Engagement parties are not a necessity, but they’re a fun way to show off your new bling, your happiness with your fiancé, and get your friends together to celebrate! So, who hosts this bash, and what’s it all about?
An engagement party is traditionally hosted by the bride’s parents, but it’s not unusual for someone else or the couple to host this party themselves, as long as the bride’s parents get first dibs. (It’s seen as déclassé for parents or the couple to host your own bridal shower, so this is the only party you’ll get to throw until the wedding.) Engagement parties are typically thrown anywhere from right after the engagement to three months later.
Engagement parties range from ultra casual to luxuriously chic. It’s ultimately up to whomever is throwing the party to decide the location, but it should reflect the type of wedding that you’re going to have, so you can nudge them in the right direction.
So, what wedding tasks need to be completed before throwing this party? Technically none, but everyone throughout the night will be asking you where and when you’re getting married, so you’ll want some kind of idea beforehand.
If you’re hosting the party, be sure to create a separate budget for it like you’re doing for your wedding. (Just on a much smaller scale!) Let the type of party be your guide when it comes to what type of decor to buy, food and beverage to serve, and whether to mail invitations or simply send an e-vite. You can specify any specific dress codes on the invitation.
It’s completely your choice who you invite, but never invite anyone to the engagement party that you aren’t 100% sure you’ll be inviting to your wedding. The engagement party list should be much smaller than your wedding guest list.
There will typically be at least one toast at the party, usually leading off with the father of the bride. Once he has toasted, the floor opens to anyone else who would like to speak. At the end of the toasts, you and your fiancé should give a small speech and thank everyone for coming and joining you in your celebration.
Though gifts are not customary for an engagement party, some people may bring them, so it’s a good idea to register before the party. If the party is being hosted by someone else, you’ll need to give the hosts a small gift and a card to express your gratitude for throwing you such a special event.
Last but not least- enlist someone to take photos! You don’t need a professional to do this, but you’ll be so busy greeting and mingling with guests that you won’t have time to take enough photos at this significant event. Ask one of your friends to take posed as well as candid photos throughout the night to capture every magical moment.