He got down on one knee, you said, “YES!”, you have a diamond ring on your finger, and you are now engaged! It is time to begin the celebration! Before getting all wrapped up in wedding planning, why not throw an engagement party to share the happy news with everyone?
An engagement party is a fantastic way to gather all those close to you and celebrate your upcoming marriage. Usually scheduled during the first four months after becoming engaged, couples can use this party as an opportunity to introduce the families to each other. It is also a good occasion to express to guests their thoughts on wedding size, style, location, and date because you now have had some time to think about it and make those essential decisions. It can also be the setting to formally announce the bridal party (after speaking to each person individually first, of course!).
Traditionally, the bride’s parent’s host the initial engagement party but the groom’s parents could take over those duties or nowadays any person who is close to the couple can host. More and more couples are now choosing to host their own engagement party. The engagement party is your first chance to showcase your personality and style as a couple before the wedding day.
Giving gifts at engagement parties are not mandatory but some guests don’t like to come empty handed. It is a good idea to have your registry set up as soon as possible (some couples do it right away, which isn’t a bad idea because you will get busier with wedding details closer to the date). Do not include this information on the invitation, which is considered bad etiquette; word of mouth is best but only if asked about it.
Something extremely important to remember is everyone invited to the engagement party should be invited to the wedding. For that reason, it is best to keep the party small and invite only family and close friends. Unless, you decide to have a small wedding and let all guests know of your plans, then a big engagement party is the way to go! But keep in mind, this party doesn’t need to be an extravagant affair; there is still the wedding some months later to go all out! Congrats and happy planning!