Photo Credit: Toni Lynn Photography
Before you update your Facebook status to "engaged,” caption your newly blinged-out ring finger #engaged on Instagram, send an emoji-filled group text, and make it known to the world that that your love is forever, consider these creative options to announce your engagement from Happily founder and CEO Sarah Shewey.
Surely you’ve seen the epic proposals on YouTube — the ones of people orchestrating flash mobs and the ones that have gone viral with millions of hits. You don’t have to hire a videographer or even be one to make a fun and polished video announcement. Make a simple video on your iPhone and edit it with a favorite song. Flipagram is a new mobile app for iPhone and Android that makes it easy to do this and share on Instagram or YouTube. You can select past pictures of you dating, and end it with a new photo of your ring and a picture from the day when you said "yes."
Photo Credit: Emily Anne
Love to sing? Invite friends out for a karaoke night, and discreetly put in a request for your favorite wedding song or duet. When it’s your turn to take the stage and the chorus comes up, announce the news! You will have a captive audience and a microphone, after all.
Have mad Photoshop skills? Take a favorite classic movie poster and recreate it to announce the news. You can send out printed versions to friends and family or, again, go digital with email or Facebook. Have fun with the text and make clever references to your relationship. This can turn into a keepsake as well, or you can use the printed version as save-the-dates.
Photo Credit: Michelle Chiu Photography
Or, try creating a tabloid magazine cover:
Build an online home for your engagement and wedding with a website. Include your engagement announcement, and later add your calendar of events and wedding day details as you progress in your planning. You can email your loved ones and say, “You have to check out this site!” They’ll soon understand your enthusiasm.
Are you and your other half the type to host dinner parties and other gatherings? If so, it would be easy to invite your most important guests for an announcement they wouldn’t see coming. Serve the appetizers and wine like usual, and announce the engagement with a toast! Include your news in the printed menu cards on the table, or incorporate it into your cuisine somehow. It can be fun to watch people slowly catch on. If you’re not the hosting types, pick an upcoming holiday where you are with family, and surprise everyone by announcing that it’s an engagement party, too! Bring a bottle of champagne, and pour toasts before sharing the news.
Photo Credit: PixiesSweetTreats/Etsy
If you’re sitting around the table with family, whisper something into the ear of the youngest family member present. Have them whisper into the next person’s ear without being too obvious and watch the news quietly travel until a boisterous family member eventually shouts it out. If you plan to announce the news to long-distance family and friends first, enlist the help of a younger family member to share the news over the phone or Skype/FaceTime to one relative, and ask them to start the chain. See how long it takes for the good news to travel!
Sweet news can be even sweeter when accompanied with treats. Bake cupcakes that spell out “We’re Engaged!” or make or order custom cookies saying the same. You can present these at the parties or send them out to close relations.
Photo Credit: Whimsy Cookie Company
If you captured the proposal on film or with photos, make an edit or collage and share the link with friends and family. For more fun, title the video something intriguing, such as ”This How You Surprise Your Friends” or “Guess What John Did” and keep people guessing as they open the link.
You can’t go wrong with a classic printed engagement announcement card in the mail, especially if your recipient doesn’t see it coming. There are countless sites like Tiny Prints, Minted.com, Wedding Paper Divas, and Etsy offering beautifully-designed printed pieces that will embody the vibe of your relationship and aesthetic.
Tell us: How are you planning on announcing your engagement news?
Sarah Shewey is the founder and CEO of Happily. Shewey began her event career at Harvard’s American Repertory Theater, earning the title of “Boston’s Best Party of the Year” by the Boston press. Her work in creating sustainable weddings and innovative events has been covered by the Associated Press, the BBC, NPR, and Forbes. Shewey is the TEDActive Program Producer, an active board member of dublab.com and co-founder of CC:me, a collective of freelancers interested in shaping the future of work.