How to Announce an Engagement
Marriage is a legal and solemn act representing the alliance of two people who will commit themselves for better or worse and find a home.
But before the big day, many lovers go through the engagement stage.
What is an engagement?
This somewhat outdated custom is coming back into fashion. The engagement has indeed lost its ceremonial.
However, they represent a mark of love between two people and allow for an intimate celebration where respective families and close friends meet.
In the days of our grandparents and great-grandparents, the young man’s father proposed to the girl’s parents.
Customs have evolved, and only a few prominent families respecting the traditions still practice this custom.
The engagement announces the forthcoming marriage of two people who wish to unite for life. It is also a moment of reflection, and this first commitment allows the future spouses to realize what will be the real commitment of marriage.
How to organize the engagement?
The engagement organization is often traditional, and the reception is organized with the two families, relatives, and friends.
It is often intimate and brings parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters together. The number of guests is usually limited.
If one wishes to respect traditions, it is the parents of the future fiancée who organize the reception and fix the precise date of the engagement. This often takes place a year before the wedding.
Nowadays, the two families organize the engagement party together.
It is also possible to create a surprise by making the engagement official at a family gathering.
The etiquette rule is that the groom delivers a bouquet of white flowers to the bride on the morning of the engagement.
According to custom, guests are received on a table covered with a white tablecloth, embroidered or lace, which allows the silverware, china and crystal glasses to stand out.
If you have decided to respect the rules of good manners, here is the arrangement to adopt:
The bride’s father and mother sit opposite each other in the center of the table.
To their right and left (places of honour), the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom will sit.
The bride and groom are seated at the end of the table and should not be separated until their first wedding anniversary.
Other family members and friends will be seated according to their age and affinity, taking care to mix the two families.
For dessert, a toast can be made in honour of the newly engaged couple.
You can also opt for a less traditional engagement, therefore more relaxed, such as a country meal, a garden party, a barbecue, or a big party with families and friends.
Religious and catholic people can celebrate the engagement during a religious ceremony. The engagement ring will be blessed during a mass.
The engagement aims to introduce the two families who do not know each other and define the organization and the wedding preparations.
How to announce the engagement?
The date of the engagement is finally set and made official. The invitation will be made through invitation cards, invitations that allow to mark the event or simply by phone or email.
The engagement news is announced at least two months before the engagement.
The engagement ring
Engagement rings are the symbol of the commitment that the engaged couple is wearing.
If it is traditionally the man who offers a ring to the woman, the customs evolve! It is increasingly common for future spouses to offer each other rings or beautiful jewelry to mark their mutual acceptance of the engagement and show their love.
Engagement ring and tradition
According to tradition, the fiancé or the young man’s family offers the ring that the young girl is waiting for. The couple can also choose the jewel together, or the man can give the bride a family jewel.
The fiancé can choose between stones like diamond, ruby, emerald, and sapphire. In the past, rubies and emeralds were forbidden, while white stones were the norm.
The fiancé puts the ring on the left ring finger of the young girl (vein of love) during the reception in front of all the guests or alone.
The bride-to-be can also buy a gift for her fiancé to prove her love: a watch, a signet ring…
Price of an engagement ring
The price of an engagement ring varies according to the quality of the stone and its size.
On average, and as an indication, you should expect to pay
for a 0.5-carat diamond solitaire: $3,000 to $5,000;
for semi-precious stones: $700 to $1,000.
Do not hesitate to ask the jeweller for an invoice and a certificate of the ring purchased.
Breakdown of the engagement: return of the ring?
Generally, there is no return of the engagement ring, but it is sometimes possible:
if it is a family jewel;
in a case of wrongful termination at the initiative of the recipient of the gift;
if the ring is of significant value and disproportionate to the donor’s assets.