You frequently hear about save-the-dates and wedding invitations, but what about wedding announcements?

Couples send out these printed cards to announce that they’ve just gotten hitched. Much like an invitation, it includes the names of the bride and groom, the date of their wedding day and sometimes even the names of their parents.

While wedding announcements are completely optional, they’re great for letting those who couldn’t attend your nuptials know that you are now married. They’re commonly used when a couple had a small and intimate wedding or if they eloped.

These announcements should be mailed right after the wedding. You can even arrange to have them mailed out the day of your wedding. As long as you don’t send them before you tie the knot, you’re set. It’s best to make arrangements for your announcements before you leave for a honeymoon. Ask a family member or friend to take care of it for you.

Keep in mind that a wedding announcement is simply intended to tell people about your new marriage. In that case, gifts are not customary, and should not be expected.

Invitations by Dawn has just come out with a new line of custom wedding announcements that are available in a variety of styles, from classic elegance to beach-themed nuptials. And you can even consider using a digital wedding announcement if you want a more technologically savvy way to inform your loved ones of your big day. Search through our wide selection and find one that is perfect for you and your spouse. I’ve picked just a few of my favorite wedding announcements to share with you:

Polka Dot Love – Gold – Wedding Announcement
If Gatsby were to have sent out a wedding announcement, this would have probably been it. The front and back of the wedding announcement shimmer with polka dots stamped in gold foil. On the back, your newlywed photo appears with the word love on top. It’s a modern and chic invite that’s hard to pass up.

Happily Married – Wedding Announcement
I love this one because it’s simple and to the point. It reads “married” at the top, with your names and wedding date at the bottom. Choose your favorite wedding picture of the two of you, and send them out for your loved ones to enjoy.

Just Married – Wedding Announcement Postcard
Did you have rustic nuptials? If so, this charming postcard is not only easy to send out, but features a white lace design and burlap background.

Which wedding announcement is your favorite? Share your thoughts with us!