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Just Engaged and Proposals

Surprise Engagement Announcement to Families

My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 years and have been living together for 5 years.  With no disrespect to other brides and future brides, it has taken us quite some time to come around to the idea of getting married.  We are a very simple, nontraditional, and private couple, and there are many aspects of the traditional American wedding that are contrary to our style.  My boyfriend's parents have never tried to rush us into marriage, but my parents are more traditional and have been making their opinion vocal for some time.

We've finally come to the decision together that we are ready to get married.  We want to tell our parents and are planning to surprise them with the engagement news at a joint brunch in two weeks.  Our parents get along very well, but I am starting to get anxiety that something will go wrong.  Of course, I think they will both be thrilled, but what if my parents are upset that my boyfriend didn't get their "blessing" first (which I was strongly against -- we are two adults in a long-term committed relationship and I wanted to make this decision together, just the two of us)?  What if my parents are upset when we tell them that we want to have a destination wedding in Miami as opposed to in my hometown?  What if my parents start asking us about our plans for the wedding, and our ideas are very different from theirs?

We think it will be really special to surprise our parents with the news, but I wanted to know if anyone had any success/failure engagement announcement stories to share.  Thank you!!

Re: Surprise Engagement Announcement to Families

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    etl5 said:
    My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 years and have been living together for 5 years.  With no disrespect to other brides and future brides, it has taken us quite some time to come around to the idea of getting married.  We are a very simple, nontraditional, and private couple, and there are many aspects of the traditional American wedding that are contrary to our style.  My boyfriend's parents have never tried to rush us into marriage, but my parents are more traditional and have been making their opinion vocal for some time.

    We've finally come to the decision together that we are ready to get married.  We want to tell our parents and are planning to surprise them with the engagement news at a joint brunch in two weeks.  Our parents get along very well, but I am starting to get anxiety that something will go wrong.  Of course, I think they will both be thrilled, but what if my parents are upset that my boyfriend didn't get their "blessing" first (which I was strongly against -- we are two adults in a long-term committed relationship and I wanted to make this decision together, just the two of us)?  What if my parents are upset when we tell them that we want to have a destination wedding in Miami as opposed to in my hometown?  What if my parents start asking us about our plans for the wedding, and our ideas are very different from theirs?

    We think it will be really special to surprise our parents with the news, but I wanted to know if anyone had any success/failure engagement announcement stories to share.  Thank you!!
    Is there a reason you have to give them all that information at once?  Are you planning on such a short engagement that ALL of these things need to be brought up immediately?  It sounds as if your parents and your FI's parents are very different.  Are you sure you want to announce your intentions to them simultaneously?

    It might be best simply to announce your engagement.  Give everyone a little time to wrap their heads around that first, as it sounds as if this news may come as a bit of a surprise.  If they ask a lot of questions, simply tell them that you are considering a lot of options at the moment.

    Will you and your FI be paying for all things wedding related?  You don't have as much to worry about if you are paying for the entire wedding.  You do not need to be concerned if your ideas differ from theirs if they are not contributing monetarily.  If you expect financial support for the wedding, then you need to be prepared for input from those contributing.
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited September 2015
    etl5 said:
    My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 years and have been living together for 5 years.  With no disrespect to other brides and future brides, it has taken us quite some time to come around to the idea of getting married.  We are a very simple, nontraditional, and private couple, and there are many aspects of the traditional American wedding that are contrary to our style.  My boyfriend's parents have never tried to rush us into marriage, but my parents are more traditional and have been making their opinion vocal for some time.

    We've finally come to the decision together that we are ready to get married.  We want to tell our parents and are planning to surprise them with the engagement news at a joint brunch in two weeks.  Our parents get along very well, but I am starting to get anxiety that something will go wrong.  Of course, I think they will both be thrilled, but what if my parents are upset that my boyfriend didn't get their "blessing" first (which I was strongly against -- we are two adults in a long-term committed relationship and I wanted to make this decision together, just the two of us)?  What if my parents are upset when we tell them that we want to have a destination wedding in Miami as opposed to in my hometown?  What if my parents start asking us about our plans for the wedding, and our ideas are very different from theirs?

    We think it will be really special to surprise our parents with the news, but I wanted to know if anyone had any success/failure engagement announcement stories to share.  Thank you!!
    You don't give us a lot of information here.  I take it you aren't having a church wedding?  Are your families Catholic?  Jewish?  There can be religious issues.

    Your solution is simple:  plan to have the wedding you can afford without any contributions from your parents.  This way you can control all the details.

    There is nothing wrong with a non-traditional wedding, but you must follow common etiquette when dealing with any guests, including relatives.  You invite them, and they decide whether or not to attend.  I don't really understand why you are so worried about getting your parents' approval.  You claim to be an adult.  Act like one, and plan a lovely wedding/

    Just out of curiosity, what part of traditional weddings are "contrary to your style"?  A traditional wedding features two people who want to get married, a licensed officiant, a marriage license, and witnesses.
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  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If you're so concerned about their reactions, maybe don't tell them at the brunch, and instead tell them separately. 

    Or tell them at the brunch, and when they ask questions, tell them you haven't figured out all the details. You don't need to fill them in on everything right away. 

    My husband did not ask my parents permission, but we're older, and I've been on my own for over 15 years. We got engaged in Europe, and we called my parents from there to let them know. We got engaged after only 5 months, so there was the possibility of them being quite shocked. But they reacted with joy and happy tears. 

    If your parents are upset, oh well. What can you do? You're both adults, right? Your decisions will affect your life, not theirs. It's perfectly fine to have a DW. You and your FI get to choose exactly the wedding you want.  

  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    Go ahead and tell them about the engagement at the brunch.  If they ask about wedding details, just tell them that it's early and you haven't made any hard plans or decisions yet. That gives everyone time to let it sink in before getting into the possible drama of wedding plans.  Just because you announce your engagement at brunch doesn't mean that you have to have the whole wedding planned by the end of the meal. After our engagement, we did have a lot of discussions with family and it was actually my mom that suggested the destination wedding that we ended up going with.  Our parents knew that we weren't the type to want a big wedding and were just happy that we were planning a wedding and actually inviting them.  My parents said that they seriously expected to someday just get a phone call saying that we eloped.  So, they were thrilled with any wedding plans that included them, no matter the location or style.

    My husband asked for my dads blessing.  We are in our 30's-40's, had been together 5 years and didn't need dad's "permission", but my dad has previously stated that it would mean a lot to him, so we wanted to accommodate that if possible.  My dad basically told him that I'm an adult, he feels that he raised me to have good instincts, and he trusts my judgement with whatever answer I give.  Of course, my dad took me aside the next day to ask if this is really what I want and told me that it's not too late to change my mind. 

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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited September 2015
    Tell them you're engaged. When they press for details, tell them you JUST got engaged, haven't made any plans yet, and would they please pass the butter. Then the details conversations can happen later and more privately so you don't have fussing at the brunch table in front of anyone. Congrats and happy planning!
    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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    STARMOON44OliveOilsMom
  • ohmrs2014ohmrs2014 Dirty Jerz mod
    Moderator 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    If you're so concerned about their reactions, maybe don't tell them at the brunch, and instead tell them separately. 

    Or tell them at the brunch, and when they ask questions, tell them you haven't figured out all the details. You don't need to fill them in on everything right away. 

    My husband did not ask my parents permission, but we're older, and I've been on my own for over 15 years. We got engaged in Europe, and we called my parents from there to let them know. We got engaged after only 5 months, so there was the possibility of them being quite shocked. But they reacted with joy and happy tears. 

    If your parents are upset, oh well. What can you do? You're both adults, right? Your decisions will affect your life, not theirs. It's perfectly fine to have a DW. You and your FI get to choose exactly the wedding you want.  

    Sorry climbing, but what does being older have anything to do with it?  DH and I were "older" when we decided we wanted to get married and he asked my dad for my hand in marriage.

    To everything else from the original posting,  I say just tell them.  I agree with what everyone else has stated, plan your own wedding and pay for it.  This will ensure that everything that happens will be what you both what with no one dictating what needs to be done.
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