Newspaper wedding announcements share the happy news of a couple's nuptials. Wedding announcements run after a wedding takes place. Regardless of the timing, wedding etiquette dictates the traditional and proper way to publish a wedding announcement in the newspaper.
A notice in the newspaper is one of many options couples have to announce their wedding. Wedding announcements — in the newspaper or otherwise — are optional. A formal announcement in the newspaper is a traditional way to tell family and friends who were not invited to the ceremony about the happy occasion. There is no need to publish a wedding announcement in the newspaper if a couple is fortunate enough to have invited everyone they know to their wedding.
The time frame for publishing a wedding announcement can vary greatly depending on the couple and the newspaper. For instance, The New York Times governs its coverage of wedding ceremonies by the date of the formal event. The newspaper only reports on ceremonies that took place in the previous six days. Weddings that occur on a Sunday get reported on the actual day of the ceremony. Other publications run wedding announcements after the couple returns home from the honeymoon, although it is also acceptable to publish the announcement up to a year after the wedding.
Some couples, particularly those from different hometowns or with geographically dispersed families, publish announcements in several publications. There are even some couples who announce their nuptials in alumni and professional newsletters. The announcement is typically accompanied by a black and white photo of the bride and groom on their wedding day.
Traditionally, if the bride’s parents host the wedding, it is most appropriate for them to write the wedding announcement and manage the logistics of publishing it in the newspaper. However, it is also acceptable for the couple to make the announcement themselves, especially if they eloped. If a groom's family lives in a different city, etiquette calls for another newspaper announcement for his side of the family. Regardless of how many newspapers run an announcement, the bride’s family typically handles all the logistics of preparing and publishing the announcement. A groom's family announcing the marriage is considered bad etiquette.
According to The New York Times, at a minimum, a proper marriage announcement’s messaging includes the full names of the couple, the date of their event and the time. Those crafting the message may opt to include details about the couple's schooling, occupations, special achievements and charitable activities. Etiquette allows for the inclusion of details about how the couple met, the bride's dress, bouquet, hometown and the couple's honeymoon plans. Should the space allow, the announcement can also list the names of the couple's parents, bridal party and the person who officiated the ceremony.
Alyssa Guzman has written online content for eHow and Answerbag since 2010. She is a "journalist of all trades" and writes on many subjects including travel and leisure, animal health, informaton technology, business etiquette and exotic flowering plants. Guzman was a communications studies major at the Florida State University.