I’m engaged! Now … who do I tell first?

Photo by: Tracey Ann Jarrett

Photo by: Tracey Ann Jarrett

Congratulations! Your sweetheart popped the question and you said YES! Now you’re engaged to be married. So who do you tell first?


I know the first thing you may want to do is snap a shot of that sparkly ring and instantly post it on social media with the caption “He put a ring on it!” But … consider the people closest to you before you blast the news to the world. Most likely they’ve noticed the romance and commitment and won’t be surprised at the news, but special family and friends deserve special attention. Here is a quick checklist of who to tell when:


  1. Children

If you or your fiancé (or both) have children, they should be told before anyone else. This is particularly important if the children are young or teenagers because adding a stepparent and/or stepsiblings can significantly affect their lives. Your ex-spouse should also be told, especially if you have children from that marriage.

  1. Parents

You can speak to parents as a couple or individually but if your parents do not know your fiancé, it is your responsibility to introduce him or her. The tradition for the groom-to-be to speak the father of the bride-to-be to declare his intentions and gain consent is obsolete in most cultures. However, be considerate if your bride-to-be wishes to honor that tradition. In any case, it is always good to show respect to both sets of parents and meet with them to discuss future plans.

  1. Close family and friends

How you tell your close friends and family is up to you: posting on social media, via phone or in person. The guiding rule is to be considerate of people’s feelings and to be thoughtful of what may be happening in their lives. Also, be careful not to make promises before you’ve planned your wedding. For example, you don’t want to get caught up in the excitement of getting engaged and commit to twice as many bridesmaids as you really want.

  1. Colleagues and coworkers

You may want to tell your boss first as a matter of courtesy but it’s not a must. At some point you should speak with your HR or personnel manager to make necessary changes to your benefit, insurance and or pension plans effective after your wedding date.



This article was written by guest blogger, Laura Cotton – a licensed etiquette trainer by the Emily Post Insititute