How to Follow Engagement Etiquette

Stop the fian-sanity! Don't let excitement over your nuptial news cause you to behave like a boor

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Everything you need to know about engagements, bridal showers, and weddings, whether you're the bride, the groom, or a guest.

You Will Need

  • Personal announcements
  • Tact
  • A meet-the-parents get-together
  • A party (optional)
  • Save-the-date cards (optional)
  • Gift registries (optional)

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Start spreading the news

    Tell close family members and friends in person or on the phone – before you e-mail the news, post on Facebook, or update your Twitter status.

  2. Step 2

    Don't brag

    Be sensitive to any friends who may feel left out. And please: Do not make your upcoming nuptials the sole topic of conversation for the foreseeable future.

  3. Step 3

    Meet the parents

    If you're the groom, let your folks know that it's customary for them to extend an invitation to the bride's parents for a meet and greet. If they already know each other, this isn't necessary

  4. Step 4

    Consider a party

    } Celebrate with a party if you like, but it's not mandatory. The only rule regarding engagement parties? Whomever you invite must also get an invitation to the wedding. Presents aren't required, so if you receive any, don't open them at the party or you may embarrass gift-less guests.

  5. Step 5

    Save-the-date

    Send a save-the-date card as early as possible so your guests can make plans – especially if you're having a destination wedding or are marrying on a holiday weekend, when booking travel may be difficult.

  6. Be sure about your guest list; once you send a save-the-date card, you must follow up with a wedding invitation.

  7. Step 6

    Register for gifts

    If you're registering for gifts, keep that information off the invitation; ask friends and family to spread the word, and post details on your wedding web site. Limit yourself to three registries, and make sure at least one has actual stores.

  8. Never ask for a cash gift outright, but you can steer people to a registry that collects donations toward one of your goals, like a down payment or a honeymoon trip.

  9. Step 7

    Be considerate to coworkers

    Be considerate to coworkers. Don't expect them to pick up the slack while you spend company time making wedding arrangements. If you occasionally have to make a wedding-related phone call at work, keep your voice down. Remember: No one is as fascinated by your wedding as you are – except maybe your mom.

  10. Ninety percent of people polled said they didn't feel obliged to buy a couple an engagement gift.

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