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Announcing Your Engagement with Excitement and Finesse

Getting engaged is such an exciting experience you will want tell the world when it happens to you. It is estimated that
many women who become engaged succumb to the need to share their good news by calling their best friends; it is
estimated that more than 25 % of newly engaged women choose to break the news to their BFFs before anyone else.
Others proceed to Facebook or Twitter to announce their blissful state.


Before the advent of social media and the far-reaching power of text messages, engagements were announced according
to certain rules of etiquette. These rules were meant to ensure that the engagement was made known in the most proper
way possible. Most of all, the engagement announcement protocol was fundamentally intended to avoid hurting the
feelings of the friends and relatives of the couple.


Traditional Etiquette for Announcing Engagements


In the past, a prospective father-in-law was asked for “the hand of his daughter” in marriage. Although this act was mostly
ceremonial, it was often accomplished with fanfare. In some places around the world, this occasion was a veritable feast
involving elders from both the family of the prospective bride and the prospective groom. This saved both parties the trouble
of having to inform relatives about the change in their relationship. Often, the engagement ring could only be presented
after the father had given his blessing to the union.


After this, a formal announcement was made in the papers or the local community bulletin. This announcement was customarily
made by the bride-to-be’s parents, and it usually conformed to a prescribed format. This was to be followed by an engagement
party, which was de rigueur for people moving in upper middle class circles. Like engagement rings, engagement parties
were part of the deal.


Blending Old and New Ways in Announcing Engagements


Regardless of how modern a couple is, there are certain family obligations that they would do well to comply with in
announcing their engagement. The fewer the feathers they ruffle, the more harmonious their own lives will be. Here’s how
old and new ways can be blended for win-win situations.


  1. Inform your parents first. If your fiancée did not have to go through the ritual of asking your father for “your hand”,
    it is all the more important that you give your parents the honor of being the first to know about your engagement.
    Even if you do not enjoy a warm and close relationship with your parents, you need to tell them you have accepted
    your boyfriend’s proposal, and give them a chance to gush about your new solitaire engagement ring. This
    news is too significant for them to hear about it from other people.
  2. Inform your closest friends and relatives personally. They would be badly hurt if they had to hear the good
    news about you from the newspaper of from other people. If you are busy, you don’t have to spend hours over the
    phone talking to them. However, you must certainly find other ways to let the important people in your life hear from
    you personally about such an important matter. You can send cards and mail these to them, making sure the cards
    get to the addressees before you go public.
  3. Before the formal engagement party, give an intimate “letting-you-know” party. Another way you can
    inform close friends and relatives about your engagement before everyone else is to invite them for tea or coffee.
    You don’t have to serve fancy food – pizza or sandwiches will do. What is important is for you to let people you love
    that they mean more to you than your usual FB friends. Be forewarned, though, the main course in such a gathering
    won’t be the cupcakes you serve; the diamond ring on your finger will take center stage.

  4. Make a formal announcement. Although many couples no longer think it important to announce their engagement
    in print media, there is something formal and official about seeing this kind of news in the local papers. Put together a
    nicely worded notice with a posed photo (digital copy, please), and send it to your alumni newsletter, your pastoral
    bulletin, and your local news editor. Most newspapers now have their own guidelines and will only accept
    announcements of this type in soft copy, but most are still glad to have pictures and stories of people who belong
    to the community.
  5. Use social media wisely. Most people fill their FaceBook and Twitter accounts with very informal posts. Many
    of these posts combine exuberant commentaries with sometimes emotional venting about unpleasant things. It is
    not uncommon to see the account owners share their relatively intimate reflections with their social network.
    The more conservative etiquette gurus do not think social media is the proper place for announcing engagements,
    but a more liberal view would say that there is no reason why your engagement should not be discussed in
    Facebook or Twitter – after the formalities have been observed. Through your account, you may even want to
    elicit online suggestions and advice about wedding venues, wedding rings, and other related topics. Just make
    sure you keep your discussion board healthy and light. Don’t do anything impulsive like ranting on FB when you are
    irritated by inane comments.


Tips and Reminders for Announcing Your Engagement           


Some things are important to bear in mind when you announce your engagement. It doesn’t matter where and how
you make your announcement, there are some things you need to consider for everyone’s peace of mind (yours, most of all).


  • Know what to discuss and what not to discuss when you make your announcement. The formal announcements
    should include your full names, your parents’ names, the place where you come from, and a few important
    credentials. These credentials can include where the two of you work, and where you graduated. The general
    rule is to include only the things you want the whole world to know. Bear in mind that once details are published,
    everyone will have access to this information.
  • If you mother raised you singlehandedly, she can make the announcement on her own. If your mother has remarried
    and she is making the announcement, she can either make it on her own or make it with your stepfather, or find a
    polite way for your parents to make the announcement while stating your mother’s new name. The important thing is
    for your announcement to be politely faithful to your actual situation. People are more accepting today of diverse family arrangements.
  • Once the word is out about your engagement, be ready to receive tons of unsolicited advice. Many people will have
    very clear and definite ideas about what your gown, your menu, and your wedding ring should be like. The busybodies
    mean well, so try to be patient and focus on the pleasant and exciting things taking place in your life.

  • Get used to endless questions about when the big day is, where you are going to live, and other details about your
    personal life. If you’ve chosen an eternity ring for your wedding band, pay no attention to tactless comments about
    what an impractical piece of jewelry it is. Be consoled that an equal number of friends and relatives will swoon over
    your precious circlet.
  • No matter how busy your days are after your announcement has been made, make sure you take time to have your
    ring properly appraised and adequately insured. Ask your friends for names of companies known for their expertise
    in insuring personal jewelry such as diamond rings.
  • It will be quite a while before people stop asking for a good view of your ring – which happens to be on your hand.
    Therefore, apart from getting insurance, another thing you need to get is a manicure. Show of your ring, enjoy the
    attention while it lasts, and allow yourself to bask in the thought that so many people are happy for you.