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Announcements

Formal Announcements

It is traditional to place a formal announcement in the newspaper, most usually The Times, Daily Telegraph and, if appropriate, a local paper.

The wording should include the names of the betrothed, with a heading styled either ‘Mr J Debrett and Miss C Berkeley’ or ‘John Debrett and Charlotte Berkeley’ depending upon the newspaper.

The couple’s parentage is detailed, along with a geographical location. Residential addresses were once included but this is usually no longer the case.

A traditional announcement would read:
Mr J Debrett and Miss C Berkeley
The engagement is announced between John, son of Mr and Mrs George Debrett of Lewes, East Sussex, and Charlotte, daughter of Mr and Mrs Hugh Berkeley, of Stroud, Gloucestershire.

The Hon P Maddox and Miss A Hill
The engagement is announced between Peter, only son of Viscount and Viscountess Tilney, and Anthea, younger daughter of Mr and Mrs Gregory Hill.

The Marquess of Audley and Lady Hermione Hays
The engagement is announced between Peregrine, eldest son of the Duke and Duchess of Mayfair, and Hermione, youngest daughter of the Earl and Countess of Aldford.

If one set of parents is divorced:
Mr J Debrett and Miss C Berkeley
The engagement is announced between John, first son of Mr George Debrett of Lewes, East Sussex and Mrs Jane Debrett of Chelsea, London, and Charlotte, third daughter of Mr and Mrs Hugh Berkeley, of Stroud, Gloucestershire.

If one set of parents is divorced and remarried:
Mr J Debrett and Miss C Berkeley
The engagement is announced between John, eldest son of Mr George Debrett of Lewes, East Sussex, and Mrs Jane Mount-Jones of Cobham, Surrey, and Charlotte, third daughter of Mr and Mrs Hugh Berkeley, of Stroud, Gloucestershire.

If the bride’s mother is widowed:
Mr J Debrett and Miss C Berkeley
The engagement is announced between John, first son of Mr and Mrs George Debrett of Lewes, East Sussex, and Charlotte, third daughter of Mrs Hugh Berkeley, of Stroud, Gloucestershire.

If the bride’s father is widowed:
Mr J Debrett and Miss C Berkeley
The engagement is announced between John, first son of Mr and Mrs George Debrett of Lewes, East Sussex, and Charlotte, third daughter of Mr Hugh Berkeley, of Stroud, Gloucestershire, and the late Mrs Berkeley.

A more contemporary style may be used:
Mr John Debrett of Lewes, East Sussex and Miss Charlotte
Berkeley of Stroud, Gloucestershire, are delighted to announce their engagement. A summer wedding is planned.

For a same-sex engagement:
Mr R Maddox and Mr T Curzon
The engagement is announced between Richard, son of Mr and Mrs John Maddox of Tenterden, Kent, and Timothy, son of Mr and Mrs Edward Curzon of Padstow, Cornwall.

Second marriage (for a widow or divorcée):
Mr T Hill and Mrs Ilsa Maddox*
The engagement is announced between Thomas, son of Mr and Mrs James Hill of Highgate, London, and Isla, youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs Andrew Stratton. *Miss Isla Stratton if reverted to maiden name

The Parents
Both sets of parents should meet, if they have not already done so. Leaving a first meeting until the engagement party may cause unnecessary nerves and tension for all involved, and it is highly inadvisable to leave it until the wedding day.

The bridegroom’s mother traditionally writes to the bride’s parents, expressing delight at the forthcoming marriage and suggesting that a date and venue be found for both sides to get together.

If the parents do not already know each other, meeting in a neutral environment, such as a restaurant, may be a good idea so that no one carries the burden of playing host. The bride and bridegroom should make every effort to put both sets of parents at ease. Remember that, first and foremost, this is a celebration – any initial awkwardness is usually forgotten once the discussion of wedding plans is underway.

Engagement Photographs
Sometimes referred to as a ‘pre-wedding shoot’, many engaged couples have photographs taken by a professional to mark their engagement. Many couples use it as an opportunity to try out a photographer they may use on the wedding day, and engagement photographs may range from traditional studio portraits to more contemporary styles in meaningful locations. The photographs are often very natural as the couple are more relaxed and less stressed than on their wedding day. Copies may be sent to family and close friends, as well as being a keepsake for the couple.

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