The Etiquette of Writing a Formal Wedding Announcement for Your Local Newspaper

Should you mention your ex? Include your honeymoon venue?

Announcing your wedding news to the world in a print or online newspaper is still an exciting part of the newlywed experience. Most papers list their guidelines on their websites, so be sure to check online for information on the length and content of the announcement, any possible fee, who writes it (you or the paper's editor), and any other important details before submitting. Still have questions? This guide will help you.

bride and groom toasting guests
Jenny for Kristen Marie Parker

When do you send it to the newspaper?

It depends on the newspaper. At The New York Times, for example, the editors require you submit an announcement at least six weeks ahead of the wedding. By contrast, The Oklahoman requires announcements be in their office only eight days prior to publication. Check your paper's website for details and deadlines.

What should you include in your wedding announcement?

If the paper in question plans to write your announcement, you'll be asked to fill out an online form that covers the basics of your wedding and a whole lot more: Expect to share the bride's and groom's names, education, and current employers; parents', stepparents', and grandparents' names; wedding date, time, and location. But some ask for even more details: You may also be asked to provide the name of your maid of honor and best man, who made your wedding dress and did your flowers, your honeymoon plans, and where you'll reside after the wedding. Check your paper's specifications, but a typical announcement starts like this: "Sarah Ellis Jones and Stephen Peter Kaplan were married September 14 at the Edison Mansion in West Orange, New Jersey. Carole Short, an ordained minister, officiated." Add other details based on your paper's style.

Should you mention any prior marriages in your announcement?

Only if you want to. If you do, plan to keep it simple, writing something like, "The groom's first marriage ended in divorce" or "This is the bride's second marriage and the groom's first." Not interested in reliving the past? It's perfectly fine to keep these details out of your announcement.

Can you send an announcement to two different newspapers?

Of course! If your groom is from a different city than the one where you were born and raised, by all means send an announcement to his hometown newspaper, too.

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