Author Topic: how do you feel about wedding announcements?  (Read 2409 times)

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jmarvellous

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Re: how do you feel about wedding announcements?
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2014, 01:45:21 PM »
I've found that even my most conservative family know I am not conservative. No one was surprised by me keeping my name, even if it's what they'd expect of themselves or their children.

So that doesn't necessarily need to be a concern (though I understand why it might be, still!). We solved it with some address labels printed with both of our names and affixed to any correspondence going forward.

gellchom

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Re: how do you feel about wedding announcements?
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2014, 06:01:06 PM »
. . .  And I have never heard of any friend or family member believing an announcement is a gift grab. So I wouldn't assume my family and friends would automatically assign boorish behavior.

I strongly dislike people not doing their preferred socially acceptable behavior because of a concern of what a small percentage would think.

I see your point--but I have *read* (on a couple of different message boards) people make such an assumption about an announcement.

And I've heard people make the "gift grab" assumption about a graduation announcement.

But in the OP's situation, I think it's perfectly reasonable to send one. I'd just personally want to tweak the format to be less formal.

I see your point, too, Hmmmm (as I usually do!).

But I do object to the bolded.  No one said they would "automatically assign boorish behavior" to anyone.  There is a lot of space between not even wondering for an instant about the sender's motives and automatically assigning boorish behavior.  I hope I would never do the latter.  But I might have a question flicker through my mind, because my community is not like yours: I get dozens of invitations every year (no, I'm not so popular, I'm just married to a clergyman!) and never ever any announcements -- it has to be at least 25 years since I've seen one.  So I admit I would probably wonder why they sent it if I got one -- and by the way, gift-prompting would not be my only guess. 

I also caution you against being too certain that even in your community "only a small percentage" of people might wonder about motives, based upon your never having heard a friend or relative say that they think an announcement is a gift grab.  Not only because, as I said above, there can be people wondering but not assuming gift grab, but also because we all know where "I've never heard anyone complain about [cash bars, pot luck weddings, cash registries, registry cards in wedding invitations, etc.]" gets people.  Just because people are too polite to criticize their hosts' choices (and your announcement-sending community obviously does have a good sense of etiquette) doesn't mean they don't have opinions.

That still doesn't mean that the OP shouldn't send announcements!  My point is just that if you want to be very sure that no one will even wonder about your motives for sending announcements -- not just whether you can console yourself that if they do, they are the ones who are wrong -- then you need to consider carefully how common announcements for weddings like yours are in your community and ask yourself how people are likely to see them.  Because no matter how objectively right you are, you can't control that.

As for letting people know you are keeping your name?  Good luck with that, no matter what method you choose!  I have been married nearly 32 years and have never for any purpose used anything but my own last name.  Just this week, my mother's boyfriend addressed an envelope to us as "John and Jane Smith" and one of my own very close friends of many years put my name as "Jane Doe Smith" in a cookbook she made for my daughter's shower.  She knew my name is Doe, and she certainly wasn't trying to "correct" it, she just had a momentary brain lapse.  It happens all the time.  I just keep a sense of humor about it and gently correct it when necessary and let it go when it isn't.

In your place, I would either (1) do change of address cards (making your names clear), although that wouldn't clarify that you have married; (2) just mention your marriage, name, and new address some other way, like in a mass email or on facebook or something; (3) give all the info then next time you write to these people for some other reason; or (4) a combination of all the above -- like, facebook message to peers, note in her birthday card to Great Aunt Shirley, emails to lots of others.  I would do (4).  Not everyone needs all the same information anyway.

EllenS

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Re: how do you feel about wedding announcements?
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2014, 06:10:35 PM »
We did announcements 10 years ago, but not very many - only those who we thought 1) would be interested/happy to know we got married, 2) were not quite close enough for an invite, and would not really expect one, and 3) were not likely to hear about it first from some other more organic means. That cut the group down a lot, but there were several people of the Christmas-card variety.

 We did a very traditional announcement with formal wording, and we did get 2 people who thought it was an invitation that had gotten delivered late.  If I had it to do over again, I would still do paper announcements but with much less formal wording.  Facebook is just too casual for me for something like that.

gellchom

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Re: how do you feel about wedding announcements?
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2014, 08:27:17 PM »
Ellen, about how many did you send?

I forgot one other option, which might be the best for many people: a quick handwritten note. 

I would think that for most people the number of people who are neither (1) close enough to have been invited or to hear about it some other organic way (I like that, Ellen) nor (2) not so close that they really don't need to be notified (would they notify you?), would be pretty small.

I guess one of the reasons I'd be scared it might look the senders are hoping for a gift would be that: if they are in the closer group, it might feel like "We know you already know about this, but we are sending this anyway, because ... er ....," and in the latter group, it might elicit a "Why are they telling us this?  If they care about us that much, why didn't they just invite us to the wedding?"  Maybe a good litmus test is to imagine the situation reversed.  Would you be surprised or hurt not to receive an announcement from them?

Someone up thread mentioned high school graduation announcements.  I have to admit, that's what I always wonder when I get those.  And I send a small gift, which I probably would not have done otherwise (I've never gotten an announcement for a HS graduation from anyone close, just very distant cousins).  I knew I wasn't obligated by etiquette to do anything more than just send congratulations, but I felt a little socially/family obligated. 

So that probably colors my feeling about wedding announcements.  If I got one, I'd probably send a gift if I know them pretty well, and at least a contribution to charity if I don't, even though I know I don't have to, and even if I didn't consider the announcement a prompt to do so.  It's just ... once I get formal notification of a marriage of someone I know, I kind of feel like I should, rather than just ignore it or write congratulations -- if I just did that, I'd worry that they might think I was trying to say, "You thought you'd get a gift this way?  Ha ha, didn't work.  Learn some manners."  I know that's not what either announcements or written congratulations mean.  But just as a couple can't stop recipients from wondering about the motivations for announcements, neither can I control the reaction of someone who just gets a note from me. 

Anyway, the point here is that people thinking about sending announcements, in communities where they are uncommon, might want to consider not only what the recipients might be thinking about their motives, but also whether they are making people feel obligated.  You can tell yourself, "They shouldn't feel obligated; an announcement doesn't require a gift."  But they might anyway, like I do.

I think what we have here is yet another "know your audience" thing ....

EllenS

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Re: how do you feel about wedding announcements?
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2014, 09:21:12 PM »
Ellen, about how many did you send?

I think what we have here is yet another "know your audience" thing ....

I really don't remember exactly how many. Probably less than 20. I know a couple were people DH had worked with in the past and really liked, but they moved away and they'd lost touch with on a day-to-day basis. People he or I used to go to church with in a different city, who we like but are not "in network" with anymore. People you'd send a Christmas card to but probably not a birthday card, if you see what I mean.

Absolutely a "know your audience". I didn't really worry about whether someone else felt obligated to gift. We did get one token gift from an announcement recipient- totally was not expecting it. We mostly got happy notes, or nothing. People may not do announcements much anymore, but they are not incorrect and we really didn't send them to get gifts, but because we thought those folks would smile and say "Hey, look - EllenS got married!"

PastryGoddess

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Re: how do you feel about wedding announcements?
« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2014, 10:02:54 PM »
I come from a very large, extended, and spread out family.  We have family members from Connecticut to Louisiana.  It's simply not possible to invite everyone to weddings. 

Our families announcements tend to be a 4x6 postcard with the couple(family) and then on the back we put the couples names, address, and family member's names.  Many of my family members marry after they've had kids and so there are quite a few blended families.  So it's good to know if there are new kids added to the family. 

Vall

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Re: how do you feel about wedding announcements?
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2014, 08:46:39 AM »
Since your norm is to send paper correspondence, you're keeping your maiden name and changing your address, I would appreciate a wedding announcement.  You already communicate by snail mail and send cards often, so it would seem natural to me that you would send wedding announcements.  If you didn't normally communicate by snail mail, it might seem a bit odd but that's not the case here.


sparksals

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Re: how do you feel about wedding announcements?
« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2014, 11:07:10 AM »
Thanks for weighing in everyone. :-) I'm inclining toward no announcements.  Buuuuuut... this creates a problem. One of the reasons for sending announcements was the inclusion of "at home" cards communicating my decision to keep my name.  I'm not going to send back mail sent to Mrs His Name, but I'm also not enthusiastic to explain one million times my correct address form. 

What if we sent a postcard similar to the ones people send when they've moved announcing that we were married at such and such a date and place and that people should update their address books to show Ms Me and Mr Him at Our Address?


Your reason is a perfect example of why you SHOULD send announcements.  I would find the post card kind of tacky, personally.  I would think, "Why didn't they just send out an announcement?".


The postcard idea seems so impersonal and would, in my mind, be equated to using computer printed labels on a wedding invite. 

sparksals

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Re: how do you feel about wedding announcements?
« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2014, 11:10:51 AM »
Added to the conservative leaning of the family, they might be perfectly well versed with announcements and wonder why they weren't sent.  I do like the suggestion above about the photo card , seems FAR more personal than the postcard idea.

Peregrine

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Re: how do you feel about wedding announcements?
« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2014, 03:25:02 PM »
I had a small wedding with 70ish people in attendance.  The guest list consisted of parents, siblings, grandparents, and my sides aunt's and uncles (2 on each side) and a very small handful of friends (if we had included my hubby's aunts and uncles and minor cousins we would have shot the guest list past 250).  My Mom and paternal Grandma sent out approximately 15 announcements between the two.  Those went to contemporaries of my grandparents and parents whom I would visit as a child when on summer vacations in my parents' hometown.  My mom and grandparents on both sides were active in civic organizations that kept relatively close track of each other's kids and grandkids.  These weren't people that I corresponded with on my own, but were otherwise interested.   So people who would want to know, but were not close enough to be invited to a small wedding 2 states away.

The announcements seemed to be well received and we got a couple of congratulatory cards, and some mentions in mutual Christmas cards etc. but beyond that nothing really else.  Most of these folks have since passed on, or are very close to it at this point.  If I had married even 5-7 years later, I don't think that anyone would have bothered, but it was still the done thing in my parents circles in 2001 when I got married. 

Hmmmmm

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Re: how do you feel about wedding announcements?
« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2014, 06:17:44 PM »
Added to the conservative leaning of the family, they might be perfectly well versed with announcements and wonder why they weren't sent.  I do like the suggestion above about the photo card , seems FAR more personal than the postcard idea.

Yeah, in my family, if there was a small wedding or an elopement, some of my aunts would wonder why an announcement wasn't sent out. The last two I received were photo cards of the couple with the announcement to the side. One of these was a beachside wedding with just the two of them and the officiant with a beautiful sunset. It was great.

TootsNYC

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Re: how do you feel about wedding announcements?
« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2014, 06:52:18 PM »
Thanks for weighing in everyone. :-) I'm inclining toward no announcements.  Buuuuuut... this creates a problem. One of the reasons for sending announcements was the inclusion of "at home" cards communicating my decision to keep my name.  I'm not going to send back mail sent to Mrs His Name, but I'm also not enthusiastic to explain one million times my correct address form. 

What if we sent a postcard similar to the ones people send when they've moved announcing that we were married at such and such a date and place and that people should update their address books to show Ms Me and Mr Him at Our Address?

I thought that was my suggestion, way back on page one. That you send an announcement disguised as a "Please update your address book" notice, complete w/ contact info, anniversary date, info on what you've done (or not done) in terms of changing your name.

You could even do the traditional announcement wording and simply include the "at home" info as well, which would make it seem less as though you're contacting them out of the blue.


Joe and Alice [Williams] Johnson
are pleased to announce
that they were married
this date.
Their new address is
[128 Pleasant Street}
Hurleyville, Iowa


That sort of thing.

peaches

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Re: how do you feel about wedding announcements?
« Reply #42 on: April 11, 2014, 09:18:00 PM »
Added to the conservative leaning of the family, they might be perfectly well versed with announcements and wonder why they weren't sent.  I do like the suggestion above about the photo card , seems FAR more personal than the postcard idea.

Yeah, in my family, if there was a small wedding or an elopement, some of my aunts would wonder why an announcement wasn't sent out. The last two I received were photo cards of the couple with the announcement to the side. One of these was a beachside wedding with just the two of them and the officiant with a beautiful sunset. It was great.

To me, these two examples demonstrate when an announcement is most useful and couldn't give offense. The issue of who got invited to the wedding and who didn't is moot.

Those are the types of weddings that I've received announcements for in the past. Either the couple eloped, or for whatever reason (sometimes a remarriage) the couple decided to get married with only a couple of witnesses attending.

On the other hand, if a wedding has an invitation list of 100, and another 100 receive announcements, that is a different situation. People in the second hundred will either (1) consider this a thoughtful gesture and be grateful to be remembered by the couple, or (2) be chapped that they were passed over when wedding invitations were sent and won't appreciate the reminder. While  etiquette-approved, announcements may not have the effect that the couple intended.