Last night, your fiancé popped the question. It was too late to spread the good news, and let's assume you knew better than to post it on social media before you called the people who needed to receive a personal notification. With that said, who do you need to call first and in which order?
First call goes to the parents of the bride. If it's a same-sex couple, flip a coin. If the bride's parents don't answer, leave a voicemail suggesting great news and move on to calling the groom's parents. Whoever answers the phone first wins, as far as formal notifications go. Usually, the groom's parents are waiting for the call because they know what's up. Sometimes, the bride's parents are in the loop too if the groom has asked their permission to propose.
Second call goes to your grandparents on both sides. Try to beat your parents to the punch in sharing the good news — it's always nice for them to hear it from you directly. It's okay not to have answers to questions about where or when, just let them know you're committed to getting married and they'll have the details as soon as you know what they are.
Third call goes to any siblings each of you have. Even if you're not close, this is big news and it's not the kind of things they should learn on the social media grapevine. Leaving a voicemail counts if you've already left a message and haven't gotten a reply, but a text message is a no-no. This is voice-worthy news.
Fourth call goes to your best friends. These besties should find out first and directly from you — not through one another. You might even ask the first friend you call to let you call the rest of the crew first. Put a moratorium on the gossip for 24 hours. If they respect you, they'll understand.
Fifth call is going to sound a little strange — you need to tell your boss. Depending on what kind of job you have, the announcement that you've gotten engaged is something the man who signs your paychecks should hear directly from you, not from his secretary who picked it up at the water cooler. Or in this day and age, on Facebook. The timing of your wedding is something that may be dependent on your career — somebody in accounting, for example, is unlikely to get married from February through April. It's important to let your employer know you've got good news but that you're going to keep focused on work and make sure your wedding plans don't conflict with any major work commitments that you've already made.
Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.