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Wedding Announcement Wording & Etiquette Guide

Marrying the one you love is big news, the kind you want to shout from the rooftops. The next best way to announce your nuptials? A wedding announcement, of course!

Whether it’s mailed, published in the local newspaper, or posted on social media, a wedding announcement is a formal and courteous way for you to share the good news with extended friends and family who were not at the wedding, be it due to budget restraints, travel, or because you chose to elope.

Since it’s not possible to invite everyone to your wedding day, wedding announcement are a fun and proper way to share the excitement and announce the good news to your friends and family.

Though mailed after the festivities, the task of creating these cards is on your official party planning to-do list and, as always, etiquette applies.

With expert advice from celebrity event and wedding planner Michael Russo, this modern wedding announcement guide answers questions like “when do you send a wedding announcement,” with examples of how to write proper wedding announcement cards, newspaper announcements, and social media posts that even grandma will approve!

Read through or skip to the information you want now:

The Timeline: When to Send Wedding Announcements

When is the best time to send a wedding announcement card? The day after the wedding is best, however within 30 days of the wedding ceremony is acceptable, says Russo, especially if the couple wants to include a photo from the wedding day in their announcement design.

Send out wedding announcements the day after your wedding day or within 30 days if you’re including a photo from the event.

Sending out the cards immediately after the wedding day is easier said than done. Many couples are off to their honeymoons or simply too exhausted after the festivities to think about more wedding stationery. The solution? Enlist the help of a close friend or family member to do the honors and mail them out for you the day after your wedding day.

If you’d like to use photos from your big day in the announcement, you’re working with a modified timeline of two to four weeks after the wedding. Photographer Emily Reiter of Anna Delores Photography recommends picking a few wedding announcement designs and then selecting and ordering the one that goes best with your favorite images once you have them.

Advanced planning can make all the difference. “One of the most important things here is to connect with your photographer before the wedding and let them know you’d love to use a wedding day photo for these announcements, and ask if it would be possible to receive a few sneak peek images in advance of the full collection,” Emily says.

Here’s a simple timeline for preparing and sending out wedding announcement cards:

  1. Confirm your wedding guest list. It’s impossible to create a mailing list for your wedding announcement cards without all of your R.S.V.P. cards received and accounted for. This is because some of the people you will be sending cards to are those who are unable to make your wedding.
  2. Create a mailing list for your wedding announcement cards. As mentioned above, this list should include invited wedding guests who were unable to attend your wedding. If you’re planning a small wedding, a destination wedding, or plan to elope, your list will be larger and can include all close family and friends that were not invited to the wedding.
  3. Know wedding day details. Similar to save the date cards, a wedding announcement card doesn’t have to include every single detail of your wedding day. If you know the date and location of your wedding day, you’re ready to prepare your wedding announcement cards.
  4. Select an appropriate photo. Did you use engagement photos to create your save the date cards? You can use a different one (or two, or three) to design lovely wedding announcement cards in the same style and look as the rest of your wedding stationery suite. If you’re planning to use a photo from your wedding day, let your photographer know you’d like a few sneak peek images.
  5. Create your wedding announcement cards. Use a template from Shutterfly to upload your personal photographs and design a wedding announcement card that reflects your wedding day scheme.
  6. Give your cards to a designated helper if you’re mailing the day after. Select a reliable friend or family member to help you send wedding announcement cards. You might not want to pick someone in the wedding party, just in case your party was extra fun.
  7. Get married. It’s true. You can’t send them out before you tie the knot.
  8. Mail your wedding announcements. Traditional etiquette says you should send wedding announcement cards a day after your wedding day. Modern etiquette allows for more time to customize announcements with photos from the wedding day.

What to Include in a Wedding Announcement Card

A wedding announcement card doesn’t have to say much to make a big impact.  Here are four main pieces of information you should include in your wedding announcement card:

  1. The hosts’ names. Similar to your invitation, if your parents or someone else besides the bride and groom hosted your wedding, it’s only proper to honor them by including their names in your wedding announcement card. Do this if you also included their names on the invitation.
  2. The couple’s names. A wedding announcement card should include the full names of both the bride and groom. If the couple is hosting the wedding, you don’t have to include the name of your parents.
  3. The wedding date. For formal and religious weddings, spell out the month, day and year of the wedding date. You can use figures for casual weddings.
  4. The wedding location. Here, you can include the city and state of the wedding location. It’s also appropriate to include the name of the reception hall or ceremony location.

Where to Announce Your Wedding

Include four pieces of information on your wedding announcement card: the hosts’ names, the names of the bride and groom, the wedding date, and the location.

What about newspaper wedding announcements? Can you post a Facebook wedding announcement?

Today’s couples have a few options for announcing their marriage to friends and family, including traditional newspaper wedding announcements and social media posts. Both are appropriate ways to share the big news, however Russo prefers wedding announcement cards and social media posts.

Unlike newspaper announcements, wedding announcement cards are not limited to a certain area, he says, but adds that the final decision depends on the couple.

“Some couples want to do all three, but most couples select one or two ways to make the announcement, such as a wedding announcement card and a social media post,” says Russo.

When it comes to social media, Russo likes Instagram because you can use the platform to spread the news on Facebook and Twitter at the same time.

What to Include in a Newspaper Wedding Announcement

A newspaper wedding announcement is a longstanding way to share your good news with the world. Along with the four main pieces of information you need (see above), a newspaper wedding announcement can include the following information:

  1. The name of your ceremony and reception venues.
  2. The name of the officiant.
  3. Your occupations.
  4. The names of your parents and grandparents.
  5. The bride and groom’s education and degrees.
  6. Your honeymoon destination.
  7. Where you plan to live.
  8. A brief story of how you met.

Check out the New York Times spotlight for an idea of the tone these pieces strike.

What to Include in a Facebook Wedding Announcement

A social media post or a relationship status update is not the way to tell your parents that you just got married, but it’s a wonderful way to share your big day with your extended networks.

Unlike an official wedding announcement card, a Facebook wedding announcement doesn’t have to be made the day after your wedding. In fact, chances are you’re going to post a few photographs along with your announcement, which means you can wait until your photographer sends you some official shots of your big day.

Use a few photos along with the wording above to tell your peeps you tied the knot.

Social media announcement tip: If you’re also planning to send wedding announcement cards, wait at least a week or two before announcing it on social media. This will ensure that your nearest and dearest receive the news first in a formal and proper way.

Wedding Announcement Wording Examples

Here are examples of proper wording for wedding announcement cards for parents hosting, couples hosting, as well as casual, formal and religious weddings.

Wedding Announcement Card Wording for Parents Hosting

Mr. and Mrs. Bob Smith
Have the Pleasure of announcing
the marriage of their daughter
Janelle Smith
to
Kevin Saunders
on
Saturday, the Twentieth of June
Two Thousand and Fifteen
Berkley, California


Wedding Announcement Card Wording for Casual Weddings

Just Married
06.22.15
Kevin & Janelle Saunders
Des Moines, IA


Wedding Announcement Card Wording for Formal and Religious Weddings

Brittany Peterson
and
Jeff Berringer
are pleased to announce
Their Marriage
Saturday, the Second of October
Two Thousand and Fourteen
Berkeley, California


How to Address Wedding Announcement Cards

Once you’ve designed and composed your wedding announcement cards, use these tips to prepare the envelopes.

Here’s how to address your wedding announcement cards:

Wedding Announcement Templates and Styles

Today’s stylish and customizable wedding announcement cards are available right along with the rest of your wedding stationery suite, allowing couples to stay consistent with their dream wedding scheme.

Ideally, your wedding announcement card should reflect the same theme and design as the rest of your wedding stationery suite, says Russo. However, couples are free to think outside of the announcement card if they wish.

“One of our most creative or unique wedding announcements was a gift box with a mylar balloon inside, says Russo. “When you opened the box, the balloon rose up and surprised the recipient.”

Ready to explore your options? Templates and styles abound on Shutterfly — ranging from tri-folded photo wedding announcement cards to photo magnets – making it easy and fun for couples to create memorable wedding announcement cards that share the joyous news.

Here, an inspiration gallery our favorite wedding announcement templates and styles.

Photo Wedding Announcements

Flat Wedding Announcement Cards

For casual, formal, and religious weddings, the flat wedding announcement card is the perfect way to announce your big news without having to say too much. In addition to creating a look that matches your style and the formality of your wedding, a flat card template allows you to upload your unique photograph and feature the basic information that tells your friends and family you just tied the knot.

A flat wedding announcement card with a single photo of the bride and groom is a lovely way to share the good news of your wedding with friends and family not on your guest list or unable to attend your wedding.

Folded Wedding Announcement Cards

For couples who want to share more than the basics, folded wedding announcement cards accommodate this desire with plenty of space for text on the inside of the card.

Create a lovely collage of engagement photos on the front and complement the card with perhaps a story of how you two met or more details about your big day.

A folded photo wedding announcement allows you to feature a collage of your favorite photographs and provides room on the inside for details of your big announcement.

Wedding Announcement Magnets: 3.5″ X 5″

If you’re looking for a unique way to announce your wedding, consider a magnet. A wedding announcement magnet is both unique and budget-friendly without sacrificing your dream wedding stationery design.

A magnet wedding announcement with a romantic photo of the bride and groom is a creative and unique way to share your good news with friends and family.

Personalized Wedding Announcement Cards

Begin designing your custom wedding announcement cards with Shutterfly. Along with countless designer templates, themes, and styles, Shutterfly allows couples to customize their announcement cards with unique details, including the size, type of paper, and trim.