I hope all of you have a fabulous Valentine's Day! I know many of you got engaged over the weekend, are rejoicing in the excitement, and are ready to shout it from the rooftops (if you haven't already!). Doesn't that bit of bling feel great, but maybe a tad bit awkward still? I'm sure you'll get used to it and are finding many reasons to use that left hand so that the ring is prominently displayed and sparkling!
Engagements are such a joyous time, full of big decisions and creative planning. During this time you will be bringing your family and friends together and with all this "closeness" there may be some times of friction. As you plan, remember that you and your fiance need to work as a team and support each other. Remember during your engagement to be considerate and communicate to all involved and hopefully you can keep your planning process smooth and easy.
Now that you're engaged here are a few things you should know:
1. Tell everyone! As I mentioned previously, you probably already have made a few calls to break the big news. If you haven't, there actually is an order to telling people:
- If either of you have children they are the first to know. Even if they are adult children, show them the courtesy of telling them before you make it public.
- Parents are next and you can decide to tell them together or talk to your parents on your own. If they haven't met your fiance, now's the time for a great introduction. In person is best, but at a minimum a phone intro should take place quickly. If your parents are divorced and you aren't as close with one, they still deserve to hear the news directly from you.
- Relatives and Close Friends are next in line. Oh...and avoid asking too many people to be in your bridal party until you've had a chance to sit down and really think about it....once it's out there you can't take it back.
- Co-workers - let your boss know first, and then your colleagues.
2. Not long after your engagement you should arrange for the parents to meet. In current times it doesn't matter as much who contacts who first. However, the bride's family should give the groom's family the chance to make that first move. If the families are separated by a distance they should make contact via phone if possible. The first meeting is usually organized by the groom's family, but again you can throw this custom out if it works better for your situation. This meeting can be a casual brunch, lunch, BBQ...whatever works for your crowd. If you have divorced parents then consider their feelings and the family dynamics before forcing them in to an uncomfortable situation. You can have separate gatherings.
3. Engagement Parties.....while they aren't mandatory, they are the perfect time for all your friends and family to gather for a toast in your honor. Note that gifts are not expected at this event; however, you may receive a few. Thank you notes should be written.....think of it as good practice for things to come!
4. Throughout your engagement make time for just the two of you. Set up date nights, with no wedding chat. Your fiance will really appreciate that.
5. Get to planning!!!! ...and of course a great wedding planner is the first thing on your list! We can't wait to hear from you! :)
Remember communication is the key during your engagement and in your future together. Have a great time planning your wedding!