Holiday season is coming upon us in the next few months, and, that means it’s engagement season. Many marriage proposals and announcements of engagements take place from November through February, and, there is a right way and a wrong way to behave when it comes to your engagement.
Telling the Family. When telling your family that you are now engaged to be married, it is proper to give a bit of heads up. For example “Mom, I hope you don’t mind, but, I’m bringing John home with me for Thanksgiving. We have a big announcement we want to make together.” This is a great way to put family on alert that a proposal has or will be made and that you’re sharing the news with them shortly. The key here is to let the couple make the happy announcement. There is nothing more anti-climatic than having someone else steal your special moment by leaking the information to friends and family before you announce the happy news yourself.
How Family Should React. Assuming your son or daughter hasn’t brought home an axe murderer and you like the young man or young woman the proper way to handle the news is with enthusiasm. You can discuss things like how, why and “are you sure” at a later time. Don’t dampen the special moment with questions that might be very legitimate in your mind, let the couple have some joy. If you only have negative things to say then follow the old rule of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” or if you feel pressured to say something positive try: “I’m happy for you.” This way you aren’t saying you’re happy about the engagement, you’re only saying you’re happy the couple is happy.
Telling Co-Workers. Tell only your closest co-workers about your engagement, and, don’t dwell on the subject, after all it is a place of business. It will get around the office soon enough. You don’t want to make people obligated to give engagement presents or wedding presents.
How Co-Workers Should React: Co-workers who are close to you can help celebrate the special time by taking the bride to be or groom to be out to lunch. Co-workers should offer congratulations but, shouldn’t feel obligated to go overboard, especially if they know they will not be invited to the wedding.
Telling Friends. You never know how friends will react. Some might be very jealous and try to sabotage your engagement. Some might be truly happy for you and others may be overboard happy for you and assume they are included in the bridal party. So make things clear from the start for example if you don’t want someone to assume they are in your wedding party say something along the lines of: “Sally, I know we’re close, but, I’m having relatives in my bridal party. I still hope you come to the wedding as a guest though.” On the other hand, if you do want someone in your bridal party say something along the lines of “Sally, I’m so happy you’re thrilled about our engagement. Would you do me the honor of being a bridesmaid?”
The worst thing you can do to friends is rub it in their faces. Don’t brag about how much was spent on the ring and don’t ever say something to hurt feelings such as “Don’t worry, you’ll find someone” to your single friends. Just think how much it hurt when it was done to you!
How Friends Should React: Very similar to family, friends should be enthusiastic about the news of your engagement. Friends should save questions like how, why and “are you sure” for a later time, and, offer their support without making the bride or groom feel obligated to include them in the wedding party.