The Etiquette of Showing Off Your Engagement Ring

To selfie or not to selfie?

Updated 12/08/19

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Unless your significant other proposed in a public place—such as at a restaurant or in front of a popular local landmark, and in a way that caught the attention of nearby voyeurs—odds are those first moments of your engagement were quite intimate and private, a special memory the two of you will treasure for years to come. Some couples even bask in that glow for hours, even days, before breaking the news to their closest friends and family. (The exception being, of course, if your S.O. asked one of your besties to help behind-the-scenes to make sure everything was perfectly set up.)

But from the moment you start rocking your precious new engagement ring in public, everyone—and we mean everyone, including work colleagues, friends, that lady in line behind you at the juice place—will feel totally justified asking to see your engagement ring in varying degrees of civility. (Try not to take offense if the tone comes across as a teensy bit demanding.) Odds are they'll ohhh and awww and congratulate you, but sometimes, the compliments can lead to some fairly awkward follow-up questions, such as: "How many carats is that rock?!" and "Can I try it on?" and, cringe, "OMG, how much did that cost?!"

With all of that being said, it's totally understandable that you may be feeling a bit apprehensive about not only showing off your ring, but announcing your happy news your happy news with your wider circle of friends, family, colleagues and everyone on social media—some (or possibly many) of whom you may not even know in real life. And it's totally normal if you're worrying about how you come across: What's the difference between being adorably giddy and too over-the-top anyway?

Don't worry, we feel your angst! And we've done some research for you to figure out just the right way to spread this (amazing, epic, life-changing) news. We consulted with the pros and confirmed that yes, the #ringselfie is, in fact, a legit way to break the news to your wider social circle of friends, family and followers—just make sure that you've shared the news in person or over the phone with those closest to the two of you before going public, so to speak. You don't want anyone's feelings to accidentally get hurt if they see the post or hear about your engagement through the grapevine when they probably should have been told personally.

If a full-on ring selfie feels braggy, Myka Meier of Beaumont Etiquette in New York City suggests posting a portrait of the two of you in which your left hand just happens to be visible. Of course, fielding all of the questions about your engagement ring in real life is always a little trickier—especially when people have, ahem, no filter. If that's not something you have a problem with, feel free to go on (and on and on) about just how much you love your ring, carat count and all. But if you prefer playing it more coy, Meier recommends blanket responses like, “I’m not sure [of the size], but I just love it!” and “Sorry, I’m superstitious about letting others try on my ring.”

And one thing you might not have considered: If your rock is sort of enormous (you poor thing), it's best to take it off for job interviews. After all, you don't want to wear anything that might take any attention away from you—especially while you're touting your amazing qualifications for a new professional opportunity.

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