Guide to Engagement Announcements

It’s time to spread the good news of your engagement to your friends and family! But how, you ask? Here’s your guide to engagement announcements.

By Jane Chertoff and Georgie Darling

Couple kissing and showing engagement ring to camera in an engagement announcement photo card.
Photo by Zola

The moment is finally here—you and your SO are planning to say “I do!” Now it’s time to tell the world. Maybe you’re ready to start shouting the happy news from your rooftop, your social media pages, and possibly the front page of your local paper. Or perhaps you’d rather keep the whole thing a little more intimate and just tell your nearest and dearest. Here’s everything you need to know about your engagement announcement (in person, online, or by mail) no matter how lavish or intimate you plan to make it.

Before announcing your engagement

Getting engaged can be exciting, overwhelming, and flat-out exhilarating. It may be tempting to immediately tell your family, friends, coworkers, mailman, food delivery person, (etc.) about the happy news.

But first, take a breath—your engagement is an intimate experience between you and your partner. It’s an important step toward a lifetime of highs and lows spent with the one you love. From this moment on, everything you face, you’ll face together, their heart in your hand and your heart in theirs.

So try to savor the moment before your friends and family are in the know. Pretty soon, you’ll be wrapped up in well-wishes, wedding planning, rehearsal dinners, showers, and receptions. Take some one-on-one time with your SO to privately celebrate each other, and how far you’ve come to reach this incredible moment.

Engagement announcements in person

Once you and your SO feel you’ve had enough time to celebrate your engagement with each other, it’s time to consider how you’ll share the news with your loved ones. Of course, everyone important is going to know about your engagement eventually, but with certain people, you just can’t skip the in-person announcement.

A good place to start is with your immediate family on both sides. If it’s possible, try getting everyone together for some kind of outing like:

  • Brunch
  • Dinner at home or a favorite restaurant
  • A backyard barbeque
  • Evening drinks

If it’s not possible to get together with your immediate family in person, call them on the phone or see them via video chat. They will absolutely appreciate that you chose to share the news with them personally.

If you’re still struggling to define the list of people you should tell personally, it’s okay! After all, no one really needs to learn about your engagement in person. As long as you and your partner go with your gut and reach out to the people you care about most, you’re doing great. Don’t bend over backward or postpone your public engagement announcement if your hearts are telling you to share with everyone right away.

Once you’ve told your immediate family, you can decide if you want to extend the circle of in-the-know folks to other relatives and close friends.

Engagement party

Some couples choose to throw a full-blown engagement party to share the news and celebrate. We have lots of expert advice articles on engagement parties to help you plan if this is something you want to do! Check out our Guide to Planning an Engagement Party, Who to Invite to an Engagement Party, and 50 Themes for your Engagement Party!

Expert Advice: Chances are, the people you’ll be telling in person and inviting to your engagement party will also be on your guest list. As you’re making your list of “People we need to tell face-to-face that we’re engaged,” you can also get a jumpstart on invitations, Save the Dates, and more with Zola’s Wedding Guest List Manager. This digital tool will help you keep track of everything from RSVP’s to meal choices. It’s never too early to start planning ahead. Your future-selves will thank you!

Engagement announcement on social media

Not everyone wants to post a snap of their ring on social media. And it’s totally fine if you’d rather keep your engagement private from the wider world. However, posting on social media has become a popular part of the engagement experience for many newly engaged couples.

But there’s more to it than just shooting off an errant thought or sharing a silly meme. Your engagement post is likely the very first experience that most people will have of you and your SO as a to-be-married couple. You’ll want your personality, happiness, and unique love story to shine through the screen!

One of the best parts of your engagement post on social media is that when you pair it with a perfect engagement photoshoot, it can make everyone in your network feel like they were there. Your friends and family will want to celebrate your joy, and being able to like and comment on a beautiful engagement post lets them do that, even if they live far away.

Plus, how awesome will it be to read all those loving messages of excitement from your extended communities? If you want to share your big news on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and elsewhere, keep scrolling for some of the most popular engagement announcement ideas.

Expert Advice: Not sure what to caption your engagement announcement post? Check out our article, 100+ Engagement Captions for social media!

When to post your engagement photo on social media

Once you’ve landed on an engagement photo you love, you’ll probably feel the urge to share it as soon as possible. However, you and your SO should take a step back and talk through any potential conflicts that could come up if you post your engagement photo right away. Ask yourselves if any of your friends or family:

  • Just recently posted their own engagement photo
  • Are having a wedding within the next couple of days
  • Are celebrating another kind of major milestone
  • Have recently suffered a serious loss

If they have, it’s probably best to refrain from posting your engagement photo for a few days.

Engagement announcement cards

After the more modern announcement on social media, lots of couples choose to follow up with a formal engagement announcement by mail. A formal engagement announcement card is a tradition that demonstrates all the love, compassion, and value you’ve put into your future union.

Engagement announcement wording ideas

Engagement announcement cards are typically written (or at least voiced) by someone other than the couple themselves. Often, a wedding is said to be “hosted” by someone close to the couple. Fittingly, engagement announcements are usually written from the perspective of the hosts. In other words, it’s the hosts (not the couple) who invite all the guests to the wedding.

There are many variations you can use to suit any hosting situation, and you’ll want to choose one that feels the most authentic to you and your partner.

Traditional wording

Traditionally, you’d use wording like “Mr. and Mrs. Jackson Hayes of Brooklyn, New York announce the engagement of their daughter Cynthia to Kevin Park, son of Lee and Ellie Park of Morris Plains, New Jersey.”

Self-hosted wording

If you’re hosting the wedding yourselves, your announcement may look something like “Colin Kilpatrick, a civil rights attorney in Los Angeles, is to be married to Javier Formosa, a professor of comparative literature at UCLA. Mr. Kilpatrick is the son of Jack and Molly Kilpatrick of Woodlawn, New York. Mr. Formosa is the son of Carlos and Consuela Formosa of Phoenix, Arizona.”

If you’re reading this and think that feels a little old-fashioned, there’s no reason why you can’t announce your engagement in your own, natural voice. After all, your engagement (and wedding, and wider relationship) should represent who you are as people.

Even something as simple as “Big announcement incoming: Sarah and I are thrilled to announce we’re officially engaged! We can’t wait to share more details with you in time,” can work beautifully to share your exciting news.

Expert Advice: Some couples choose to have their Save the Date card double as their engagement announcement. If you want to save money and time, Save the Dates are a great way to share your engagement photos and announce your engagement and your upcoming wedding to family and friends all in one! Check out our article on When to Send Save the Dates, What to Include on Save the Dates for more.

Tips for engagement announcement pictures

Although lots of engagement photos seem to have been taken at the actual moment of the proposal, most are taken at a later date. For many couples, it’s best to keep the proposal a totally intimate and private affair.

Take your pics soon

That said, you should try to take your engagement photo within a couple of months of getting engaged. One reason is that you’ll probably be dying to share your exciting news with the world, and you’ll want to put your best foot forward when you do. A more practical reason for taking care of your engagement photo early is that you don’t want to worry about it while planning your wedding.

Have fun

Your engagement photo should be fun and exciting, not stressful or taxing. Your wedding is an incredible moment, but the planning can definitely be a handful. You don’t want to rush your engagement photo just because you’re dealing with your normal life. If you want to take an engagement photo with a professional photographer, be sure to hire one soon after your engagement, because their schedules can be busy.

Throwing an engagement party? Check out these engagement party invitation ideas (hint: using your engagement photos)!

Go pro — or don’t

Your photo is the centerpiece of your engagement post and sometimes your Save the Dates. Some people choose to hire a professional photographer to capture the essence of the moment, while other people opt for a more authentic and individual touch by taking the photo themselves. Either way, you can’t go wrong, as long as your engagement photo speaks to you and your partner’s personalities. Check out our article How to Take Authentic Engagement Photos for more tips.

Capturing the Moment for Your Wedding Album

Another benefit to taking engagement photos? They can be the first pics in your wedding album. Your wedding album is a collection of photos that tell the story of your special day, and your engagement photos can be the first chapter. Or make a photobook specific to your proposal and engagement photos! Zola’s innovative album builder helps you arrange and curate images from the engagement to the honeymoon, so your wedding story can come to life every time you open up the album.

If you need help finding the perfect photographer to capture you and your SO’s special moment, take a peek at wedding photographers on Zola’s vendor marketplace. Our photographer profile pages give you a look into each photographer’s price list, portfolio, and specialties. Plus, you can favorite the ones you like, compare, contrast, and book the perfect match.

Creative engagement announcement photo ideas

There are limitless ways to take engagement announcement photos. These cute photo ops are fun to plan, and even more fun to bring to life with your other half.

Hand written messages

Hand-written messages – Nothing adds a personal touch more than a hand-written message, especially if it’s written on the palm of your hand. You and your SO can write small messages like “Now” and “& Forever” on one palm each. Then, point them to the camera (making sure to highlight the new sparkling rock on your finger). This is a totally adorable and totally easy way to announce your engagement online.

Canine close-up – If you and your partner are parents to an adorable dog, why not include them in your engagement photo? Presenting your pup front and center is a surefire way to draw attention to your post. You can take a shot of the whole family, and even get a little chalkboard sign for your dog to wear. Write a cute message like, “My humans are getting married!” for all the likes.

Coffee cups – They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, this kind of picture only needs a couple of words to work wonders. You and your SO can go to a Starbucks (or any other coffee shop where they write customer names on each to-go cup) and capture a low-key engagement photo that still shines. When you order your drinks, ask them to write “fiancé” on each cup, and snap a pic of you two cheering your union.

Sports fans – If you and your partner connected over your mutual sports fandom, you can show your love of the game and your love for each other at the same time. This engagement photo works best if you already have a date saved for your wedding, but if you haven’t gotten that far in your planning, even just the wedding year will do. Get dressed in your favorite jerseys and write the date on a football, basketball, or whichever kind of sports equipment makes sense for you.

Four hands around the waist – For a more traditional and elegant engagement photo that you can perfect on your own, go for a body shot that highlights the ring. One person stands with their hands folded over their waist. Then, whoever’s wearing the ring hugs them from behind, also folding their hands over their waist. Your photo should focus on the midsection, really showing off the engagement ring and the joined hands.

Lightbox at night – For a super romantic and dramatic look, you can take your engagement photo at night while holding a lightbox that displays a cute message like “He Said Yes” or “Love You To The Moon And Back.” Your silhouettes behind the bright message of love will definitely make an eye-catching post.

Candid portrait – A professional photographer can help you capture a real-life tender moment between you and your SO. Instead of a very obviously staged portrait, your engagement photo will be fun, spontaneous, and true to life.

Popping champagne – A timeless marker of celebration, popping champagne in your photo makes it instantly recognizable as a big deal to everyone scrolling by. A professional photographer will get amazing coverage of the moment when the cork pops and the sparkling champagne shoots out of the bottle, something that can be super hard to do on your own. Spice up your photo by popping champagne in a scenic locale.

Idyllic outdoor picnic – Although it’s a more subdued look, the outdoor picnic engagement photo is a fabulous opportunity to craft a truly special image. Picnics are an especially popular setting for summer and spring engagement photos. You can put a lot of thought into your wardrobe, the location, as well as the accouterments around you. Show off your personalities and your happiness with a few props for a truly unique engagement picture.

Newspaper Announcement - It’s still common for couples in smaller towns to publish their engagement news in a local newspaper. Whether you live in a small town or you just like the tradition of this announcement style, it’s not hard to find a local paper that would be willing to print your happy news! Even if this isn’t the most effective way to spread the word, it can be really cool to have your name as a couple in print for the first time. Plus, you can save that newspaper, frame it, and have it as a keepsake of your engagement forever.

Need guidance on what to wear? Check out our article on engagement photo outfit ideas.

How to celebrate your engagement

So... how do you celebrate?

Besides an engagement party, a popular trend among newly engaged couples these days is to go on an engagement-moon. Like a pre-marriage honeymoon, an engagement-moon is an opportunity to get away and enjoy quality time together before the madness of wedding planning takes over your to-do lists.

Whether you take a major vacation jet-setting around the world, or simply take a long weekend at a nice spot outside of town, your engagement-moon should be an experience that helps you celebrate this moment in your love story.

Start planning your wedding with Zola

After your announcements are in the mail and it’s time to start wedding planning, Zola will be your go-to wedding expert. We’ll help you build your personalized wedding checklist and wedding budget for free, and it doesn’t stop there.

Save the dates, wedding invitations and more

If you’re curious about sending your save the dates with Zola, you can get a feel for paper type and print quality with free samples first. Then, you can order personalized proofs of up to five designs (with free shipping!) to see your cards in real life before making the final decision. Shop save the dates and all other wedding paper on Zola.

Wedding vendors

All in one place, you can discover top wedding vendors for food, drinks, florals, and more. You can also find your dream wedding venue. Manage your guest list, create a custom photo album, and make your dream wedding a reality all in one place with Zola.

Wedding website

Our free wedding website builder allows you to streamline those all-important things like a wedding registry, guest list management with RSVP tracking, and more. We've got customizable template designs for every type of wedding, made to match your invites, as well as a user-friendly interface for editing pictures and wedding details. It’s all just a few clicks away.

Wedding registry

Have all your gifts in one place on Zola where you can integrate registries from other stores and add gifts, experiences, and honeymoon and cash funds. Then, share one link with your guests on your wedding website and with a QR code on your invites. With free shipping, price matching, group gifting, and more, it's the easiest way (for both you and your guests) to access, track, and buy the right gifts. Get a 20% newlywed discount after your wedding, and use our thank you note manager to track and send your gratitude.

See you soon!

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