You’re engaged and you want the whole world to know! Rather than just shouting it from rooftops, here are some more effective ways to announce your engagement, and the etiquette of whom to tell first.
Who To Tell About Your Engagement First
Start off by telling those closest to you that you’re engaged.
- Your Children:
If you have any children from a previous marriage, they should be the first to know. Hopefully, you’ve prepared them for this possibility. Consider that this may be hard news for them, and reassure them that your new spouse won’t replace them in your heart.
- Your Parents:
Typically, the bride’s parents are told first, then the grooms immediately afterwards. While a visit in person is nice, if your parents live far away, over the phone will work just fine. Both of you should be present.
- Grandparents, Siblings, and Other Close Relatives:
Even if you want many of your friends and families to be surprised all at once, consider who would be hurt to not know immediately. You can tell them all at once at a family dinner, or simply tell them by phone.
- Your Close Friends:
A few phone calls will do here, unless you want to surprise everyone and tell them all at once.
When to Make Your Engagement Public
Decide if you want to mail announcements to your friends and family, publish an announcement in your local newspaper (or national newspaper), or announce it as a surprise at an engagement party.
- Publish an Announcement in Your Local Newspaper:
Start off by calling to ask if they have any guidelines, deadlines, fees, or regulations about announcements. See if they accept pictures, if that’s something that interests you, and ask if pictures must be black & white or color. (Make sure you put your name on the back, and include a self-addressed stamped envelope so the photo can be returned to you.).If they don’t give you strict guidelines, follow etiquette’s lead: Typically, announcements include information on the two of you, including career and education credentials, and your parents names. If your parents live in a different town, you should also include their hometowns. There’s no need to include the wedding date, and some purposefully omit it, as they don’t want to be targeted by burglars who will thus know when they’ll be out of the house. You might choose to say instead something like “A fall wedding is planned,” which helps diffuse the millions of “So, when’s the wedding” questions you inevitably get. Read the sample wordings below.
- Announce Your Engagement at a Party:
One of the most fun ways to spread the news! You and your fiancé will get the joy of seeing everyone’s faces when they learn you are engaged, and the fun of an engagement party without the awkwardness of asking for gifts. Make sure that you don’t invite anyone to the party who won’t be invited to the wedding, and don’t do it at a someone else’s event (such as a birthday party)where they might feel upstaged.d
- Create a Wedding Website:
The most modern way to do it! Many companies offer easy-to-create personal websites that will help you keep guests updated on the details of your wedding. Once you’ve created a site, you can send an email letting friends and family know the URL. This is a very informal way to announce your engagement, and has many of the same limitations that a printed announcement does, plus the added disadvantage that it will omit guests who don’t own a computer. I suggest that if you create a wedding website, you also announce it in a more traditional way.
- Mailing Formal Engagement Announcements:
This is a very traditional way of announcing your engagement, but it’s one that should be used cautiously. You’ll need to be sure that anyone who receives an engagement announcement will also be invited to the wedding, and that it won’t be mistaken for an invitation. Still, if the idea of beautiful cards sharing your good news is too delicious to resist, go to your local stationery store. You can word them however you wish, but typically wording is similar to what appears in a newspaper announcement. If you include your wedding date, it can double as a save-the-date card.
A wedding will probably be the biggest and most involved party either of you have ever put together—but don’t be scared! You can plan a wedding in ten simple steps.
- Enjoy Being Engaged
Kiss each other a thousand times. Jump up and down saying, “We’re engaged!” Stare at the engagement ring. Take the time to write down in detail how you got engaged. Contemplate the wonderful things ahead of you. Take pictures of yourselves with the engagement ring. Kiss each other a thousand more times. Read more about making your engagement special
- Tell Your Parents
You should tell your parents of your impending nuptials before anyone else. (Unless of course, you are estranged.) Both of you should be present and ideally you will tell them in person – they’ll have a chance to see your happiness up close, look at the ring, and start talking about the wedding. Traditionally the bride’s parents know before the groom’s do, but any order is really fine. (If you’re a traditional couple, the groom may already have asked her parents for her hand in marriage.) Then share the news with a few close friends – the ones who are likely candidates for maid/matron of honor and best man, or definite attendants in some capacity.
- Purchase a Journal If You Don’t Already Have One
This will be a time of ten thousand moments you won’t want to forget, as well as some frustrating times that you’ll need to vent about, and not necessarily to your partner. The journal you keep while planning your wedding will not only help you through this time, but it will be something you cherish for the rest of your life. If you’re internet savvy kinds of folks, you may also consider doing this journaling online at a site such as Livejournal, tumblr or your own blog.
- Announce Your Engagement
Tell everyone the good news! There are many ways of doing this, and no way is more correct or better than another.
Read about engagement announcement etiquette and see samples of engagement announcementsConsider:
- Announcing your engagement in print publications
- Mailing announcements to your family and friends
- Creating a wedding website
- Set the Date
One of the most important decisions you will make as you plan your wedding. Not only will it be the first question everyone will ask you, but you’d be surprised how difficult it will be to make any progress on planning your wedding without knowing the date. How to Set Your Wedding Date