You’re Engaged! Now What?: Announcing

by Emily Grace

Congratulations!  You or someone you know has probably recently gotten engaged.  We are in the peak of engagement season surrounded by holidays and family.  I remember getting a quick phone call from one of my roommates last Christmas Eve to excitedly tell me that her long time boyfriend proposed!  In the months following the big proposal we began diving into mounds of wedding magazines and our apartment became a planning zone.   For many new brides (and grooms)-to-be, it might be quite the whirlwind after the engagement and much uncertainty of what to do next.

Sharon Bushman Photography

This week I would like to share a few of the things I think are most important to begin working on during the days and weeks immediately following the engagement.  These are just a few ideas I’ve pulled from the important steps my roommate took as well as things I’ve seen (or didn’t see) with the couples that I’ve worked with on making their day super special.

So the first step is to announce your engagement.  There are several ways that couples choose to do this, and it can be very exciting to share this news with your friends and family, but where should you start?  Start by telling the people closest to you—parents, siblings, grandparents, etc.  If this is a second marriage for either of you and children are involved they should definitely be the first to know.  The most intimate and immediate way to tell your family and closest friends is by telephone, but it may not be practical to call everyone else.  In my opinion, it IS acceptable to announce an engagement via email (I know this was seen as controversial on Chelsea Clinton’s recent email engagement announcement, but aren’t we all super tied to our computers anyway?  Just so long as you don’t send out your wedding invite through email, I think a simple engagement announcement is a-ok!).  Be aware that some people may be offended by such an announcement.  If there are people you know that would view the email announcement as rude or impersonal, be sure to put them on the “to-call” list.

You can also do an engagement party; parents or close friends typically throw such a party for the newly engaged couple.  Some choose to send out printed invitations that state the reason for the celebration and some keep it a secret and announce the news during a toast at the beginning of the evening.  It is important to note that in this type of situation that if someone is a guest at your engagement party they will probably expect an invitation to the wedding, so plan this first guest list very wisely!

Another form of announcement is the age-old newspaper announcement.  Us scrapbookers of the world love things like this because it gives us something more than the typical pictures to add to our precious pages.  Each newspaper follows its own protocol.  Some charge a fee, some are free, and some are way too competitive for words, some papers encourage pictures while some will only print text.  If you and your fiancé are from different cities, you might run announcements in a variety of papers to announce to friends or have the scrapbook page for your future in-laws. Newspapers require the information as early as four months before the wedding though it may take a month or more for your announcement to make it to print.  The newspaper staff is almost never able to give you a specific run date of the announcement so be prepared to spend a few minutes each day thumbing through the lifestyle section to find yours.  However, you might choose to announce your wedding instead of or in addition to your engagement and that’s perfectly fine.  It’s all dependent on timing and circumstances and a personal decision.  To each his own.

However you decide to announce your engagement it is the start to a very exciting adventure to the whole planning process.  How will you choose to announce your engagement?

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