wikiHow to Be Supportive when Your Friend Gets Engaged

Getting engaged is an exciting time, and your friend will need your support as she or he prepares for the wedding. Here are some things for you to do when your friend gets engaged.


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    Offer your congratulations. When your friend first announces her or his engagement, she or he is likely to be very excited. It's a big moment in anyone's life, and it is normally important to the newly-betrothed that their friends and family share in their joy. When your friend first tells you her or his plans, be happy for her or him and offer your congratulations. Hugs, kisses, tears and laughter are all appropriate. Hopefully this will come naturally!
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    Send a card. If you can't be with your friend in person, send her or him a card to let them know you are thinking of her or him. Address it to both your friend and her or his partner, and write a short personal message inside.
    • Personalise the card by adding a picture of the couple when they first met, before they got together or even a picture of your friend as a child, perhaps dressing up as a bride or groom or at a moment of success, like winning a medal.
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    Obtain an engagement present. You might like to give your friend a present to help celebrate her or his engagement. Champagne is sometimes a good option. Alternatively you could club together with some friends to treat the couple to an experience they can share together, like a weekend at a fancy hotel.
    • Respect any beliefs that your friend or their partner may have about proper boundaries before the marriage.
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    Get to know your friend's partner. Now that your friend has decided to marry, it will be more important than ever that her or his friends and her or his partner get to know each other. If you haven't already done so, make the effort to get to know your friend's new spouse-to-be. Treat them as a unit by inviting them to things together.
    • If for some reason you really can't stand the new partner, then you need to put in a bit of extra work. Try organizing group events to invite them to; that way you can get to know the partner without having to speak to him or her all the time. Remember that meeting the friends can be a nerve-wracking experience, so the partner could be acting out of character due to nerves. Give it time. You friend obviously sees something in this person, so he or she can't be all bad!
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    Accept the wedding invitation. At some point during the engagement you will (hopefully) receive an official invitation to the wedding. The wedding day is traditionally hosted by the parents of the bride, and so the invitation will often be sent on their behalf. They will often request an RSVP by a certain date. The invitation may instruct you on how to do this, but if not you should reply by writing a short letter to the address on the invitation.
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    Help organize the stag and hen nights or bachelor/bachelorette parties. If you are best man or maid of honor, it is traditionally your responsibility to organize the "last night of the freedom bang" before marriage. Apart from the logistics, you also have the responsibility of looking after the bride or groom on the big night. You need to walk a fine line between making sure they have a party they will never forget, and stitching them up completely. You should bear in mind though that their partner will hold you responsible for their loved one's safety and well being, and will appreciate any lasting damage or permanent tattoos.
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    Decide what to wear. You've been invited to share the most important day in your friend's life, so you should make an effort to look your best. Start planning early so you can dress smartly.
    • Men should wear a suit and tie.
    • Women should take the opportunity to wear a dress. Alternatively they could wear a nice top and skirt or trousers. Avoid wearing white or the colour of the bridal party.
    • Make an effort with your outfit. Weddings can vary from very formal to very casual. As a general rule of thumb, jeans are a no no. If you would wear it clubbing or to work, it's not appropriate for the wedding.
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    If for any reason you can't attend, then send a card with a message of best wishes.


  • If you don't feel happy about your friend's engagement because of your own personal dating situation, swallow your sorrow and be happy for him/her. It isn't about you - it's about him/her.
  • Keep your mouth shut! Be careful of any potentially crude jokes that may be seen as offensive. Keep your bad engagement stories to yourself!
  • Expect dress and suit fittings if you are part of the bridal and groom party.
  • Other things you might be able to assist your friend with include creating wedding stationery, deciding upon and ordering flowers, deciding on a theme and colours for the wedding, designing a cake, etc. Don't be bossy, however; only offer your suggestions if your friend asks and really wants your input.
  • If your friend asks you if the outfit makes him/her look fat, be as supportive as possible. Rather than being sardonic and saying it DOES make them look fat, mention another outfit that would look better. Do not lie out flat nor be painfully truthful, because that is not what friends are for. Remember, in the end, it is their decision, you are only there to help, not choose for them.


  • The world has many different cultures and traditions. Be sensitive to your friend's feelings and don't push him or her to do something he or she might regret.

Sources and Citations

  • VideoJug A video on helping an engaged friend. Shared with permission.

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