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Announcing a forthcoming wedding is much less formal than it once was, but before announcing the happy occasion it is worth thinking a of a few things.

Informal

Gone are the days when the groom asks the bride's father for his daughter's hand in marriage, but asking your fiancé to have a quiet talk with your father before you announce the engagement to others is a good idea. Not only will your father be the first to congratulate you, but he may also share reservations and these are always best sorted out before other people are aware.

It is only natural that a couple want to tell everyone their news, but before you do start to inform people, it is best to think about how you are going to do it.

Writing letters: A good way to tell people whom you may not see on a regular basis.

Personally: Telling your friends and close family personally is the best way.

Whatever method of sharing the news, you must ensure that you tell everyone on the same day or post the letters at the same time, otherwise others may feel left out if they are the last to know. Make a list of all the people you need to tell.

After the initial announcing, if the two sets of parents have not met it is a good idea to arrange an informal meeting or dinner for them to get aquatinted, after all they will soon all be related to each other.

Well-wishers will inevitably ask you the date of the wedding. These days you do not have to have a set date, if you are unsure or are planning a long engagement - tell people.

Formal

Some couples prefer to announce their engagement officially via a party whereby the couples’ parents already know and therefore announce it officially.

National or local newspaper announcements are also a popular route for announcing forth-coming weddings or engagements. Normally this is arranged by the bride’s mother a week or so beforehand.

Layouts and wording for announcements:

Mr. S Smith and Mr. L Jones
The wedding/engagement is announced between Sally, the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Smith of London and Lionel, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Jones of London.

Or

The marriage has been arranged and will shortly take place between Mr. Lionel Jones and Miss Sally Smith.

Or

Mr. and Mrs. John Jones are pleased to announce the engagement/wedding of their daughter Sally to Mr Lionel Jones, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Smith.

Having a formal announcement is not mandatory, however it does lend a touch of tradition about it, and also inform those people who perhaps you didn’t inform or those who are old acquaintances.