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We're Engaged!!!

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One simple question plus one simple answer – and suddenly your world has been turned deliciously upside down.

You’re excited, delighted and totally in love and the first few weeks of your engagement should be yours to savour. There’ll be plenty of planning, preparation and hard work to be done in the months ahead, so take this time to revel in engagement heaven. Of course, the one thing you will want to do is tell the whole world your news … but where to start?

If either of you already has children, they should be number one on your list. The best approach is a ‘parent to child’ situation in which you can talk without your partner present. Afterwards you will want to discuss things together, but giving your children one-on-one time allows them to ask any questions they might have.

Next, tell your parents: usually the bride’s first and then the groom’s. Unless separated by great distances, do this in person. Then you can tell the rest of your family and your close friends. Whether you do this face-to-face (which is preferable if you can manage it) or by phone is up to you, but you will certainly want them to hear the news from you rather than through a third party.

After that, you can shout your joy from the rooftops – or on a more practical note, place an engagement notice in a newspaper. Most newspapers have a standard form to complete, and the traditional wording is: “Mr. and Mrs. Ian Jones of Parktown, JHB, have pleasure in announcing the engagement of their daughter, Ms. Sarah Jones, to Mr. Josh Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Brown of Seapoint, CT.”

Party, anyone? An engagement party can be large, small, or not at all – it’s up to you. It’s usual to throw the party soon after becoming engaged, and if you’ve already set the wedding date, this could be the ideal time to spread the word.

Traditionally, the bride’s father makes an official announcement at the engagement party and proposes a toast to you both. Your groom then responds by thanking the party’s hosts and proposing a toast to both your parents and his, and to your families.

However, if you’d prefer, it’s absolutely fine for you to announce your engagement together and for some of your guests to make congratulatory speeches.

And here’s a delightful twist! Some couples arrange a party for their family and friends on quite another pretext, and then announce their engagement as a surprise.

There are a few rules to keep in mind prior to announcing an engagement: If either of you is still legally married to someone else, you cannot become engaged; also, it is poor etiquette to announce an engagement if a family member is seriously ill, or if someone close to you has just died; and finally, if an immediate family member has just announced their own engagement, be patient and allow them their turn in the spotlight.


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