The One Thing You Shouldn’t Do Right After You Get Engaged

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Had I not been half a world away from home when Paul proposed, I’m sure I would’ve made this mistake. After all, there are few things more tempting than this.

Too many couples spend the first few post-proposal moments sending out e-mails and texts and making phone calls when those minutes really should be spent enjoying your engagement with each other–and each other alone.

In our case, we were in Paris, killing time between having to check out of our hotel and heading to the airport to fly home. So 10 or so minutes after I had my engagement ring on my finger, we were ducking into the Metro to get to Charles de Gaulle. But had there been time and an easy way to place an international call, I would’ve been on the phone with my mom so fast–even though it was only about 5 a.m. back in New York.

It’s natural to want to spread your happy news, especially if you’ve been waiting years and years (like I was) to get engaged. But friends who did get in touch with their families and pals immediately following the proposal admit that it was strange to hop on their phones in their fiance’s presence seconds after he asked such a huge, important question. While I don’t recommend waiting half a day like I did (I almost told people on the plane that I was engaged just so I could tell SOMEONE), it was kind of fun to have this big secret that only the two of us knew. But I think we can all stand to wait a half hour to an hour. And if it happens at home, take the time to truly celebrate (nudge nudge, wink wink) before you tell a soul.

Already engaged/married folks: How long did you wait until you spread the news? Not-yet-engaged gals: Do you think you’ll be able to postpone telling your inner circle you’re engaged?

More About Getting Engaged
Why Get Married?
Two Crazy Ways Guys Broke Their Engagements
Mindy Kaling’s Take on Getting Married

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Photo by William Warby

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  • Natasha Jewell

    Never thought of this before. Good advice! :)

    • mereditor

      Thanks, Natasha!

  • Daniela Lezcano

    I agree! I don’t think it was a conscious decision to hold off on telling our closest friends and family members, looking back I’m really glad that we took time to let things soak in (and giggle and blush and sweet talk and…well, you get the idea). This is one of those few moments in life that you will most likely describe over and over again. I’m glad the next words out of my mouth after, “I said yes..” will not be “and then I picked up my cell phone.”

    • mereditor

      Such a good point, Daniela! So glad you two savored the joy alone for a while.

  • Stacy Caroline Breland

    My fiance and I became engaged last August, right after we moved 4 hours away from our home city.  I actually managed to wait a couple days, since we were going to head back to spend the weekend with our parents, and I wanted the first person I told to be my mother, and I wanted to do it in person.  (Truth be told, I caved a day early and told my brother, who happened to call me and, since he’s a Marine, we don’t get to talk often.)

    • Meredith Bodgas

      That’s amazing you were able to keep it a secret for multiple days! And how sweet that your Marine brother was first to know. I love that you told your parents in person–I wish I could’ve waited that long! I don’t think I saw them for a week after I got engaged–and we only live 45 minutes away from each other, so we have no excuse.

  • GreatWonders21

    My fiance and I were engaged for several months before we told anyone. We planned our wedding for about 5 months before we even told our parents, just because we wanted to be sure of what we wanted without family members, friends, and associates putting their 2 cents in.

  • Ashley Thompson

    I’m now divorced but when I was proposed to, it was a pretty terrible proposal. And when I went to go tell my family, everyone already knew it had happened or was going to happen on that day. There was very little excitement. Definitely going to do it better the next time around.