Although wedding announcements and wedding invitations convey the same message, that is your marriage – they serve different and exclusive purposes.
Marriage invitations are sent to your invited guests prior to your marriage reception. Wedding announcements are formally published in newspapers often with an accompanying photograph. Sometimes, marriage announcement cards are also dispatched to not so close family members and relatives, friends and colleagues who could not make it to the guest list.
More often than not, it may happen that you may not be in a position to invite everybody you know including those with whom you just have a passing acquaintance. It could be because you want your wedding to be an exclusive affair where you’ll be inviting only your closest relatives, friends and office colleagues. Or you’re planning an out-of-town wedding that many of your associates won’t be in a position to attend.
Whatever the reason, a wedding announcement in a mainstream newspaper is a splendid and impeccable way of letting everyone know about your marriage at one go.
Wedding Announcement Particulars
Depending on the editorial and printing policies of the newspaper, you might either be required to send back a form complete with your wedding details or draft the announcement yourself.
In the former instance, the editorial team prepares the write-up based on your information and the editor finally modifies it in accordance with the formatting and spatial requirements.
The newspaper will send you a copy of the final draft for your approval before typesetting it.
In the latter instance, the newspaper gives you the liberty of writing or typing out the wedding announcement yourself, which is then formally edited prior to publication.
Irrespective of your preferred mode, your wedding announcement should invariably contain yours and your soon-to-be husband’s (or wife’s) name, the names of your parents, wedding and reception addresses along with the dates and the name of the parson or minister who’ll preside over the ceremony. If you want, you can furnish additional details relating to your wedding trousseau, honeymoon destination, the address and directions to your new nesting place, and an appealing snap of the newly married couple.
In case you’re developing the text yourself then make sure that the tone is such that it does not make the people to whom you wish to communicate the message, feel as if they were kept out. Neither should there be even the subtlest of hint that you’re expecting gifts from them.
In other words, the proclamation should be as succinct and sweet as possible without being unnecessarily verbose and pretentious. Remember, the central idea is to let all concerned know that you’ve entered into a matrimonial relationship in a very modest and unassuming manner.
Anyway, if you’re short on time or don’t want to rack your brains for coming up with a transcript, you can research online for texts on wedding announcements.
You can also collect some past editions of mainstream newspapers and magazines and go through the published notices that’ll serve as ready references.
Furthermore, the more terse and specific your marriage declaration, the less you’ve to pay for publishing the same. Bear in mind that owing to spiralling newsprint costs, the advertisement rates for all forms of print media have gone up hugely in the last two decades.
If you’re not on a budget, then you should go the whole hog and make your wedding announcement elaborate.
The Steps Involved Before and After Drafting a Wedding Announcement
The first step you’d need to take is to get in touch with some newspapers and get their rates and quotations, printing guidelines and policies, and their time limits for making your announcement public. You’d also need to enquire whether the newspaper accepts snail mails or emails. If you like to include a photograph along with your write-up, then find out the format(s) the newspaper uses for issuing prints. Since most newspapers don’t return the print, it’s best to send a copy of a photograph instead of sending the original.
The next step would be to set your budget and then work out the amount you’d have to pay to the newspaper for issuing your selected wedding announcement. Most newspapers charge rates based on the width per square inch of column. So you’d have to first know the measurements of the newspaper column and the rate for the same. With this piece of data, you can at least have a rough idea of what you’d have to pay for your message.
The next stage is the most important phase in the entire procedure i.e. drafting the wedding announcement. If you’re writing the text yourself, then consult as many sources as possible for getting a conception of what the report would be like. Get the script proofread by someone to ensure that no grammatical errors or incorrect information has crept in.
The final step of course would be to submit your piece to your chosen newspaper. But before you do, find out the submission deadline as it might vary from newspaper to newspaper.
Your objective would be to get your announcement published the very next day of your marriage. So, if you were submitting your piece to a national newspaper with a huge circulation, then you’d have to send in the same at least six to eight weeks prior to your wedding ceremony. The sooner you submit your announcement, the higher the chances of your piece getting published – as newspapers with wide distribution get more than they can issue!
How to Write the Announcement
The wording of your announcement will depend upon your living status at the time of your wedding. If you’re still resident in your parents’ home, then etiquette demands that your-would be bride’s parents or guardians formally proclaim or broadcast the upcoming marriage.
For instance, ‘Simon and Mary Hayworth are pleased to announce the wedding/engagement of their only daughter, Katherine, to Jeff Thompson, eldest son of George and Nancy Thompson’.
If you’ve been staying away from your parents prior to or during your marriage or relocated to a new address post your wedding, then the script would read something like this-
‘Katherine Thompson (nee Hayworth) and Jeff Thompson were united in holy wedlock on Friday, the 24th of July, 2010, Sacramento, California’. We’re extremely sorry for not being able to invite everyone.’
If you include your current address, it might generate a feeling that you’re expecting memorabilia or gifts. So, you have to tread very warily.
If you have been cohabiting with your partner for quite sometime but now want to settle down by going for a registry and social engagement, and want to make an official declaration – then you can word it in the following way:-
‘We’re very delighted to announce that we got formally engaged and married on Friday, the 24th of July, 2010 in Sacramento, California. Our budget constraints did not allow us the scope to invite many near and dear ones and we profoundly regret having missed you all. With love – your names’