So you’ve said your vows, cut the cake and danced the night away. The wedding festivities are all over – phew! But are they? What about the wedding announcement?
What is a wedding announcement?
A wedding announcement is a formal announcement letting people know that a wedding has taken place and you are married. Typically these are sent out as wedding announcement cards, similar to how you would send out a save the date or engagement announcement card. They are mailed to any loved ones who would be excited to learn of your recent nuptials.
Sometimes wedding announcements are published in the paper or posted on community bulletins. More modernly, they can also be posted online and on social media.
Most importantly: A wedding announcement is sent after a wedding has taken place to announce that it has happened.
Do you need a wedding announcement?
No, wedding announcements are not required. You do not have to send out a card or make a formal announcement letting your loved ones and community know that you’re married. They’re optional!
But if you need help deciding whether or not to send them, consider this:
A wedding announcement is (usually) unnecessary if…
- All of your loved ones were at your wedding, so no one needs an announcement card to hear that you got married since they saw it happen.
- You’re trying to save money and/or cut out unnecessary wedding tasks and paperwork.
- You don’t want to send announcements!
An announcement might be nice if…
- You had a destination wedding and not all of your friends and family could be there.
- You eloped or had a small wedding without all of your loved ones.
- You got married in secret and now want to share your news with your community.
- You have a lot of guests of an older generation who would appreciate this traditional touch.
- You want to send an announcement! Who doesn’t love a pretty keepsake?
What do you write in a wedding announcement card?
Here are 5 elements to include in your marriage announcement cards:
- Your names. Very obviously, you want to start with your names so people know who got married. You’d be surprised how many people forget to include this!
- When and where the wedding took place. It’s important to put your wedding date on your announcement so receivers don’t mistake it for an invitation to a future event.
- The announcement. The actual announcement can just be a quick line such as, “We did it!” or “Just married!”
- Photos. If you have them available, it’s great to include a photo or two from the wedding on your announcement card. Not only will your loved ones enjoy seeing you in your wedding outfits but this will also drive home the point that the wedding has already happened.
- Happy ending. End your announcement with a line thanking your loved ones for their support and/or expressing how excited you are to celebrate with them when you see them next.
If your wedding was hosted (aka paid for) by someone else, or someone else is sending out the marriage announcements on your behalf, it may be important to include this information in the card. For example, if your parents paid for the wedding or have chosen to pay and send the announcements, the card could read, “We’re thrilled to announce the marriage of our child, Cory, to…”
If you’re hosting a post-wedding event, you can use your announcement card to let loved ones know about it. You can include all of the details, turning your announcement card into an invitation, or simply include let them know about the event and follow up with a proper invite/evite at a later date.
You may also want to include a link to your wedding photos and/or video, if those are available. Your friends and family would love to see the highlights of your special day. Feel free to include a link to your photo gallery or even a QR code guests can scan that will bring them to the gallery page.
What NOT to include in an announcement:
Don’t ask for gifts. Just like you can’t include gift registry information on your wedding invite, you certainly can’t include it on your wedding announcement. While some loved ones may want to get you a gift to celebrate your nuptials, you shouldn’t expect gifts from people you didn’t invite to the wedding (actually you shouldn’t expect gifts from anyone!).
If someone follows up with you to ask about your registry, you can send it to them privately. But don’t include it on your announcement card.
Don’t share who attended the wedding. If you had a small wedding and only invited a few friends or family members, it can be awkward for people receiving your announcement to know they weren’t on your VIP list. So don’t include photos or names of your guests. Instead, keep the focus on you two!
Don’t feel bad – or make people feel bad. Whether you decided to elope and not invite anyone or your guests decided not to come, a wedding announcement isn’t the time to make anyone feel bad about their decision.
Don’t spend time apologizing or justifying your wedding choices (“We’re so sorry but we wanted to elope because…”) and don’t remind loved ones they didn’t attend (“If only you could’ve been there…”). Just keep the announcement positive and focus on celebrating your marriage, regardless of how the wedding guest list came together.
Don’t forget the wedding date. As we said above, including your wedding date is super important! If not, receivers may think your announcement is actually a wedding invite. That could make things a little bit awkward when they find out the wedding already happened and they weren’t invited.
When do you send announcement cards?
Wedding announcement cards should be sent pretty soon after the wedding so your announcement is timely. It may be confusing for loved ones to receive your announcement six months after you tied the knot.
If you want to include wedding photos in your announcements, you may have to wait until your photographer has put together your gallery. While this can take some time, many photographs are able to provide sneak peeks in a much shorter timeframe. If you’re worried, ask your photographer if they can get a few photos ready for you sooner or have a guest take a few nice photos of you two.
Who gets a marriage announcement?
You can send your marriage announcement to anyone who would be excited to hear about your wedding! Typically, these cards go out to people who did not attend your wedding – as anyone who did attend wouldn’t need an announcement.
You could also consider only sending the cards out to loved ones who live farther away, who you wouldn’t be able to see in person, or to older relatives who would appreciate a formal announcement card.
How do you save money on announcement cards?
To save money, consider sending postcard-style announcements on a single piece of paper. These can be ordered in bulk and some companies will even address, stamp and mail them for you. Because they’re only a single piece of paper, you cut down on mailing costs and don’t need envelopes.
Remember that you only need to send one announcement per household, not per person, and only to people who didn’t attend your wedding and would appreciate the traditional token. Not everyone in your life needs an announcement card.
You could also choose to email your announcements. Obviously this is a much more economical and eco-friendly option. It also makes it easier for you to share your news quickly and allows you to insert clickable links, such as a link to your wedding photos. However, email announcements are not as formal or traditional as paper announcements.
Lastly, save money by designing your marriage announcements yourself on something like Canva. Keep in mind that your invitation suite may include wedding announcements, so you may have already paid for them!
How and when do you announce a wedding on social media?
Besides paper or email wedding announcements, there’s also the issue of announcing your nuptials on social media for the online world to hear about. How and when should you do that?
Keep in mind that many couples share their wedding on social media in real time. While you probably won’t be doing TikTok dances down the aisle or going live on Instagram with your vows, you might post images from the reception or getting ready on your social accounts.
If you don’t want your wedding to be shared on social media, you need to make this very clear to your wedding party members, guests and vendors. While unplugged ceremonies are more common these days, not many wedding goers are used to a total social media sharing ban.
If you’re hosting a small or secret wedding, you’ll likely want to share your news with loved ones first before posting on social media. Don’t let grandma learn about your wedding on Facebook! Make a plan for how and when you’ll share your nuptials with your close loved ones in person (or at least by phone, email or message) before posting anything online. And once again, make sure any guests and vendors who are there are aware of your plan and keep your wedding off social media.
Once all of the important people in your life know that you’re married – either by attending the event or hearing the news directly from you – go ahead and post it on social media!
Remember, there’s no rush to post. You can share your wedding news online weeks or even months after the fact. Whenever you make your social media announcement, it will still be filled with lots of love and congratulations as the online world cheers you on!
Will you be sending wedding announcements?
PS: Don’t miss our FREE guide to writing the best wedding vows!