Wedding announcement wording that won’t hurt the uninvited

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Wedding - Mark & Anne
Whee! Our wedding was fun! Sorry we didn’t invite you! Photo by Katie Donaghue

I got married in May of this year.

There were many people I could not invite to our wedding for various reasons, mostly to do with size and budget.

I would like to send them a card with a couple of pics to let them know we got married, but I am not sure how to word the cards.

I would like to let them know we are thinking of them even, if we couldn’t invite everyone we know to the wedding. I don’t know how to do wedding announcement wording that won’t piss people off!


Here’s your challenge: how to share your good news without making people feel like A) they were excluded from the good times, or B) you expect anything from them. In other words, you want to share the news without bragging or making it seem like you’re fishing for gifts.

Urg. It’s a delicate balance, to be sure. Let’s talk through some options that may help you reduce hurt feelings from unintived guests.

Email your marriage announcements

First, before you print those announcements, consider this: for some people, anything wedding-related that shows up in their mailbox triggers feelings of a gift-grab. As one Offbeat Bride reader said:

I have gotten those announcements before and there wasn’t one time I didn’t think, “Great. Now I have to get a gift.” Never once did I think “Oh darn! I wish I could have gone to their wedding!” Or even “Gee I’m so happy for them.” Nope, it was always straight to “Shit, will a nice frame do?” (LOL — what does that say about me?? )

I think I wouldn’t have that reaction if I got an *email* announcement, especially if it appeared to come just to me from my friend – like a “catch-up” email. Or even a hand-written note. But there’s something about any type of printed announcement that seems “formal” and triggers the old school rules about gift-giving.

This is where email announcements can be great, and you know what? They’ve gotten REALLY cute. Look:

Love is patient… but we’re not email marriage announcement from The Green Envelope
Yes, I know these “We did the damn thing!” email marriage announcements look like they’re printed… but they’re delivered as an email.


Wording suggestions for printed wedding announcements

Cottonwood Foil-Pressed Wedding Announcement – $82.00
from: Minted

Ok, so you really really want to send out paper cards. We respect that! Here are a few wording suggestions for how to announce your wedding to folks who weren’t invited

Wording example: the family method

One way to get around the awkwardness is to have your parents issue the announcements. Obviously, this only works if it’s mostly family and family friends who you want to reach, but the advantage here is that it comes off just as parental pride, instead of you being like OMG Y’ALL WE DID THIS AWESOME THIIIIING AND TOO BAD YOU WEREN’T THERE LA LA LAAAA!

Here’s a wording example:

Mr. and Mrs. Your Parents
are proud to announce
the marriage of their daughter
Your Name
Mr. Your Groom’s Name
on Saturday, June 4th, 2015

Love + Heart Foil-Pressed Wedding Announcement – $82.00
from: Minted

Wording example: new home method

If you and your partner are moving in together for the first time after your wedding, you can bundle the announcement in with announcing your new address. This way it’s less about the wedding, and more about “Hey, we moved because we got married!” Aim for a card design that’s more about announcing a move than a marriage. (Vistaprint has super cheap, customizable options.) Here’s a wording idea:

It’s been a busy time for us!We were married on
Saturday, June 4th, 2015
Austin, TexasWe’re beginning a new life together
in our new residence:
Our Names
1234 Our Street
Austin, Texas 78704

Do note that if you’re trying to avoid looking like you want a gift, this method is a bit risky. You’re including your address, which could be seen as a request to be mailed something. It’s up to you as to whether that feels right.

Airmail Wedding Announcement Postcards – $53.00
from: Minted

Wording example: “cut the shit, let’s be straight-forward” method

So you want to tell your friends (so the family method won’t work), you’ve lived together for years (so the moving method won’t work), and you don’t want to play games. Just be honest with your guests. Here’s one way of wording it:

With great joy we announce that
we were married on
Saturday, June 4th, 2015
in Austin, TexasOur painfully small [guest list/budget/venue/whatever]
meant there were many loved ones
we were not able to invite.We deeply missed having you there,
but you were in our hearts.We love you.
We miss you.
We hope to see you soon!Love,
Your Names

Gold Rush Foil-Pressed Wedding Announcement – $82.00
from: Minted

I’d love to hear from readers who sent wedding announcements to friends & family who weren’t invited to your wedding. How did you word your cards?

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