Wedding Announcements 101


Wedding announcements may seem old-fashioned, but it's a great feeling to see your name in the paper!
Wedding announcements may seem old-fashioned, but it's a great feeling to see your name in the paper!
Comstock/Thinkstock

Yes, we said it -- wedding announcements. I know you're thinking, "Wow, those are so old-fashioned!" But I'm here to tell you that they aren't. Couples have been putting their wedding announcements in the newspaper long before Facebook took over the world. Having your wedding photograph printed in the newspaper is an honor and still a hot commodity in today's world. It's a sign of prestige to make it into a national newspaper's weddings section, and couples clamor for the opportunity.

If you're feeling a little out of the loop, a wedding announcement is simply a formal write-up published in local or national newspapers that shares the details of your nuptials. The requirements may vary from paper to paper, but the intention is the same for them all: getting your good news out into the world!

 

Location, Location, Location

While you may already know which newspapers you want to print your announcement, it's best to do your research. You'll probably choose a local paper from your hometown and your spouse's (especially if you and your mate's families live in different cities). You might even consider a national newspaper or choose to publish an announcement in your grandparents' hometown papers.

Maybe you only want to go local -- or just national. Either way, once you've narrowed down your selections, get a list of requirements from the newspapers right away. You need to know the word limit, picture size, deadlines and fees.

Different newspapers also require various details to be included in their announcements, so be informed before you start writing! After doing your research, you may decide that some newspapers are too demanding or expensive and rule those out from your list of options.

Writing Your Announcement

Get inspiration for your announcement by reading examples in newspapers.
Get inspiration for your announcement by reading examples in newspapers.
BrandXPictures/Thinkstock

Some newspapers prefer to do the write-up themselves, which allows editors to tailor announcements to space and formatting requirements. If you're submitting an announcement to one of these papers, they might ask you to fill out a form with just the information they need. Other papers will ask that you write the announcement yourself, and they'll edit it accordingly for publication.

The most common details to include in your announcement are your name and the groom's, the names of your parents, the ceremony and reception venues, the wedding date and the minister's name. Additional information may include the honeymoon destination, the location of your new home, a description of your dress and your mother's dress, who gave you away and a photograph of you and your fiancé.

The key to including all this information in your announcement is to keep things short and sweet, without using fluffy wording. A bare bones announcement could also cut down on cost since some newspapers will charge you more for lengthier submissions. If you've got the money and space to get wordy, feel free to do so -- some couples even add a short blurb about how they met to make it more personal!

To get an idea of how to write your announcement, just pick up a newspaper and read some examples for yourself. Don't forget to ask someone to double-check your information. You definitely don't want misleading information or spelling errors to go unnoticed.

Submitting Your Announcement

Submission deadlines vary among papers, but formal etiquette suggests that you submit your announcement anywhere from three to six weeks before the wedding, especially if you're placing it in a high-demand national newspaper. Wedding etiquette expert Peggy Post advises submitting your announcement as soon as possible. You'll have a better chance of getting it published if you send it in sooner, since most newspapers receive more submissions than they can print.

Typically, you'll be able to submit your announcement via e-mail or snail mail. Just check with the paper to see which method the editors prefer. If you're planning on sending a picture, some papers won't return it (even if you send a stamped and self-addressed envelope), so you may want to send a copy instead of the original.

Usually, announcements are published the day after the wedding. If you want to include a picture of you and your groom on your wedding day, the newspaper can run the announcement a few weeks after the big day.

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Sources

  • EncToday.com. "Engagement and Wedding Announcements for Newspapers." (Aug. 22, 2010).http://www.enctoday.com/pdfs/brides/newspaperannouncement.pdf
  • TheKnot.com. "Wedding Announcements: Contacts at Major Papers." March 18, 2009. (Aug. 22, 2010). http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/planning-a-wedding/articles/wedding-announcement-contacts.aspx
  • The New York Times. "How to Submit a Wedding Announcement." (Aug. 22, 2010).http://www.nytimes.com/ref/fashion/weddings/howtosubmitwedding.html
  • Post, Peggy. "Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette: The Definitive Guide to Your Wedding Experience." HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. 2006.