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Engagement Party Etiquette

16 Jan 2019

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You said yes, and now the celebrating begins! First things first is the engagement party, of course, but now that it’s here, you may have some etiquette questions. We’ve gathered some of the most common questions to get you started off right!

sunset beach proposal photo by Nathan Dumlao

Q: Who hosts an engagement party?

A: Traditionally, the bride’s parents host the engagement party, but in this day and age we are seeing many variations on tradition, and that is totally ok! Of course, if the bride’s parents expect to host and are looking forward to it, that is a total blessing, but we’ve seen many couples opt for something less traditional. From drinks after work to an experiential party, like a hiking day or day on a boat, couples are offering their guests memorable moments on top of a great party!

Q: Who should go to the engagement party?

A: This is one etiquette rule that we don’t see anyone budging on. If a guest is invited to your engagement party, they should be on your wedding guest list. Of course, you may have many more people on your wedding guest list ;) If you have a friend or coworker who wants to host an additional engagement celebration, a more casual event like having drinks after work with coworkers does not require a wedding invitation for the entire company. It’s a little bit of a gray area, so be conscious of people’s expectations as you consider your options.

Q: Should you bring gifts to an engagement party?

A: Traditionally, guests do not bring gifts to an engagement party, especially since everyone invited to the engagement party should be on your wedding guest list. However, we are seeing more and more people bringing gifts to engagement parties. Of course, with destination weddings gaining popularity and many couples marrying in their hometown instead of where they live, etc, many guests may not be able to make the trip for the wedding and will decide to bring gifts to the engagement party. You’ll want to have a designated location for gifts, but don’t position it as a focal point, since your expectation isn’t for everyone to bring one. Make sense?

Q: When should you have your engagement party?

A: Having your engagement party within the first several months of your engagement is best, if at all possible. The closer it is to your wedding date, the more you will be managing and planning, which can take away from your experience. Having the party soon after the proposal gives you a chance to relax and bask in the moment, before wedding mania begins!

Q: What are some other things to remember as we plan our engagement party?

A: Feel free to give your engagement party have a totally different feel or theme than you are planning for your wedding. And be sure to not use up all your favorite ideas on your engagement party. It can be so tempting, since you’re in planning mode, and the wedding may feel like it’s so far away.

engaged woman sipping from clever mug photo by Jose Martinez


close up proposal photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

beach proposal photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

woman in brown hat photo on Unsplash

Engagement Party Etiquette Q and A
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