Just Engaged and Proposals

Announcing Your Engagement Etiquette

Hi Ladies!

While I'm not officially engaged yet, my boyfriend of over three years told me (because he's horrible at keeping anything a secret) that the ring is purchased, and it's just a matter of time until he finds the right time to "properly" ask me. He's already discussed everything with both families and we're even already in the process of deciding some details about where and when we'll get married, since we currently live abroad and his family is back in Lebanon while mine are in the US. 

Anyways, since I have a little time to prepare, I want to make sure when I notify my friends and family of my engagement, I can do it properly without making anyone upset. I was wondering how you recently engaged (or not so recently) handled notifying your loved ones? Who did you include in your phone call/texts and how long did you wait to update your social media pages? Did you run into any issues of people feeling upset about how you told them? I'm also unable to do it in person due to living abroad, so any opinion on etiquette about texting you announcements? 

Would love to hear your ladies stories and input! 

xoxo
Nicole
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Re: Announcing Your Engagement Etiquette

  • lilacck28lilacck28 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited June 2014
    My fiance proposed in the late morning. I called my parents first. Then fiance called his parents. Then I called my grandparents. Then Fiance and I emailed the pictures we had taken right after he asked me (of us and the ring) to our parents and asked them to email the pictures to our aunts and uncles and forward the email which told them we were engaged. They did so right away.  Then my fiance and I sent texts or emails or gchats to our closest friends. Texting is a normal form of communication for us and our friends. If it isn't for you, I'd recommend phone calls. Then, that night, we updated our facebook status to "engaged." We fielded a few more calls from friends and family that wanted to talk/ congratulate us, but I didn't hear from anyone or through the grapevine that anyone was upset (and I don't think anyone was.) 

    So, general rule is to tell parents and close family and friends first before posting to facebook. 
    londonbride2015wolfpackpride
  • Thanks for sharing! My main form of communication is text, but I know some people aren't the same, so I didn't know if for something like this friends or other family members wouldn't like it. I plan on FaceTiming with both our parents afterwards, but wanted to text everyone else, maybe with a picture included. 

    I'll also personally wait a few days to post on Facebook. I don't like to share everything on Facebook, and I'd like the word to spread naturally through my friends and family (I have a LARGE extended family) before I post anything on social media. 
  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I called my parents, brother, and best friend. He called his parents. We told them to go ahead and make the rest of the phone calls, swore my BFF to radio silence until it hit Facebook, gave our families 24 hours (plenty long enough in our worlds), and then went public on Facebook.
    londonbride2015dougs024
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I don't understand the point of telling you the ring is purchased and he's waiting for the right time to "properly" ask you, especially since you are discussing it with others and discussing details already.  But whatever. 

    As to your question, you should call your immediate family first, followed by closest friends, but it sounds like you have already done that. Which "loved ones" still need notified?
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    Maggie0829NYCMercedes
  • ShallowSeasShallowSeas Indianapolis, IN member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    FI started calling his parents and close family members almost immediately after he proposed. I called and told my parents, sister, my aunt, my cousin, and a couple close friends that same night. Once we had called and told everyone we wanted to, FI posted a picture of the ring on my finger on FB and Instagram.
    Anniversary
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    AddieCake said:
    I don't understand the point of telling you the ring is purchased and he's waiting for the right time to "properly" ask you, especially since you are discussing it with others and discussing details already.  But whatever. 

    As to your question, you should call your immediate family first, followed by closest friends, but it sounds like you have already done that. Which "loved ones" still need notified?
    This. Honestly if you are already deciding on things for your wedding then I would already consider you engaged.  A ring doesn't make you engaged.  Two people deciding to get married is what makes you engaged.  Also, telling you that the ring is bought and he is just trying to find the "right" moment to propose really takes all the surprise out of it.  At this point he should just give you the ring and the two of you should just move on with wedding planning.

    As for who you tell, typically you want to call immediate family first, and then decide who is most important that they deserve a phone call to be told.  Then after that I would just go about your business and tell people as you see them or talk to them.

    NYCMercedes[Deleted User]
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My FI proposed while we were on a cruise in Europe. Since only he had cell service, I called my mom and dad. I then emailed my brother and my best friends. Once we returned home, I texted the rest of what I consider my close friends and my mom called the rest of our family. 
    And then I updated Facebook. 

  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Also, telling you that the ring is bought and he is just trying to find the "right" moment to propose really takes all the surprise out of it.
    Totally don't agree!

    I knew when my Fi was shopping for rings, when he bought a ring, when he picked up the ring.

    But I still BAWLED and was SHOCKED when he proposed. I literally was speechless and overwhelmed with emotion.

    As for announcing my engagement: I Facetimed with my parents, he called his parents and sister, and then I put it on Facebook. I suppose I could have called more friends and family members, but I don't really speak to many people on a regular basis, and FB is our method of conversation between everyone I know. A lot of people would probably say that I went about it the wrong way, but this is what worked for us.
    londonbride2015
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Also, telling you that the ring is bought and he is just trying to find the "right" moment to propose really takes all the surprise out of it.
    Totally don't agree!

    I knew when my Fi was shopping for rings, when he bought a ring, when he picked up the ring.

    But I still BAWLED and was SHOCKED when he proposed. I literally was speechless and overwhelmed with emotion.

    As for announcing my engagement: I Facetimed with my parents, he called his parents and sister, and then I put it on Facebook. I suppose I could have called more friends and family members, but I don't really speak to many people on a regular basis, and FB is our method of conversation between everyone I know. A lot of people would probably say that I went about it the wrong way, but this is what worked for us.
    I'm sorry but I don't get how you were shocked.  I mean you knew he bought a ring so it made sense that he was going to propose.  I just don't get how one can be surprised by something when they already know it is going to happen.  Yeah, you may not know the exact date but if you know he bought the ring then him proposing shouldn't be that big of a shocker.

  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I also tend to be of the school of thought that entering into a marriage should be a two people ordeal. It strikes me as almost irresponsible to not discuss the thought of engagement with your partner before asking.

    Lots of couples know that it's coming, many women have discussed engagement with their now-fiancés.

    You said it: I wasn't sure WHEN or HOW he was going to ask. Thus, shocked.

    I mean, it's like being on a roller coasted. I can clearly see what's going to happen. But by golly if my stomach doesn't reach my throat on that first drop!
    londonbride2015Knottie21266645
  • II mean, it's like being on a roller coasted. I can clearly see what's going to happen. But by golly if my stomach doesn't reach my throat on that first drop!
    I completely agree with you! :-)  I just got engaged last night, and have known since June 12th that the ring was bought - he told me it was bought, and that he was waiting for it to come back from sizing.  He had actually had it back since June 15th without me knowing, and I was completely taken aback and in tears when he asked.

    Yes, you do know that it's coming, but it absolutely doesn't change the surprise and amazing feeling of seeing him get on one knee and pull out the ring.  LOVE.
    JennyColadalondonbride2015
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Yes!

    All my forethought goes out the window and my mind went totally blank. It might have well had been a total surprise because that's how my brain felt! I was totally emotionally unprepared, haha.
    sassyfrass2014
  • I knew he had the ring, we'd had the discussions and I still did the hand to my mouth in surprise when he did it.  I didn't know it was going to that day.  

    We called his parents and my parents.  He called his grandmother and close friend and I sent a message to my brother and a few friends.  Once they all responded, we just let the cat out of the bag for the rest of the world.  
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers

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  • My fiance proposed at the top of a mountain after we hiked up. I called my mom first, and then my best friend (and future MOH) from the top of the mountain. After the hike down I called my grandparents and siblings to tell them the news. My fiance was a little weird about it and only texted his parents and insisted he didn't have to call anyone else. We told our parents to spread the word to other relatives and posted it to facebook later night! Just do whatever feels right to you - people should understand you can't personally call every single member of your family and every single friend.
  • When I got engaged, my main concern was letting certain people know from me rather than social media. I told my our parents, grandparents, and closest friends before I posted it on any social media. Luckily for me, we had a huge family BBQ the day after we got engaged so I was able to let many people know in person. 

    Like others have said, you can't tell every single person you know! So just pick those closest to you and share the good news! :)

    Congrats, BTW! 
    londonbride2015
  • I knew he had the ring, we'd had the discussions and I still did the hand to my mouth in surprise when he did it.  I didn't know it was going to that day.  


    Same here: I knew he had the ring, I knew it was coming, but I didn't know when. I also I did not expect that he'd write an entire video game for the proposal! Surprised the heck out of me!
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    morphemes
  • I agree with PPs.  We made sure to call my mom, his father and then our list of close friends.  Then several hours after talking with VIPs on the phone about the ring, the proposal, we changed our social media statuses together.
  • AmaCassidyAmaCassidy member
    10 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited July 2014
    I have to agree with PPs, just because you know the ring is coming, doesn't mean you won't be shocked when he actually proposed. I actually picked out my ring in person, had it sized in person, and was there when he bought it, and was still shocked when my fiance proposed. But then again, he took a whole four months from buying the ring to proposing.

    As for OPs question; my fiance and I were on holiday when he proposed, and it was in the middle of the night. We skyped my parents, then his parents, and then my twin sister and my two eldest nieces first thing in the morning, and when we had time later on that day, called my remaining sister & brother, and a few of our closest friends, but we stopped them from telling everyone else until we came back home to tell my grandparents. It was about a week later that it went on facebook along with some pictures of just after the proposal, by which time everybody already knew really. 

    londonbride2015
  • eclv82eclv82 member
    First Comment
    I disagree with the comment about taking the surprise out of the proposal when you already know.  My fiance asked me in march over spring break before we had a ring...he said "here's the budget we have to work with and the date"...lol..he already thought that all through!  He wanted to ask my mom when they came out in June, so I only told my best friend (I wanted her to be my maid of honor, another best friend to be a bridesmaid) and he did the same.  Once the family came to visit, he met up with us all at a bar downtown, and got down on one knee...he already asked my mom prior.  Of course I CRIED LIKE A LITTLE GIRL! Then I sent all my close friends a message with a pic of the ring on my finger.  Then about 5 days later, I announced it on Facebook. 
    It's the emotions of it being "real" and not knowing how or when.  Every situation is different, every bride and every fiance is unique.  All that matters is that you said yes, you cried, and you are in love! Don't let other people's negative comments distract your happiness! Congrats!!!
    nancieravenlondonbride2015
  • lilacck28lilacck28 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited July 2014
    I wasn't very surprised. I picked out the ring with fiance and knew when he was picking up the finished ring (by accident... I ruined his plans of surprise by telling him I was coming home early so he spilled the beans about how he might not get home before me because he was "getting something".) He knew me well enough to know that I wouldn't be able to handle waiting around while the ring was somewhere in the apartment, so he proposed that weekend. He proposed in a more elaborate way than I was expecting, but I was not by any means shocked. I don't think @Maggie0829 was implying that not being shocked means proposals aren't any good or aren't happy, exciting occasions. 

    I wasn't surprised or shocked, but that doesn't mean that I wasn't very happy. It's no big deal not to be surprised! 
    Maggie0829KeptInStitches
  • AmaCassidyAmaCassidy member
    10 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited July 2014
    eclv82 said:
    I disagree with the comment about taking the surprise out of the proposal when you already know.  My fiance asked me in march over spring break before we had a ring...he said "here's the budget we have to work with and the date"...lol..he already thought that all through!  He wanted to ask my mom when they came out in June, so I only told my best friend (I wanted her to be my maid of honor, another best friend to be a bridesmaid) and he did the same.  Once the family came to visit, he met up with us all at a bar downtown, and got down on one knee...he already asked my mom prior.  Of course I CRIED LIKE A LITTLE GIRL! Then I sent all my close friends a message with a pic of the ring on my finger.  Then about 5 days later, I announced it on Facebook. 
    It's the emotions of it being "real" and not knowing how or when.  Every situation is different, every bride and every fiance is unique.  All that matters is that you said yes, you cried, and you are in love! Don't let other people's negative comments distract your happiness! Congrats!!!
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Why would it matter if you cried? I was surprised when my fiance proposed but I certainly didn't cry. I only know one person who cried when she got proposed to, and that's only because she cries pretty easily anyway...
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited July 2014
    I'm actually like you, OP. My husband bought the ring and was expecting there to be a delay in it being shipped, so it arrived earlier than he expected. He thought that I knew because I apparently said something, so he made a comment about the ring, and I was surprised, so he confessed that he had already bought the ring. Two weeks later he proposed. He was waiting for Labor Day weekend because he knew both of our parents would be in town. I was surprised by the timing, but not by the actual proposal.

    I called my parents and siblings and my best friend, and he called his parents and siblings. I think I also called my Godmother and a few relatives, but I honestly don't remember. He proposed to me before Mass, and the priest decided to announce it to the parish without telling us. It didn't bother us, but we didn't want someone to post on our Facebook "hey, my mom saw you at church and heard you got engaged today" or something like that, so we made it Facebook official later that night.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    lilacck28 said:
    I wasn't very surprised. I picked out the ring with fiance and knew when he was picking up the finished ring (by accident... I ruined his plans of surprise by telling him I was coming home early so he spilled the beans about how he might not get home before me because he was "getting something".) He knew me well enough to know that I wouldn't be able to handlea waiting around while the ring was somewhere in the apartment, so he proposed that weekend. He proposed in a more elaborate way than I was expecting, but I was not by any means shocked. I don't think @Maggie0829 was implying that not being shocked means proposals aren't any good or aren't happy, exciting occasions. 

    I wasn't surprised or shocked, but that doesn't mean that I wasn't very happy. It's no big deal not to be surprised! 
    @lilacck28 - Exactly.  I certainly was not saying that just because you know it is coming that it still isn't a happy time.  But in my mind if you picked out the ring, know that he/she picked that ring up then I just can't see how when the proposal actually happens it is a shock or a surprise anymore. Are you still happy that you are engaged?  Sure, but being shocked about something that you definitely know is coming because you picked out the ring, your SO bought it and then know your SO brought the ring home just doesn't compute in my head.

  • also... I don't know why being surprised or shocked is so valued when it comes to engagements. It puts a lot of pressure on the proposer, and makes the proposee feel like they should have a particular way of responding, not to mention it puts the proposee in a fairly vulnerable position with a lack of agency. 

    I was pretty happy that FI and I had rational conversations together about when these things were going to happen, and I never had to worry "omg, is he ever going to propose?? Does he want to marry me? AHH!" I wonder why lack of surprise isn't more celebrated. 
    Maggie0829nancieraven
  • We Facetimed my BFF, then we were visiting his family for Christmas so we told them in person on Christmas Eve, then told my family on Christmas Day.  I didn't want my VIPs to find out on Facebook.  After we told our families, then we posted the "life event" on Facebook. 
    image


    londonbride2015
  • As for the surprise thing - my FI and I had discussed the fact that we would get married at some point, but the idea was really abstract since he was in Afghanistan and I figured he'd want to live together first, which was fine with me.  Admittedly I guess I was kind of dense but when he came home on R&R he wanted to borrow my car to run errands, which was fine, because I had to work since he came home earlier than he'd planned.  It didn't occur to me that he might be getting a ring, because he hadn't been in the US in 6 months and he might just want to get some stuff done.  So I was pretty surprised when he dropped to one knee at our B&B while he was home because I didn't know it would be so soon.  And yeah, I cried - he makes me cry a lot because he does things that nobody has done for me before and I never knew I was such a sap until he came along, lol. 

    image


    londonbride2015
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    lilacck28 said:
    also... I don't know why being surprised or shocked is so valued when it comes to engagements. It puts a lot of pressure on the proposer, and makes the proposee feel like they should have a particular way of responding, not to mention it puts the proposee in a fairly vulnerable position with a lack of agency. 

    I was pretty happy that FI and I had rational conversations together about when these things were going to happen, and I never had to worry "omg, is he ever going to propose?? Does he want to marry me? AHH!" I wonder why lack of surprise isn't more celebrated. 
    I think that's the point that a lot of us are making though: that you can have both. You don't have to be totally in the dark but that also doesn't take away from some for the surprise of the event. It's fun to be surprised. I mean, some of my favorite memories are about a little surprise that was hidden somewhere or doing something unexpected for a meal, etc.

    Is it the most important thing? Well, no, of course not. But I look back fondly and having both discussions about our pending engagement as well as the memories of the engagement itself (and all my speechlessness!).
  • Wow - thanks everyone for all the comments! I've been very busy lately and haven't been keeping track of this thread like I should have. 

    It's interesting to hear everyone's story - some knowing nothing at all or some knowing pretty much all of it. I think it depends on the couple, each other's personalities and how long you've been together to really decide how to go about getting engaged. And I don't think one person's way of doing it is right for everyone. 

    For me and my boyfriend, we've been dating for over three years and living together for two. We've talked about getting married ALOT and I knew my boyfriend felt very pressured to give me a ring I loved, which is why he wanted my input on it. I didn't know which ring he did pick, but he knew the styles I liked and my ring size. 

    Additionally, we're both from very different cultures and wanted to combine both our traditions. For him, it's tradition that you go with your partner to both parents, and ask permission to get engaged together, then once you have permission, you give the ring. No big surprise. And for me, being American, I have the stereotypical tradition of being surprised, on a walk in the beach, with a bird flying down and putting it on my finger. So this is why I knew that it was bought, that he had asked our parents' permission, but I didn't know which ring, when he'd propose or how. 

    And this weekend he finally proposed and I can tell you, it surprised me. Probably not as much if I had no clue, but I was still speechless and I wouldn't change the way it happened for anything. 

    Thank you for everyone's comments about how you handled announcing it. I did like most of you suggested, we FaceTimed the VIPs (family and best friends), texted a few other close friends and relatives, waited until the family had told the rest of the family, then posted it on Facebook. So far, everything seems to have went smoothly and no complaints about how we announced it which is great!

    Here's to happily ever after! 
    JennyColadaKnottie21266645
  • Congratulations!
    londonbride2015
  • Thank you!! 
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