So you said yes! Now it’s time to let the people in your lives know that you're tying the knot. In today’s world, that often means posting the news on social media—and that can be a lot of pressure. You’ve probably seen dozens of these announcements on your feed already and might be comparing rings, photo quality, captions, etc. And, what if you just don't want to share your news on social media? Is that OK?
To help navigate your engagement announcement with finesse and elegance, we looked to etiquette expert Elaine Swann for some advice.
Meet the Expert
Elaine Swann is an etiquette expert and founder of The Swann School of Protocol. She has been featured on the Today Show, New York Times, Washington Post, and more.
When to Announce Your Engagement on Social Media
Don’t get Insta-happy too quickly. As much as you might be dying to post that sparkly new rock to your grid, Swann says you must resist the urge until you have told the closest members of your inner circle. Family members who might not be on social media like parents and grandparents should get a phone call, or even better, a video call if an in-person visit is not possible. And, your siblings and best friends deserve a one-on-on announcement as well.
"If they would be highly offended they had to find out on social media," you should tell them first, Swann advises. Then, and only then, is it the right time to tell the rest of the world your happy news. And, this could be a day later, a week later, or even months later—that timeline is up to you and when you feel ready to share publicly.
Tips for a Social Media Engagement Announcement
Do an engagement shoot.
Swann is a fan of planning engagement shoots for an announcement rather than just throwing up some photos "willy nilly." You can go all out with a professional shoot, or just grab a friend with a nice camera (or even a new iPhone model) and head to a meaningful location.
"I think an engagement shoot is a nice way to make your announcement in a formal manner that is controlled and sets the tone of your wedding," she says. "Couples can take their time. Often, within moments [of an event], we’re posting online and sharing. Put time and space in between and set up an engagement shoot; it sets a nice welcoming, organized tone."
Take a community approach.
Even though social media announcements are a thing of the new millennium, she suggests thinking about them in a somewhat old-school sense. "Posting our engagement on social media is a modern time announcement we used to see in the newspaper," she shares. "It was printed and put out to the local community. Social media has allowed us to mark that moment in time and share with our wider community beyond our hometown." She adds, "Look from that perspective. Do something memorable."
Make it a reflection of you.
As for what type of photo you post, Swann says that’s up to the couple and can "reflect their individuality." Some couples may want to post photos of their smiling faces, while others might be a bit more camera shy and just post a photo of the ring.
If you do an engagement shoot, head to a location that means something to you as a couple—somewhere you went on a first date or had your first kiss, a restaurant you both love, or your hometown. Or, you can also take this opportunity to set the tone for your wedding, as Swann suggests, by styling the shoot in the same color scheme or general vibe that your wedding will have.
Engagement Announcement Caption Ideas
Swann has some major no's when it comes to captioning your announcement post:
- Do not take this opportunity to dig at any exes or "haters."
- Avoid making any promises in your caption such as telling everyone they are invited to the wedding or tagging certain friends and saying "get ready to be bridesmaids." This is not the time to establish your wedding party, she says.
- Do not ask for money. "There is this horrid trend that is beginning to gather steam of folks asking for money to help fund their wedding, and it is tacky and inappropriate and unacceptable," she says.
- If you are going to have a wedding hashtag, it’s probably best to avoid using it this soon. First, this far ahead of a wedding, a hashtag, which is often used as a search term to find all the event photos in one place, can get muddied by other people using it for different purposes. Second, Swann says wedding hashtags may result in getting spammed by wedding vendors and the like. If and when you do choose to pick a hashtag, she says, make sure it does not have a mocking or sarcastic tone. It should be positive and happy.
Keeping the spirit of community in mind, a nice positive caption might speak directly to your loved ones: "We are happy to share this news with you." Or, you could be a bit more coy, writing, "May 24 was a big day for us." A personal post detailing how the proposal went would work too, or even let someone else do the talking for you by using a famous quote: "You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because the reality is finally better than your dreams." (Yes, that is Dr. Seuss.)
Here are some examples of captions we like:
- "To know [partner’s name] is to love them. I’m so lucky to spend my life loving you."
- "Forever best friend."
- "__" years ago on our first date, [partner’s name] brought me here, and today, he/she got on one knee and asked me to be his/her wife/husband. I’m engaged to the love of my life."
- Feeling overwhelmed with love and excited for the next chapter of my life with the best person I could have asked for."
Do You Have to Announce Your Engagement on Social Media?
"We don't have to spill all the tea about our personal lives," admits Swann. These days you may feel an obligation to let the world know about the big events in your life, but there’s nothing wrong with keeping things within your close circle if that’s what you choose. And, there really are no rules about what you need to share. You may be excited to share some wedding photos, but think it will be odd if you never posted an engagement announcement. It’s not!
"It’s alright to keep some things to yourself and only share one portion of it," says Swann. "Social media should not dictate that we share all aspects of our lives. It’s certainly acceptable to reserve details and live privately."