Do We Have to Announce Our Engagement Right Away?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle didn’t, so why should you?

Updated 10/06/19

Ginger Snapp Photography

You’ve finally got a ring on your finger, so now it’s time to spread the news... or is it? Some people might be bursting at the seams to tell the world they're engaged, while others might want to enjoy the excitement in private for a bit before making the big announcement. So does your engagement have to be the talk of the town the second it happens, or can you keep it to yourselves until you’re ready to share? Here’s what our experts have to say.

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced to the world that they were engaged (well, when Clarence House made a formal announcement, that is), it wasn’t moments or days after Harry had gotten down on one knee—it was almost a month after he’d proposed while the pair was roasting a chicken in Nottingham Cottage, Prince Harry’s apartment on the grounds of Kensington Palace. While it may be royally expected to wait before making a formal engagement announcement (Prince William and Duchess Catherine also waited a month before their engagement was announced to the press), you don’t have to be in the royal line of succession to take a cue from these happy couples.

You can justify holding off on telling the world you’re engaged in many ways, but the number one reason: privacy. The sooner you share the news, the sooner you’ll start getting questions and comments, from kind and supportive to prying and invasive. Even if it’s only positive attention it can be a lot, and expectations are high for you to start planning your wedding right away.

On the other hand, if you keep the news private (whether for a few days or a full month, like the happy royals), it means you and your partner will have all sorts of time alone to enjoy being engaged! No questions, no comments, no invitations to secret Pinterest boards or online planning tools. Just you, your significant other, and an awesome secret. Pop some champagne, go out on romantic, celebratory dates, and enjoy!

Of course, if you’re going to keep your engagement a secret, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind:

Parental Feelings

If your partner asked your parents for your hand, you probably need to tell them. Your mom is likely waiting by the phone to hear from you, and if your partner gave her an idea of when it would happen, she might get worried if she doesn’t get any news. Emphasize that you’re not telling anyone, and let your parents know when it’s okay for them to start telling their friends.

What About the Ring?

You probably can’t wear your ring in public. Nothing says “engaged” like an engagement ring, but if you’re not ready to tell the world, it should probably stay at home. You never know who you’ll bump into at the grocery store or while you’re out for drinks, and nothing catches the light quite like a diamond. When you’re home, though, wear that puppy as much as you can!

Length of Engagement

Your dream wedding date will determine how long you can keep it a secret. While Harry and Meghan waited a whole month to announce their engagement and are getting married six months after he got down on one knee, that’s an awfully short amount of time to plan a wedding. If you’re hoping for a short engagement, you’ll need to start booking vendors before you tell anyone you’re engaged. If the date you’re dreaming of is a year or more from now, though, you’ve got time!

Can You Keep a Secret?

Some people are better at secrets than others. A secret engagement doesn’t mean you can’t tell anyone (heck, the Queen has known about Harry and Meghan’s engagement for months!), but you might want to be careful who you include. Your parents and siblings can probably understand why you want to keep things private (though they may want to throw you an intimate engagement party to celebrate!), but if Grandma is the go-to source for family news or your office bestie loves to chit-chat, you may want to wait to tell them until you’re ready for everyone to know.

Related Stories