Engagement parties are a great way to announce and celebrate your engagement with family and friends. There are some factors to consider when deciding when and if you should even have this type of party. The main issues to consider are how far the wedding is from the party, how much the party will cost, and how much extra money you have to spend on this party.
Engagement parties are typical for couples who plan to have a long engagement. It would be odd to have a party and then the wedding a month later. Etiquette dictates that this kind of party should be no sooner than six months before the wedding and about three months after the engagement itself. Traditionally, the bride’s parents host the engagement party, but in these modern times, a friend of the couple or even the couple themselves is hosting the parties. Occasionally, some couples follow tradition and have the father of the bride announce the engagement as a surprise to all the guests at the party.
A major consideration when thinking about a party is the cost. If the bride and groom are hosting the party themselves, the budget may likely already be limited because of the upcoming wedding expenses. More well-off or prominent couples tend to choose more formal affairs with printed invitations, dinner, dancing, and gifts. If something formal is not in your budget, or you just do not prefer a formal affair, a party at home or even a dinner out with friends and family will serve as the perfect party. The couple should choose a party that best reflects who they are and what they want. Most people can find a way to work an engagement party in to any budget, big or small.
When choosing guests for the party, make sure that you plan on inviting everyone at the party to the wedding as well. Guests at not expected to bring gifts, but it is a safe bet to create a registry at one or more stores, as some people will inevitably ask where you are registered so they can purchase a gift. This type of parties are a great way for the bride and grooms family’s to meet and get to know each other. Bridesmaids and groomsmen from the couple’s different walks of life can all meet and exchange info for future planning of showers and parties. Choose the type of event that will make the guests feel most comfortable, whether it is a formal dinner or a backyard cookout, since the main point of the party is for the families to meet and collectively celebrate.
The engagement party should be a night to remember, but keep in mind that the wedding is in the future also. The wedding should outshine the engagement party and it will cost a lot more. Try to budget the party in to the wedding budget to avoid any huge financial surprises or debts. Make the party planning as stress-free as possible and enjoy celebrating your engagement with family and friends!