While we would prefer receiving announcements in a timely fashion, we understand how people get busy, especially when they are establishing a home together.
We want to serve you, our readers, and we think your keepsake is more important than an unrealistic deadline.
And, in the past, it hasn't just been the brides and grooms who were running behind. At times we were publishing announcements five or six weeks after receiving them.
Now we're making a commitment to publish every announcement within seven working days of receiving it.
If you've seen Lifestyle on any recent Saturday, you've probably noticed the extra space we've dedicated to weddings, engagements and anniversaries. We plan to continue that.
This bride-to-be's question isn't the only one we get on a regular basis. We're also asked about:
Engagement photos - We will run both wedding and engagement photos. We used to run only one or the other, but that's a policy we haven't had for at least a decade. These need to be signed.
Birth announcements - Some people mistakenly believe that hospitals automatically submit birth announcements to the newspaper. Some, such as City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va., will send the information to newspapers you designate. Others, such as Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown, rely on parents to submit the information. Ask your hospital what its policy is.
Include a signature of one parent if the parents have the same last name or both parents if the last names are different. Grandparents may submit an announcement if they get the parents to sign it.
We used to run birth announcements throughout the week, whenever we had space. But to make it easier for our readers to find the announcements, we're going to start running these on Saturdays only.
Club news, dances, fund-raisers, support groups, reunions - These items used to be known as etc. We divided the items into categories to make it easier to find what you're looking for. The main concern we hear from readers now is that we're not giving people enough notice to plan for these events.
We're going to change that. Starting this week, you'll notice that these items will take on the format of a calendar-type listing, which will allow us to publish more announcements each day.
This is what you'll see:
UAW 842 Retiree Chapter, 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 31, Conference room B-C, Washington County Free Library, 100 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown, Refreshments.
We're also going to adopt the following schedule:
Monday - Support groups
Tuesday - Club news
Wednesday - Fund-raisers
Thursday - Dances
Friday - Club news and reunions
Club news will run twice a week because we get so much.
We're also changing our deadline. We used to ask for all items to be submitted two weeks in advance. Now we're just asking that you provide the written information one week before you'd like to see it in the paper.
Mail items to Lifestyle, The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, Md. 21741. Fax them to 301-714-0245. E-mail them to (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As always, we want to know what you think. Call me at 301-733-5131 or 1-800-626-6397 if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions.
Lisa Tedrick Prejean is editor of Lifestyle.