Neil Lane Engagement
Credit: Copyright 2018 Sidney Morgan/Stocksy

As The Bachelor's ring designer and Hollywood's go-to for diamonds, Neil Lane knows how to make a wedding sparkle. I Dos and Don'ts is his take on everything bridal.

Congratulations! Your significant other popped the question, and you’re engaged. Of course, you know what comes next: An engagement post announcing it to the world on social media. But anyone who’s ever scrolled through Instagram knows that with the popularity of ring selfies, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of same. Which makes it hard to tell the world about your love in a way that’s not, well, basic.

There is a way to make the moment both Instagram-worthy and genuine, though.

First thing’s first: Before sharing, take some time to appreciate this special and significant event in your life. Be present and bask in the afterglow. I know you want to make the announcement of your engagement as magical as the proposal, but don’t let that detract from the special moment between you and your new fiancé. Do you know that 10 percent of parents find out about their kids’ engagements via social media? Don’t let that happen to yours. Call your friends and family. Then move on to filters.

Let’s review the basics: Engagement posts are foremost about an exciting decision that you and your fiancé just made. But you'll probably want to make the ring a part of that. It’s the universally understood signal for “I’m getting married,” after all. Nothing ignites a diamond like natural light, so step outside. The sun’s rays will highlight your ring’s finer details. When it comes to positioning, you want to relax your hand. This makes for a softer, more elegant aesthetic. And don’t forget that your nails will be front and center, so why not pamper yourself with fresh manicure in a color you love? And of course, clean your ring! For last-minute shine, soak your ring in warm, soapy water (next to the sink in a strainer, never inside) for half an hour and then gently brush the stone with a soft toothbrush.

Now, you’re ready to choose a pose and setting that’s personal to you and your partner:

1. Don’t Forget the Groom!

The ring often has a starring role in an engagement announcement, but the moment is really about you and your partner. Capture the loving expression in their eyes by bringing him or her into the shot. There’s nothing more “aw”-inspiring than the look on your new fiancé’s face when the love of their life says “yes” to the big question. If they’re camera shy, take a photo of your hands intertwined for a sweet picture that symbolizes the beginning of your union.

Neil Lane Engagement - Groom - Embed
Credit: Copyright 2018 Rob and Julia Campbell/Stocksy

2. Keep It Real

At the end of the day, it’s your thing and your bling. While it's easy to get caught up in the fairytale, authenticity is key. If your proposal happened at home in pajamas, why not show that? This picture is meant to illustrate your unique experience—and there’s nothing more likeable, or relatable, than an unstaged post.

Neil Lane Engagement - Real - Embed
Credit: Copyright 2018 Sidney Morgan/Stocksy

3. Show Your Personality

Make your announcement stand out by infusing the shot with your and your fiance’s personalities. Choose a bold, edgy shade of nail polish, or add a little sparkle to compliment your ring. Or go for an untraditional pose, like the cheeky one Margot Robbie featured in her Instagram post announcing her engagement to Tom Ackerley.

4. Tell Your Love Story

Consider going back to the first place you met or where the proposal took place. If it was in a beautiful city or at the beach, use the scenery as your backdrop. You can also showcase a hobby or common interest you and your fiancé share. Did you first connect over hiking? Snap your photo out in nature. Did you meet at your local coffee shop? Go pick up a couple of cups. Just remember, if you want your ring to be visible, choose a background that is visually interesting but not overwhelming.

5. Play with Angles and Props

Give your followers a closer look at your ring’s most romantic details, whether it’s a hidden row of diamonds or a secret engraved message. Rather than photographing the ring head-on, you might angle your hand in a way that reveals the unique facets of the ring. Not everyone loves to pose for pictures, and if you opt to photograph the ring on its own, angles and props can be a particularly fun way to turn an average ring shot into a narrative about your relationship. Try staging the ring on a prop that symbolizes your love, like a book of your favorite poetry, a gift that one of you gave the other, or the puppy you raised together.

6. It’s Not All About the Ring

It can be just as celebratory to use a snapshot of you and your fiancé that features your ring more subtly. To achieve that, pull back on the photo but bring your hands into the frame, like The Bachelor's Rachel Lindsay did in her engagement Boomerang.