November 24, 2021
The Engagement Party!
Who throws it? Who do you invite? When should we have it?
Traditionally the engagement party is hosted by the bride’s parents, but can also be given by friends of the bride and groom, or other relatives. Yes, you can have two or more parties; one for relatives and family friends, for instance, and another for your own friends.
An engagement party is the start to building the bridge between families and friends, so the host should consider a setting that is comfortable and engaging. There are no hard fast rules for the style or theme, so have fun! A cocktail party, casual barbecue or formal dinner are all great options.
The traditional rules of etiquette suggest that guests invited to the engagement party should also be invited to the wedding; however, many couples are having smaller weddings or holding their ceremonies far from friends and sometimes even from family, so the engagement party, in those instance includes people who may not be invited to the wedding.
Both families should be invited to the engagement party.
The engagement party should take place 2-4 months after the engagement if you are planning a long engagement and for shorter engagements it can be held any time more than 6 months before the wedding.
Guests will want to congratulate the newly engaged couple, so greet guests at the beginning of the party and create a space where the bride and groom, and their respective parents, can comfortably welcome guests as they arrive.
Toast to the marriage and wedding! At an engagement party hosted by the bride’s parents, the bride’s father proposes a toast to the bride and groom, followed by the groom toasting his bride-to-be and her parents and his own parents. At a more informal affair hosted by friends, anyone can make a toast at anytime. The engaged couple should toast the host.
Gifts are not expected at an engagement party, but one rule of thumb is to always register before the first wedding event, like an engagement party or bridal shower, as gift giving is part of the celebratory nature of weddings and parties and you want to provide your guests with some guidance. Make sure the host and parents of bride and groom knows where the couple has registered.