Engagement: How to Tell

Getting engaged is a big deal—and not just for you. Lots of people will want to hear the news, and chances are, you want to be the one to tell them. But don’t forget, there’s a pecking order that you should keep in mind. You don’t want to affront close friends or family by not telling them before you post it on a social media site or someone else spills the beans.

So who do you tell first? Start with children. If you have kids from a previous relationship, they get dibs on the number one spot. Chances are, they’ll be the most affected once you take the vows, and they deserve to find out first. They might need some time to come to terms with adding on to the family, and lots of extra love and attention also can’t hurt.

Next up can be the hardest for some—parents, or best friends? Tell whoever you think will be most excited first. That way, if your parents aren’t exactly happy about it, you will at least have some extra love from friends to cushion the blow. Just make sure that one party doesn’t find out from the other; the news should come from you. Ideally, they wouldn’t even know who came first.

Tell one set of parents at a time, rather than in a group setting—which can sometimes be uncomfortable if the two sets of parents don’t know each other well. That way, they can feel more relaxed and able to express their emotions. Likewise, if your parents don’t know your soon-to-be, it’s a good idea to tell them on your own. Meeting a new boyfriend or girlfriend and finding out they’re actually your fiancé all in one go can be overwhelming and awkward. The same applies if they don’t exactly love your choice in a mate.

After family and close friends, it’s up to you. It might be a good idea to make some sort of general announcement or give permission to others to spread the news on their own.

You might consider an engagement party down the road—for now, just enjoy the love.

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