He popped the question and you said yes—now how do you and your fiancé spread the big news before wedding planning begins? From announcement etiquette to fun ways to leverage your engagement session, read on for the skinny on how to properly announce your news (and show off your new bling) with engagement announcement ideas that are sure to awe.
Engagement Announcement Etiquette
You and your groom-to-be have a range of joyful ways to announce your new engagement, but there is, of course, etiquette involved—starting with who should find out first and how. A good rule of thumb? Generally, the closer a friend and family member is to you, the sooner they should be in the know and the more personal your announcement should be. Make your news as jubilant as possible by following the order and methods below.
Unless you have children who need to be informed first, parents are the people you should reveal your news to ahead of everyone else. Oftentimes, though, parents will know a proposal is already in the works; the groom-to-be may have asked his intended’s parents for their blessing in advance and let his own folks know his plans ahead of time. But, parents should still be informed that the proposal went off with the desired results! Traditionally, the bride-to-be’s parents are informed first followed by those of the groom, and the news is relayed either in person or via telephone depending on the circumstances:
- A phone call is acceptable if your engagement took place out of town, is likely to be met with joy, and/or you feel your parents would want to receive the news as soon as possible. Offer them the opportunity to speak to you both, and if you want them to keep the news to themselves, let them know or risk having the news spread like wildfire.
- In-person is most appropriate if you’re pretty sure your folks would appreciate hearing the news from you directly, and you’re able to tell them very soon after the proposal happens. (Don’t wait a month because you can’t visit until then—call them.)
Brothers and sisters can be initially informed by your parents if you’re far from home and are okay with them relaying the news on your behalf. You can also share over the telephone or in-person following the guidelines above. But, what you don’t want is for them to hear the news secondhand such as from a friend or to read about it on social media. An email is acceptable if you’re too far away to call (like on a trip out of the country where the cost would be prohibitive) and you want to share the news quickly—just be sure to include the details of your proposal and a photo if you have one.
Your Relatives and Close Friends
Aunts, uncles, and cousins can be informed of your new marital status by your parents via phone, online, or mail. Of course, any relative you’re particularly close to can be informed personally or by phone, after your parents and siblings have received the news. For your best friends, it’s best to pick up the phone and call them. If the engagement took place out of the country, an email will work, too—but don’t email or text the happy news to someone close if you’re in town and it can be relayed in-person or on the phone.
Simple Engagement Announcements
Once you’ve understood the proper etiquette of how and when to share the news of your engagement, there are numerous ways to announce it to your wider circle. We’ve rounded up engagement announcement ideas that’ll delight those others who are nearest and dearest to you and, of course, bring happy tears to their eyes.
Mailing formal announcements is a time-honored, old-fashioned way to share your engagement news. A more modern way is to announce your engagement via a holiday card with a photo from your engagement session. An invitation to your engagement party is also a clear way to communicate the message that you’re betrothed, and you can also include a photo from your engagement photo session. Finally, save the date cards get your point across, along with details of your wedding, but only send them to people you are sure will get invitations to the actual event.
On Social Media
Once the people closest to you have been made aware through more personal methods, you can share your exciting news in less personal ways—to your larger circle. Social media is a great way to reach people en masse, and the best way to do so is with a powerful photograph. If you have a great selfie or professional photos from your actual engagement, feel free to post one on your favorite accounts. Or, wait until your engagement photoshoot to pre-plan the perfect picture.
Creative Engagement Announcements
Whether you send out holiday cards or post on social media, one thing you’ll need is an amazing photograph to accompany your happy news. Explore these 5 creative ways to utilize your engagement photo session to craft a cute engagement announcement, and see if one hits home for you.
1. The Ring Shot
A photo that focuses on your new ring artfully communicates your “future Mrs” status while being adorable at the same time. A close-up shot is perfect, or you and your fiancé posing in such a way where the ring is prominent works beautifully, too.
2. Superb Signage
Adding a sign to your engagement session is a charming way to share the news. You can write I said yes on a chalkboard or put a sign around your furry friend that indicates his/her “humans” are getting married (available and popular on Etsy). Also, a sign that states your wedding date will get the point across effectively and work well for your save the dates. You can even get creative and work a favorite hobby into the mix. For example, a couple that likes to fish can have a sign that communicates “less fish in the sea” accompanied by a rod and reel.
3. Handsome Handwriting
Writing a message in the sand, on a hand, or on a cup is a great way to communicate your news. All you need is a writing instrument and you can whip up an organic announcement that’s less work and requires less prep than signage.
4. Scrabble Tiles
A growing trend in engagement announcements is to use letters to get the word out. Together with your partner, spell out a message in your hands and consider using the engagement ring in place of the letter “O.”
5. Tying the Knot
For this engagement announcement idea, get your message across with a length of rope. You can show off your fancy knot-tying skills or make an elementary knot, as the communication is the same. Just try to get the ring in the photo shot so people aren’t mystified as to why they’re looking at a piece of rope!
Marilyn Oliveira is a writer, editor and content creator whose work has ranged from editing Inside Weddings magazine to launching the content section of Evite.com. She co-founded the website LuxElope.com, introducing the concept of luxury elopements to the wedding industry. A California native and UCLA Bruin, Marilyn loves seeing live theatre and attending outdoor movie screenings, as well as hiking local trails with her dog, Vita.