Engagement parties are usually run the risk of being forgotten due to the often stressful and time-consuming wedding planning activities that kickoff after the engagement itself. Although these parties are not a must, it is common for a close friend or parent to want to hold one in honour of the couple and their momentous occasion. Below is a list of engagement party planning guidelines to keep in mind.
Hosting the Engagement Party
It’s considered inappropriate for a couple to host their own engagement party unless of course it’s intended to be an announcement of their engagement. Furthermore, it’s considered rude for the couple to charge a close friend or relative with the responsibility of throwing the party. The main rule here is to wait for someone to offer to host the party. Some exceptions, however, exist where close family members are involved.
Traditionally, the parents of either the bride or groom will host the party with silver ornaments and decorations from places like Silver and Pewter Gifts to mark the special occasion. However, where the two families being brought together by the pending union currently reside in different locations of the country, two separate events may be necessary. The second, separate engagement part may be hosted by the maid of honour, best man, a family member or a close friend.
Engagement Party Timing
Although there is no governing rule regarding the timing of the party, it should preferably be held soon after the engagement, but some months away from the wedding. Leaving no more than 3 months after the engagement and between 9 to 12 months before the wedding should be a great guiding rule.
From the above information, you can see that it’s important to have some important information, such as the wedding date and a specific venue or general area, in mind before planning the engagement party. The climax of the event, the rings, should also be in hand. Between making the engagement announcement, and planning the actual wedding, most couples find that they don’t have enough time to devote to engagement party planning.
Compiling the Engagement Party Guest List
The current trend among celebrities is to make engagement parties as big as possible. However, keeping your guest list short by only including a few close friends and family members is highly recommended. Remember that you don’t want to include anyone who won’t be in the final wedding guest list; play things safe by keeping the list as short as possible.
Since one of the main reasons for holding an engagement party is to facilitate a casual meeting of the families before the main wedding event, guest numbers from both families should be equal; more-so considering that the parents of either the bride or groom will be hosting the party.
Engagement Party Gifts
Simply put, engagement party guests do not have to bring any gifts to the event, and they shouldn’t be expected to. Although it might seem normal for some couples to ask for gifts at this initial gathering, it might come off as being greedy considering that these guests are still expected to bring gifts, a few months later, during the main wedding. Unless you are instructing guests not to bring any, the word gifts should not appear in the invitation cards to the engagement party.
Even with the above in mind, some guests may want to bring congratulatory gifts; provide a general description of your preferred gift ideas to the party host; as they may need to communicate the same to inquiring guests. Regardless of whether they brought gifts or not, be sure to send all who attended “Thank You” cards.
Some couples prefer handing out party favours to the guests even though it is not necessary. “Save-the-date” trinkets are a popular and great choice in this case. To this end, consider handing out wine bottles with a special “save-the-date” label showing important wedding-related information.