Wedding announcements – mailed in elegant stationary form, with the standard double envelope wedding stationery and creative calligraphy nobly announcing the event, is the traditional method to notify friends and relatives that a wedding has taken place. These announcements are meant to be sent after the wedding, and need only be mailed (if you are following the tradition to mail wedding announcements), to friends and relatives that did not attend the wedding. If you’re trying to follow the rules of wedding etiquette, make sure the wedding announcements get in the mail the day after your wedding. If you’re trying to get them in the mail – but it’s not working – just make sure you mail them before the year is up. Anytime after that, Great Aunt Ruth is bound to have found out about your wedding date from someone else.
Although tradition prevails, mailing pretty parchment is not the only way to announce a wedding. Many wedding couples mail the classical stationary wedding announcements and also place a wedding announcement in the local paper. Some couples however – either well-known public figures, or a wedding couple who enjoys the publicity, or perhaps an artistic wedding couple that loves to see themselves in print – go beyond the newspaper announcement and spend a few hundred dollars on a full page or two page magazine wedding announcement. Magazine wedding announcements are pricey, but fashionable. Mailing a copy of the magazine to those you wish to announce your wedding to is a trendy and memorable way to announce your special day.
If taking out a magazine ad to announce your wedding sounds great but is over your budget, add a little pizazz to the traditional wedding announcements. Instead of a formal note card or embellished antique parchment paper, send a funny photograph from the wedding and put your message in a balloon style caption. Send a magnet with a picture of you as bride and groom with the wedding date printed on the bottom and they’ll get the idea. For wedding announcements that are environmentally friendly, bake some heart shaped cookies, and frost your initials and wedding date. You won’t have to worry about the wedding announcement going in the trash after a month or so. (Although that depends on your cooking skills.) If you’re not as savvy as Martha Stewart, hire a company to do everything for you. Just give them your list of names and addresses, and they’ll do the rest.
But whatever you do, don’t take your guest list and just plug a one-liner wedding announcement into an email sent to everyone in your address book at once. It’s too impersonal, and it’s tacky. UNLESS of course, you have many virtual friends through groups, chats, or social media websites. Since the focus of your relationship is over the computer, sending an email about your wedding isn’t out of the norm. The key is to make the emailed message special. Create some wedding graphics that portray the feel of the wedding or the soul of the couple. Set up a wedding website with creative wedding photographs for your virtual friends or acquaintances to see – if you want them to see you of course. If not, make a formal email that portrays the significance of the wedding event, not a one-liner as if the wedding is no big deal.
Wedding announcements are traditionally sent by the parents of the bride, but today announcements of marriage are more often sent by the bride and groom – particularly with the popularity of second marriages and marrying at an older age. Wedding announcements are an important part of wedding etiquette, but as with every aspect in a wedding, there is room for creativity and uniqueness. Announce your wedding with style – your style – and let the world know in your own peculiar way that your “I do’s” are done.