We may be living in an increasingly digital world, but there’s nothing like a wedding to get you to turn away from the screen and get back to paper, stamps, and mailboxes. Take the wedding announcement, for example. They’re a lovely way to include everyone who wasn’t invited or couldn’t make it to your wedding, whether you drop them in the mail or print an announcement in the local paper. We’ve asked our experts to break down the basics, from what to write to when to send them. If you’re considering a wedding announcement, you won’t want to miss this!
Wedding announcements come in two forms: There is the printed version, similar to an engagement announcement, that goes in the local paper (or, you know, the New York Times if you can get in!). Then there is a mailed announcement that should be sent to friends and family members. Here are the basics for each.
In the Paper
Where should we submit our wedding announcement?
Most couples choose to announce their wedding in local newspapers—the one in each of their families’ hometowns, as well as the town where the couple now resides. Note that you may have to pay a fee to run the announcement in the paper, so you may want to choose just the town where you live in order to keep the costs down.
You may also wish to submit your wedding announcement to the Vows section of the New York Times, but note that the Grey Lady is quite selective and doesn’t publish every announcement received.
How do we submit our wedding announcement?
Contact the paper directly to determine their submission requirements, whether it must be done by mail, via e-mail, or through an online form. Be sure to ask about word count and format requirements, as well as any specifications for the included image. Some papers simply want the details, and will have a staff writer compose the announcement, while others want to receive a complete announcement to print.
When should we submit our wedding announcement?
Most papers require the submission between three and six weeks before your actual wedding date, timed to run during the first printing after you are married. For example, if the local paper runs wedding announcements on Sundays, it should appear the day after a Saturday wedding. If you are married mid-week, your announcement may be printed a few days after you formally tie the knot.
What should it say?
Submission requirements vary from paper to paper, but most will provide a form for you to fill out. The necessary information is as follows:
● Both partners’ full names, ages, occupations, and hometowns
● Both partners’ parents names, towns of residence, and occupations
● Both partners’ maternal and paternal grandparents’ names
● Both partners’ school, college, and degrees
● Location, date, and time of the ceremony and reception
● Officiant’s name
● Names of attendants (bridesmaids and groomsmen), and relation to the couple (This can be limited to solely those related to the couple, i.e. brothers and sisters only)
● A description of the wedding dress and bouquet, if desired
● Where the couple plans to honeymoon
● Where the couple will live post-nuptials
In the Mail
How should they look?
You’ve got two options when it comes to mailing wedding announcements to family and friends. If you’re sending a large number of announcements, consider a printed option from a stationer. You can choose a design that mimics your wedding’s paper goods or can opt for something a little more celebratory and fun. The design can be a postcard or, if your crowd is on the more formal side, a card in an envelope.
Who receives one?
Wedding announcements are usually sent to anyone who was not invited to the wedding, but may wish to hear the news of your marriage. That could be distant relatives (or, for example, a grandmother who isn’t able to travel and therefore couldn’t attend), business associates, or friends who didn’t make the guest list. In the case of friends, announcements should only be sent if your wedding was particularly small and therefore didn’t allow you to invite a group. If you had upwards of 100 guests and simply didn’t invite everyone you know, don’t send announcements to friends who weren’t invited, as it could be perceived as reminding them that they didn’t make the cut.
What should it say?
If you are hand-writing the announcements, they can be as formal or informal as you wish. Phrase them as a letter, and use the following format as a starting point:
Dear Aunt Susan,
Derek and I are so thrilled to announce that we are married! Our wedding was on September 23rd at a small restaurant in Petaluma. We celebrated with just a few family and friends (toasting with California wines, of course!), and are heading on a honeymoon to Hawaii in a few weeks. We can’t wait to celebrate with you over the holidays!
Love, Ashley and Derek
Printing and mailing formal announcements? This format (which you’ll notice is close to that of a wedding invitation) is a great place to start:
Mr. and Mrs James Welch are honored to announce the marriage of their daughter Ashley Michelle to Mr. Derek Scott Jamison
Saturday, the twenty-third of September two thousand and seventeen
When should they be sent?
Ideally, wedding announcements should be printed, addressed, and stamped before the wedding so they can be mailed the day following the wedding itself. This will make sure your guests find out about your nuptials promptly. The announcements can, however, be sent up to several months after your wedding day.