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The moment you get engaged is a very exciting one. As you both gaze at the ring, with perhaps more than a small lump in the backs of your throats, your entire future together flashes before your eyes in one lovely haze. Once you have recovered from your own exhilaration, it is time to start spreading the word, which will only get you excited all over again. However, like everything in life, there are rules and expectations regarding announcing one’s engagement. Generally speaking, you should share the news with those family members that are closest to you and work your way ‘out’ from there.

Usually, the order is as follows:

1. Your Children – if one or both of you have children (whether from your present relationship or a previous one) these should be the first to find out about the engagement. In fact, before becoming engaged, you should already have had a conversation about your intentions to gauge their feelings in this regard. Their approval is essential; they rely on you as their parents completely. Reassure them often and sincerely that your love for one another will never negotiate or affect your love for them.

2. Your Parents – it is usually considered proper for the bride’s parents to find out about the engagement first, followed immediately by the groom’s parents. Try and tell them together and in person. If they live far away from you, contact them on Skype (or similar) so that you can speak to them in real time and together as a couple.

3. Your Siblings and Step-Siblings (if appropriate) – if you have brothers and sisters that do not live with your parents, they should be the next to find out from you about your engagement.

4. Other Relatives – think carefully about who would want to be told the most and prioritise these ones at the top of your list. Include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and so on. If there is any way of telling everyone together (at a family barbecue, for example), this is optimal.

5. Your Friends – call your closest friends first and then call the others. If you feel that telling certain groups of friends together would cause the least amount of ‘politics’ (or would simply enjoy sharing the moment with the gang), go for drinks or invite them around for dinner. They will be able to share the joy and excitement and will all feel equally important.

6. The World – once you are sure that everybody nearest and dearest to you knows about your announcement, you may decide to announce your engagement to colleagues and acquaintances. This can be done by placing an announcement in the local or national newspaper(s), on Facebook or on Twitter. Another great idea is to create a personal wedding website and post the link to your Facebook profile or at the bottom of your emails. In this way, people can have access to information, photographs and plans. This is particularly good for couples that do not live close to their friends and family.

Photo Credit: wedinmilwaukee.com

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