Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now that you’ve popped the question and she’s said yes, it’s time to start planning. And we’re not just talking about the wedding! You’ll also need to start planning your engagement party.
An engagement party gives your friends and family the opportunity to congratulate you in person. It’s also a good time to introduce the important people in your life to one another. For example, your coworkers may not have met your friends from college yet, but if they’re all going to be in your wedding party, it’s a good idea for them to meet.
Who Throws the Party?
An engagement party can be held by the couple itself, or by either of the couple’s parents. Some engagement parties are held by other relatives (brothers or sisters, for example) or even by a group of friends. You can even have more than one engagement party. This is especially helpful if there are logistical concerns, such as if your family lives in California and your partner’s lives in Chicago or if multiple people want to throw you a party.
When Should You Have it?
While it’s a good idea to have the party relatively shortly after you get engaged, there’s no need to rush and have one just a few weeks after you pop the question. If you want to have something small for your immediate family in the weeks following the engagement, that’s fine, but the bigger party should be about nine to 11 months from your planned wedding date.
Give yourself some time to enjoy engaged life as a couple and then you’ll need at least a month to plan the party and give your guests appropriate notice.
Where to Have the Party
There are so many different places to have an engagement party! This is your opportunity to really have some fun. Think about the atmosphere you want and keep your guests in mind when you’re planning. Will it be a large group? A smaller affair? What time of year is it? If it’s in the summer, you might want to have a backyard barbecue, but having the party in someone’s home may not work if it’s winter, unless they have a lot of space. Is it a younger crowd or an older one? A party at a nightclub might work for friends and coworkers, but it probably won’t be too popular with your aunt and your grandma.
Remember though that this isn’t your wedding, so you don’t need to go all out.
This depends on the type of party you’re having, who’s hosting it and, also, what type of wedding you’re planning. It used to be a “rule” that you wouldn’t invite anyone to the engagement party that you weren’t inviting to the wedding. However, these days, this rule is sometimes broken, especially if you’re having a more larger and informal engagement party or if you’re planning on getting married out of town. The engagement party can be a good way to celebrate with coworkers, etc. who may not be able to make it to your actual wedding.
However, most people choose to invite their immediate family, those who will be in their wedding party, and their closest friends.