Fact: Getting engaged means plenty of people will “like” you— at least on the surface. There’s nothing like showing off brand new bling to bring everyone from your third cousin to the girl you sat next to in bio class out of the woodwork and onto your feed. But posting a generic Instagram shot of your newly adorned left hand isn’t exactly personal—and isn’t exactly a testament to the love between you and your significant other. “A creative announcement only amps up the excitement that your family and friends will have for both of you,” explains Rosanna Casper, co-founder of the wedding website Idojour.com. So while posting a photo of your mani that just so happens to show your bling or uploading a “she said yes photo” is fine, these announcements are straight-up awesome.
Send an Old Fashioned Card
Sending a surprise postcard—yes, in the mail, with a stamp—to your family and friends is a thoughtful way to make them feel in the loop and included in your big news. Not only that, but having to wait a few days before people find out gives you and your brand-new fiancé a few days to enjoy engaged life—without having to field endless “when is the wedding?” questions.
Create a Custom Blog
Creating and sending a link to a select few group of people—rather than your whole Instagram feed—not only makes them feel honored to be chosen to receive the news, but creating a site gives you room to share the context of your relationship and proposal, rather than just showing a shot of your ring.
Have Fun with It
Spelling out “he put a ring on it” on a Scrabble board or creating a mocked-up movie poster with your faces and a Coming Soon: Mr and Mrs. X title spreads the news in a cool, creative way. (Psst: Pinterest has tons of ideas for cool engagement announcements—since you’re likely to be spending quite a bit of time there in the next few months, might as well start now!)
Host a Happy Hour
Invite all your friends to meet at a bar after work and make the announcement in person there. Not only is seeing the reaction in person way better than a getting a ton of Insta-notifications, but all of a sudden, you have 20-plus amateur photographers on hand—and in-the-moment shots of you and your soon-to-be husband looking blissfully psyched to be together are way more authentic than the photo taken by a random stranger seconds after you said yes.
Keep Him in the Picture
If you want everyone to know immediately, go for it—but make sure you have a picture of you and him, not just you and bling. By making sure he’s in all the engagement shots, you’re making it clear to all your friends (and, okay, frenemies) that even though the ring is totally amazing, the next step in the relationship is the real reason why you can’t keep that smile off your face.