Bridal Club Magazine
Engagement Party Etiquette – The Do’s And Don’ts, Part One
Is there really a proper time for an engagement party and what
is supposed to happen at one? These are two of the many questions
asked by brides when they first get engaged.
The truth is .. There is no proper
time. Most etiquette books suggest 4-8 months prior to your wedding
date. Some couples chose to have a 'surprise' engagement party
where they announce the pending nuptials to friends and family. In
this case, you will need to act more fairly promptly to avoid it
filtering through the grapevine to parents.
There are only two essentials to the
proper timing of an engagement party:
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You need to get engaged
Both the bride-to-be and the
groom-to-be must be present at the event. (Though this one may
sound obvious, it's quite common for couples to get engaged just
prior to one of them leaving for a while.)
It has been customary for the
bride's parents to lost the engagement party, however this is not a
Do We Need To Give Out Invitations?
Don't invite anyone who you will not
be inviting to your wedding.
The engagement party is as the name suggests, a party, not a
formal or traditional occasion. Therefore keep it small and
intimate and celebrate this happy time with only your closest
relatives and friends. By doing this you will not only have a great
time but won't risk having to apologise to anyone for not inviting
them to your wedding because you don't have room for them in the
church or reception venue.
You don't have to have set a date for the wedding at this
Do you issue formal invitations or just call up friends and
Depending on the formality - If you
are having dinner at a hotel or private house, then a printed
invitation would be appropriate. Especially so if an RSVP is
required in order to be catered for.
If you are having an informal gathering such as at home or in a
bar, a hand-written invitation, phone call or even email is quite
Are Guests Supposed To Bring Gifts?
It is certainly proper to bring a
gift to any special occasion, including engagement parties.
However, it is not required and rarely expected. An engagement
party is often given six months to one year before the wedding.
Gifts can be as simple as a lovely bouquet of flowers to be enjoyed
during the evening or as practical as the ever needed toaster oven.
However, for the most part, gifts are neither expected nor given at
Keep Engagement Gifts Separate From The Party
That isn't to say that engagement
gifts are never given; they are simply not given at the engagement
party and not by all people. Only family and the very closest of
friends generally give engagement gifts to the bride only. When
given, these gifts are usually mailed to the bride's house or
bride's parent's house.
First and foremost -- only a few
people would even give an engagement gift in the first place. An
engagement party will have any number of people who are not
expected to give gifts but could feel uneasy should others give
gifts and they do not. Secondly, since many engagement parties are
"surprise" parties for friends and family, you can't expect people
who don't realise the occasion to come armed with a gift for
Best of luck with your engagement
party. Don't forget to check this space next month for Part 2 of
our engagement special - party themes and ideas.