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Engagement To-Dos: Engagement Announcements 101

Can't wait to spread the news? Here's an engagement announcement primer plus six sample introductions.

Say it loud, say it proud: "We're engaged!" There are any number of ways to announce your newly altar-ed state, including to mail announcements to friends and family and/or to publish an announcement in your local newspapers or your alumni magazines. Here's how to make your proclamation public.

How to Do It

If you plan to mail your announcements, call a local stationery store to have cards typeset and printed (this is also a great way to screen invite candidates). For printed notices, call the publications where you want your announcement to appear and find out the name of the appropriate editor or department. Ask for their writers' guidelines or a standardized form, if available. Also ask if there's a fee for publication and whether they accept pictures, if you're interested. Some publications only print actual wedding portraits, but others accept digital files or 8" x 10"s.

At TheKnot.com, you can build your own personal wedding web site and email the address to friends and family to announce your engagement. The best parts? First, it's free! Second, you can include lots of fun facts (where you met, how you got engaged, wedding details), post a photo, and link to your wedding registry on TheKnot.com.

You can send out printed announcements, spread the news via the local paper, or broadcast your love on the web.

What to Include

Typically, published announcements mention career details about the two of you, your parents' names and places of residence, and your educational credentials (space permitting). Obviously, only include what you'd like the world to know. If you haven't nailed down your wedding date or want to keep readers in suspense, you can include something like, "A June wedding is planned." Definitely do list the date if you'd rather publicize it now than answer a million "So when's the big day?" questions later.

How to Say It

Usually, engagements are officially announced by someone other than the happy couple (unless there is no close relative to assume the honor). When composing your announcement, select the textual variation that best reflects your reality, including who will "host" the wedding. Or, go ahead and freestyle, depending on the audience. Need a helping hand? Here are some standard engagement announcement wordings:

  • The Bride's Parents Host
    Mr. and Ms. John Doe of Little Rock announce the engagement of their daughter, Jane Annette, to Jack Smith, son of David and Beth Smith of Tishomingo, Oklahoma. Ms. Doe, a graduate of Vassar College, is a professor at Barnard College in New York City. Mr. Smith graduated magna cum laude from Princeton, attended law school at New York University, and works at Smith, Golden, his mother's law firm, in Fort Lee, New Jersey. A June wedding is planned. (Or: No date has been set for the wedding.)

  • Single Parent Hosts
    Ms. Janet Jones announces the engagement of her daughter, Jane Doe, to Jack Smith... Ms. Doe is also the daughter of John Doe of Sioux City. (This line is close to the end of the announcement. Note: There's no need to mention the other biological parent if he or she wasn't involved in raising you.)

  • Remarried Parent, Hosting With New Spouse
    Ms. Janet Jones and Mr. Timothy Chapin announce the engagement of Ms. Jones' daughter, Jane Doe, to Jack Smith... Ms. Doe is also the daughter of John Doe of Sioux City.

  • If One Parent Is Deceased
    The engagement of Jane Annette Doe, daughter of Mrs. Janet Doe and the late Mr. John Doe, to Jack Smith, son of David and Beth Smith of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, is announced by the bride's mother...

  • A Close Relative or Friend Hosts
    Here's an example of appropriate wording if your parents don't approve of your partner or are both deceased:
    Ms. Julia Doe announces the engagement of her sister, Jane Doe, to Jack Smith, son of... The bride is the daughter of [the late] John Doe and Ms. Janet Jones of Little Rock.

  • You're Hosting the Wedding Yourselves
    Jane Doe, a professor at Barnard College, is to be married to Jack Smith, a partner at the law firm of Smith, Golden in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Ms. Doe is the daughter of Mr. John Doe of Sioux City, Iowa, and Ms. Janet Jones of Little Rock, Arkansas. Mr. Smith is the son of David and Beth Smith of Tishomingo, Oklahoma. A June wedding is planned.

-- The Knot

See More: Just Engaged?