You just got engaged, and you and your partner are bursting with excitement. And now you want to publicly announce it, whatever that means for you in 2018—updating your relationship status on Facebook, sending out a Snap that says “We’re engaged” to everyone, mailing out save the date cards or email invites, or posting a photo on Instagram.

But you also don’t want to upset or offend the people closest to you if they find out you’re engaged through social media or another public announcement. The choice of who you tell and how is ultimately up to you and your partner, but here are some people you might want to personally tell that you’re engaged before everyone else knows.

Photo by Margo Salmons

Your family

Tell your closest family members, whether that’s your family of origin or your chosen family. And remember that close means close to your heart. Just because someone’s close to you on the family tree doesn’t always mean you’re supported the way you deserve to be.

Both you and your partner can decide who among your family to share the announcement with, and also how and when to do it. If you get engaged on a trip far away and you just can’t wait, you might call or text some of these people. It all depends on how you feel comfortable sharing and how you think your family would want to know. Some people really like to get news over the phone, while other families may have a running group text where everything and anything is shared.

Fun, creative wedding in personal training studio attendants party friends
Photo by Lydia Cournoyer Photography

Your friends

Your friends can be your chosen family, so these aren’t necessarily two separate groups and you may not categorize them this way. It’s still worth thinking about which of your friends you want to share your news with and how you want to tell them. Depending on how the engagement happened and whether it was pre-planned, some of your friends may already know or are waiting for news about how it went already.

Even if your friends are social media and texting savvy, it’s important to think about how you want to share this news. Will you call them each individually, or will you take a video of you and your partner shouting, “Guess who’s engaged?” and send out a mass text?

Your coworkers

Mileage may vary on this one, because it all depends on work culture, how open you are with the people you work with, and whether you’re even out at work at all. Some people are connected with their coworkers and boss on social media, while others prefer to keep work separate.

If you’re really close to your coworkers and you spend time together outside of work, you might want to give them the heads up before you announce the engagement publicly. Or you might be friends with your coworkers but know that it’s okay to say something on Facebook first because they’ll all be congratulating you on your first day back afterward.

Anyone who you aren’t out to yet

This one’s tough and a very personal choice. If there are people in your life who you aren’t yet out to, but you want to come out to, you might be thinking about how and when to tell them your news. This is a deeply personal decision, so how and when you officially come out—and whether you share the engagement news right away or give the person some time to digest—is really up to you.

This is an area where it helps having your partner’s unconditional love and support. Coming out can be exhausting and emotionally fraught, and it’s unfair that straight people don’t have to come out to anyone when they get engaged. Look to your partner for extra support during this time, whether you need advice, a listening ear, or someone who will make a fort with you and sit in it for most of Sunday morning.

Mystical surprise proposal inside a Mexican cenote two brides Mexico tattoos jungle rose petals
Photo by Quetzal Wedding Photo

Social media and the rest of your world

Double-check that you’ve told everyone you really want to tell before you announce anything publicly, whether on social media or by sending out invitations for an engagement party or save the date cards. Go through your list and think about people who might want to hear this from you personally first.

When you’re ready, now you and your partner can decide how and when to make your announcements. Shout it from the rooftops? Post something sappy on social media? Update your relationship status? Make a pun? If you have videos or photos of the moment, you might be sharing those widely. Maybe you’re a “shot of the ring” kind of person or maybe you prefer a photo of you and your partner from when you first met.

Ultimately, your engagement is about you and your partner celebrating this new stage of your lives together. Make time for the two of you to enjoy this moment and share in all the excitement together.