Tips for Planning an Engagement Party
If you're planning to get married, you have a lot of planning to do. Before you get started on the ceremony and reception, however, you might want to consider planning an engagement party. Customary in many circles, these traditional events are a great way to celebrate the occasion, while bringing families together. Here are some tips for planning an engagement party that's sure to be remembered.
Why Have an Engagement Party?
While a wedding may sound like a dream come true, it is actually a lot of work. Before your get busy with all the stressful details, your engagement party will allow you to savor the moment and celebrate with friends. It's also an excellent opportunity for friends and family from both sides of the aisle to interact and get to know each other.
Who Should Host the Gathering?
Traditionally, a bride's parents will host an engagement party. These days, however, there's no societal rule that dictates this. You can ask either parents to host, or you can make arrangements to host the party yourself.
What Goes into an Engagement Party?
For celebrities and social elites, engagement parties are often lavish affairs. In the real world, however, an engagement party can be an intimate gathering for family and friends. It can also be formal or casual, depending on your preference and budget. Whether it's a formal affair at a fancy hotel or a small gathering at your home, your engagement party should reflect your individual taste without taking too much money from your overall wedding and honeymoon budget.
Should I Provide Party Favors?
Even if you are planning an especially casual affair, you should still provide invitations that tell guests whether to bring gifts, what type of attire to wear, and how to RSVP if the event will be catered. Inexpensive favors, such as save-the-date magnets or personalized candies can help serve as reminders of the wedding date. You can also thank guests by providing engagement favors, such as: custom bottle opener key rings and personalized tumblers and wine glasses.
What Are Some Good Activities to Include?
While not necessary, fun activities are a good way to break the ice between families and friends who are meeting for the first time. Some good options include:
- The couple sharing the story of how they met
- Guests roasting the couple in a lighthearted way
- Couple giving gifts to parents and each other
- Videos and pictures of the bride and groom through the years
- Taking group and family photos
- Asking guests to share their advice for happy marriages
- Announcing the wedding date, location and other details
Should I Expect Gifts?
While they are typically appreciated, engagement party gifts aren't generally considered mandatory. It's best to leave the decision to the discretion of your guests. That said, be sure to state this on the invitations, so no one will feel embarrassed when they see that others have chosen to offer a gift or two.
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