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You send marriage announcements to any friend or family member who would want to know (or need to know) that you were married. Don't send announcements to just anyone to hopefully receive a gift. Send them to the people who really care and would love to know that you are now married.
You should have the marriage announcements printed, addressed and stamped to go into the mail the day of your marriage or very close after. It is really nice for the recipients to see the postmark on the announcement as the same date of the wedding. It puts that extra personalization and thought into the announcement.