Traditionally, the bride and their family announce the engagement by placing a notice in a newspaper. It appears after you’ve both told close friends and family the big news, and have set the wedding date. This allows acquaintances, schoolmates, co-workers, neighbors, and friends to read about your new pending marriage.
Because families are mobile nowadays, the announcement might run in several different papers. It should appear in the newspaper for the towns that you and your partner reside in, both of your hometowns, and where both sets of parents live. If there’s a particular area where many friends and relatives reside, an announcement in that area would also be proper.
Every newspaper has a policy about printing announcements; some charge a small fee. The amount of information they’ll include will depend on their circulation. Some require a time delay between the wedding and engagement announcements. Check each paper’s policy. Note that large, metropolitan papers have so many marriage announcements that they can only devote a small amount of space to each one. Get your announcements in early!
The announcement might include:
- Both your names
- Your towns of residence
- Schools attended, any degrees received
- Both your places of employment/job titles
- Both your parents’ names
- The date and location of the wedding
There are two kinds of wedding announcements. One appears in the newspaper (similar to the engagement announcement), the other is mailed in place of a wedding invitation, and is called a formal wedding announcement.
The formal announcement is sent to those you wish you could have invited to your celebration, but didn’t. These announcements are printed or engraved on stationery similar to the wedding invitations. They are commonly used if you’ve had a small wedding, but have many friends and relatives to notify. They are mailed as soon as possible after your marriage (a well-organized couple has them addressed and ready to go beforehand). A person who receives an announcement is not obligated to buy a wedding gift.
Announce your wedding in the same newspapers that described your engagement. Other information such as details about the ceremony, wedding party, and formal attire are usually in the wedding announcement. It’s traditional for most newspapers to print a photograph with the wedding announcement.