Announcing Your Engagement or Break Your Engagement

If you have not already announced your engagement, Lead on. Even if your engagement has been announced, use this section on parties after you settle into your new apartment or home. It will help when you entertain friends who entertained for you, and give you the opportunity to show some of your wedding gifts in use. Later in your married life you will have many occasions to give simple or elaborate parties.


Family First

As soon as you become engaged, your parents and your fiance’s parents must be the very first to know before you breathe even a word to your best friend. If it is at all possible, tell both sets of parents in person.

If either of you plans to continue your education, you cannot blithely assume that your parents will be enchanted with the idea of subsidizing you. You had better find out how they feel about it. The size and cost of your wedding might depend upon the outcome of a frank talk about finances. Your parents might give you a choice between a lavish wedding or the money they would have spent on it.

It is customary for the groom’s family to take the next step, which is to arrange a meeting with the your parents. The objective of such a meeting is to create a friendly and harmonious relationship. If, for some reason, the groom’s parents do not take the first step in arranging a get-together, the bride’s parents can graciously take the initiative.

Announcing to Friends

Take your choice:
• Simply call your best friends and let them spread the news. They will!
• A small family dinner. Your father or other relative will announce the engagement by proposing a toast to you and your fiancé.
• A cocktail party or cocktail buffet.
• A tea (old fashioned, but always appropriate).


Rarely, but occasionally, it happens. The “it” refers to breaking an engagement or postponing the wedding indefinitely. If you are contemplating such an action, take time to discuss your problems, and do not confuse premarital jitters with a serious basic problem. If, after unemotional consideration, the wedding is canceled, you must take care of a few chores.

If you have already mailed the wedding invitations, you may send a printed card stating that, by mutual consent, the marriage will not take place. No further explanation is appropriate or necessary. If time is too short to notify the guests by mail, ask a few friends to organize a “telephoning committee.”

A similar newspaper announcement may be made. If your parents issued the previous announcement and invitations, they will also issue this by mutual consent” cancellation announcement.

Return all wedding and shower gifts to the donors. Include a short, personal note along these lines:

“Bob and I have agreed to cancel plans to marry. I am returning to you the beautiful salad bowl you sent us. Once again, I thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness.”

Cancel reservations, appointments and services. Privately admit to yourself, and enjoy the realization, that it is “better before than after.”

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