How to Tell Family and Friends You're Engaged, According to the Pros

Before you send that group text or post on Insta, read this first.

instagram ring selfie by claraalonsonet
Photo: @claraalonsonet via Instagram

Pics or it didn't happen. Never is the unofficial mantra of the Internet more appropriate than when it comes to announcing your new engagement. And with all the excitement-plus the fact that your ring is just so shiny-it can be hard to stop yourself from texting everyone you know or logging into Instagram while your partner is still on bended knee. But before you pull out your phone and start searching for the bride emoji, read these tips on announcing your engagement the right way.


Enjoy the moment.

Yes, it can be tempting to alert everyone you know as soon as possible, but take a breath, advises lifestyle and etiquette expert Elaine Swann. "Take some time out as a couple to really just relish in it and enjoy it for as long as you can agree to," she advises. Then make a game plan about when and how you want to share your news with the world.

Tell the right people first.

Whether you agree to wait a few weeks or just a few hours, make sure you tell your nearest and dearest before anyone else. You may be itching to call your BFF, but your immediate families should be clued in before anyone else. If you can't reach your sister or you new fiancé is having a hard time getting ahold of his parents, you'll want to wait before you spread the news to the rest of your inner circle. Who falls into this category? Generally, it's made up of both of your families, grandparents, and close friends. Use this as a good rule of thumb: If you would be hurt to find out about their engagement through the grapevine or online, include them in the list of people you tell first.

Pick up the phone.

That brings us to our next point. Your mom doesn't want to hear you're engaged in a text. Give her a call-or, better yet, see her in person-so she can share in the excitement with you. Your friends may be a different story, but if there's anyone you think would be hurt that you didn't make a larger effort, think about reaching out in a more personalized way. Nothing beats real communication!

Let your new ring shine, but only if you want to.

Ah, the Instagram ring selfie. It's become synonymous with getting engaged, but if you don't feel comfortable showing your entire ring to the world, know that you don't have to. A dual shot with your new fiancé is "a sweet way to announce your engagement," says Portland and L.A.-based photographer Paige Jones. If you're all about showing off the rock, then make the most of it. "Try to get next to a window with the sun shining through it," instructs the pro. "It'll look like a disco ball is turned on, and that it's definitely time to party and celebrate."

Keep your communications positive.

Whether you're calling your mom, BFF, or posting on Insta and Twitter, stay positive and upbeat. In other words: This is not the moment to address your haters, stresses Swann. "You have people who say, 'For those of you who thought we'd never make it, we're getting married.'" Swan says. While throwing shade at an ex or frenemy might feel good in the moment, Swann stresses that you shouldn't do it.

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