How to Make Your Engagement AnnouncementFiona Condron
Creative and Traditional Ways to Share Your News with the World
Though we live in an increasingly casual world, weddings and engagements remain one area where many people still choose to maintain an element of formality.
Perhaps it is the pomp and circumstance that formality implies that simply makes our day feel more special, and makes the bride feels she is the princess-for-a-day that she deserves to be! But once prince charming has made his proposal (or princess charming has made hers) and agreements have been entered into, then regardless of your formality or lack thereof, it is time to tell the world about your plans.
Weddings are something that everybody has their own opinion on, and it can be very easy to cause upset at this time. It is important that, early on, the bride and groom acknowledge that the wedding day will be an expression of their love, and while they will be inviting their friends and family to be a part of this, their own wishes are the most important thing. Traditionally it is the bride’s family who pays for the wedding, though in modern times this is frequently not the case, but whoever pays for the big day should not be allowed hold the proceedings to ransom.
This is just as important when initially sharing the happy news – the couple should be sensitive to the needs of those close to them, but should ultimately conduct themselves as they see fit. The joy of sharing such happy news with loved ones can be as much fun as the proposal itself, but even family with whom you don’t get along should be promptly informed of the upcoming nuptials. And once those closest to you have been informed in person, it's time to inform the rest of the world.
Placing The Ad
How you choose to do this will depend on your social circle, and the various publications your associates are exposed to – there is little point in announcing the good news in the New York Times if all your friends live in Oklahoma. Most couples choose to place an ad in their local newspaper, or in the publications of any groups they are affiliated with, such as alumni magazines, or society newsletters.
Some couples prefer a more personal approach, and send announcements to all of their friends, as they would send save the date notifications, or wedding invitations. The approach you choose is really up to your personal preferences, so discuss the matter between yourselves, and with any family members you think would like an input.
So what do you say in these announcements? Once again this is down to personal preference, though some newspapers will simply have a standardized form that you can fill in. Some will allow you free rein, within a certain word limit, so ask what is permitted before you place the announcement.
Keep it Personal
If you would like your day to have a more informal feel then it is nice to simply announce your news in a personal way, using words that are characteristic of both your personalities. If the proposal was a long time coming, you could introduce some humor to your announcement by saying something like, ‘Finally! John and Jane are getting married.’ If you prefer a more formal approach, then it is typical to say that ‘John X and Jane Y would like to announce their engagement.’
Sometimes couples prefer to use more traditional wording, in which the bride’s parents bring the happy news, ‘Mr and Mrs Y announce the engagement of their daughter Jane to John X, son of Bill and Betty X…’ – and this format can be adapted should the bride’s parents be divorced or remarried. If a step-parent is mentioned as an announcer, the biological parent can be mentioned later in the announcement – ‘Jane is also the daughter of Peter Y.’
It is traditional to mention the locations of the parents – ‘Mr and Mrs Y, of Anytown, USA, announce…’ and the professions of the couple, but this is not necessary – remember, you can go as formal or as informal as you like.
Here is a sample wording of a classic engagement announcement:
"Mr and Mrs Yellow, of Anytown, USA, would like to announce the engagement of their daughter Jane, to John Purple, son of Bill and Betty Purple, of Anothertown, USA. Miss Yellow, a graduate of Any University, is a Doctor at Any Hospital, and Mr Purple runs his own business in Anothertown."
You should ask questions with each publication that you choose to place your announcement with and word your good news in the way that you are most comfortable. Enjoy the extravagance of being supremely formal, or simply be yourself – the choice is up to you.