So you’ve just gotten engaged and it’s finally time to scale the nearest tall building and begin announcing it to the world at the top of your lungs like an overjoyed King Kong… Wrong. Breaking the news of your engagement is actually fertile ground for sowing the seeds of discontent among those dearest to you. Why? Because who you tell, how you tell them and in what order is very revealing of the kind of relationship you have with them. I mean, how would your best friend feel if the first person you told was a work colleague? Perhaps they’ll be swept up in the thrill of the announcement and not care that were not the first non-family member to be told. Or maybe they’ll wonder why you chose to share your news with someone else first.
So, why not just tell everyone at the next big event where most of the people you need to tell will be present in the same place? Then everyone gets to find out at once. This can still be problematic because normally speaking, some people will expect to, and arguably should, be told first; not placed on an even footing with everybody else. I mean, how would your parents feel if they were forced to experience the moment they first found out you were getting married in the midst of a crowd. How would they feel receiving your very divided attention on this occasion that probably means so much to them? Like I said… it’s tricky. Breaking the news requires a certain kind of finesse and recognition of the hierarchy and value of relationships in your life.
The best thing to do is tell the people most important to you first, face to face leaving minimal time between announcements. Remember that people are TERRIBLE at keeping secrets, so try and tell the most important people in your life within a few days of breaking the news to the first person. Also, be prepared to answer questions, especially if your engagement was not heavily anticipated by those near to you. The people who love you most will be interested in the details, so prepare to get good at answering them enthusiastically, even if you’ve answered them a dozen times already. After the really important people are out of the way, you might want to think about the people who might be hurt if you don’t tell them personally. There’s no need to meet these, but drop them a line and tell them over the phone. They will be so happy that you thought to call.
As for everyone else, they can find out from mutual friends or through Facebook. Remember to make sure you’ve covered your bases before you announce anything online, and also remember that many people will start sending you public messages of congratulations once the word gets out, so make sure that you’ve told the people you needed to before they find out by accident online. I know it can sound a bit daunting but try to enjoy the process and use it as an opportunity to reflect on the relationships which are most meaningful to you, and take joy in the happiness that your announcement will bring to many people.