Engagement parties are a great way for an engaged couple to celebrate their pending nuptials and to allow future wedding guests the chance to meet each other before the big day.
While some people may choose to throw an elaborate formal party, others may opt for a more intimate affair. No matter which option you choose, just remember that an engagement party is a chance for the future bride and groom to show their love for each other and celebrate with loved ones.
While the etiquette surrounding an engagement party is less strict than for the actual wedding itself, there are some rules that should be followed to keep things running smoothly and avoid any unnecessary stress.
Who Should Organize the Engagement Party?
In the past, it was traditional for the bride’s parents to host a party to announce their daughter’s engagement; however, these days anyone from relatives to close friends may organize the event. Even couples have been known to host their own engagement party to share their good news with their friends and family members.
When and Where Should the Engagement Party Be Held?
Typically, the engagement party should be held soon after the proposal so the excitement is still new. Some couples may choose to throw their own party so they can announce their engagement to all of their loved ones at the same time. If you choose this option, you just have to think of a creative excuse to get everyone in the same location at the same time.
Choosing where to hold the engagement party depends on the budget of the person hosting the event as well as the couple’s taste. Ask the future bride and groom what type of party they are interested in before making any plans, to ensure a successful event.
You can even throw an engagement party at your home, which provides a number of options such as a fancy dinner party, a wine tasting, or something as informal as grilling burgers in the backyard.
If you are interested in hosting a cocktail party, you may be able to reserve space at a nice venue such as an art museum in your city or an upscale club. Does the couple have a favorite restaurant? Consider renting a private room for the engagement party.
When organizing an engagement party, you should consider holding it at a quiet location. This will allow guests the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other before the wedding.
Whom Should Be Invited to the Party?
Engagement party etiquette really comes into play here; anyone who is invited to the engagement party should also be invited to the wedding. Please keep in mind that, since this is an intimate event, you do not have to invite everyone who will be coming to your wedding to the engagement party.
When deciding whom to invite to the engagement party, you should include the bride and groom’s family members and close friends. If you have an idea of who will be in the wedding party, you should invite them as well.
Should I Bring a Gift?
While gifts are not expected at an engagement party, some guests may bring a small present to celebrate the pending nuptials. A bottle of wine or beautiful flowers are a great token to bestow on the future bride and groom. You can also ask if the couple is already registered if you need gift ideas.
If the couple wishes to avoid receiving gifts from their guests, they may consider including a note in the invitation that “no presents are needed—only their guests’ presence” is requested. This can help with guests’ peace of mind and avoid making anyone uncomfortable.
Please note that if you are the engaged couple and someone else is hosting the party, bringing a gift is always appreciated. Whether it’s flowers or a gift card to their favorite restaurant, giving a present is a great way to show your gratitude to the host.
Who Gives a Speech at an engagement Party?
Traditional engagement party etiquette dictated that the father of the bride should make a speech at the event; however, anyone can do so if they choose. Speeches don’t have to be long or formal; a short introduction and a funny story before proposing a toast should suffice.
If the bride’s family hosts the party, the father of the bride will typically make the first toast. Next, the fiancé should toast his future bride, her parents, and then his parents.
Engagement parties are a fun first event during the pre-wedding festivities. With a little careful planning and adherence to engagement party etiquette, you are sure to start off on the right foot with your future extended family and new friends.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.