Love is in the air, it is officially PROPOSAL SEASON. With engagements comes lots of parties including…. the engagement party.
Traditionally the bride’s parents host the engagement party. However, more and more couples are opting to host their own engagement party or are having a party thrown for them by close friends and/or family members. Which is totally fine! Just keep in mind that whoever is hosting the party is also financially responsible for the party. Plain language – be prepared to foot the bill if you sent out the invites!
As far as the guest list, be sure to only invite guests that will also be invited to the wedding. A good rule is to invite close family and the wedding party first, then closest friends and then everyone else.
Personally, I never like to show up to a party empty handed. However, etiquette says that no gift is required for an engagement party. For this, I am going to suggest leaving gifting up to the guest. It’s ok to register somewhere; the host then can be apprised of where guests can find this information so they can tell anyone who asks. But…if you are hosting the party, it’s best to steer clear of any mention of gifts or registries.
The engagement party is typically held a few weeks after the proposal and before the heavy wedding planning begins. So within a couple months of the engagement. That is unless you plan to be engaged for a long period of time. If so, feel free to wait on the engagement party. Whatever you decide just make sure your engagement party happens closer to the date of your engagement than your wedding date.
It is up to the host to decide the level of formality and location of the engagement party. Some couples prefer to have an intimate celebration at their home; while others opt to have a formal dinner at a nice restaurant. If you are hosting the engagement party decide on what atmosphere you want and then decide on a location.
Who doesn’t like a party to celebrate love?! People will want to congratulate you on your engagement so an engagement party is a great way to give them the opportunity to do so. Also, the engagement party is a good way to introduce extended friends and family members to each other. Allowing people to meet and get familiar with each other before the wedding day establishes a greater level of comfort amongst your wedding guests.
And there you have it. If you are feeling stressed or really not into the party, it’s okay to decline the offer to have a party thrown for you and skip it altogether. I always tell my couples to soak up this calm before the wedding planning storm. Enjoy each other and this amazing time in your life. There is plenty time to party!
Until next time, happy planning!