Having an engagement party is a good way to introduce your fiancé or fiancée to your family and friends. Today, in our mobile society, the bride and groom may not live near family or old friends. Therefore, having an engagement party is a quick way to introduce a future spouse to a group of people at one time. The following tips will help you plan a successful party.
• The parents of the either the bride or groom usually host the party, though a grandparent, an aunt and uncle, a close friend of the parents, or a godparent may choose to host it instead. If both sets of parents live in the same community and are acquainted, they might co-host the party.
• It is okay to have two engagement parties, each hosted by one set of parents, if the parents of the bride and groom live in different communities and have different friends. If both families live in the same community, only one party is held and both sets of parents are invited. However, only the friends of the hosting parents are invited unless both sets of parents co-host the party.
• The purpose of the party is to celebrate the engagement. Therefore, the party should be held shortly after the engagement occurs and several months before the wedding. If most of the guests don’t yet know about the engagement, the hosting parent might announce the engagement at the party.
• Invite only close friends and family who are also friends of the bride or groom, not just the parent’s friends. Don’t invite people that you don’t expect to invite to the wedding.
• Keep the party simple and relaxed. You might have a barbeque or a cocktail party without a pre-planned program and at which guests can mingle and visit.
• Gifts aren’t usually given at engagement parties. If they are, it is most often a bottle of wine or a wedding planning book for the bride. The couple might accept any gifts that they receive, then put them aside to be opened at a later time so that guests who didn’t bring anything don’t feel awkward. Gifts of wine or food do not need to be served at the party.
Having an engagement party is a way to officially kick off the wedding planning process, so enjoy your time as you get better acquainted with each other’s families and friends.