Engagement party: 6 need-to-knows about planning one
There’s no cardinal rule saying an engagement party is necessary. In actual fact, it isn’t. But if you like celebrating and want to hype up your wedding even more, an engagement party is the right way to go. But what does one look like, who should host it, and who do you invite? Here are six things you need to know about planning an engagement party.
1. Traditionally, the bride’s parents host
Nowadays it seems the engagement party is just another excuse to get dressed up, get drunk and high five yourself for falling in love. But some traditions are still valued, in which case the bride’s parents get first dibs on hosting the engagement party.
In some (very rare) cases, both sets of parents want to formally announce their offspring’s news to their social circles, in which case you might have two engagement parties.
2. It usually happens just after you get engaged
An engagement party is about, err, your engagement. So make sure it happened as close to the day you popped the question or said ‘yes!’.
3. It doesn’t have to be formal; invitations can be digital
For a low-key shindig, opt for a big BBQ in your garden or local park, or a casual buffet and drinks evening at a bar. And a digital invitation, email or phone call is sufficient. But if you want to go formal, a fancy sit-down dinner at a restaurant or hiring a chef to come to your house would be appropriate; as would be a paper invitation.
4. Only invite people you know you want at your wedding
It might seem tit for tat, but if you invite someone to your engagement party but not your wedding, they’ll be hurt. So only invite friends and family you 100% want at your wedding – yep, this will mean resisting the urge to put a public post on Facebook inviting everyone and anyone.
5. Not fronting the bill is okay
Unless your parents are hosting the engagement party – in which case they pay – you don’t have to fork out for your engagement party. If you’re busy saving for your wedding, you might not have any spare cash for the engagement party. But if you do, you may want to put some money behind the bar if you’re having a casual get-together, or pay for the space if you’re reserving an area at a rooftop bar, for example. Don’t be scared to outline on the invite that food and drinks aren’t included.
6. Having a gift list is also okay
It’s not a strict tradition, but sometimes guests, like parents and long-time family friends, want to bring a small gift to the engagement party, especially if they know they can’t make the wedding. So if you think you might have some gift-givers among your guests, providing your mum or dad with a list isn’t a bad idea. Just be sensitive with this one – you don’t want to come across as greedy.
Do you have any engagement-party wisdom to share with the Popup Weddings community? If so, please leave your comments below. We’d love to hear from you.