Wedding Etiquette Forum

Private Ceremony No Reception announcement wording needed

My fiance and I are having a destination wedding and only immediate family members will be attending the ceremony and small dinner afterwards but we would still like to send out announcements to our friends and other family members. We are wondering about the wording to simple do an announcement and no invite to a reception.

Any thoughts?

Re: Private Ceremony No Reception announcement wording needed

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    Shezzamott and DH were married in a private ceremony on xxyyzzzz.  Send the annoucement right after you get married, not before.
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    Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited September 2013
    Send this announcement after you get married.  Sending it before your wedding can confuse people into thinking that this is an invitation and they are welcome at your ceremony; even if it doesn't, it still isn't gracious to announce to someone a forthcoming event they aren't invited to.
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    doeydodoeydo member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited September 2013
    Announcements are different than invitations.  You send them only after you are married.  They could say something like "John Smith and Jane Doe joyfully announce their marriage, which took place September 27th, 2013 in New York, NY".  ETA comma
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    Were you thinking of a formal announcement, or an informal one? By proper etiquette, a formal announcement takes the same form as a formal invitation -- right up to being engraved in black ink on white or ecru heavy folded paper -- but is sent immediately after the ceremony rather than before. The proper wording is

    Mr and Mrs John Society
    have the pleasure to announce the marriage of their daughter
    Shezza Jane
    Mr Thomas Right
    on Saturday the twentieth of October

    Of course it could be some society matron other than your mother making the announcement, like an aunt or grandmother, in which case it would read "her niece" or "their granddaughter"; and it could be a lady who is no relative at all in which case the last two words in the second line would be left off.

    And of course this is the twenty-first century when the lady being married is probably not a sweet young ingenue who needs some other lady's sponsorship, but a society lady in her own right making the announcement to her own peers. She may even continue to be known by her birth surname rather than her husband's name. It all makes no difference: the wording is still that Someone / has the pleasure to announce / something. Such a modern version could be:

    Mr Thomas Right and Ms Shezza Society
    have the pleasure to announce
    their marriage
    which took place on Saturday the twentieth of October

    Now, if, on the other hand, you were thinking of something informal, proper etiquette actually eschews both the stilted third-person wording of formal social correspondence, and the idea of an engraved (or mass-printed) notice. It's proper manners to write a short note on your informal stationery (to whit, on a fold-over note-card which may or may not be engraved with your name and address) along the following lines:

    Dear Mary and Bill,

    Tom and I were married in a private ceremony on last Saturday, October twentieth. We wanted you to be among the first people to hear the news.


    You'll note that in formal correspondence, the gentleman's name properly goes before the lady's name (he is supposedly 'standing forward' to defend her from any unforeseen threats of the formal environment) whereas in informal situations (which are presumably safe and comfy) her name comes before his.

    Since this is the twenty-first century, and most people do not keep informal note-cards and stamps on hand, let alone have the handwriting or stamina to write a few dozen short notes by hand, you could consider individual emails; which as near as I can determine is the modern equivalent of the old social notes that we used to send at the drop of a hat forty or fifty years ago (and which in many cities enjoyed same-day delivery making them a relatively practical means of staying connected.)

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