Congrats, you’re engaged! It’s time to celebrate with a fun engagement party! Here’s some “sage advice” on how to have a warm and meaningful one.
1. Who throws the party? Often it’s the parents of the engaged couple who throw the party, but sometimes the party is hosted by friends or the couple themselves.
2. When to have it? An engagement party usually takes place within a month or two of announcing it to the world. It is essentially a tiny, getting-to-know-you party.
3. Who to invite? Invite people you want to be a part of your wedding day, taking into account any travel plans that may need to be made for out-of-towners. This is usually an “intimate” party – small and comfy with just the closest of friends and relatives.
PRO HINT: Office and “payback” friends are usually not invited to your engagement party. But certainly to the bridal shower!
4. Gifts are not expected at an engagement party. Please ensure the invitation is clear: “Your presence at our engagement party is the only present we need.”
PRO HINT: If someone does bring a gift, thank them and set it aside, do not open it in front of the other guests.
3. Where to have it? At your home, in a private room at a restaurant or rentable venue, remember, you want to keep the party small and intimate so that you can get to know your fiancé’s family and closest friends.
PRO HINT: A bubbly beverage at guests’ arrival sets a fun tone. Champagne or Sparkling Water, make sure the flute is festively decorated with a berry!
4. What’s on the menu? It can be as varied as flipping burgers on the grill or an upscale tasting party in a penthouse. The only “wrong” menu is one where the menu is not inclusive of special diets. It’s so easy nowadays to get gluten-free breads, Vegan proteins… or ask your caterer for a great “happy family” meal!
4. What to do? Having a couple of icebreaker activities that don’t involve embarrassing anyone (that’s for the rehearsal dinner) is an excellent idea. Google “party ice breakers,” and you’ll find many fun “wedding-centric” ideas. Remember, this party is only 2-3 hours long, so make it chock-a-block about YOU, the engaged couple!
5. Toasts, and lots of ’em! Express warm, heartfelt thanks to your party host, parents, guests, and especially to each other.
6. Why have an engagement party? Discovery. Now is the time to meet each other’s family and very close friends and have honest conversations with them. You’re about to embark on a lifelong relationship with them, too. Start it off right!
Wedding engagement is a time for excitement. It’s also a time to become profoundly grateful. After all, you’ll be married to the love of your life!