lands a new gig, send them a congratulatory note to celebrate their achievement.
  • Anniversary: Celebrate your friend’s marriage or work anniversaries with a congratulatory message; they’ll be amazed you remembered!
  • Housewarming: When someone moves into a new home, send a letter to congratulate them and wish them well in their new space.
  • New baby: Welcome a new addition to the family by sending a note of congratulations to the new parents.
  • Recovery from illness or surgery: Powering through a surgery or illness is an achievement worth celebrating, too! Offer your congratulations for someone who has overcome a recent health challenge.
  • Retirement: Sending a message of congratulations to someone who is done working and transitioning to a new phase of life will be appreciated.
  • Special accomplishment: When someone achieves something unique, like completing a marathon, publishing a book, winning a contest, or anything else significant, it’s good to recognize them with a special note of praise.

These are just some of the many occasions when it makes sense to send a congratulatory message to a friend, family member, or colleague.

What to include in a congratulatory message

No matter who’s on the receiving end of your note, start strong with the one word you can always count on: Congratulations! By congratulating them from the very beginning, your message will already be on target with what you want to say.

Next, it’s a good move to get a little more personal. After expressing your initial congrats, tell the recipient how proud you are of them while naming their achievement, and remind them why they deserve this with a compliment or two. If you can, acknowledge their specific achievement by personalizing your note with an anecdote or memory.

Finally, wrap things up with a heartfelt closing. Offer your best wishes for continued success in the future or for their happiness during this new chapter.

9 congratulatory message examples

1 Graduation

Congratulations on your graduation, [Name]! Your hard work, all-nighters, and dedication have paid off, and I can’t wait to see where life takes you next.

2 Wedding

Congratulations on officially tying the knot! May your love story be filled with happiness, laughter, and endless adventures. Here’s to the next chapter with your partner!

3 New job or promotion

I was so happy to hear you got a new gig! Your talent and commitment have taken you to such great heights, and I’m so proud of you. Best of luck in your new role!

4 Anniversary

Congratulations to you and [partner’s name] on 30 years of marriage. Marriage takes a lot of love, work, and patience—thanks for showing the rest of us how it’s done.

5 Housewarming

What a fantastic next chapter you’re beginning in your new home! Wishing you all the best as you settle into your cozy abode.

6 New baby

Congratulations on the arrival of your little one! May they bring you endless joy, snuggles, and plenty of sweet baby giggles (and give you a few nights off too).

7 Recovery from illness or surgery

Wishing you a swift and smooth recovery from your knee surgery. You’re incredibly strong, and I’m so glad to see you on the mend. Here’s to good health and a pain-free future!

8 Retirement

After so many years of hard work, you’re finally retired! Congrats on this well-earned break. I hope you enjoy plenty of relaxation and embark on new hobbies and adventures.

9 Special accomplishment

Congratulations on the publication of your first book! Your literary journey has reached an exciting milestone, and I can’t wait to dive into your world of storytelling.

Congratulatory message FAQs

What is a congratulatory message?

A congratulatory message is a form of communication that is sent to someone to express your delight, praise, admiration, or good wishes for their accomplishment or milestone. These messages are typically sent in celebration of someone’s achievement or to mark a special occasion, like a wedding or anniversary.

When should you send a congratulatory message?

Sending a congratulatory message when someone has reached a new milestone or had success is always a good idea. Occasions such as weddings, engagements, anniversaries, new babies, graduations, new jobs, or retirements warrant a congratulatory message to show the person you care.

What should you include in a congratulatory message?

Include the word congratulations, or a similar sentiment, followed by a compliment or personal anecdote about why the person is deserving. Conclude the note with a simple but heartfelt closing that wishes them continued success in the future.

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