For most couples that are newly engaged, one of the first things they want to do is throw an engagement party to celebrate their announcement. The engagement party is very important, as it’s typically the first of many wedding events to come. It also tends to be one of the events that is less stressful, as they’re usually held pretty far in advance from the wedding date (when the couple is still relaxed!).
If you’re newly engaged and going through engagement party planning, congratulations! Hopefully this will be the perfect kicking off point for your wedding planning process. If you’re not entirely sure how to go about organizing an engagement party, however, read this article. At Bliss Restaurant, engagement parties are one of our main events, and we understand them very well.
Here’s the best way to go about everything when it comes to engagement party planning.
When Should It Be?
Engagement parties are usually thrown pretty soon after the ring has gone onto the finger. After all, it’s to celebrate your engagement, so having it too far away after will take the meaning out of it. Most couples choose to have their engagement party a few weeks after the question is popped.
It’s an old tradition that the bride’s parents host (and pay for) the engagement party, but just like the tradition of the bride’s parents paying for the entire wedding, this rule is fading away these days. Every family is different, and every couple is different. Some parents are literally unable to pay for lavish wedding events, and so now, it’s all about who offers to host.
Sometimes no one offers, and the couple simply hosts and pays for it themselves. If this is the case for you and you don’t want to break the bank, remember that an engagement party doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s all about celebrating your love, and can be very casual.
Who Gets Invited?
Above all, remember this: don’t invite anyone to the engagement party whom you’re not inviting to the wedding. Doing so is considered very rude. It’s basically saying, “You’re good enough for our little party, but not good enough for our wedding day.” This is one of the biggest rules of engagement party planning.
Why is this important to remember? Because once a couple is engaged, they tend to get very excited and want to invite everyone they know to celebrate. But then later, when they sit down to make their wedding budget and discover that they can only invite a third of their friends, therein lies the issue.
The only time this is acceptable is when a couple is planning on having a very small wedding, but want to celebrate the engagement in a bigger way. If this is the case, that’s fine—just make sure that your engagement party guests know and understand this so that their feelings aren’t hurt when they don’t receive a wedding invitation.
Attire And Style
What to wear to an engagement party frequently confuses people. This is because they know a wedding is formal, so shouldn’t the engagement party be? But then they don’t want to arrive overdressed.
The dress code will be entirely up to the couple, but keep this in mind: no matter what the dress code is, be sure to clearly state it on your invites. Your guests will greatly appreciate this. Even if the dress code is casual, let them know.
Most couples choose to do a more relaxed engagement party, but others want something very fancy. Either way is fine—just be sure to include this information on the invites so that your guests know about it.
Similarly, if your engagement party has a theme or style, be sure to also let them in on this. This is an important part of engagement party planning. If you’re the type of couple who are having a theme, chances are you’ll love it when your guests show up and add to the theme with their own outfits or props.
As with any event, plan your menu with the consideration in mind that many people have food restrictions, such as allergies, gluten issues, and religious and moral beliefs that keep them from eating certain things.
Food is a huge part of any party, so be sure to keep the above in mind whether you’re catering, having a potluck, or making the food yourself.
What About Gifts?
When it comes to gifts, they are typically given at the bridal shower and the actual wedding—not the engagement party. But for whatever reason, there are lots of people think they’re supposed to bring engagement party gifts.
Because this misunderstanding is fairly common, it’s wise to state otherwise on the engagement party invites. Something simple will work just fine, such as “No PRESENTS, just your PRESENCE”, or “Gifts not expected”.
It’s important to remember to do this, as you don’t want half of your guests feeling awkward because they showed up empty-handed.
If you’re beginning the engagement party planning process and you’re looking for the perfect event venue, consider us at Bliss! please check out our gallery or contact us to learn about pricing and availability.