Engagement parties can be a fun way to announce and celebrate your engagement, but not everyone has one. The following blog comes from the Emily Post Institute on Etiquette and more precisely their Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, 6th edition
Engagement parties occupy a funny little niche in the wedding process: They are standard practice in, and more or less unheard of in others. Gifts are given at some parties and not expected at others. This may seem unsettling, with no obvious blueprint to follow. But the beauty is that you have the chance to create your own style of event, one that is most meaningful to you. A clambake, a catered dinner, a casual brunch, or even a picnic in the park are all completely acceptable settings for an engagement party. You simply need to choose whichever type of celebration you’d most enjoy. The party itself has no requirements, though an announcement and toast, usually given by the father of the bride, is common.
Honoring Potential Hosts:
Parents of the bride are usually the given the option of hosting an engagement party first, followed by the groom’s parents. It’s less common – though not unheard of at all – for both to do so, either separately or jointly.
Timing of the Engagement Party:
Though typically held within one to three months of the engagement, timing and logistics may call for something else. The idea is that the event occurs closer to the engagement than to the wedding. Even if the engagement is only a month long! The invitations are usually mailed two to four weeks in advance, again adapting as your schedule may require.
The invitations may be printed, handwritten, or even telephoned but only if the party is on short notice. But remember they should match the level of formality of the event.
Creating a guest list is the most important planning element to pay attention to. Decisions you make here will reverberate all the way to the wedding – literally. Everyone that is invited to the party, must also be invited to the wedding. It’s one of the reasons people often keep engagement parties on the smaller side and stick with guests that are 100% on their wedding guest list. Choose wisely – remember, you can always invite more people to the wedding.
At The Party:
Have a great time! Spend time with each guest so that you can thank them for coming and for their love and support.
As a guest, take note: Giving a gift usually varies by region and sometimes even by family. If you’re unsure, check with your host.
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