Wedding Event Time Line Made Simple – Announcing Your Engagement

There seem to be so many things to do when you first start planning your wedding. From setting a date and choosing wedding invitations to planning all the events besides the big day it can get a little confusing.  Okay it can get very confusing.  Here is a guide to all the main events, when to have them, when to start planning them and how to decide which ones you really need and which ones you can skip.

She Said Yes! Announcing your Engagement

There is a pecking order on who gets the big news first!  Some people may actually be upset if you don’t take the time to tell them before you tell the world.  Sit down with any children the two of you have first and tell them the happy news.  Next you probably want to tell your parents and future in laws.  It is considered proper etiquette to inform the bride’s parents first followed closely after by the groom’s parents.  Next you will want to tell any close family members such as siblings and grandparents.  Tell anyone who may get hurt feelings not hearing the news directly from you.  It may be best for you to be direct with your parent’s and ask that they keep the news to themselves until you have time to tell certain people.  Consider that the news will probably spread like wildfire anyway so once you start announcing keep with it until you have told everyone on the above list.  You can of course tell everyone at once during a family dinner.

Next you want to call close friends and consider whether you want to send engagement announcements or have an engagement party.  You may also decide to print an engagement announcement in your local paper.  If you decide to have an engagement party you want to have it a few weeks after you announce your engagement.  No need to wait too long.  Make sure the event is only for announcing and celebrating your engagement and be sure not to try to squeeze it into another event such as a birthday party.  You don’t want anyone feeling upstaged at their party.

Sending official engagement announcements is also acceptable as long as you plan on inviting everyone that is sent one.  If you have chosen your wedding date you can include it in the announcement, but be sure that your venue and reception hall of choice can accommodate that date.  If you aren’t sure of the details it is best to just mention the season and year.  Something along the lines of “we are planning a fall wedding for next year” will do just fine.

This is Really Happening! Setting and Announcing your Wedding Date

You want to do this as soon as possible as well.  All of your vendors and bridal party will need this information to be able to commit time in their schedules for your special day. If you are set on a particular venue for the wedding, reception or both, you will want to make sure they have the date you have in mind available.  If you are getting married in a church, they may have things you need to accomplish before they allow the wedding and you want to make sure you know what they are in advance.

If you and your intended have a special date in mind that happens to conflict with a special day for someone else, things can get tricky.  Say your wedding is your sister’s birthday or the anniversary of someone very close to you.  You will want to privately discuss your intentions with them before making a general announcement.  Explain your reasoning and listen to their concerns.  As long as someone hasn’t already announced that date for a wedding or event that would conflict with yours there is no reason not to have your wedding on the day of your choosing.

Announcing your wedding date can be done in many ways.  You will want to tell all the key people as soon as possible and personally even if you are sending written announcements.  The key people include; the parents of the couple, the bridal party and anyone else you consider to be very close to you.  There are many free and low cost sites that allow you to create a wedding website for announcements and updates on your wedding planning, registry and other details.  Social networking sites and phone calls are also appropriate ways to spread the news.

If most of the people you know aren’t very tech savvy, save the date cards will be a must.  You may wish to send save the dates regardless so people have a written reminder to keep handy.  Save the dates may include the information for your wedding website, if you have one.  It is not on good form to include your wedding registry information.