Ok so my significant and I are planning to do immediate family only in Tennesssee for the wedding. We would like to send out announcements and are not expecting gifts from anyone, but should we do engagement announcements or wedding announcements? and if we do wedding announcements then when should we send them and how should we word them, since he and i are paying for everything? I am so lost on this one, any info would be much appreciated! 10 months to go!
Welcome to the boards. Because you are having a very small wedding I would definitely recommend doing wedding announcements rather than engagement announcements. Sending announcements to people who aren't going to be invited can be interpreted as "we're getting married, and you're not invited" even though that is not what you intend. Wedding announcements should go out right before or after the wedding to help avoid people asking if they are invited. I am not really familiar with the tradition of sending announcements, either wedding or engagement. I am familiar with newspaper announcements, which is what we opted to do for a number of reasons. You can just say "Bride soandso and Groom soandso were married on such and such day in small ceremony in neverneverland" Maybe someone else will have ideas about wordings. The boards tend to be a lot quieter on the weekends.
First, "engagement announcements" are not done. Sure, it's OK to tell people "Guess what, we're engaged!", but there's no precedent for sending a formal engagement announcement. People just get the news by word of month.
Wedding announcements are totally proper, and are sent out after the ceremony is a done deal. Unless you are inviting people to attend the ceremony (which isn't the case here), there's no reason to formally communicate anything to them until the ceremony is over and you are officially married. In other words, there's no official reason for anyone to know in advance unless they are actually invited to witness the ceremony.
There's two basic ways to do it. First, the bride's parents do the announcing. Second, the couple themselves do the announcing.
Lisa Simpson and Nelson Muntz
take great pleasure in announcing their recent marriage
You can certainly do it less formally:
Lisa and Nelson finally got hitched!
Wedding announcements are sent out after the ceremony, but not a minute before. They are written in the past tense. You can get them all printed, addressed, stuffed, stamped and sealed before the ceremony, but don't actually drop them in the mailbox until it's official.
You are right; wedding announcements do not have the expectation of a gift. Some people might be so kind-hearted as to send you something. Others won't. That's their choice. Just send the usual nice thank you note to those who did give you something.