How to Announce (and Celebrate!) Your Engagement

Find out the proper steps to take right after he pops the question.
By: 
Kristen Finello

Announcing Your Engagement

Most couples call each other's parents "Mr." and "Mrs." or use their first names. But after the engagement, some parents ask their new daughter- or son-in-law-to-be to refer to them as "Mom" and "Dad." If you're still calling your spouse's parents "Mr." and "Mrs." after the wedding and they haven't said anything about it, it's okay to ask them what monikers they'd like you to use.

After informing your nearest and dearest, and your extended families and friends, you might want to run an announcement of your engagement in your local newspaper. Papers typically publish these two to three months before the wedding, but an announcement can run up to a year in advance of the big day. Each paper has its own policy and requirements, so call yours and ask these questions:

  • Is there a standard form to fill out or must I write my own announcement?
  • Does the paper publish photos?
  • If so, what photo format (digital, print, and so on) and style (black-and-white or color) are preferred?
  • Will my photo be returned to me?
  • Is there a charge for running the announcement?

Usually, it's the bride's parents who issue an engagement announcement. Here are some examples of proper wording:

  • The Traditional Way
    "Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Hall of Alpharetta, , announce the engagement of their daughter, Alexis Jane Hall, to Bradley William Smythe, son of Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Smythe of Rye, New York . A June wedding has been planned."
  • If the Bride's Parents Are Divorced and Both Are Announcing
    "Mrs. Amy Hall of Alpharetta, , and Mr. Matthew Hall of Athens, , announce the engagement of their daughter, Alexis Jane Hall, to Bradley William Smythe, son of Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Smythe of Rye, New York . A June wedding has been planned."
  • If the Bride's Parents Are Divorced and One of Them Is Announcing
    "Mrs. Amy Hall of Alpharetta, , announces the engagement of her daughter, Alexis Jane Hall, to Bradley William Smythe, son of Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Smythe of Rye, New York . Miss Hall is also the daughter of Mr. Matthew Hall of Athens, ..." (Note: The parent who raised you should be the one to issue the announcement.)
  • If the Groom's Parents Are Divorced
    "Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Hall of Alpharetta, Georgia, announce the engagement of their daughter, Alexis Jane Hall, to Bradley William Smythe, son of Mrs. Elizabeth Smythe [or Mrs. Elizabeth Rogers, if remarried] of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Mr. Zachary Smythe of Rye, New York..."

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