First Steps: Spreading the news

Just Engaged

Spreading the news

Tooting your own horn is probably the first step towards matrimony. After being engaged you would probably want your friends and colleagues to know of it as well. However, before you set out to announcing it on social media, take a moment to think about how your parents might react to it if they didn’t hear it first from you. Preferably call them together as a couple right away if possible. If they live in close proximity from you, drop by and inform them in person. If you are on the ropes as to which set of parents to inform first, well, it usually is the brides, it is a very personal decision though.

If you are in a situation where he’s has never met your parents prior to this or even vice versa? If you could recollect the scene from the movie ‘Father of the Bride’ where Steve Martin plays the role of the father. His daughter Annie daughter decides to call him over the phone and announce that she will be getting married to the most wonderful guy she met while in Italy and they he is would be visiting them in a short while! The look on the face of Steve Martin says it all. This approach can be very chaotic and dangerous. It would be appreciate to first give them sufficient time to acclimatize to the idea of their daughter getting married and then bring over the fiancé to introduce him.

Following informing your parents (both sets), you could then inform your siblings, other family members and your close friends. It is always advised to not let any of these people hear of the announcement hear via a image of the ring though your Instagram feed. If you have grandparents, call them as well, it would be a joyful moment in their lives as well to see their grandchildren settle down.

If you have children from a previous marriage or a relationship in the past, consider informing them as well if they are old enough to keep the news to themselves before telling anyone else. Depending on your family dynamics you could gather all three generations together and make the announcement at the same time.

Getting ‘THE’ Snap

Your fiancé popped the big questions and your nodded in consent and the beautiful diamond has been placed on your finger. Like most couples today you too might want to snap a sweetly beaming selfie after the brief tearful moment.

The snapshot is such an iconic moment that makes it undeniably special, it captures the first step towards a lifetime together. Often seen on social media, couples today use this shot as the accompaniment to make the announcement of their engagement. One notable such moment was the picture posted by a groom after he popped the big question during an overnight stay in the dessert. The image depicted a group of happy campers along with the caption, “Check you later, bachelorhood” – a witty twist from the otherwise typical engagement ring snap. Many couples even opt for professional photos of the engagement which is also popular as well. These could generally cost anywhere between Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 60,000 which is usually clubbed with the photography fees included in the wedding package. Getting a engagement photoshoot also has its benefits as you can have a test run with the photographer to see if how your personalities gel. Apart from sharing these photos on social media platforms, these can also be used for invitations or save-the-date mentions.

There is so much fun in picking a meaningful location for the shoot while getting professional photos. Many couples look to the spot where they had their first date or even where they first got engaged. Many even opt for an unified look planning for a location that is the wedding site at times for the save-the-dates or the invites. Many simple choose outdoor location with multiple photo opportunities. Perennially popular locations with scenic backgrounds are beaches and hilltops in Goa where candid shots with activities such as biking or rowboats rides make for gorgeous snapshots.

A few other things to keep in mind are the choosing unified color schemes that complement each other or even a color scheme where he bride-to-be opts for something colorful and the other balances it off with light or muted hues. Although not necessary many brides even decide to have a test run of their hair and make-up for the shoot as well. If you have the budget in place and are very particular about the make-up options give it shot!

Reenacting the conventional possess which in the past were deliberately created, usually that had the groom-on-bended-knee isn’t what many photographers enact these days. Spontaneous shots as the couple holds hands, jumping for joy or even a cuddly intimate hug are a whole lot popular. Grooms who are willing to take the risk hire photographers that will shoot the engagement in a paparazzi style, staying away from plain sight. The chances of the receiving a negative answer or even missing the moment or for that matter even ruining the surprise are some of the risks in this situation. Although not for everyone, I have also had grooms invite friends for a pop-up celebration soon after the question is popped.

To Post or Not to Post?

By all means avoid rush post, wait. Give it a deeper thought to see if you have missed out any close friends or family member before you making it public to the full world. Although the excitement at that moment is over the roof, consider keeping the news to your immediate few circles as long as you can.

As you will expect you will receive a ton of messages, comments and questions from social media platforms that you have to respond to which at this stage will take you away from processing such a huge decision and basking in it with your fiancé. Give the public phase of the engagement some time, based on our experience we can safely say, too early, too soon will only complicate things. Before you launch the news to the online world soak-up the occasion and enjoy the uncomplicated joys of being engaged.

There are also couples who refrain from taking the news to the social media as well allowing for the word to organically spread to their extended circles announcing it only just before the big day arrives.

Formally Announcing the Engagement

In the recent past, the parents of the brides-to-be would often send out written announcements to formally announce the engagement. Today it is a lot more informal, sharing engagements to social media, emails and simply over the phone are acceptable means to break the news to family and friends. Save-the-date cards soon follow this which are usually emailed which is considered to be a formal announcement.

Engagements can also be for a longer period, in this case, it is best limit formal announcements only to people that you plan to invite to the wedding. Generally, formal announcements are sent by the parents of the bride, however, it isn’t uncommon for the couple to do so on their own. The announcement has very little wordings usually a large size image that takes up most of the space without a mention of the date of the wedding or location.

Media Announcements

A mention in the local newspaper about the announcements is today considered to be a throwback for most brides. Typically, the engagement announcement is seen well in advance then followed by the wedding announcement. Grandparents and times parents as well will agree to this notion of a formal announcement and it also makes for a wonderful keepsake. Make them happy if this is the case, you can save your battles for something else. You need not do much to get involved in doing so, simple send across a photograph of the two of you to the parents who request for it and allow them to manage it for you.

If you have moved away from your hometown and have spent years away, you could also make a placement in the local paper there. Additionally, an announcement to the paper that is services your present address can also be done. Before you do so, take a look at the guidelines of the news papers for such announcements which are usually available on their websites. These details generally include, the minimum size of photograph, details of your names and occupations and also parents occupation.

Photo that are submitted can be as casual as you may like for both the engagement and wedding announcements, keep both your heads in the line of sight and it should be fine. Local papers also have community drives or social news segments at times where they list announcements without any charge or offer substantial discounts for these sections which you could enquire about. Keep in mind though that if the newspaper treats the announcement as a news bite they are not obligated to publish it, and in national publications the process of selection gets very competitive.

An ideal time period to make a formal announcement is between three to eight months of the wedding. Announcements can also be skipped if you plan an intimate wedding and do not intend to have a medium to large size guest list.

Wedding announcements are also timed as per the newspapers stance on it. A few may run them months before other a day after the wedding day.

Complex Responses

Generally we expect the big news of the announcement to be met with shrieks of excitements. But practically speaking in a number of situations, it could be the last word, let alone the starting point. You may be barraged with a dozen of questions by your parents: when, how, how many, and not forgetting – ‘how much would this cost?’ Following this, differences might be seized such on cultural backgrounds, religion or even geographical post marriage and how the two of you plan to resolve it.

Brace yourself, these are normal reactions at the beginning and you need to have to answer or have all the answers just because people demand it. Treat it like how you may not respond to every email that you receive. I hope not, for your sake!

Take the time you need to discuss the details with your fiancé before you address questions from relatives . Staying away from giving quick, un-thought about responses will avoid being in arguments or being unintentionally backed into a corner. Have a pre-planned response that you tell everyone before addressing the indecisive questions –‘ We will start planning later, for now, we just want to enjoy this time.’, works best.

Dealing with Friends

Announcing the news to friends is undoubtedly the best part! You can surely expect screams, squeals and hugs when they are informed but not be taken aback if a few, in particular girlfriends don’t impart in your joys.

It could be a number of reasons, envy is typical, especially if the friend has been waiting to be asked in marriage by a boyfriend that is noncommittal. A friend that has been married could be envious of your bliss. Envy of the attention you will garner over the next few months could also be another reason for jealously.

Truth be told, the naysayers and the sulkers will always be around, cut a them a bit of slack and zone them negative vibes away. You will only end up being upset if you let the reaction escalate to being angered one especially when you are disappointed. Remember this is your moment of happiness and you would want anything in the world to ruin it. So, unless someone has substantial evidence against a claim they make against your beloved, you don’t have to stress out. One way to handle a not-so-elated friend is to give them a couple of weeks to properly absorb the news and plan a drinks or dinner with them. An assurance that you will still be good friends even though your relationship with them may change will have them come around eventually.

Dealing with a Nightmarish Situation

Although no one would like to be in this situation, negative reactions from parents are always a possibility. Keeping your to be spouse away from earshot when your inform your parents will ensure that your fiancé isn’t subjected to their reactions.

You may also hear screams of “You do not what you are doing” or “What are you thinking”, or maybe something a lot more colorful, however, you must be upfront in communicating that your plans to get married are not negotiable. Inform your parents that you would love for them to be a part of this wonderful experience and how important it is to you share it with them. They may not be reasonable at that moment but it is vital that you hold your calm, they are your parent after all. Take them aside if at all they carry the discussion in front of your fiancé and let them know how embarrassing it is to the both of you.

A similar situation could be if you are facing the announcement in front of your future in-laws, try not to take it personally. The burst could be from separation anxiety or control issues of sorts, essentially nothing to do with you. They could be just taken by surprise and hence loose control of their emotions and judgment so the best approach in your best interest would be to not react and stay calm.

If the reaction is a prolonged one, it is best to not view the party as a source of funding in the long run. Inform them very clearly them you respect them as your in-laws and would love to have them be a part of the occasion but refrain from asking for any monetary support and don’t feel obligated to have them get involved in planning the big day. Taking the high road in this situation will help in preserving the relationship no matter how offended or any you are, however, asking for monetary support especially when they it is something they do not believe in would only lead to petty arguments and awkwardness.

This is let best to be an extreme situation and let always hope that the announcement is well received and thus be prepared for a profound response too. This especially be the case when you have been dating for a while and the engagement would be on the cards as a predictable next step. From you parent view though it is still a huge leap and would be a huge announcement. They would now be a part of an extended family and you would be venturing into creating a family of your own.

You Have Been Married Before

Breaking the news of your engagement to your ex-spouse if this isn’t your first marriage? This entirely depends on how relaxed or complex your current relationship is with ex and whether you have children. Breaking the news via your children may not be best suited as there could be concerns and questions about the physical and geographical shift in family that would be bound to occur, hence, discussing this with a pre-scheduled time to meet to discuss the living arrangements will help determine the best way forward. Alimony discussion also needs to be discussed, either in person on with your lawyer. Being upfront with your children will help them better understand how their life would change and it would be best to come from you rather than they having to bombard your ex to find out.