Tuesday, January 12, 2021

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You've asked and we've answered! Welcome to your weekly column 'Planning Your Happily Ever After' with wedding consultant Shikima Hinds. Her focus this week: Engagement etiquette 

If you haven't noticed, it's that time of year when engagements are popping up fast and frequently. A new year usually includes new engagements. I am sure that you want to let the whole world know that he proposed and you're officially going to be getting married. (Congrats!) Whether you just got engaged or you're hopefully waiting for the question to be popped, there is etiquette about how to properly announce your new status.

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to engagement announcements. Whether you shout it from the rooftops or just keep the news to your inner circle — you're not wrong. 

Family & inner circle first

Before word starts to spread — and good news usually does fast — it's important to share your news with family and close friends. The parents of the bride and groom should definitely be told. Then the rest of the family and friends.

Imagine if your favourite future aunt-in-law finds out about the impending nuptials from another source because you each thought the other had called her. She'll never let you live it down, trust me. Make sure you and your partner both share the news directly with your VIPs.

After loved ones are told, it is appropriate to start posting on social media. Engagement announcements in the era of Instagram and social media take some creative planning these days. Which engaged to bride would not want any Instagram-worthy or Pinterest-inspired engagement announcement? I mean, one minute you're having a totally regular day and then… voilà… you're engaged!

If you had a photographer secretly capture your proposal, posting one of these shots is an obvious choice. If not, post-proposal, an engagement photo session is the next step. You can never go wrong with a traditional, timeless engagement photoshoot. Family and friends everywhere will love the photos.

Traditionally, someone apart from the engaged couple, perhaps their parents, would have sent out a formal wedding announcement. But we're living in modern times! Couples are choosing to skip the formalities and go with something more fun and personal in this Internet age: A digital or social media announcement.

And while the ever-popular 'ring shot', usually accompanied by an 'I said yes!' caption, is the most popular staple, others prefer to bring in a different context — a shot from the actual proposal or even a planned photograph.

Start with these engagement announcement social media photo ideas to share the news: 

• Share a photo of the two of you in the moment: If your partner hired a photographer to capture the proposal. What's more fun and emotional than to reveal the news with a photo of the actual proposal! It will make your family and friends feel like they were a part of an important moment in your life. 

• Share a snap of your ring: Put that sparkler in the limelight with a simple engagement announcement photo. 

• Take a selfie: Share a selfie alternative of you and your ring that's simple, fun, and straight to the point! 

• Show off your fiancé: Opt to show off your handsome husband-to-be instead of just the ring. Remember, he's the one who asked so he's just as excited to announce your engagement to the world as you are! A close-up shot of your engagement ring and a romantic silhouette of you and your new fiancé is so cute. This will capture both your love and your new piece of jewellery. 

• Hand-written messages: Write your excitement on your palms — and spin those rocks around so no one misses their sparkle. 

The caption

Words are often not needed to explain what that ring on your left finger means. When adding your caption to the post, keep it short and sweet. Check out popular hashtags on Instagram such as #engaged #isaidyes and #heputaringonit to find a lot of ladies showing off their rings and proposal pics! 

Other engagement announcement tips

Get a manicure: For the first few weeks everyone will want to admire that sparkling ring on your finger and you don't want chipped varnish or tattered nails ruining the look!

Don't share too much info: Be selective in what else you share.

I know it's typical that once you get engaged, you'll be pressured with tons of questions. As you enjoy the moment, take the time to think about what exactly you want for your wedding; there's no need to specify about a date or location just yet.

You're certainly welcome to gush about your ring, but you don't have to give the specifics about how many carats your ring is, how much it costs or where it was purchased.

When asked how he proposed, keep some aspects of story sentimental; no need to share who knew before he popped the question.

Your friends and family will be jumping for joy after they hear your big news. Getting engaged is an incredible moment that both you and your partner will never forget.

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