Engagement Etiquette Tips
When a couple gets engaged to be married, it is a happy time for everyone involved. Some couples can find it overpowering, especially when the couple is expected to follow traditional etiquette involved in the organization of the engagement and wedding by others closely associated with the family. This time, though exciting, can be very confusing and even stressful.
What needs to be done first? When should the ring be chosen? Who to tell first? How should the engagement announced to friends and family be handled? Not following accepted etiquette can lead to hurt feelings and no one wants to see this happen. So, it is probable the happy couple will have these questions and many more.
The ring is a lovely outward signature of love and unity. But, it is worth noting that an engagement ring is not absolutely essential. For the couple to be engaged, all it takes is for one of the pair to pop the question and the other half to say, "Yes." If the couple wants to have a ring, however, choosing the ring can be just one part of the overall wedding planning process. A diamond ring is a nice choice, but there are other alternatives just as attractive. Therefore, it is not necessary to stick with just diamonds.
Announcement of the Engagement
It's not a good idea to keep the news of the engagement away from the parents of the future bride and groom, as this may only cause hurt feelings from the very beginning. Sometimes, dealing with the advice from close family and friends may become tiring after announcing an engagement. Nonetheless, it's not a good idea to keep this news quiet for too long or hurt feelings will grow.
Acceptable etiquette usually requires the parents of the bride to be told the engagement news first, with the groom's parents soon after. If this might leave the groom's parents feeling slighted, it is possible for the couple to tell both sets of parents together at a family gathering.
After those close to the happy couple are advised of the engagement, it's time for the rest of the community to know. Placing an advertisement in the local newspaper's personal pages is the usual method for announcing an engagement. If desired, the announcement can incorporate information such as where the bride and groom went to school, where they are employed, and where they live. If the wedding date has already been decided, these details can also be placed in the announcement.
The Engagement Party
An engagement party isn't absolutely necessary, either, but it is a nice touch. There are some details to be mindful of if you plan on having an engagement party. The first rule is to never invite anyone to the party who won't also be invited to the wedding.
If you are having a formal engagement party, the news of the special announcement will be happy news to everyone attending the party.
The bride's parents are most likely to be the official organizers for this event. After the guests' arrival, the engagement announcement can be made followed by the usual formalities, such as toasts and speeches. Because an engagement party is an unexpected announcement to most of those attending, gifts are not normally expected.
Planning for the Wedding
A date for the wedding should be set as soon as possible so the bride and groom, their families, members of the bridal party, and invited guests can make the necessary preparations. The happy couple may want to hire a wedding planner soon after the engagement is announced. The wedding planner helps make all the wedding preparations a lot easier by covering such details as reception venue and proceedings, right through to making of the cake. The couple may be more than capable of planning their own wedding but the use of a wedding planner is a practical option for otherwise busy people.
A couple's engagement should be a fun, exciting, and loving time. There might be the odd minor problem to deal with, but with sensible planning it should be an enjoyable time. Following the proper etiquette can help to mitigate some of the problem areas that may surface.
Calling off an Engagement
No one who becomes engaged expects it to fall through. Unfortunately, however, these things do happen. If the wedding is called off, family and friends should be informed as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances, the parents may wish to call friends and family to break the sad news. One ingenious former bride-to-be formed a catchy poem and posted out un-invitations to everybody on her guest list. It is certainly good manners to let everyone know soon enough to prevent them from purchasing gifts, wedding attire, and making plans for the day.