I am the mother-of-the-groom-to-be (once the engagement is announced) and I am writing to ask about engagement etiquette. The future bride and her mother want to announce the engagement in the “They’re Engaged” section of a local magazine.
My problem is that the date of the wedding hasn’t been set yet.
The bride-to-be chose the ring and my son plans to formally ask her to marry him over dinner on Valentine’s Day.
In the engagement announcements I’ve seen in the magazine a precise wedding date is identified for every couple.
Shouldn’t my son and his future wife follow protocol and set the date before announcing their engagement?
–Meddling MOG, Beverly Farms, MA
Your concern is valid about the breezy interpretation of engagement etiquette.
There are affianced couples who don’t have a ring to signify their commitment, and betrothed couples that have not named a wedding date. There are married couples who don’t wear wedding bands.
In fact, there are no protocol rules of engagement carved in stone that dictate the presence of an engagement ring or the requirement of setting a wedding date in order to be properly engaged.
An engagement is an agreement between two people that is a promise to wed. Traditionally, the commitment is symbolized by the wearing of a ring to announce that the woman is no longer procurable.
We humans thrive on our rituals that bequeath security, consistency, and responsibility.
Perhaps, the wedding couple haven’t figured out how to afford a wedding and need their families to come through with ideas and offer suggestions.
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