Etiquette for announcing engagement

I want to share a story from my workplace today. Let’s call my colleagues S (male), B (Female) and K (female).

We (me, B and K) have been bugging S regarding his wedding for a long time now. He has been with his girlfriend for over 5 years now and he is in no rush to propose.

Our argument was that if a woman wants to get married then she deserves to be. I really think if both of the people in a relationship are happy living together without getting married that is perfectly fine but if one of the people in the relationship wants to get married then the other should be able to give in.

The wedding doesn’t need to be big, just go to the registry and register but at least respect the wish of the other person in the relationship so that they will stay happy.

Anyway S has been living with his girlfriend for a while and they have even bought a house together. So we always asked him what the problem is, why he isn’t married to her yet. I think he wanted to stay away from all the planning and the wedding headache as long as possible.

Anyway, the good news is that he came back to work after a 2 weeks holiday and told me and B that he proposed and they are getting married next year. It was great news for us as well and we finally think we managed to get it into his head. K was off that day so she didn’t get the news.

Today when K was back at work, I told her excitedly that S is engaged now and they are getting married. I was sure she would like to know about it.

But the scenario changed quickly when B had this shocked expression on her face while I was happily telling K about the engagement. Ohoo I was given this look that I might have murdered someone. I didn’t realise what I had done wrong.

So when the initial shock and surprised expression was over, B told me that it is not right for me to tell K or anyone about S’s engagement. I should let him announce it.

I felt really bad about it as I never knew this rule regarding engagement announcement before. So I went back to S and told him what happen. He being a guy didn’t care at all (Thank god!). He said it doesn’t really matter to him how people find out. I think he is just glad that the difficult part is over and done with.

I always try to follow the etiquette everywhere I go as I know in Nepal we have different etiquettes while in Australia I need to follow different ones. Even when I travel, I try to Google and learn basic etiquette of the place. This must be one of those times when I  had no idea what I did wrong,

I talked to other colleagues at work about it and some think that B is right about the matter while some are either ignorant like me or don’t think it is a big deal. Anyway, I do understand why B wanted S to announce it.

It is funny how things works in the west compare to east.

I remember when me and AS got engaged, we told our parents and they told everyone else.  We called a few close friends to convey the news but for the rest of my friends, after the engagement ceremony, I uploaded mine and AS’s pic on Facebook and captioned it, “ENGAGED”. Also I changed my relationship status from WHATEVER to ENGAGED.  🙂

After that I remember that my Facebook flooded with thousands of likes and comments. Most friends who we went to school with me were shocked about it. As I told you before in many posts, here and here, I and AS are so different  that it was surprising to some people to even think that we would get married one day.

I was the chatty one who had many friends and used to speak with everyone. I never minded attention I get while AS was the quite one who had select friends and didn’t want to have any attention on him. So imagine North Pole and South Pole coming together.  As I explained already before about our relationship here, we were friends first and it took a while for AS to propose to me.

After the engagement me and AS were trying to convince our close friends that we were not a couple from school days; we were just friends but they thought we had lied to them all these years.

I didn’t bother to correct other friends from school who wrote comments like

 “Chhupa Rustam, how did I not see it?”

“I knew it something was on with you guys” and so on.

It was really funny that suddenly when our relationship was out in open, everyone was telling me that they knew AS liked me from the start. I must be the silly one who never saw that before. Anyway I am glad things happened the way they did. I am just happy with my loving husband and still feel butterfly in my stomach every time, I recall the day he proposed :).

So what is the etiquette in your culture regarding engagement announcement?

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10 responses to “Etiquette for announcing engagement

  1. I know.. I also get confused sometimes because etiquette in India are different & in Australia are totally different..
    Don’t feel bad.. it’s ok 🙂

  2. Thanks for sending us back to those fun earlier posts of yours, M. I love how AS had a ‘secret’ thing for you all along and how felt he had to quickly propose to you – and I’m glad you worked out the tea making. Great stories!

    Oh – I admit I don’t know what the actual etiquette is/was for announcing an engagement. Whatever it is, I’m guessing most people don’t know or care about it. My wife and I have been married for almost 14 years, and I don’t even remember how that part of it went. We were old enough that we had lost touch with most school friends and so didn’t have the hordes of excited people congratulating us.

    • Thanks Sid. I still can’t believe, I let almost a decade pass by not knowing that AS had a thing for me. It is funny when I recall our outings and other gatherings and try to remember how I miss all the nice things he had done for me then as a hint. But hen I have always thought a guy like AS will never go for a girl like me 🙂

      hahaha, I have to admit Facebook has changed lots of things in my life and getting constantly in touch with my old friends is one of the good thing. I can’t believe I am still in touch with few from friend from my Kindergarden.

  3. I don’t know the etiqutte, but to me, it’s no big deal. It’s like, the person feels so important that it wasn’t announced to him/her personally ?

  4. I can understand about letting S announce his engagement, because K might think she wasn’t informed by S directly I guess. Anyway, not a big deal. Now going off to read your and AS story. 🙂

  5. Don’t feel badly. If the news is out, one way or another word gets around.

    On the getting married or no, simple but constant rule of relationships… it takes two to make one, one to end it. That holds true across a range of things that involve shared participation.

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