Written By Special Events Contributor, Danyel Buie, Event Planner Extraordinaire
We know that summer is the season for weddings, so in this Summer Wedding Series, Danyel Buie will break down everything you need to know about etiquette and the do’s and dont’s of wedding planning to ensure your big day goes off without a hitch. First up, the engagement!
Last night was the best night of your life! The man of your dreams has proposed in the sweetest way possible with a ring to die for. No doubt your happiness is somewhere between sharing this awesome event with your closest family and friends to shouting your news atop the highest mountain.
Once an engagement is made, the next question is usually “what do I do now?” It goes without saying that there is a lot of planning and organizing to be done before the big day. Although there are no hard and fast rules about engagement, there are some practical rules of etiquette that a blushing bride to be should be aware of.
- Show off the Bling: An engagement is not complete without the ring! The traditional bride is attracted to diamonds (how many girls aren’t?), but the variety of options for rings are endless. For the most part, the groom is responsible for the purchase of the ring but it is certainly acceptable for the bride to be to contribute to the purchase of her engagement ring.
- Tact is Key: It’s natural for both families to want to offer their assistance with the wedding planning so it’s important to handle the situation with care and let the right people do the right job. This is especially important if there are divorced and/or step parents to consider in this process.
- Make a Formal Announcement: Besides the top of the mountain option, your family and friends should be the first to hear of your exciting news. It’s in good taste to show them you care and that they are an important part of your life. Once this is achieved, a formal announcement in the media is the traditional vehicle to announce your upcoming nuptials to everyone else. The hometown newspaper is best and the bride’s parents are responsible for providing all of the information needed for the announcement.
- Time to PARTY! : Now comes the fun part of putting together a fabulous engagement party. The style and size of your party depends on your budget and what you prefer. It can be a grandiose affair complete with printed invitations and reply cards, or as simple as a backyard barbecue. It is not traditional engagement etiquette to throw a party or to ask/receive engagement gifts; however, if you choose to throw a party it is important to remember that anyone that is invited to your party should receive an invitation to the wedding.
- Part Ways: While difficult to fathom during such a happy time in one’s life, there are times when circumstances change and a couple is faced with the unpleasant obligation of letting their family, friends and relatives know that there won’t be a wedding. It is customary for the bride to return the ring if the decision to call off the wedding is her choice. She is entitled to the ring if the wedding is called off by her fiancee. The key at this stage is to respect the other party in order to keep dignity and self respect in the forefront.
Getting engaged is one of the most exciting and nerve wracking times of your life. Enjoy the process and look forward to planning the wedding and the life of your dreams!
Photo credit: Getty Images