If an unplanned pregnancy has sped up your marriage plan, you might find yourself with the awkward position of trying to announce your shotgun wedding to your friends and family. A shotgun wedding gets its name from the idea that a father may have to use the threat of a shotgun to get a man to marry his pregnant daughter. In reality, a threat should never be your reason for marriage. On the other hand, if you were planning on it anyway and want to become spouses before parents, you have some adjustments to make when carrying out the wedding.

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Keep the pregnancy and the wedding as separate announcements. This will play down the idea that you don’t really want to get married. However, don’t hide the pregnancy, either. If your friends and family don’t support you, you don’t need them at the wedding anyway. Treat both events like the treasured moments that they are.

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Treat the wedding as a joyous occasion. While the planning might be reduced, that doesn’t mean you should leave out everything. If the wedding dress is important to your fiance, don’t invite everyone to the courthouse wearing jeans and a T-shirt. You might not be able to book the hall you wanted or pay for the cake you wanted, but too many sacrifices can make the announcement an uneasy proposition.

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Take burdens away from your wedding guests by not putting too much pressure on them. For example, if you’re announcing your wedding a month before it happens, it might not be the best idea to register with a fancy department store in order to get gifts. If you need every single luxury of a huge wedding, you might just want to suck it up and wait to get married until after the baby is born.

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Announce that you’re getting married on vacation. Instead of trying to explain to everyone why the marriage came out of the blue, take it away from your home town bringing only the people who are closest to you. While your third cousin might wonder why they got the announcement for your wedding three weeks in advance, they would be less likely to assume that you would bring them to Hawaii with you. This will also give you a chance to have some fun before you get a large dose of parenting on the horizon.