Are you newly engaged and wondering how to plan an engagement party? Or do you know a newly engaged bride-to-be who would love an engagement party of her own? If you are curious about who plans an engagement party, where it is held, and when to have the engagement party, you’ve come to the right place. Today we’re talking about planning an engagement party, right down to what the bride should wear! Let’s get started…
How to Plan an Engagement Party
An engagement party is not a requirement; not all couples have an engagement party and you’re not expected to. However, an engagement party is a fun way to celebrate a couple’s engagement and get families and friends all together to meet and mingle before the nuptials.
by we do honey
Planning an engagement party is pretty easy, really! Think of it as a small intimate party with the couple’s closest friends and family members. Throw in some cute invitations, festive engagement party decorations, take-home favors (these are perfect), add food and drinks, and your engagement party will be spectacular.
We’re tackling eight frequently asked questions about how to plan an engagement party, outlined below.
How to Plan an Engagement Party: Top 8 Questions
1. Who hosts an engagement party?
Traditionally, the bride’s parents or groom’s parents host an engagement party (but they can co-host the event, too). For a more informal engagement party, friends or relatives can throw an engagement party for a couple, but it is encouraged to wait until after the official formal engagement party to do so. The couple can host their own engagement party, if they prefer. There are no rules!
Tip: Serve these adorable donut rings! By Shop Paper and Parties.
2. When is an engagement party held? How close is the engagement party to the wedding date?
An engagement party is typically held nine to twelve months before the wedding. Guests should receive invitations at least one-month before the engagement party.
3. Where should an engagement party be held?
If you’re getting married in your hometown, and friends and family live nearby, a local engagement party is perfect. If you live out of state (and your wedding is being held there), have a party on your (new) home turf and another in your home town, if you wish. However, this rule applies: wedding guests or wedding party attendants should not expected to attend if it is out-of-state, since they’ll be expected to travel for the wedding itself. Wedding etiquette dictates you shouldn’t expect people to travel to an engagement party and your wedding. If they can come — great! If not, it’s really not worth fretting over. In terms of venue, a backyard, house, restaurant, or bar are a few perfect places for an engagement party.
(See: how to plan a stock the bar engagement party for theme-specific tips!)
4. Does the couple register for gifts before the engagement party? Are guests expected to bring gifts?
Gifts are not expected at an engagement party. A guest can give a gift if he or she wishes to, but it is certainly not an expectation. If you do register before the wedding, guests can shop from this list if they wish, but you should never include the registry information on the engagement party invitation. (If guests want to give a gift, they’ll ask your parents where/if you are registered, or look up your name at particular stores. No need to mention anything about gifts on the invitation.)
If guests do wish to bring a gift to an engagement party, here are a few suggestions.(For more, see: 12 Useful Gift Ideas for Newly Engaged Couples.)
5. Who should be invited to an engagement party?
If the engagement party is informal and hosted by friends, there is no set rule on who should be invited (since they won’t really know who is on your wedding guest list yet). However, if you or your parents are hosting an engagement party, invite only those who are also going to be invited to the wedding. This is one reason why you may want to keep your engagement party fairly small, since you might not have the guest list nailed down yet.
The engagement party is a great time to announce your bridal party and/or ask bridesmaids and groomsmen to be in your wedding. We love these “will you be my bridesmaid” cards from Cricket Printing (you can pair them with any of these sweet be my bridesmaid gift ideas, too):
6. Do you need formal invitations for an engagement party?
No, formal invitations are not required. Engagement party invitations should be simple. You can even email invitations, if you prefer. If you’re sending invitations in the mail, the colors or style do not need to coordinate with the wedding (since the colors or theme probably aren’t even picked out yet).
If you do send invitations, you should coordinate the invitation style with the type of engagement party being thrown such as a cocktail party, outdoor bbq bash, etc. so guests can determine formality of attire.
7. What should the bride and groom wear to an engagement party? What do guests wear?
The bride should wear attire that coordinates with the location of the engagement party. For instance, if it is a cocktail party at a restaurant, the bride can wear a cocktail dress.
by lark & ro
by patty boutik
If you don’t want to wear white, gold is another great option. Here’s a beautiful dress we found:
The groom should dress in the same formality as the bride: a suit & tie for a formal setting or dress pants and a button-down shirt for a more casual location. Guests can wear a dress or skirt for a more formal affair, or jeans and a nice top for an outdoor bbq style. The theme dictates the attire for an engagement party.
8. Should you send thank you notes after an engagement party?
Yes, the couple should send thank you notes to guests after the engagement party to thank them for attending. If a guest gave a gift, be sure to include a thank you for the gift in your note.
P.S. Did you like this article on how to plan an engagement party? Do you have any additional questions? Tell us in the comments below!