When a couple gets engaged, there are a million things running through the mind of both the groom and especially the bride. Well, mostly the bride. Chances are that the groom probably just cares about getting through the wedding with a happy new wife and having at least some money left in the bank. As for the bride, you can bet that the first thing that pops into her mind after accepting the proposal are two things, what is her dress going to look like and who is she going to tell first. Well, who you're going to tell is entirely your call, but as for how, the ways to announce your engagement and wedding are vast and can be mixed and matched to let anyone and everyone know about your special day.
First of all, you should be sure to contact your "key people" about your engagement as soon as possible. This means after celebrating with your beloved fiancé or whenever you feel is the appropriate time, grab the phone and either call or text your family and closest friends. A word of advice, if you are calling your parents, don't text because they will get mad at you for it. Trust me, your mother will never let you hear the end of how you "just send her a text like it was no big deal that her child was getting married."
Next, be sure to contact those friends who you definitely want to be in your wedding either through phone or e-mail. If you really want them to be in your wedding party, they need to be among the first to know and they will be so honored that formality is less of an importance.
As for everyone else, there are two main forums to use: Postal mail and the internet. There are many wedding websites, such as theknot.com, where you can purchase announcements, send "e-cards" to people's e-mail addresses, or even let you create your own wedding website to let the whole world know about your engagement, where your registered, etc. This is accessible to everyone and some even let you create your web page for free. And if you are one of the millions of registered MySpace or Facebook users, there are tons of applications and calendars at your disposal.
If you, or most people you know less tech savvy, then traditional paper announcements are more for you. Many stores, such as Target and Wal-Mart, allow you to purchase inexpensive announcement kits that you can easily print on your computer and all you have to do is fill in the names and the wedding date. Other chain department stores and bridal boutiques offer to make standard or customized invitations for you, but they are more costly.