Engagement Party Etiquette
All About Engagement Party Etiquette
Engagement party etiquette is one of the several tips and traditional activities found throughout wedding preparation books and magazines alike. Brides read through more material in preparing for a wedding than most college students studying for final exams. On a serious note, these rules of etiquette can be extremely important for some brides, while others would prefer to throw all the rules to the wind and do things their own way. Regardless of which category a bride falls into, knowing the rules of engagement party etiquette may prove beneficial in deciding how one wishes to throw an engagement party, if at all.
First and foremost, the host must determine when they wish to hold the party. Traditionally, the party is held prior to engagement announcement and before the wedding, whenever both parties are able to attend. Then, it is essential to thoroughly plan who to invite to this party. Most people prefer an intimate environment in which immediately family members from both sides are able to interact and get to know one another better. However, note that you should not invite anyone to the engagement party that will not be invited to attend your wedding ceremony.
In terms of gifts, most engagement parties are not geared toward receiving gifts; therefore, if you do receive gifts make sure you open them after the party instead of in the presence of everyone who attends—this will make those who did not bring you a gift feel comfortable. It is acceptable to note on the invitations that gifts are not required. Gift giving is typically reserved for bridal showers and the ceremony itself. Therefore, it is not important or even recommended that you register for gifts before the engagement party is held.
Now, as with any wedding festivity, the question always appears of who exactly is supposed to host such party? Traditionally, the bride’s parents host the engagement party; however, as of late, the party maybe be hosted by the grooms parents or friends and family members of the couple. The bride and groom should not host their own party. It is essential to note that engagement parties are definitely dying out in contemporary weddings. Instead, most couples decide to settle with announcing it in the newspaper.
There are no set rules on the proper location for your engagement party. Some people choose to hold it at a local restaurant, while others host the party at a relative’s house only offering hors ’d oeuvres. In either situation, it is important for the host to cover the costs; never expect guests to pay for their own meal if the party is hosted at a restaurant. For more formal parties, guests may wish to make a toast. Traditionally the bride’s father makes the first toast, but again this is falling by the wayside. If a toast is made, be sure to stand up at the end and make your own toast thanking everyone for attending and expressing your excitement about joining the two families into one.
The couple should make sure to communicate with everyone at the party, even those they may not get along with very well; kindly thank each of them for attending. This courtesy is proper engagement party etiquette. Be sure to introduce your future husband and future wife to members of the family they may not already know.
After the party, you and your husband should send out thank you cards to all who attended the party. Make sure you remember to show your appreciate whoever hosts the party as well.
In conclusion, engagement parties are typically hosted by someone close to either the bride or groom and can either be formally planned or be completely a surprise. The couple should not host the party and whoever decides to act as host is responsible for the bill. Couples should not expect gifts and guests should be aware that gifts are not required. It is important that everyone who attends be greeted and made to feel comfortable and at ease, which falls on the shoulders of the host and couple. Although many people avoid engagement parties in the contemporary format, those who choose to participate in this traditional party will be greatly benefited by following the engagement party etiquette rules listed above to make your party everything you want it to be and much more.