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7 things to remember when announcing your engagement

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Your Prince Charming has finally asked you the big question—and you said “Yes!” Congratulations! It is really exciting, isn’t it?

We know that you just can’t wait to break this news to the rest of the world! And you deserve to let everyone know. But, just take a minute before you change your relationship status on Facebook, and click save! Or before you tweet it to the world or post it in your friend circle on FB. There are certain basic etiquette rules to follow where an engagement is concerned. Let us take a look at what they are.

Family deserves to know first

Unless you are in an unusual situation where family doesn’t really count, they should be the first people that you should share the news with. There is nothing happier than telling it to your parents in person and watching their reaction to the news. If your partner is a true Prince Charming, it is likely that he has already asked for your parent’s blessings prior to proposing. In that case, this may come as expected. Nevertheless, they deserve to know first. If they live far away, break the news to them through a phone call or better, in a video chat. Whether you do it alone, or with your partner, depends on how you think your parents are likely to react to the news. You can also pass the news to the groom’s family first, if that is what you prefer. The only exception to telling your parents is when it is a second marriage and you have children. In this case, they deserve to be the first to know, whether they are young or grown up. You should also share this news with your ex-spouse, so they can help your children in accepting the news. Do not involve your fiancé when you talk to your children about this, so they can react naturally to the news.

Your close friends and family should know before the rest of the world does

As tempted as you may be to make the big announcement to the world, it is only appropriate that the most important people in your life get the exclusive first. News travels fast. So, don’t be surprised if your grandmother is offended because she came to know of your engagement through a friend, who found the news on your social media network. This will always be disappointing, even if you were planning to personally meet her to share the good news. Pick up the phone and call up all those who are really close to you. This should include your siblings, close relatives and close friends. Or message them personally. It won’t take long for them to acknowledge it. Once you’ve personally conveyed it to your dearest ones, don’t hesitate to scream from the rooftops! Or as is the current trend, announce it on social media.

If hosting a surprise engagement party, make sure all those who personally deserve to know are invited

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Some couples decide to break the big news to friends and family at an engagement party. In other cases, it is the parents who want to celebrate the engagement by throwing a party for the couple, when they announce the news to everyone. Engagement parties are not customary, and whether you have one or not is up to your discretion. However, if this is how you intend to break the news, plan your guest list well. This is a very special occasion, and all those who personally deserve to know should be invited. Another factor to keep in mind is that, anyone who is invited to the party, also gets an invitation to the wedding. This is basic etiquette.

Other ways to announce are equally good

If you aren’t so fond of the idea of an engagement party, there are other traditional ways of informing everyone, albeit in a proper and personal way. One of the oldest, yet one of the most popular methods is through an engagement announcement in the newspaper. This task is traditionally undertaken by the bride’s parents. Or, you can consider doing it yourself. The announcement may be accompanied by a photo. So, it gives you a good opportunity to use the pictures from your engagement photo shoot. You can find out more details on how to do this in the right format, at this article on the Bridal Guide.  Older relatives may appreciate if your parents personally tell them the news over telephone, or write to them. You can also host an engagement party, where you inform the invitees that you are engaged right when you invite them. It isn’t unusual to set up a registry prior to the party, as at least some guests will want to gift you on this occasion. Make sure that you have items of a smaller budget on your registry, so they do not have trouble finding a reasonably priced option.

Save-the-date cards are a great way to make the announcement

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Save-the-date cards are an ideal way to share the news with both your close associates and those who you think should know that you are engaged. If you have already finalized your wedding date, save-the-dates will give your wedding guests enough notice to begin planning their availability. There are many beautiful card options on our store at Best for Bride. We suggest that you take a look at this link here, so you can pick one that appeals to you. If you already have a specific idea of your wedding colors and patterns, you can search for one that matches the tone of the wedding. This will offer your guests a sneak peek into what they can expect at the wedding. If you still haven’t reached that phase, it is perfectly acceptable to email or send the good news to through snail mail. This will help you to share it promptly, and while you are most excited, and they will appreciate your gesture of involving them in your joy.

Let your casual acquaintances also know

There is no reason you should keep your engagement under wraps from anyone other than your immediate family and friends. Share the news on social media, but after you have informed all your closer acquaintances personally. After all, you deserve to bask in all the attention that you will get on this special occasion. There are many creative ways to make this announcement. So, if your soon-to-be-husband blew you off with a surprising proposal, this is your chance to be impressive with your creativity and stun him. If you have trouble coming up with how to do this with style, visit this article on the wedding party app blog for plenty of inspiration. We quite love the champagne idea; it is a great way to make that celebratory champagne work its way towards a beautiful announcement. And, as the article suggests, staging a photo shoot may seem too time-consuming. However, it is the perfect way to buy you that time to first announce the news to all those closer to you, and wow the world with how you break this important news, when the time is just right.

In all cases, put some thought into it

All you are concerned with is just telling the world that you have taken the big step in your relationship, right? Wrong! While you may just want to spill the news now, remember that how you do it will seem important, when you think back on it later.

Whether you do it in writing, over the phone or on social media, how you do it will seem relevant to you later. Even if you don’t want to adhere to traditional etiquette in this matter, make sure that your engagement announcement receives the due importance it deserves, by communicating it with interest and enthusiasm. It may be on an anniversary in the future that you scroll back to your social media announcement, and look at how special it seemed at the time. You do not want to regret how careless and casual you sounded. Just a “We’re engaged!!” can be so boring. So, do it better and it will be another wonderful page in your memories.

Now that we know what you should remember when announcing your engagement, let us also look at the ugly part of the whole thing—the likely mistakes to avoid! Yes, there is such a thing as a terrible announcement that people can roll their eyes at or even disapprove. You do not want that to happen to you. So, here are some ways in which you should avoid spreading the breaking news about this big event in your life.

  • Never ever break it at another person’s celebration

You may be super-thrilled about that big solid rock on your finger, and can’t wait to show it off. So, create an occasion for it, when you will proudly announce the news. Don’t use another gathering as the chance to bring it out into the open. It is very rude if you decide to share this news at another celebration, like a friend’s birthday, anniversary or any other important ceremony, for that matter. It is stealing attention from the person who hosts the celebration, and you are wrong in doing so. If someone you know discusses this on the day, you can disclose the fact but keep the discussion to a minimum and hold off other details for later.

  • By beating around the bush and expecting people to get the drift

You may think that sending out cryptic messages and having people ask you about what is going on is cute and exciting—not always! While those who are actually close to you may catch the drift and ask you what is going on, remember that everyone including your colleagues and friends from an other life read this stuff. Not all may be equally curious, and it can easily be overlooked. Worse is the fact that they may not appreciate all this drama. So, a straightforward and clear message is the way to go.

  • Showing off

You may have an exemplary ring, which your fiancé spent a fortune on. Or, you may be engaged to the hottest guy on the planet. Nevertheless, nobody will appreciate you bragging about it. Let the ring speak for itself, and let the girls feel jealous of the handsome hunk you call your own. You don’t have to advertise it for attention. That just makes you sound like you won a lottery, and don’t deserve what you have. So, please curb the enthusiasm to discuss the carat and cost of your ring, unless you are specifically asked for it.

  • Don’t pick the wrong time to make the announcement

It is never a good idea to break the news to someone when they are going through a difficult patch or have heard some bad news. This is disrespectful. As excited as you may be about the great thing that just happened in your life, it would be best to be empathetic and postpone your engagement announcement till they are better prepared to take it in. Whether this is your close friend who just broke up with her boyfriend of forever, or someone who has lost a dear one, keep the news to yourself till they come to terms with their grief. Trust us, they will not feel bad that you didn’t share the news immediately, once they know why!

So, as you mark the start of your sweet life story, make sure to do it right and all those beside you will be happy.

Somebody once said “Engagement marks the end of a whirlwind romance and the beginning of an eternal love story.” Here is all happiness and joy to you as you begin your life together. And for everything that you need for your spectacular and love-filled wedding day, visit us at Best for Bride. From wedding dresses, to bridesmaids dresses, accessories, cakes, invitations and wedding favors, we have everything you need for your big day in one place. Partner with us as you begin planning your wedding, and we will make sure you have the best experience you can possibly get.

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Marriage proposals—history, trivia, mistakes to avoid and 3 beautiful stories

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Have you ever checked out our wedding proposal contest on Best for Bride? If you haven’t already, you should! It is full of exciting stories of wedding proposals done right, and we are certain that you will enjoy reading the innovative and romantic ways in which the singular life-changing question, “Will you marry me?” was presented and accepted by different couples.

As I was going through these stories of love, I thought it’s a good idea to look at what marriage proposals are like today, and explore it a little deeper. So, join me as I dig into this subject and let’s have some fun. We also have three of our popular story favorites at the end of this post, so don’t forget to check them out as well.

Some history on the existence of marriage proposals

In many cultures around the world, it used to be and is still customary for the man to ask a woman’s father for her hand in marriage. This has changed in many cultures today, with women being in charge of their destinies and being asked for their hand in marriage, directly.

Accepting a proposal is not compulsory. Many couples choose to wait and see if they are indeed agreeable to spending a lifetime together, before they agree to get engaged. Nevertheless, a surprise proposal executed beautifully and thoughtfully is a thrill for every prospective bride, and one that most women dream of.

This article on the Wikipedia tells us how 29 February is the one day that women could propose to their partner, in countries like Scotland and Finland. Although proposals by women are more popular today, it is still considered the prerogative of a man to take this important step.

Proposing on bent knee

The symbolic gesture that has forever been associated with marriage proposals, most men (a whooping 76%) still favor the practice of proposing to their lady love on a bent knee. Although there is no definite history behind this practice, this article on the Love to know blog, sheds some insight.  It suggests that the gesture exalts the woman, as the man shows his respect to her by lowering himself. It is also comparable to the kneeling of knights when conferred an honor, and accepting a proposal of marriage is a similar honor. The practical reason suggested is that this pose of the man places the ring in an elevated position between the couple, This prevents the blocking of the light falling on the ring, and makes it more attractive. Isn’t that interesting? So, which of these reasons do you buy?

Now, let us look at some interesting trends, numbers and facts with regard to marriage proposals. Hopefully, this will give guys (or girls) a better idea of what would work, if they intend to pop their question sometime soon.

Facts, figures and trends

#Simple or showy?

We’ve seen plenty of romantic wedding proposals in sitcoms and movies, so which of these do you think would be the best for your woman? Is it the romantic and intimate style with just the couple there that the two of you would love? Remember the proposal scene in Pride and Prejudice? How romantic was it when Darcy proposed to Elizabeth on the moor at dawn. Is your girlfriend a fan of such scenes, or would she rather prefer the epic Flash Mob proposal on Cougar town, where Jules cannot deny the proposal because of how touching it was? (Despite her already being married, that is!)

Well, it so happens that 50% of women on the Robin Bros annual survey prefer that her partner spend majority of the funds on the ring, and keep the proposal simple. Despite this, a third of them wouldn’t mind having their engagement broadcast to the rest of the world, instead of keeping it just to themselves. After all, this is the age when reality shows rule us.

#Who should propose?

Traditionally, it was the man who proposed, except in specific cases and on specific days like we saw earlier. Now, things have changed a lot. 37% brides believe that it is fine to take on the responsibility of the proposal, rather than wait around for their partner to realize when it is time. This explains the new trend of engagement rings for men. In fact, the tradition of proposing on bent knee extends to this scenario too, but with the woman on her knee instead. Many men don’t really mind this type of proposal though, nor do they have any qualms about accepting it.

#When is the ideal time to propose?

Interestingly, women were more of the opinion that they had to wait for a while to make sure they were compatible as a couple, before deciding to get married. A fifth of the women on the Marriage proposal survey by Chillysauce mention that they would like to be proposed to on the anniversary of the day they got together. Men on the other hand, had no such personal dates as their preference, and chose Christmas Eve and Valentine’s day as the more likely dates to pop the question.

#Is it alright to propose on social media?

It is surprising how proposals, which were once considered very personal, are now finding more likes when executed in the public eye. A surprising 40% of women in UK, on the Chillysauce survey wouldn’t mind being proposed to over social media. Celebrities like Kelly Rowland and Kristen Bell have taken the leap to propose via the digital world, and more couples are following suit. However, the survey by Robin Bros in US suggested something different. Almost the entire population they surveyed deemed techie proposals as inappropriate and unromantic, even when followed by an in-person gesture. So, I think it differs from place to place, and person to person. So, give some thought to it before you make your move.

Now, let us move on from these numbers and get around to a more serious topic. If you are planning to get engaged in the near future, these definite proposal mistakes might be helpful.

Proposal mistakes to avoid

#Popping the question too early

There are women who want to get married right away, and then there are those who just aren’t sure. Like the survey said, most women like to wait it out and see if the relationship is headed anywhere, before they commit themselves entirely. While guys may be certain that they’ve finally met the woman of their dreams, girls are usually more skeptical. So, our suggestion is to wait till you are past the infatuation stage, you have had your first few arguments and are still certain that this relationship will work. This will save you the trouble of being in an awkward situation if she seems undecided or says no.

#Proposing empty-handed

Marriage proposals and engagement rings are a match made in heaven. One isn’t complete without the other! Proposing without the ring is a big, BIG mistake. So, what do you do if you aren’t sure that she’ll like the ring you pick? This article on the Knot suggests that you choose one from a store with an exchange policy.  Doesn’t that sound good? Or, if you have been engaged for long and both know that a wedding is on the cards, you can take her ring shopping. Our proposal story contest winners in Season 1, Darren and Angela did this.  They were together for 6 years,before they were engaged to be married. Darren knew her style by taking her out to look at rings in advance, and everything ended out fine in the end. Or, you could always consider proposing to your lady love in a ring store, like Patrick Dempsey did in the movie, Sweet Home Alabama.

#Not personalizing the proposal to suit her personality

Not all women may revel in the idea of being proposed to in front of hundreds of onlookers. Many would rather prefer being a park, or in a meaningful place with just the two of you or few onlookers who you know and would like to have there at the time. Make the moment about her, and your proposal will be more impressive. Many women love being proposed at the place where you first met. So, if your lady is a real romantic, you may like to consider this option. Also remember that your partner may prefer it if you had it well-planned, instead of just going with the flow and not taking it seriously enough. It is a life-time commitment after all, so give it the due importance it deserves.

#Ruining the surprise

You may have painstakingly created the perfect plan for your proposal, but beware of sharing it with too many people. Sure, you can enlist the help of your trusted friends or family, if you want help with executing it. You may even give a hint to her parents when you ask them for their blessings, but don’t share the details. Make sure that it is a secret, and not something that is public knowledge. You do not want your girlfriend hearing about it from someone, and the surprise being spoiled. She may also appreciate it better if she could break the news to everyone afterwards, than learn that they all knew it beforehand and it was a surprise only for her. Wait for the right moment, and give her the joy she deserves when you propose to her. You could even have a meaningful engagement with just the two of you, and then break the news to the rest of your gang with an engagement party.

It’s now time for us to look at some of our favorite proposals from our engagement proposal contest archives.

Proposal Contest Winners

1.Kristen and Jason’s Catch Phrase Proposal

This is one of the most romantic proposals we’ve ever come across. Jason caught Kristen off-guard with his proposal, by leading her to the scenario through playing the board game “Catch Phrase.” When it was Kristen’s turn to guess, Jason’s clues began with “It’s something you do, when you love someone.” Kristen’s first comical guess was buy them stuff. Her brother who was also playing, finally guessed ‘Proposal’, and all of a sudden Jason was on his knee, asking Kristen to marry him. How unique was that. Read all about this wonderful couple who were the season 2 winners of our story contest here.

2.Sean and Paige’s touching cancer to engagement story

Season 4 proposal story winner Paige was diagnosed with stage 3 lymphoma cancer and was in the hospital recovering from surgery. On the second night of her stay, Sean had all her visitors leave early, and walked in with a bouquet of roses. After showing her that he’d shaved his head so she wouldn’t be alone when she lost hers during therapy, he went on to propose to her. It was a touching moment, as Paige was too overwhelmed and ended up with her vital signs running berserk. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful proposal.

3.Louie and Rosie’s Pizza Proposal Story

This couple, on their fourth anniversary visited their favorite restaurant in Woodridge. Rosie went on to order her favorite pizza, and was upset that it took them more than an hour to get it ready. Just as she was above to give the staff a piece of her mind for the undue delay, her fiance took over and went to meet the staff. Surprise, surprise, he returned with a heart-shaped pizza that had “Will you marry me” written on it. How unexpected, exciting and thoughtful! And here’s the pizza that did the honors.

Isn’t it refreshing to read these stories and appreciate the beautiful thought that went into each of them? Our proposal story contest pages are full of hundreds of exciting stories, just like these. Why don’t you visit them here and pick out a few to read when you have some time to spare? Perhaps, even add your own story and enter the contest that is on?

For more interesting wedding advice, stories, shopping related tips and more, keep visiting us at Best for Bride.

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5 benefits of having a long engagement

This article on the Huff Post reveals that 40 percent of couples have a long engagement of anywhere between 13 to 18 months. We’ve been witness to very short engagements, very long ones and those that are just long enough to plan the perfect wedding day. A long engagement that lasts for a year, or slightly longer, is what we feel is the best choice. Here is why!

 

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Image Credit: Tom French, via Flickr, [CC BY 2.0]

You have time to book your dream venue and book the best caterers

Since you aren’t pinched for time, it is easier to choose a date when your dream wedding venue is available. After all, getting married in the perfect place is a dream come true. Similarly, it is easier to work around vendor dates and get the best of everything from food to flowers. The bonus is that you have enough time to first do your research, shortlist the right vendors and finally book them after all the discussions are over.

You have time to get the perfect wedding dress

Let’s face it, wedding dress shopping is not a breeze. The thousands of attractive designs out there only make it more difficult to choose from. When you have plenty of time, you can scan through the options, consider what will look good and what will not, and finally choose a dress that is just right for you. If you begin at least six months before the big day, you will have plenty of time to get your dress altered to fit you like a glove, shop for the best accessories and bring your look together perfectly. And, the longer you are engaged, greater the chances for a sale coming up when you can bag your dream dress on a discount.

More time can mean less stress

This is because it allows you to chalk out and organize every detail of your wedding, with sufficient time to work on your plans. A short engagement will have you rushing from one vendor to the other, and trying to make sense of the hundreds of arrangements that you have to take care of. Unlike this, a longer engagement gives you time to ponder over decision and go with those that you love most.

You can nail the guest list

Just like you, your guests will also appreciate time to make their plans and confirm their attendance. You will have plenty of time to send out your wedding invitations, receive RSVP’s, calculate the head count and plan your wedding accordingly. There is less chance for last-minute cancellations when your guests have marked your wedding on their calendars well ahead of the actual day, and have time to adjust their schedules to fit it.

You can enjoy the engagement and plan your honeymoon at leisure

Let’s face it, your engagement will be a whirlwind of activities. Many couples realize that they have no time for each other, once wedding planning begins. You can escape from this stressful approach if you have a long engagement. There is plenty of time for date nights, honeymoon plans and time to be a couple in love, when you have a long engagement. It also gives you enough time to sort out your future plans and get started on the best foot.

What do you say, are you a fan of long engagements or do you prefer short and sweet ones?

To shop for your wedding dress, and for all your other wedding related needs, come visit us at Best for Bride, and we will help you make your wedding a success.