Compare Wedding Insurance Guide to Getting Engaged


Without a doubt getting engaged is one of the most exciting moments of your life. You have decided that you want to spend the rest of your life with this person and overnight you have changed status from being simply a girlfriend/boyfriend to a fiancé! After the initial excitement (and perhaps shock) of being engaged has settled you will inevitably want to share your fantastic news with those closest to you. If you are ready to share your news with your family, friends and the world at large then here are a few tips on how best to spread the good news from us at Compare Wedding Insurance.

  1. How to break the news

    When you are ready to share your engagement news with the world you initially have to decide how you want to make your announcement. Here are your options:

    • A personal announcement is always preferable if you live near the announcee. If possible try to both be present when you make the announcement to family and friends, that way they can congratulate you both together!
    • If logistically you are unable to see the announcee in person then a popular alternative is a personal phone call. This is the most personal way to break the news of your engagement to out of town family and friends.
    • Sending e-mails is now an accepted method of making your engagement announcement. This is a quick and convenient way of sharing your news with all of your family and friends, particularly those who live in far flung corners of the world.
    • Setting up a wedding website is popular as it enables you to share every detail of your proposal story with your friends and family all at once. These websites also allow you to swiftly communicate details about your upcoming wedding to all of your friends and family and even display your engagement photo on it. You can create a wedding website for free. provides a great free wedding webpage with stylish designs and lots of helpful wedding planning tools.
    • For some you might find that writing a personal letter is the perfect way of announcing your engagement. Bear in mind that if you intend on writing letters to all of your family and friends you might well end up with very sore hands! In certain circumstances where you want to share your engagement news with someone but would prefer not to speak to them in person (e.g. the family of your late spouse, a friend who is recently divorced etc.) then a handwritten letter is wholly appropriate.
    • Surprise your family with an announcement at a family dinner party.
    • Alternatively you might prefer to throw an engagement party which could be hosted by yourselves, by your parents or by friends. You can choose to either announce your engagement in the party invitations you send out or make a surprise announcement during the party. Engagement parties do not have to be formal, stuffy or expensive affairs - you could have a backyard barbeque or a drinks party at a local bar. A party is definitely a fun way to spread your engagement news, celebrate your newly engaged status and show off your engagement ring!

    • Top Tip: When compiling a guest list for your party bear in mind that those who you invite will probably expect an invitation to your wedding too.

      Top Tip: Although they are not obliged to, it is entirely feasible that some friends and family will want to buy you an engagement gift. If you prefer not to register for gifts at a store this early then you can decline their offers and even, print “gifts not requested” on the party invitations. Alternatively you can explain that you do not intend to register for gifts until nearer the wedding date but that you intend to register at shops “X” and “Y” - at least that way they can buy you some gift vouchers if they insist on celebrating your engagement by buying you a gift.

    • Whilst mailing out formal announcement cards used to be the traditional way of notifying family and friends of your engagement, this is now less popular. The reason for this is that nowadays couples are realizing that by sending these cards they run the risk of the recipient misinterpreting it as an invitation to their wedding. If guest lists are far from your mind at this stage of your initial wedding planning then err on the side of caution and do not send out formal engagement announcement notices. You can send out more details about the wedding later on when you have had a chance to decide who you would like to invite to your wedding.
  2. Newspaper Announcement

    If you would like to announce your engagement to the general public then you should consider a traditional newspaper announcement in your local paper.

    Top Tips for placing a newspaper announcement

    • Your first step should be to decide which newspaper you want the announcement to appear in. You might want it submit it to your own local paper as well as that of your parents.
    • If your wedding is being planned for soon after the engagement then get the announcement in to the newspaper as early as possible as it can take up to a month for it to appear in print.
    • Once you have decided which newspaper, contact their lifestyle or society editor to establish their submission policy. Questions to ask are what are their guidelines, fees (some newspapers run the announcement for free!) and deadlines.

    • Top tip: Always check the newspaper’s submission policy as they do vary between publications.

    • Some newspapers allow photos of the engaged couple, so it is worth checking what their policy is on this. Ask if the photo must be black and white or colour and check to see if you can email the photo to them (this will save you from having to provide them with your original photo which you might well not get back and also avoids the risk of the photo getting lost in the mail).
    • Decide who the announcement is being made by; your parents, your fiancé’s parents or by you and your fiancé.
    • Your announcement should include the following information:
      • You and your fiancé’s full names, hometowns and (if you wish) brief education and career credentials.
      • Each sets of parent’s full names. Include your parents’ hometowns if they do not live in the same town as you or each other.
      • The wedding date or even simply the year you intend to get married.
      • The city and state in which you intend your wedding to take place.
    • If you have not yet made the decision as to wedding date and location then you do not have to include this information at this stage. If you have decided on the month or year your wedding is due to take place then the following wording could be used instead:
      “An autumn wedding is planned/An April wedding is planned/The wedding is set to take place in 2011”.
    • Here are some sample wordings for your newspaper announcement:

      The Bride's Family

      “Mr. and Mrs. Nigel Jones of Sevenoaks announce the engagement of their daughter, Ella to Ray Sparks, son of Tom and Kath Sparks of Plymouth. Ms. Jones graduated ... etc.”

      Divorced Parents

      “Mr. Nigel Jones, of Sevenoaks, and Ms. Hannah Salter, of Fulham, announce the engagement of their daughter, Ella to Ray Sparks. Ms. Jones graduated ... etc.”

      Single Parent

      “Ms. Hannah Salter announces the engagement of her daughter, Ella Jones to Ray Sparks, the son of Tom and Kath Sparks of Fulham. Ms. Jones is also the daughter of Nigel Jones of Sevenoaks. Ms. Jones graduated …… etc.”

      Remarried Parent
      “Ms. Hannah Salter and Mr. Bob Clackett announce the engagement of Ms. Salter’s daughter Ella Jones to Ray Sparks. Ms. Jones ... etc.”

      Deceased Parent

      “Mrs. Hannah Jones announces the engagement of her daughter, Ella to Ray Sparks. Ms. Jones, also the daughter of the late Nigel Jones, graduated from the University of Kent and is a primary school teacher at Busy Bees in Fulham. Mr. Sparks, the son of Tom and Kath Sparks, graduated from Oxford University and is a sales executive with the Nectar Corporation in Sevenoaks.”

      Announcement by the Bride and Groom

      “Ella Jones, a graduate of University of Kent, is to be married to Ray Sparks, a graduate of Oxford University. Ms. Jones, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nigel Jones, is a primary school teacher at Busy Bees in Fulham. Mr. Sparks is a sales executive with the Nectar Corporation in Sevenoaks.”
    • Nowadays many newspapers allow you to fill in an online submissions form. If this service is not available to you then the best way to avoid handwriting discrepancies is to type up the engagement announcement for submission to the newspaper.
    • Ask to see a proof copy for approval before it goes to print to check for mistakes.

  3. Who to tell first

    Traditional wedding etiquette dictates that you should share your engagement news in the following order:

    If you have children

    • Once you are engaged the first people you should tell are your children. You definitely need their support, if not their approval, of your future nuptials before you can start making any plans.
    • You should inform your children of your engagement as soon as possible so that they have plenty of time to adjust to the idea. We are bombarded by the media, particularly by television shows such as "The Brady Bunch", with images of perfectly blended stepfamilies. Of course there will be tears and turbulence as your family unit changes size with your upcoming wedding but becoming a proper united family is not an unattainable feat - it just needs time and perseverance!
    • You should definitely let your children decide for themselves if they want to participate in your wedding.

    Your parents

    • Traditionally the bride’s parents are informed first of the engagement, then the grooms immediately afterwards.

    Your family and close friends

    • Next you should let your grandparents, siblings and other close relatives and friends know about your engagement. Of course if you want to break the news to them all at once then a surprise announcement at a party or family dinner would be the perfect way of achieving this.

    Top Tip: When deciding who to announce your engagement to first consider whether any of your friends or family would be miffed at not being told your news immediately.

    If you are divorced

    • If you are divorced without children then there is no need for you to mention your upcoming marriage to your ex-spouse unless you are on good terms with them and keep in touch with each other's news.
    • If you are divorced with children then you must let your ex-spouse know about your upcoming nuptials. If your children are old enough then you can ask if they would prefer to tell their parent about your wedding or if they want you to break the happy news. You should try to let your ex-spouse know as soon as possible after you have told your children about your engagement, so that your children do not have to keep it a secret and will free to discuss your upcoming wedding openly.
    • If you are not on speaking terms with your ex then you could put your news in a letter to them and mention that you have explained it to your children and that your wish is for your children to be a part of your wedding day. Although as co-parent you don’t need permission for your own children to participate in your wedding ceremony, it would make things easier all round if your ex-spouse was consulted at an early stage so that any objections could be aired and discussed and you could guarantee their full co-operation with your upcoming wedding plans.

    If you are a widow or widower

    • If your first spouse died then you will need to be sensitive to your deceased spouse's families' feelings. Out of respect for the family you should let them know in person (if you have children by your deceased spouse and remain in constant contact with the family) or by letter (if you have become distant from them and are not used to telephoning them or seeing them in person) that you are remarrying.
    • Whether or not you invite your deceased spouse's family to your wedding is a very delicate etiquette issue. If your children (their grandchildren) are participating in your wedding then consider whether they would enjoy attending so that they could see this. Use your own judgment as to whether you think it would stir up too many sad memories for them (and you). Encore weddings do present social and emotional issues such as this - it comes with the territory I'm afraid!

    Top Tip: When breaking your engagement news try not to upstage anyone. Making the announcement during someone else’s party or celebration may not be appropriate – consider whether they will welcome sharing the limelight with you and your fiancé beforehand or even discuss it with them in private. The last thing you want is for your news announcement to be thought of as stealing someone else’s thunder!

    Top Tip: Remember that whilst your engagement is thrilling for you and your fiancé, not everyone you know will share your excitement. Try not to let any negative reactions diffuse your happiness.

    Top Tip: If you are making the announcement to a friend or family member who has fresh wounds from their own recent divorce or loss of a partner, then try to break the news to them as sensitively as possible. You want your news to be met with tears of joy rather than a maelstrom of grief-stricken sobbing!

The most important piece of advice we can give you is to enjoy being engaged! Try not to get too caught up with who to tell and how to tell them - remember, you should choose a way of telling the world that you are engaged which suits your own personalities and makes you both comfortable and happy. This is a special time for you both, so relax and enjoy it!

Once you start planning the wedding, and booking wedding services, don't forget to puchase Wedding Insurance! Use our handy quote tool to reduce your Wedding Insurance Costs.


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