What Is the Etiquette for Engagement Announcements?

Learning about engagement announcement etiquette is a great way to start engagement and wedding planning. Following proper etiquette can prevent hurt feelings, and it is also practical.

After you get engaged, spend as much time enjoying the moment as you possibly can. 

Daydream about what it was like, celebrate over and over again with your fiancé, and make sure that you take the time to rest and relax before diving into wedding planning. 

And, most importantly, ignore the creeping feeling that you need to share the news with every person you know.

While you might see other people post engagement announcements all over their social media feed in what feels like seconds after it happens, you don’t have to do that. Let Boutique Events Group Wedding Venue help you create the most magical day of your life. 

You may tell people in your life in small doses or keep it entirely private. So if you’re pondering how to announce your engagement without the drama, here are five low-key ways to tell your family and friends.

Proper Etiquette for Engagement Announcements

Etiquette guidelines provide a structure for announcing your engagement to relatives and friends. 

Years ago, parents of the couple placed an engagement announcement in the local newspaper to inform everyone of the couple’s plans. 

Today, most couples inform their families and close friends before placing newspaper announcements.

Traditionally, the parents of the bride would host a party with their closest friends. 

They’d raise their glass at one point in the evening and announce their daughter’s engagement. 

This was never considered an engagement party since the guests were unaware of the occasion before coming.

Today, you can have a simple gathering of close friends and family in your own home and make a surprise announcement of your engagement. 

You’re still fine etiquette-wise because you aren’t hosting a party to celebrate yourself since the guests were unaware.

You can also have a formal engagement party where everyone is aware of the occasion. 

Remember that etiquette requires that everyone invited to the engagement party also be invited to the wedding. 

The same is true for any gathering or party where your engagement is announced.

In all cases, whether it’s a surprise announcement at a gathering or not, traditional engagement etiquette stipulates that the public information be made right after the party (preferably the next day).

The reasoning is that your party guests (who are your closest friends and family) should know of your engagement and celebrate it before the general public.

Who to Inform First

When you first announce your engagement, it is important to tell people in a particular order to avoid hurt feelings. 

For example, your mother might be hurt if a friend informs her about your engagement before you tell her. Inform family and friends about your attention in the following order:

  • Parents: Inform both sets of parents first.
  • Grandparents: After you tell your parents, talk to your grandparents.
  • Siblings: Sisters and brothers should find out after parents and grandparents.
  • Close relatives: Tell close relatives about the engagement before talking with friends.
  • Friends: After all of your close family members know about the engagement, you can announce you’re happy news to friends.

Please note that you should inform them of the engagement first before you tell your parents if you have children.

Tell Your Immediate Crew First

The easiest way to stop drama in its tracks is to let your closest friends and family know that you’re engaged before telling the entire world. 

After you and your fiancé have taken some one-on-one time to enjoy the moment, find a particular way to tell your crew. 

You can choose to gather them all together and tell them all at once or let each of them know individually.

Talk Through the Potential Drama

While it’s probably not at the top of your post-engagement to-do list and it possibly is a major buzzkill, talk with your fiancé about any potential drama that might surround announcing your engagement. 

Do you have a friend whose wedding is the next day? Will they be mad if you announce your engagement so close to their big day? 

Are there certain people you want to hide the engagement from so they don’t try to crash the wedding or send you rude messages? 

Are there certain people you need to tell ASAP that you’re engaged before the news starts spreading and they get offended? 

Chat about any possible situations before you plan how you’re going to announce your engagement.

Schedule Your Social Posts

If you’re planning to post something on social media, spend the time making it unique and personal to you and your fiancé. 

Share the story of how the question was popped and the emotions behind your response. 

Plan to share the news on social media when you can take in all of the comments and messages in doses—that way, you won’t be overwhelmed with people potentially reaching out and offering unwarranted wedding advice.

Go Offline After You Announce

Once the news is public, and you’ve spread your engagement bliss on social media, you may want to spend a few days detached from social media so that you don’t get pulled into a spiral of comments and suggestions about your wedding from friends and family members. 

To avoid the drama that comes with posting about your engagement online, you might decide to tell people only in real life or through phone calls, and that’s it. 

That way, you don’t have many semi-friends, but primarily acquaintances, knowing about your engagement.

Keep it Private

The easiest way to avoid all of the drama around your new engagement is to keep it almost entirely private. 

Share the news with your nearest and dearest friends and family members but only when you’re ready to do so. 

If you’re planning on having a small wedding, you might keep the entire ordeal private. However, if you want to have a wedding with many guests, it’s okay to announce your engagement when you send out a save the date.

Other Ways to Announce Your Engagement

Once you have announced your engagement to close family and friends, you can make a more public announcement. Here are some suggestions for promoting your engagement:

Mailed Announcements

One of the most popular ways to announce an engagement, beyond telling people in person or over the phone, is sending a card to future wedding guests in the mail.

Formality: 

This card doesn’t have to be particularly formal, but it’s customary for the announcement to come from the bride’s parents if you would like it to be. 

However, some couples prefer that the announcement come from them instead of relatives.

Announcements as Save-The-Dates: 

Some couples also like to use their engagement announcements as save-the-date cards. 

If this is your choice, make sure to mention the actual date, the city and state where the ceremony and reception will take place. Never send these cards to anyone who will not be invited to the wedding, since it will be assumed.

When to Send the Announcement Cards: 

Send the formal engagement announcement cards out before announcing the engagement in the newspaper. 

Since you are sending the cards to extended family, friends and acquaintances, you want them to learn about the engagement before the wider public. 

The newspaper announcement reaches a larger group of people.

Newspaper Announcements

An engagement announcement in a newspaper is the most conventional way to make your new commitment public.

Traditionally, the bride-to-be contacts the local newspaper to get all the specs and info needed. 

Then, she and her parents craft the messaging. If the groom’s family doesn’t live in the same area, another newspaper announcement needs to be made for his side of the family.

The bride’s family again handles this since engagement announcement etiquette dictates that it must come from her side.

If you’d like to place an announcement in the newspaper, do this as soon as possible after he pops the question. 

Some papers have long waiting lists, so it could be a while before anything gets published. However, your essay will probably have some format it uses for announcements. 

Some only have space for about a paragraph, and some have a reporter call and interview the couple.

Generally, the proper etiquette for engagement announcements is that they contain:

  • The names of the bride’s parents
  • The names of the groom’s parents
  • The hometowns of both the bride and the groom
  • When they plan to marry

Some couples don’t like to mention the exact date of their wedding in the paper because they are afraid the general public will know when they will be out of town for their honeymoon. 

If this is the case for you, it’s lovely to mention the date in the wedding announcement instead, which is usually published a few weeks after the ceremony takes place. Check out our list of Wedding Ring Shops to help you find the perfect wedding band.

A newspaper announcement will almost always include a photo of the couple as well. In addition, many couples meet with a photographer to have their images done.

Online Announcements

According to experts and the traditional forms of etiquette, the online method for announcements is not appropriate. 

However, because it is so convenient, many couples use online announcements. If you choose to do so, keep these tips in mind:

Facebook

On Facebook, you can either create your announcement as an event and select those close to you that you want to know about it, or you could manually send emails to those on your announcement lists.

Twitter

As for Twitter, you can send a private message to those close to you to let them know the happy news.

Consider Privacy

Consider that when things are publicised on social networks, they are never truly private, so use this method with caution if you are serious about only letting a specific group of people know.

Filtering Issues

You also run a high risk of an email announcement being filtered as spam, and the threat of hacking into accounts is also an issue. So while convenient, this method is not the most favourable.

Wedding Websites

There are also many wedding websites that you can use to send out online announcements where everything is professionally done for you; all you have to do is add the names. This would probably be the best method for using the Internet to get your announcement out instead of popular social networks.

Details

Avoid including the details about when and where the wedding will be held if you are only announcing your engagement; some people may consider it an invitation if the date, time, and location details are listed.

Party Invitation Announcements

Though not as traditional as other forms of engagement announcements, using simple party invitations can also let everyone know the good news. 

This is perhaps one of the more popular informal ways to announce, and it also can let future wedding guests know beforehand in a casual manner. 

However, this casual tone could also make your future wedding guests think that the engagement party and the wedding will be more informal, so use this method with a bit of caution.

A simple way to ensure that you send the right message and tone with your party invitation is to let your party invite design do the talking. 

If it’s genuinely an informal affair, opt for a laid back design that screams fun; however, if things are more formal and traditional, your party invites should be elegant and specific.

A Stress Reliever

Letting your friends, family, and community know about your impending marriage is essential. However, taking tips on the proper engagement announcement etiquette can help take the stress out of sharing the news. 

By following etiquette guidelines on who to inform first and how to announce your engagement, you can have a happy, rather than stressful, start to your wedding planning.

Engagement Announcement Do’s and Don’ts

You should feel empowered to share your engagement announcement in the way that best represents you and your partner, but there is traditional etiquette you should keep in mind. 

Here are some rules about your engagement announcement, from whom to tell first to when you should share the moment on social media.  

Do Savor the Moment With Your Partner

Your engagement is one of the defining moments in your relationship, so soak in every second with your partner. 

Once you tell your loved ones, they’ll be thrilled to shower you with well-wishes. 

As exciting as it is to celebrate this season of life with your family and friends, make time to enjoy it one-on-one with your S.O. too. 

When you look back, you’ll be glad that you intentionally set aside time to savour your newly engaged status. 

Don’t Forget to Tell Your Loved Ones First.

Before you share the happy news with the world (read: social media), there are a few people you need to tell first. 

Start with your immediate family, like your parents and siblings. If you can’t see them in person, contact them via phone call or video chat. 

From there, you can share the news with extended family members (like aunts, uncles and cousins) and your closest friends. 

There are no rules that determine who belongs on your VIP list, but think of it this way: if you want to be personally told about their engagement, you should consider telling them about yours. 

Do Post on Social Media

Once you’ve told your loved ones, you can post your “Just Engaged” picture on social media. 

Show off your favourite proposal photo with your S.O. to help family and friends feel like they were there. 

Animate the engagement announcement with a boomerang of your new ring, your first kiss as to-be-weds or a snapshot of your clinking champagne glasses. 

You can also incorporate engagement photo props like custom signs or even fun mugs. (P.S.: Don’t forget to tag #TheKnotRings and your wedding hashtag if you have one already.)

But Don’t Overshare Wedding Details.

It’s easy to be in the sharing mood once you tell your followers about your engagement. But, with so many exciting moments ahead of you, you’ll want to document each wedding planning step along the way. 

After your initial engagement announcement, be selective about the following details you post. 

While your followers will love seeing your proposal on their feed, find the balance between posting what makes you happy without oversharing. 

But when it comes to specific wedding information, save it for your wedding website to avoid hurting those who aren’t invited. 

Do Consider an Engagement-Moon

As you delve into wedding planning, revel in your newfound role as a fiancé by considering an engagement moon. 

Whether you jet off to a tropical location or plan a low-key staycation in your hometown, more couples are jumping on this trend to enjoy quality time together before embarking on the wedding planning process. 

You’ll only be fiancés for a limited amount of time, so follow up your engagement announcement with a well-deserved vacation. 

Don’t Forget to Send Announcements.

Once the proposal excitement settles, be sure to send formal engagement announcements to your loved ones. 

If you want to stick to tradition, consider a paper announcement along with an invite to an engagement party. 

Call a local stationery store to have cards typeset and printed. (Psst: This is also a great way to screen potential vendors for your wedding invites). 

Alternatively, you can save time and order your paper goods online. For example, Mixbook Photo Co. has engagement announcement templates you can personalise with photos, while Minted and Shutterfly sell customisable engagement party invitations.

If you’d instead take an eco-friendly approach to your engagement announcement, there are many digital alternatives. 

Send your loved ones an email with all the proposal details and your wedding website, or design a Paperless Post invitation for your engagement party. Did you or your fiancé hire a videographer to film the proposal? Don’t forget to include the highlight reel.

Don’t Overlook Formal Engagement Announcement Wording.

Traditionally, engagements are officially announced by someone other than the couple, unless there’s no close relative to assume the honour or the couple wants to do it themselves. Too busy with life to really plan your wedding in detail? Have someone else do it for you and check out our list of Wedding Planners in Melbourne to help take the stress away.

When composing your announcement, feel free to use the textual variation that best reflects your taste, audience and circumstances. 

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