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Top 10 Engagement Party Etiquette

Planning an engagement party?
We’ve answered the top 10 commonly asked questions.

1. Who throws the engagement party?
Engagement parties are usually held by the parents, specifically if we are sticking to the traditions, it would be the bride’s parents. However, nowadays it is common to have the parties thrown by either the couple themselves or by family and close friends.

2. Who pays for the party?
Usually whoever is hosting the party, will be the one paying. That being said, it is common to have much more casual engagement parties now by having informal drinks at a venue. If that’s the case, it is usually good etiquette to set up the initial bar tab and provide nibbles, and guests can always purchase their own drinks once the initial tab has been reached.

3. Who should I invite?
The invitation list will ultimately depend on who is hosting. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should invite anyone that would be invited to the wedding. It can be very awkward if someone is invited to your engagement party, and never received an invitation to the wedding. Naturally, there are exceptions to this rule. If you are having a grand wedding with an extensive list of people attending, you may want to just invite your closest friends and family to the engagement party. Alternatively, if you know you are going to have a small wedding due to having a destination wedding, then it makes sense to have a big engagement party with people who may not even attend the wedding.
When creating your guest list, it is good etiquette to invite a balanced number of people from both you and your partner’s side.

4. When should I hold the engagement party?
While the news is still fresh! Ideally within the first few months of the engagement. Before you send out the invitations, it is important for you to give yourself enough time to plan for the party! It is best to get the engagement party out of the way before you start the wedding planning, to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

5. When is the best time to send the invitations?
You should give your guests at least 1 months’ notice. So, we recommend ordering your engagement invitations as soon as possible. Ideally as soon as you have planned the party the event theme, venue and guest list.

6. What do I need to consider for the invitation?
Your invitation will reflect the celebration theme and style, setting the tone for your guests. Choose a design that will reflect the theme, and if you know your wedding style already, it would be a great idea to choose a design that blends well with the wedding’s theme.

7. What should I include on the engagement invitation?
Asides from the party details, it is important to give a deadline for guests to RSVP so you can get an idea of numbers attending for catering and venue purposes. It is a good idea to give an indication on the invitation whether or not you are expecting gifts, and you can include a gift registry on the invitation if you are planning on having one.

8. What about engagement gifts?
Although traditionally, gifts were not expected at engagement parties, this is now changing. If you are uncomfortable with receiving any gifts, it would be worth mentioning on the invitation. Alternatively, if you do not mind receiving gifts, you could set up a gift registry and include small note about it on the invitation for those who would like to bring something. If you are setting up a gift registry, please be mindful that guests may be planning to buy you a wedding gift or contribute to the wishing well on your wedding day. It is customary to open the gifts after the engagement party and to send thank you notes.

9. Are there expectations of the hosts during the party?
Besides having a blast during the celebration, it is also important to acknowledge and thank everyone for coming, even if it is someone you do not know well. It is also a great idea to introduce your guests to each other, so they can all get to know each other and mingle!

10. Who should make the speech?
Traditionally, the father of the bride will make the first toast to the couple. The couple should also make a speech to their families and a general one to thank everyone who came. It is customary to remain seated and not raise your glass while someone is proposing a toast to you. After someone has finished their toast, the couple should respond to the toast with a few of their own words.

We hope we have answered all your questions to do with engagement party etiquette, but if you have any other questions… Feel free to ask us. We are here to help!

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