In sync with the holidays, this time of year is sure to find your social media feeds filled with cheery couples breaking news of their future nuptials. Formally known as engagement season, the next few months, from now through mid-February, will not only yield a joyful announcement or ten, but plenty of etiquette quandaries too, i.e. What is the best way to congratulate a newly cuffed twosome? How do you balance more than one bride-to-be in a friend group? Are there any social media dos and don’ts? Here to help navigate these challenges and more is wedding expert-cum–Lover.ly founder, Kellee Khalil. Whether one of your girlfriends recently said “Yes!” or you are suspecting your own beau to pop the question, Khalil’s pro tips are sure to alleviate your stresses post-proposal. Click through now to soak up her infinite wisdom, then you’ll be free to focus on the more important things, like wedding planning.
How To Prepare For A Proposal
If you start picking up on the telltale signs that your guy or girl is ready to pop the question, try (your best) to keep your excitement under wraps - if you can. That said, you can certainly prepare a little:
1. Keep your mani game fierce. The perfect complement to a gorgeous new bauble is an on-point manicure.
2. Practice your ring selfie — once the ring is on THAT finger, you'll want the first snapshot to look stunning, so start practicing with your smartphone and get those magic angles perfected.
3. Think about how you'll say "YES!" Of course, that’s the only word he’ll be waiting for, but he’ll more-than appreciate some extra sweet sentiments from you in the aftermath.
4. Stock up on waterproof everything. When the tears start, you’ll be happy you did.
How To Share The News On Social
While it’s a crazy-exciting time for new soon-to-be-wed couples, there’s a right way to share the news on social media and a wrong way. Here are a few steadfast rules for navigating engagement netiquette (internet etiquette):
1. Without a doubt, let your VIPs (family members and close friends) know about the news before posting anything online.
2. Limit the social media sharing to one post or album upload. Nobody wants to see multiple posts in your feed announcing your engagement—a stunning snapshot of the bling or pic with your partner does the job just fine.
3. Be mindful of your hashtags. #imnotsingleanymore is both insensitive and offensive.
4. Don't post overly aggressive PDA pics to announce your newly minted status (i.e. those intimate moments shared with your partner, in bed, admiring your ring). Your proposal might not have been straight out of a Disney movie, but the memories shared on Facebook/Insta should still be PG.
5. Never ask your BFFs to be in your bridal party via posts on their pages. If you want them to be in your #girlsquad for the wedding day, make your bridesmaid proposal a special one.
How To Congratulate A Newly Engaged Couple
Always, always, always start by sending a card! While posting “CONGRATS” on their Facebook wall is a nice gesture, a paper card is more meaningful and shows your newly engaged bestie/cousin/sister/friend that you truly care and can’t wait to celebrate. As for gifts, now that we’re in the holiday season, it’s a convenient time to swap in an engagement gift for your usual Christmas present. Gift ideas:
1. Budget-friendly option: go with something cute and celebratory of their new #gettingmarried status. His & hers ring dishes, adorable conversational mugs that say something like “I put a ring on it” and “I said YES!” Also, help them get started with some helpful planning tools, like the Loverly Wedding Planner or a subscription to their favorite wedding mags for the next year.
2. Pricier ideas: you can always go all out with beautiful toasting flutes and an expensive bottle of bubby. My favorite idea, though, is going with a more experiential gift. The couple will be knee deep in planning for the foreseeable future, so gift them with a night away, or a couples’ spa weekend. They’ll be incredibly appreciative.
How To Balance Multiple Brides-To-Be
For a 20-something bride to be, engagements can quickly become #squadgoals in a group of besties. In this case, it’s important to remember that every engagement should be celebrated and honored. If you want to avoid breeding any negativity, try to:
1. Limit wedding-related conversations if you’re in a group of mixed company (engaged and single friends).
2. Avoid any money or expense related topics. Sure, your bestie might be dealing with budget-busting vendor issues you are, but neither of you should start bringing actual numbers into the equation. You don’t want to start a competition.
3. Do lean on each other for advice and encouragement. If you can reiterate the thought that “you’re in it together,” you can thwart any competitive tendencies!
How To Deflect Post-Proposal Stress
Once the question’s been popped and the “pixie dust” of the proposal is settled, it’s easy to slip into post-proposal paranoia. It’s important to remember that while the planning process will inevitably have its ups and downs, luckily you have your best friend in the trenches with you. Here are some pointers to help you streamline any stressors:
1. Don’t overdose on inspiration. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of wedding everything, but getting swept up in the fantasy can have flawed effects.
2. Take breaks from social media. If you’re a millennial on the road to marriage, chances are your Facebook feed is flooded with others in the same boat. Seeing others’ updates and progress in planning can cause unneeded stress.
3. Consider bringing on a planner. Even if you’ll forego a planner in the end, meet with one just for a consultation. Sometimes having a partner in planning, just to ease your nerves or have someone (other than your S.O.) to talk to, is all it takes to get you back on track.