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Announcement vs. Save the Date

Posted by on Feb 1, 2011 in Blog | 3 Comments

The Q: Greetings,  My fiance and I were engaged last month, and had dated for several years prior. Since he is in the military and is slated to relocate in the next few months, we would like to go ahead and get legally married with a small celebration of immediate family members prior to the move. This will make the logistics of the move much easier and allow us time to save for a large wedding/renewals of vows a few years (2-3 years) down the road where we can included extended family and friends.

The question I have is in regards to the notification of the extended family and friends that we are married without offending anyone that they were invited to the small ceremony. Should we send announcements of the news and explain that a future celebration will be held? Should we wait until we have a date set for the larger celebration? Or, should we just spread the news through word-of-mouth?

Any etiquette advice you can offer is greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much!
Elizabeth

The A: Elizabeth, thank you for writing, CONGRATULATIONS  on your engagement and thank you to your fiance for his service!

I totally see your point. I think the logistics of a move, especially if it happens to be one abroad, can be daunting, particularly when combined with trying to plan a wedding. I think a small ceremony with immediate family sounds do-able and understandable and that a wedding announcement is probably just the proper call.   That said, if you are looking at more than a year down the line, I think that using an announcement as a save the date without a specific plan in mind might take away from some of the joy of you actually announcing the marriage (vs. a traditional save the date where it is also kind of an engagement announcement as well).

So, obviously this still leaves the question of how to not offend people who weren’t there.  I think the best thing to do is to send an announcement that says something to the effect of:

We are please to announce that

Elizabeth and “Fabulous Fiance’s name here”

were married on

Date here

In a private ceremony held in New York (or wherever)

You may want to insert an “at home” card with your new address in the mailing OR you may want to post pictures of the smaller ceremony online and direct people to a website.  This would be a great place to tell people of your plans to host a renewal of vows and reception in the future.  You can also place your new contact information here AND any registry info (because some people may want to send you a present).   In that case I would add the line

Photos of the ceremony can be found at www.elizabethandawesomeman.com

I hope that helps and I’d also love to hear reader thoughts in case someone has a more creative thought than I do!  Again, warm wishes and congratulations to you both again!

3 Comments

  1. Tweets that mention Announcement vs. Save the Date — Always A Blogsmaid -- Topsy.com
    February 1, 2011

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  2. Wedding Dress Cleaning
    February 2, 2011

    Elizabeth, isn’t it strange how a wedding which is supposed to be the bride and groom’s most special day often turns into a family squabble in one way or another. Listen, this is YOUR wedding, no one elses and it is entirely up to you how you plan it and what you want from it. Yes some people may be upset but they should also understand your reasonings for the way you are doing this and you should not receive any backlash from it. Any that do simply ignore, they will get over it. I myself got married abroad and because of the logistics it was better to so it alone with just a handful of family. But when we returned home we had a second ceremony for those who missed out, I don’t recollect anyone being funny over it. I think you’ll find all will be well :-)

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  3. Future Mrs. Streater
    April 1, 2011

    Elizabeth, I am going through something very similar. My fiance and I will be married with only my daughter (6 year old adopted niece) in attendance, in July of this year. We’ve decided to do this so that we can move in together while still providing a “good” example for her AND allowing us to save for the reaffirmation ceremony and reception that we both want.

    All of this to say, thank you for posing the question as I too was unsure of what we should do with the announcement/save the date/invitation to the ceremony & reception. I LOVE the idea of directing extended members of the family and friends to a website that can also serve to keep them up to date with the planning of your “renewal”…you could also use it as a 1st year of marriage, abroad blog!

    Congratulations and good luck to you and your future husband!

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