Formal engagement announcements are a tried & true tradition. Engagement
announcement etiquette dictates that it's customary that a personal announcement
is made to close family (parents, siblings, grandparents) and friends prior to
any sort of public announcement.
If you want to strictly follow the rules, the soon-to-be bride's parents are
told first. We suspect that this tradition comes from the fact that they needed
to get the bride's dowry together and pay for the wedding—boy, have times
Immediately after her parents comes his, and then other close
family and friends.
Today, things are much looser but if you really want to stick to
proper tradition and protocol for announcing your engagement then that's the way
to do it.
Once the personal announcements are out of the way, you have many options for
the public one.
Traditionally, the bride-to-be contacts the newspaper to
get all the info she needs and 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.
This is again handled by the bride's family since engagement announcement
etiquette dictates that it needs to come from her side.
Other Ways to Announce Your Engagement
You can also announce your engagement at a party. You can make the
announcement a surprise during a gathering of your closest friends and family.
In the past, the parents of the bride would host a party with
their closest friends, raise their glass at one point in the evening, and
announce their daughter's engagement. This wasn't really considered an engagement party per se, because the guests were
unaware of the occasion prior to coming.
You can also have a formal
engagement party where everyone is aware of the occasion. The party can be
hosted by just about anyone but keep in mind that traditionally, you wouldn't invite anyone to
an engagement party who wasn't also going to be invited to the wedding.
If a party isn't your thing or not within your budget, traditional
engagement announcement etiquette also allows you to mail (yes... envelope,
stamp and all!) formal engagement announcements.
Like the formal party, this means that everyone who gets one needs to also
get a wedding invitation. This is usually done with some form of card. It can be
professionally printed, or you can make them yourself at home.
Engaging Tip: Engagement
announcement etiquette suggest that all those who are closest to you
should hear about your engagement from you, so don't delay announcing the good news.
The announcement itself should always be written by someone else other than
the bride or groom, preferably her parents. They typically include your names,
your parents names, they may include work or education credentials and the
intended date of your wedding or something like a "summer wedding is planned".
If you are having a party, whether it's a surprise announcement or not,
traditional engagement etiquette stipulates that the announcement is made after
the party (preferably the next day). The logic being that your party guests
(who are your closest friends and family) should know of your engagement and celebrate it prior to the general public.
On a side note, someone asked us what to do if they eloped after being
engaged. To answer them, we found some great
eloped wedding announcement wording that we'd like to share. Check it out!
Engagement announcement etiquette is steeped in tradition and comes from a
time when Facebook meant a book about faces and tweets were what birds did.
You can post a newspaper announcement or tweet your news. Regardless of what
you do or which way you go, the formula is pretty much the same. Check out our samples of
engagement announcements if you need a little help with what to say.
And, even though you can tweet, share, and 'like' today, this is a special
time in your life and a little tradition to commemorate your engagement (like a
card or formal announcement) is a good thing. It creates a keepsake of this
happy time in your life and is something that can be shared with future
As we say throughout this site, YOUR engagement is all about you! If you want to go the formal and
traditional route, go for it. And if you want to announce you're getting married
at a luau in the arctic, do that too. Remember, this is your engagement so
understand the rules but in the end, do what feels right for you.