6 Tips to Plan Your Engagement Party

Did you get engaged to be married this past holiday season? November marks the beginning of engagement season, with 43% of all engagements happening between November and January. If you’ve gotten engaged, then you may be thinking of announcing your engagement with a party or family gathering.

Typically, the engagement party is thrown by the bride’s parents, but in this day and age, anyone can throw this pre-wedding celebration! The groom’s parents can host, both parents can host, a close friend or relative, or even the couple! You’ll want to avoid asking the maid of honor or best man to throw it, since they throw other parties for the wedding as well, and this is an additional expense that shouldn’t be bestowed upon them.

An engagement party can be big or small and can be hosted in any number of locations from an intimate restaurant to a large catering hall and even your backyard. The tone of the party can be formal or casual – it entirely depends on how you want to announce your joy! The engagement party is a great way to “kick-off” all of the wedding festivities!

Here are 6 Tips to Plan Your Engagement Party:
1) Whoever you invite to the engagement party, should be invited to the wedding. If you are planning on a small affair, shorten the list to just close friends and family.
2) The engagement party should be held after the couple is officially engaged. An acceptable time is about 3 months after the engagement. However, any time up to a year prior to the wedding the party be given.
3) Don’t hire a DJ for your engagement party. The engagement party is more of an intimate affair; there is normally no dancing and minimal entertainment. If you are considering a musician hire a pianist, harpist or guitar player to play some light background music.
4) Don’t send out a gift registry with the invites; this party it isn’t a place for gifts. However, some guests won’t want to arrive empty handed either. If guests call the hostess asking what is reasonable to give the couple, cash or a gift card is probably the best bet. As for a budget, the engagement gift typically is much less than the wedding gift, and even less than the bridal shower gift.
5) Typically, there is a toast to the happy couple given by the bride and groom’s parents that typically starts with the father of the bride – make sure to tell your parents beforehand so they can prepare their speeches.
6) Finally, you must remember most of all that the purpose of the engagement party is to begin constructing ties and bonds between the families. It is very important to introduce each other’s families to the other if they haven’t already met before.

Article submitted by Erica Tevis- owner of Little Things Wedding Favors an online retailer of wedding favors, accessories, decorations and supplies since 2003. Erica has been featured on NBC’s The Today Show and has her wedding advice published in the books Planet Wedding and How To Plan Your Wedding and Enjoy It!, among various other media outlets online and in print.

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