Writing newspaper engagement announcements can be tricky, especially if you're writing your own. With different requirements for each newspaper and issues of etiquette to consider, the process can be overwhelming, but it's not as complicated as it sounds. Know what basics to include for an announcement that conveys the joyful news of your engagement in an appropriate way.
How to Write Newspaper Engagement Announcements
The wording in engagement announcements is fairly straightforward. They're typically written from the bride-to-be's parents' point of view, but it depends on who will be hosting the wedding. Longer announcements generally include:
- All of the parents' names and their hometowns
- Where the couple is from
- The bride's and groom's occupations
- The couple's educations
- Vague wedding timeframe (month or season, but not the specific wedding date)
Who is hosting the wedding plays a great role in the wording of the announcement. If the bride's parents are divorced but both had a role in raising her, it will be worded differently than if the bride's mother and new spouse are hosting the wedding, and different still if a friend is hosting the event.
Some samples of announcements are as follows.
From the bride's family: "[Bride's parents] of [city] are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, [bride], to [groom], son of [groom's parents] of [city] is a graduate of the [school] and is a [job title] at [employer]. [Groom] graduated from [school] and is employed with [name of employer]. An October wedding is planned."
The first sentence may be reworded so that the announcement comes from both sets of parents: "[Bride's parents] and [groom's parents] are pleased to announce the engagement of [bride] and [groom]..."
If the Parents are Divorced
It can be tricky to word the announcement in the case of divorced parents, but it can be done to respectfully include both parents, such as: [Bride's mother] is pleased to announce the engagement of her daughter…[Bride] is also the daughter of [bride's father] of [his hometown]…
If the mother of the bride is remarried and she and her new spouse are hosting the wedding, you can say something like, [Bride's mother and spouse's name] are pleased to announce the engagement of [bride's mom's] daughter…
This wording could be reversed if the father of the bride (or father of the bride and his new spouse) are hosting the wedding.
If One Parent is Deceased
In the case of a deceased parent, the wording may include both the living parent and late parent's names. For example, "The engagement of [bride], daughter of [bride's mother] and the late [bride's father], to [groom], son of [groom's parents] of [parents' hometown], is announced by the bride's mother..."
If A Parent is Single
If one parent is estranged or uninvolved in the wedding preparation, it may be worded as such: "[Bride's mother/father] of [city] announces the engagement of her/his daughter, [bride] to [groom]..." The bride's estranged parent may be excluded entirely from the announcement or mentioned later: "[Bride] is also the daughter of [father's/mother's name]."
If It's a Second or Third Wedding
[Bride], [bride's career], is to be married to [groom], [groom's career]… You may then opt to include the couple's parents' names and wedding date. In many cases, college graduation is a distant memory for a couple on their second or third wedding, so that detail can be left out.
If a Friend is Hosting
This one is similar to a traditional engagement announcement. Instead of saying, "…proud to announce the engagement of her daughter," though, the piece will say something more along the lines of, "…proud to announce the engagement of her sister/friend." Parents' names may be listed later in the piece.
If the Couple is Hosting
This one is similar to the second or third wedding announcement since the couple is hosting the event in both instances. If the bride and/or groom are recent college graduates, that can be included in addition to or in place of the career section.
The bride and groom may choose to announce the engagement themselves for a variety of reasons, such as that they are established in their careers and are hosting the wedding. Wording in this case may say "[Bride and groom] are happy to announce their engagement." Or more formally, "Bride, a graduate of the [school], and Groom, a graduate of [school], are pleased to announce their engagement.
Where to Put Your Announcements
When making an engagement announcement, you will want to place it in the local newspaper. If the bride and groom are from different towns, announcements can be run in both papers.
Other options for placing the announcement include:
- Alumni newsletters or magazines, especially if both the bride and groom matriculated from the same college or university.
- Newspapers near grandparents or other family members who may want one as a keepsake, or where the bride and groom have numerous connections.
You will want to visit each newspaper's website or call to obtain engagement announcement guidelines.
Requirements vary widely, and some newspapers may request a fee. Most formats are fairly straightforward, although many newspapers offer "extras" for a larger fee such as more space or publication of a picture. Things to check in the guidelines include:
- Word count limitations
- What format the announcement needs to be given in (For example, can it be emailed or does a print form need to be filled out?).
- How much time in advance does the announcement need to be given before it will be run
If you decide to use a photo with your announcement, be sure to evaluate the newspaper's guidelines, which may include sizes as well as pixel requirement and even requests for specific poses. You may use a snap-shot or pose for professional photos. Be sure that your clothing and background provide enough contrast to read well in newsprint. Most engagement announcements run in black and white, but be sure to confirm with the newspaper. Avoid photos that are too cute or sexy; remember, it will be in print for everyone to see.
Engagement Announcement Etiquette
Newspaper engagement announcements are typically published two to three months before the wedding, although there is no hard and fast rule. Be sure that you have announced your engagement to close family in friends who might be hurt to learn of your engagement in the newspaper. Remember to always double-check for spelling errors, including family members' names.
Make It Public
Newspaper announcements are the first step toward being a couple in the public eye, and knowing how to properly write one and where to place it can help couples share their news with grace and dignity.