ABCs of Wedding Planning: [A] is for Announcing Your Wedding

You’ve said “Yes” and naturally you’re on such a high that shouting it from the mountaintops with an amplified bullhorn seems the only appropriate way to announce to the world that YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!! So it’s only fitting that the first step on your journey down the aisle is the announcement of your engagement.

Ways to Spread the Big News

Traditionally, snail mailed invitations were the only method of spreading the good news but with all of the advancements in technology (and creativity) variety is now truly the spice of life when it comes to the number of ways you’ll have to choose from when announcing your engagement.   The Bride’s parents were usually responsible for creating the wedding buzz but we’ve found that the couple is more often than not taking this task into their own hands or delegating to the MOH to help get the job done.  Here we’ve listed a few based on couple’s personality types:

STILL A TRADITIONALIST AT HEART? Announcing It and Wedding Paper Diva are just two of our fabulous twitter friends who specialize in awesome wedding stationary. Pay them a visit and tell them we sent you.

Sweet and Simple: Publish an announcement in your local newspaper.

photo courtesy of newspaper announcements

Writing your love down in history by publishing the details in a local newspaper is a sentimental and cost effective way making your big announcement.   Select and contact one or two newspapers in your area which will accept your wedding announcement submission.  Upon contacting them you’ll want to ask:

  • What forms are required in order to have your announcement published? Typically, you’ll be asked to provide the location and date of your wedding ceremony, the bride’s maiden name, your parent’s names and city of residence and sometimes, where you will live once you are married.  If you’re allowed to provide additional details about your wedding, consider publishing the names of your bridal party, how you and your fiancé met and where you will be going on your honeymoon.
  • Here is an example of a standard engagement announcement:
    • Mr. and Mrs. John Brown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania announce the engagement of their daughter, Miss Mary Jane Smith, to Mr. Ryan Edward Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Brown, also of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  An October wedding is planned.
      Miss Smith is a 2001 graduate from Drexel University and is a Marketing Director for KPMG.  Mr. Brown is 1999 graduate from Temple University and is a Financial Investor for PWC.

Socialbfly says: There are also many circumstances where the wording must be changed to reflect the situation of the bride and/or groom. There are many different combinations of situations that can occur so if you have a question about how to word your announcement, please contact us.

  • What size, resolution, and quality photograph do they prefer and can they accept for printing? Once you determine whether high resolution, full color photography is preferred over black and white, you’ll need to select a photo that best captures you and your sweetheart happy, smiling and in love.  Remember to include your name and phone number on the back of the photographs and enclose a SASE if you want the photo returned.  If you don’t have a photo that you think best compliments your announcement, consider scheduling a photo shoot.  If needed, the photographs from the shoot can be repurposed for inclusion on your save the date cards, invitations, and wedding programs and even a slide show.

Once you’ve received your publish date, you’ll want to tell everyone to pick up a copy.  What a sweet way to forever capture your wedding moment in time!

 

Tech Savvy and Not Afraid to Prove It:  Create a wedding website

The use of wedding websites as a method of announcing your engagement has become a fast-growing trend for several reasons:

photo courtesy of dex knows

  1. It doesn’t take long to register and create an online wedding profile using pictures, wedding details, and your personal love story.
  2. Most sites like the Knot, WeddingWire and Wedding Announcer, are free making it a cost effective and budget friendly alternative.
  3. Not only can you announce your engagement but it also allows for easy ongoing communication regarding your wedding plans to friends and family with the click of a mouse.

A simple email to friends and family asking them to check out the cool new website you’ve found only to learn that that cool new website is their favorite and newly engaged couple is a plan so simple, it’s Genius! Hit send and watch the congratulations pour in.

 

photo courtesy of your engagement 101

Life of the Party: Throw an Engagement Party

Should you have an engagement party?  Well consider this, gone are the days when couples must have one.  Sure, it’s a great way for both families to get better acquainted but if you are hosting your own, you’ll want to start by carefully assessing your budget.  It is, after all, another party and weddings quickly add up.

You’ll also want to consider your timing.  In terms of the wedding timeline, engagement parties should be planned about 3 months after the official proposal and about a year before the actual wedding date.  If your budget and timing can accommodate an engagement party, then let’s plan a party!!  If your timeline doesn’t allow for that you can also consider celebrating it 6 months before your wedding date but we tend to sway couples away from this decision – there will be several future opportunities to toast to your love leading up to the wedding ceremony.

If you decide to plan a party, you will again be faced with options as an engagement party can take the form of a backyard garden party, formal dinner, intimate home gathering and anything in between.  Regardless of your location, have fun!  The most important goal of your engagement party should be to create a friendly, warm environment that inspires conversation and celebrates you and your fiancé as a newly engaged, soon-to-be-married and super in love couple.

Sidebar: As with formal announcements, the engagement party was the honor of the bride’s parents but today, it’s no longer a faux pas to have a best friend or godparent fulfill this role.  If someone other than the Bride’s parents are planning the engagement party, she should speak with both sets of parents to ensure they are available for the event date.

The Etiquette Behind Announcing Your Engagement

There are some rules of…pardon the pun…[announcing your] engagement!

  • Whom To Tell First and When? If you or your fiancé have children from a previous relationship, you’ll want to start here and you’ll want to handle with care.  After all, imagine how daunting learning that there’s a new daddy in town or that all of a sudden you have older siblings can be.  You’ll want to allow plenty of time for the children to adjust to the change and often times, the old saying “time heals everything” will apply itself as long as there is unwavering love from the biological parent and unconditional support and an genuine attempt to bond from the new one.  Next up are your parents. Traditionally, the bride’s parents are notified first and the groom’s immediately thereafter.  There is no “right” way to tell your parents however whenever possible, face-to-face is always the best policy – it just adds that extra oomph to the excitement factor.  Regardless of how you announce it, the both of you should be present.  I usually recommend that Grandparents, siblings and anyone else who you know would be emotionally devastated at the idea being the last to know be notified. This includes close friends.  Once you’ve completed this roll call, my dear Bride, you are free to tell the world.
  • Who to Invite to the Party? If you decide to host an engagement party, take extra care with your guest list and never invite anyone who will not be invited to the wedding.  It’s just bad social relations.
  • Gifts NOT Required. Not only is it a bad idea to ever mention your requests for gifts on your invitations but it’s important to know that gifts aren’t “regulars” at engagement parties.  If you do, however, receive gifts, wait until after the event to open them and always send a thank you card.

Tell Us How You Announced to the World That You’re Getting Married.

From the moment you said I do you’ve been busting at the seams with the excitement that you’re getting married.  And for good reason – you’ve been fantasizing about it since you were a little girl marrying Barbie to the latest Ken doll (wait…was that just me?). So, don’t you think you should tell us all about how you made the big announcement? Did you throw a surprise engagement party for your guests?  Was a large fireworks display your way of telling the world you said “yes” (don’t laugh…it’s been done)? We want to hear your story.

Other Online Resources: Announcing Your Engagement at Work

5 thoughts on “ABCs of Wedding Planning: [A] is for Announcing Your Wedding

  1. Great info – thanks for the suggestions for announcement vendors – love the reference for knot.com or weddingwire.com sites – it’s been an up and coming trend for couples!

  2. Nice post! Keep up the good work. Are you a wedding coodinator? If so, I wish I’d known. You could have saved me a lot of anxiety. LOL.

  3. This is great information for couples planning to spread the news. This information is also helpful for couples planning on renewing their vows and they want to announce the news. I remember when my husband and I first got engaged. After I proposed to him, yes, I popped the question. We decided to tell our parents, siblings and then friends. Memories, oh such great memories…

  4. I announced it to my closet friends at brunch. But since we were very short on time and having a destination wedding, I created a wedding website through weddingchannel.com and sent everyone the save the date. Needless to say the phone began ringing off the hook. It was far from a traditional announcement but all were informed 😉

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