In today’s world of 24/7 media where everyone is plugged in, connected and online, it seems like announcing your engagement would be a snap. However, there is some protocol involved and some surprisingly easy ways to breech etiquette. In fact it is harder now than it was 50 years ago when the only outlet, other than word of mouth, was a formal engagement announcement in the newspaper. You know, those papers that show up on your door every day that have stories … just like the internet.
The first people you should tell are those closest to you ; your parents, siblings, grandparents and children if either of you have them. Telling them in person is nice if you’re able, otherwise a phone call is perfectly acceptable. but, it should be soon and very personal. Emailing is not personal, neither is having them find out by seeing your relationship status has changed on facebook. Make a list and keep track of who you have spoken to. Leave a message like, “I’ve got some great news” so they know that you called.
The next tier of communication goes to close friends and (non-immediate family) relatives. It is best to to call them if you can but, this may not be practical. It is perfectly acceptable to text or email but it must be a personal message and not a bulk one delivered to multiple addresses. Take the time to write each person a polite note letting them know you are engaged and you will keep them informed of further details if they wish.
After you have let all of the above people know, you are finally ready to announce to the world that you are engaged!
Newspaper- Everyone is welcome to submit an engagement announcement in the newspaper. Generally, though, this type of announcement is used when the couple is of a certain social, celebrity, economic or political status. Your newspaper should have guidelines to follow and you can also include the (formal) engagement photo.
Party – Having an engagement party is the most fun way to let a large group of people know at the same time. There are only a couple of points to ponder: do not invite anyone to the party that will not be invited to the wedding and try not to do it at another event, (wedding, birthday, baby shower, etc) so you will not upstage someone else.
Internet- Posting a relationship status change on facebook will definitely garner some congratulations and other well wishes. You can also create a wedding website which can include stories from loved ones, photos and even a blog. Invited guests can use this site to get updates on the wedding.
Mail- Sending formal engagement announcements through the postal mail is the most traditional way of announcing an engagement but, keep in mind that no one (NO ONE) should get an engagement announcement unless they will definitely be invited to the wedding. You can include the wedding date on the announcement which will serve as a save-the-date card. You can NOT include any information about where you are registered for gifts.
Whether you go high-tech or old school is entirely up to you, just remember no matter how great the temptation to run in the streets screaming or shout it from the rooftops, take your time and do things right – you won’t regret it.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago