The moment the ring hit your finger life likely took on a surreal, “everyday is a party” crossed with “good grief this is a lot of work” quality. Before you dive too far into wedding planning, it is nice to acknowledge this new phase in your life and relationship with a celebration. It’s time to think about your engagement party!
Traditionally, the parents of the bride hosted the engagement party, but now, anyone close to the couple, (and even the couple themselves) can host. The best timing is shortly after engagement, with enough time to develop a plan and still send invitations out 3-4 weeks in advance. In an average 12 month-engagement, generally the party is held around 11 months prior to the wedding – feel free to adjust based on your own personal timeline.
Much like contemporary wedding plans in general, only the extent of your imagination needs limit your engagement party plans. You can choose a formal affair with fancy dress and engraved invitations, or the ultimate backyard cookout and invitation by word of mouth. Have some fun ideas for food or entertainment you’re pretty sure won’t make the cut for the wedding? You’re just beginning your wedding planning process so don’t feel tethered to your future theme, color palette or motif. Take this opportunity to throw caution to the wind, just do you!
Although there are plenty of guests who will bring tokens to congratulate the newly engaged couple, gifts should not be expected. There is no need to register prior to your engagement party. If you do receive something, it is likely to be along the lines of a nice bottle of wine for entertaining or a great cookbook to start your collection. An engagement party is not a shower – save the gifts to open privately after the party (unless you uncork a bottle to share of course!) and be absolutely certain to express your thanks with a handwritten note in a timely fashion. It’s good practice for the many, many gifts you are about to receive.
Engagement parties are the earliest and often least-stressful events on the road to saying I Do. Let loose and have the best time with yours before you buckle down and take on the main events ahead!
Did you have a unique engagement party? We would love to hear all of the details!