Engagement Party Etiquette
Engagement Party Etiquette requires the bride's family to host the first social gathering to share the good news with family members and close friends.
If the groom's family resides in a distant hometown, they may also host an engagement party for the couple.
It is not traditional engagement etiquette to throw an engagement party. Nor is it part of the tradition to give engagement gifts.
However, if you do decide you want a party, then there are some important engagement party etiquette rules and guidelines to follow:
1. No one should be invited to the engagement party that is not invited to the wedding.
2. Guests are not expected to bring gifts to an engagement party, but if they do, open them in private or after the party. Don't forget to send thank you notes.
3. The bride's father is the first to invite the guests to raise their glass in honor of the bride-and-groom-to-be. The guests will drink a toast to the happy couple. The couple do not drink at this time.
The groom-to-be says a few words, then offers a toast to honor his bride-to-be and her family.
After his short speech, other guests may propose toasts to the couple and their parents.
4. While the bride-to-be has her new engagement ring to flash around, it may be a nice gesture on her part to present her husband-to-be with a long-lasting gift as a memento of this occasion.
It is not a rule of engagement party etiquette, however, a popular gift of choice is a watch engraved with the date, his initials or a special message.
5. Traditionally, the parents of the bride host the engagement party, but there aren't hard and fast rules.
Alternatively, the bride and groom can host it themselves, or a friend or other family member can undertake the hosting duties.
It is not good engagement party etiquette to ask your bestman or matron of honor to host the engagement as they will have other parties to host, don't forget the Bridal Shower and the Bachelor Party.
6. The style and size of the party depends on your budget and what you prefer. It can be a formal affair with printed invitations and reply cards, a casual backyard barbecue, or anything in between.
Typically, engagement parties are a cocktail event or casual in nature since you want the happy couple to be able to mix and mingle throughout the evening with family and/or friends.
7. For those with especially long engagements, engagement parties are held one to three months after the engagement, and/or about a year before the wedding.
For others it can be held any time more than six months before the wedding.
Planning the Wedding
If your wedding is to be a large or formal affair, if you have the budget, you may want to hire a wedding planner. It is entirely up to you. You may be perfectly capable of planning the wedding together and with the help of your family and friends.
You will also find help from some of the sponsors listed at the top or right side of this page. Check them out.
Knowing the proper wedding and engagement party etiquette can help to alleviate some of the issues that may arise. Careful planning can make this a fun and stress free time.
A date should be set as soon as possible so you, your families, members of the bridal party and invited guests can also make the appropriate preparations.
You may also be interested in...
Engagement Ring Etiquette
Bridal Shower Etiquette
Wedding Invitation Etiquette
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