Throwing an engagement party is a pretty big pre-wedding event. Of course, figuring out how to host this gathering isn’t always a simple task. To celebrate your big day with those closest to you, it helps to know the basic rules of engagement party etiquette. These top tips for newlyweds and guests make it easy for everyone to enjoy this special moment.
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Engagement Party Etiquette for Couples
Putting together an engagement event of your own? For newlyweds, there are plenty of pressing questions swirling around from the moment the engagement is announced. From who hosts to when to select a date, the answers to these common questions can offer some helpful insight.
1. Who Hosts an Engagement Party?
Figuring out who hosts an engagement party is the first step to take when planning your event. According to most traditions, the bride’s family cover the costs and put together the festivities. However, the task traditionally falls on the person who is most likely to be the bride’s Maid of Honor or the close friends or family members of the couple. An engagement celebration can also include more than one party, especially if all guests can’t be together on the same dat
2. When is the Right Time To Hold an Engagement Party?
Throwing wedding engagement parties within the first few months of the proposal is customary, as it is important to “strike when the iron is hot” for events like this. However, it is not wise to host the gathering within the first month of the proposal, as this time is designated for announcements and other preliminary meetings the couple might need to handle.
3. Who Should Be Invited to the Engagement Party?
As a rule of thumb, anyone you invite to the engagement party should definitely be on the guest list for your wedding. This is common etiquette to invite someone to an engagement party. Most engagement gatherings are small affairs with close family and friends, so a reserved list is best. If someone else is hosting the party for you, the final list should be ultimately up to their discretion.
4. How Are Engagement Party Invitations Handled?
In the digital age, engagement party planning takes many forms. While the traditional route of sending your invitations by mail is appealing to you, be sure to start early so that the messages reach each guest in a timely fashion. For those looking to use digital means of conveying the message, a formal email or electronic invite can be sent out whenever as long as guests have enough time to prepare.
5. Are Gifts Customary at an Engagement Party?
Guests are not obliged to bring newlyweds gifts at an engagement party, so don’t get your hopes up. Still, modern traditions dictate gifts for most formal or important affairs. This means you likely will receive a handful of engagement gifts from friends and family. Engagement party etiquette suggests the gifts be modest, so expect small cash gifts or similar tokens to commemorate the celebration.
6. How Should the Couple Dress for an Engagement Party?
Your engagement party is not your wedding. This means you don’t need to go all out on an outfit that will turn heads. You can save that for when you walk down the aisle. Still, this is not likely a casual event, either. Dress to match the type of party you are throwing. A formal gathering dictates you wear something to fit the mood. No matter how you dress, it is crucial to inform your guests of the attire recommendations. Including this on the invitation will keep everyone dressed in a uniform manner.
7. What Activities Happen at Engagement Parties?
There is a lot of etiquette engagement party ideas when it comes to activities. While you don’t need to hire entertainment for dancing, you definitely want to consider games and other ways to keep guests engaged. If the people you’re inviting don’t know one another, these games can act as icebreakers that get the crowd to work through awkward silences. Plus, party games are a fun way to get excited for the future festivities.
8. Should the Couple’s Families Meet at the Engagement Party?
Though the engagement party is many things, it should definitely not be the event where your parents first meet your partner’s parents. Basic engagement party etiquette dictates the parents of the couple meet before the event in some capacity. This means you should schedule their meeting as soon as possible. Even if you meet for breakfast before the party, arranging this early helps to make the people who raised you most comfortable moving forward.
9. How Much Should Be Spent on an Engagement Party?
Smart engagement party planning is all about controlling the budget. A wedding is an expensive enough endeavor without adding costs associated with preliminary events. Keep the entire event modest to keep your spending sensible. Instead of a full meal, offer appetizers or small plates. The less you spend on this, the more you can spend on your actual wedding celebration.
10. Should There Be Alcohol at the Engagement Party?
A good party always has a little bit of alcohol involved. However, you don’t want to make it a night of free-flowing booze the way many weddings tend to be. If you have the event out at a restaurant, engagement party etiquette suggests offering at least a single glass of champagne to guests for toasting. Keeping control over how much alcohol is at the party also helps you keep your budget in a good place.
11. Do You Send Thank-You Notes After an Engagement Party?
After any gathering where you are the person of honor, sending thank-you cards is a common courtesy. No matter whether a guest brought a gift or not, a handwritten thank you note is a key part of being a respectful person. If someone threw the party for you, it is a good idea to provide a note and a small gift as a way of showing your appreciation.
Engagement Party Etiquette for Guests
Attending an engagement party can bring about as many questions as hosting one! If you’ve been invited to such a celebration, it is best to know a few facts in advance. Be ready to be the best guest possible with these answers.
1. Should I Bring a Gift to an Engagement Party?
Purchasing a gift for a wedding can be expensive. Getting an invite to an engagement party when you’re already on a tight budget can be a bit stressful. Thankfully, it is not customary for guests to bring a gift to such a party. However, you might feel inclined to purchase a small present if you are particularly close to the couple.
2. What Should I Wear To an Engagement Party?
Knowing how to dress for this type of gathering is a common concern for guests when it comes to engagement party etiquette. The invitation is the best place to get a feel for this information. If there’s no attire requirements invited, you can assume it is a business-casual affair. This means dress in a relaxed-yet-appropriate fashion.
3. Do I Get a Plus One at an Engagement Party?
An invitation will tell you whether or not you can bring a guest with you to the event. One of the basic rules of engagement at an engagement party is asking questions before making assumptions. Unless it is clearly stated or you have permission from the hosts, don’t bring anyone along with you.
4. How Do I Behave at an Engagement Party?
Being on your best behavior is a must when it comes to proper etiquette. You’re there to show the couple your engagement wishes engagement wishes, not party hard with your friends. The wedding will be a time of revelry, but this event is all about respect. Even if you don’t bring a gift, it is wise to bring an engagement card as a show of love and affection.