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How to Announce Your Engagement

08/24/2015 12:12 EDT | Updated 08/24/2016 05:59 EDT
Paul Gilligan via Getty Images

Congratulations on your engagement! You found your match -- that's the hardest part. The rest is just blissful happily ever after, right? Well, sort of.

Engagements tend to bring an onslaught of unsolicited advice. Everyone will have an opinion about what you should do next. And there will be plenty of time to sort all of that out. For now, the first step is rolling out the news that it is official: You're getting hitched.

Traditionally an engagement ring is sported for the first time on the day your engagement is public. In short, if you are wearing the ring, then those nearest and dearest to you should know you are indeed engaged. Here are three things to take into account as soon as they put a ring on it.

1. Family first

Parents are typically the first the share in the news, preferably in an intimate setting, and the same applies if you or your groom-to-be have children -- little ones should hear the news directly from you, in private. If you and your fiancé want to be the ones to tell siblings or grandparents yourselves, it is perfectly acceptable to ask parents to stay tight-lipped for a few days, giving you time to personally tell others in your immediate family, if you like.

2. The medium is the message

Once the news is out to your close friends, marvel in how quickly word travels! You will undoubtedly be relished with warm wishes -- take the time to revel in them. If time and distance afford it, telling loved ones that you are engaged ideally happens in person (if not, a gleeful FaceTime or phone call will do).

3. Public announcements come last

A sage rule is that the closer the relationship to the newly engaged couple, the more intimate the form of communication. Acquaintances might find out through Instagram or Facebook, but the people you are close enough to celebrate your birthday with, for example, should hear in a more special way. If you do tout your engagement publicly, whether that is updating your relationship status on Facebook or your parents wanting to arrange for an engagement announcement in the local newspaper, do it after your inner circle knows the news. And by all means, take your time! This doesn't have to happen the day or even the week you get engaged.

Back to my earlier point of unsolicited advice -- here is some from me. If you can swing it, consider keeping your engagement between you and your beloved for a day or two, or even an evening. There will be good time to share the joy with family and friends, but there is a teeny tiny sliver of time when your engagement is just between the two of you. It's perfectly intimate, terribly romantic and so special. Once you share it, it's no longer just between the two of you, so make the most of that time. Then be prepared for the champagne, the celebrating, the precarious negotiating of priorities and budget and the warm wishes. Allow me to be the first to congratulate you on your engagement!

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