Your engagement party should be a melting pot of all your friends and family. Planning any party can be stressful, and you don't want to have to worry about a petty bickering between a family member and a friend ruining your special day, or any other minor situation for that matter. Like any get-together, there are some unofficial rules that should be followed to ensure smooth sailing. Though the party is not as formal as the wedding, there is still proper etiquette to follow so you're classy, not trashy.
Here are a few simple tips for proper engagement party etiquette. By following these helpful hints, you won't have to worry about a thing!
1. Many people will ask, "is an engagement party necessary?" Though it seems to be a dying tradition, a lot of couples like the idea of it. It's a way to announce and celebrate your recent engagement, and of course, it's an excuse for a party! If you choose not to have one, you can always send out save the dates or post an engagement announcement in your local newspaper.
Finally, just remember to remain calm, cool and collected. If a big-mouthed friend or family member is yapping about how she really feels about your fiance, pull her aside and politely (but sternly) confront her. Introduce all of your guests to each other. Have a great time!
2. The simplest, though most important rule of all is this: everyone invited to the engagement party should eventually be invited to the wedding. However, vice versa is not inappropriate--you can omit a few people from the engagement party guest list that you know will still be invited to the wedding. Perhaps a snobby old roommate or an ex fling?
3. The engagement party should be held after the couple is officially engaged. An acceptable time is about 3 months after the engagement and a about a year prior to the wedding. The engagement party is merely a celebration for the recent proposal; it is not a part of any preparation for the wedding.
4. Traditionally, the parents of the bride host the engagement party. But wedding etiquette has certainly evolved, so it is not uncommon for the groom's parents to throw the party, or perhaps another friend or family member. Even the couple can throw the party for themselves. But you'll want to avoid asking the maid of honor or best man to throw it, since they throw other parties as well, such as the bridal shower and bachelor/bachelorette party.
5. You've sent out invitations for the engagement party, and now your guests are chewing their fingernails in worry of having to buy you a gift. Engagement gifts are absolutely not necessary, and it may be a smart idea to specify this on the invitation so your guests don't feel obligated. And if any guests do bring gifts to your party, be sure to open them afterward in private. You definitely don't want to make any other guests feel uncomfortable. Don't forget to send out thank you cards!
6. Who proposes a toast? It's traditional for the groom's father to first propose a toast in honor of the soon-to-be bride and groom. During this toast, only the guests raise their glasses--not the couple. Then, the groom usually gives a short speech in honor of his fiance and her family. Again, all the guests raise their glass along with the groom; though the bride does not. Finally, the rest of the guests have the opportunity to say a few words.
And don't forget to include the engagement party favors! We offer a great selection of "diamond" favors and decorations to add the perfect touch to your engagement party.
© 2010 Kelsey Bowen, Little Things Favors
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