Announcing Your Engagement – After the Engagement but Before You Say “I Do”

Can you keep a secret? Better yet, cans your best friend, close family member, or confidant? Recently engaged couples understand that letting the engagement cat out of the bag can be an exercise in stress relief. If it has been more than a few days, the anticipation of announcing your engagement might have you bursting at the seams with joy!

Whom should you tell first? To avoid hurt feelings, we recommend that you tell those closest to you first, before shouting your announcement from the rooftops. Following are tips to help you effectively break the news in order of importance:


If you have children from a prior marriage or relationship, inform them of your engagement first. Be sensitive to the fact that marriage is a life-changing event that will have emotional consequences. Children of all ages need reassurance that your new spouse in no way replaces them, and that your love, time, and attention will not be diverted. Remind them that they will always occupy that special place in your heart that only children can fill.


It is customary to inform the bride’s parents first, and the groom’s parents thereafter. If your parents live far away, schedule a time that both of you can be present to break the exciting news. It is always preferable to do this in person; however, a phone or video call will suffice.

Siblings & Extended Family

While it is easiest to make an announcement when the group is assembled for a dinner, or social occasion, consider close family members who may be offended if they are not told ahead of time. Err on the side of telling those who can keep a secret; otherwise, they will have to wait until the big announcement.

When the time has come to inform the rest of the world, there are several ways that this can be accomplished. It is customary for the bride’s family to announce the couple’s engagement, and these examples will follow this etiquette.

Newspaper Announcements

You can contact the publication by either phone or email. Review any associated guidelines and regulations for wording or photographs, as well as fees and deadlines for publishing your announcement. Remember that your announcement is just that – an engagement announcement and not a wedding invitation. Include information about you and your spouse-to-be such as your hometowns, career and education credentials, or that a fall wedding is planned. Purposefully omit specific information (wedding dates, times, and locations) for a more general announcement as follows:

Mr. and Mrs. Aiden Jones of Perth, WA, are pleased to announce the engagement of their beloved daughter Jessica Anne Jones to Mr. Jonathan Barton, the son of David and Patricia Barton, of Newport Beach, California. Ms. Jones graduated cum laude from Orange College and is a finance executive in Sydney. Mr. Barton graduated from Thomasville University and is a graphic designer. A fall wedding is planned.

Publish a Wedding Website

By far, this is the most modern and surefire way to announce your engagement to the world; at least for those who are online and computer literate. You can simply send out a group email with your website URL. Numerous companies offer easy to create sites or do-it-yourself programs. Apart from the traditional wording regarding the engagement announcement, this site will be helpful throughout the wedding planning process. Future wedding guests can look to your site for periodic updates, bridal registry, or other important information in the months to come. For those who have yet to succumb to the trappings of technology, you might still use one of the more traditional forms of announcement.

Church Announcements

This can be a fun and heartfelt way to announce your engagement to members of your community.

Engagement Parties

These are fun, fun, and more fun! However, be discerning with engagement party invitations. You will need to make sure that all guests in attendance also receive a wedding invitation. In addition, it is never acceptable to upstage others by making your engagement announcement at someone else’s event or other special occasion (such as a baby shower, birthday, or anniversary party).

Formal Engagement Announcements

A formal engagement announcement is the traditional standard. Following are verbiage samples based on who in the bride’s family is making the announcement.

The Bride’s Single Mother:

Ms. Julia Winters is pleased to announce the engagement of her daughter, Jessica Jones…

The Bride’s Divorced Parents:

Ms. Julia Winters, of Perth, and Mr. Aiden Jones, of Brisbane, are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Jessica Jones…

The Bride’s Remarried Parent:

Mrs. Julia Simpson and Mr. Mr. Aiden Jones are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Jessica Jones…

The Bride’s Parents (one of whom is deceased):

Mr. Aiden Jones is pleased to announce the engagement of his daughter, Jessica Jones, to Mr. Jonathon Barton. Ms. Jones, also the daughter of the late Julia Winters, graduated from Orange College…

The Bride & Groom:

Jessica Jones, a graduate of Orange College, is to be married to Jonathan Barton, a graduate of Thomasville University. Ms. Jones, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Aiden Jones, is a finance executive in Sydney, and Mr. Barton is a graphic designer…

Of course, there are formal introductions. Feel free to add a unique and creative touch with poetic or heartwarming introduction before following with the traditional wording. For example:

“He asked and she said, “YES!”

“He slipped a ring on her finger, promising to love her for life. She accepted his proposal, and is set to be his wife…”

Lastly, remember that an engagement announcement is neither a save-the-date reminder nor a wedding invitation. For engagement announcements or wedding invitations, couples are encouraged to consider a professional’s touch for such an important occasion.

Happy Wedding Planning!

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