Wedding Announcement Wording – Make Sure Uninvited Guests Don’t Feel Hurt

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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 ceremony 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 about your wedding day without making people who weren't invited 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 with folks who didn't get a wedding invitation, but you want to do it 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.

OPTION 1: Post your wedding announcement on social media

One easy way to get around awkward feelings is just to quietly post a photo on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok — whichever social media platforms you know your friends and family use. This is especially great for COVID weddings, private weddings, and elopement announcements. Just post a lovely photo, and call it good. No need to send anything. Folks either see it or they don't, and no one worries about a gift grab.

Your social media wedding announcement wording could be as casual and simple as this sample:

[Partner's names] are happy to announce we are now married!
On [day of week], [date] at [location], we exchanged vows.

It was an intimate ceremony, but we look forward to celebrating in person when we see you next!

OPTION 2: Email your marriage announcements

If you want to be a bit more direct, but don't want to print an announcement, you're wise. Remember that for some people, anything wedding-related that shows up in their snail mailbox triggers feelings of a gift-grab.

As one Offbeat Bride reader said:

I have gotten printed wedding announcements in the mail 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 announcements 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.

OPTION 3: Ok, you're going to send a printed card, and now you want wedding announcement wording examples

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

Let's talk about the etiquette around what information to include on wedding announcement cards:

  • Full names of the couple
  • Wedding date
  • Location

What NOT to include? Anything about gifts.

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

Wedding announcement wording example: the family method

One way to get around the awkwardness is to have your parents issue the announcements. Traditionally with more formal weddings, this was done by the bride's parents who hosted, but these days anything goes.

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. Bride's Parents
are proud to announce
the marriage of their daughter
Your Name
Mr. Your Partner's Name
on Saturday, June 4th, 20XX

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

Wedding announcement 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, 20XX
Austin, Texas

We're beginning a new life together
in our new residence:

Our Names
1234 Our Street
Austin, Texas 78704

Please update your address books!

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

Wedding announcement 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, 20XX
in Austin, Texas

Our painfully intimate [guest list/budget/venue/whatever]
meant there were many loved ones
we were not able to invite to our wedding celebration.

We deeply missed having you there,
but you were in our hearts.
We love you.
We miss you.
We hope to see you soon!

Your Names

Gold Rush Foil-Pressed Wedding Announcement
from: Minted

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