You’re engaged, you’re excited, you want to tell the world – but how exactly do you go about doing it properly? After all, tell the wrong people first – and your nearest and dearest may be wounded for life. Our practical guide to announcing your engagement answers all your burning questions and will ensure the correct people are told in the correct order.
Who do I tell first?
When it comes to announcing your big news, one of the most important decisions to make is who to tell first – and in what order. Traditionally, the parents of the bride were the first to find out about an impending engagement because a groom would always ask the bride’s father for permission to marry her. Of course, things don’t work quite that way today but, still, presuming both sets of parents are around – and relations are cordial – telling either set of parents should be a priority. If you can’t decide on which set of parents to tell first, or if you just want your parents and siblings to know together, gather them at a family dinner and tell both sides of the family together. You can’t go wrong there!
What if my parents are divorced or re-married?
If either parents are divorced and telling them together is a daunting (or impossible) task, announcing the news to them separately is fine, but don’t don’t tell one and then wait an extended period of time to tell the other. Feelings will definitely be hurt, so be sure to minimise the time between announcements.
But we have children?
In situations where there are children from previous marriages or your current relationship, it makes sense to tell them even before you tell your parents and siblings. Such news can be most emotional and may require some delicate wording, a lot of comfort and, most importantly, privacy.
And close family and friends?
When announcing your engagement to close family and friends, face-to-face is always the most personal and lovely way to do it. After all, they’re the people who’ll be happiest for you – and will, no doubt, want to give you both a big hug and a kiss in person. However, this isn’t always possible, so if distance is an issue, a phone call will suffice or, better yet, a video chat, such as Skype or Facetime, is always nice – and you’ll get to show off your new wedding bling!
Of course, a fun way to announce your engagement to friends and family in one go is to throw a surprise engagement party. This way, you can tell a group of people at once and have all the people you care about on standby to celebrate with you.
Should we announce our big news on social media?
Once your close friends and family are informed, the next step is letting everyone else know. Thanks to modern technology, this has become an easier task that takes just seconds. Social media is the modern equivalent of shouting from a mountain – so post a pic of that shiny ring and watch the Likes mount.
Of course, if engagement ring selfies aren’t your thing, you could just change your Facebook relationship status to ‘Engaged’ and let your ‘friends’ figure it out themselves.
A very cyber-engagement
These days, so many couples meet online that announcing your engagement the same way seems perfectly fitting. You can do so by building a wedding website that notifies the special people in your life of your big news, but also allows you to share more about the proposal, the potential wedding date and regularly updated news on how your wedding planning is going.
How about a newspaper announcement?
Before the days of Facebook status updates, engagements were, generally, always announced in the newspaper – and there’s no reason you still can’t use this approach, which many people, including Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch still do. Remember, not everyone is on the internet (what the?), so announcing your engagement in this traditional manner in the local – or national – newspaper may catch the eye of your older acquaintances, those who are interstate and, of course, those people who aren’t your friends on Facebook.
Or what about a letter? Yes, a letter!
For a more personal touch, how about designing and printing a beautiful engagement announcement card and mailing it out to those whom you wish to share your good news with? You can find some great ideas here – and, of course, you could always write a good, old-fashioned letter informing friends and family of your engagement. It’s been the done thing for centuries, after all!
Do what’s right for you
Of course, this is just a guide and what is right for some may not be right for others. It’s your special news, so do what feels best to you, your spouse-to-be and, of course, your loved ones. You needn’t feel obliged to go with the norm or tradition if you don’t want to.
Tell whomever you please, in whatever manner you please and in whatever order, just be aware of any potential consequences of shirking tradition.
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