The engagement is on, and you’re excited. Who wouldn’t be? You’ve started a new phase in life, and soon you’ll be planning for your wedding day. But before that starts, you’ll need to take in the celebratory vibes that only a wedding engagement can bring; hence the purpose of the engagement party. We’d like to share a few tips for planning this special celebration – one that won’t require too much effort and which is more about the spirit of soon-to-be matrimonial bliss.
- Decide who will host. Traditional etiquette says that the bride’s parents should host the party, but this is the modern day, and in these days the rules have become more lax to include anyone who is close to the bride. It could even be the groom’s parents, although the bride’s parents should have the chance to host the party if they’d like. Also, the option exists to hold no engagement party at all, or to hold more than one—say, two: one each in the hometowns of the bride and groom. If the bride’s parents have decided to plan the party, and the parents of the groom want to host a party, too, they should be sure to host their party after the first engagement party, since proper etiquette would suggest that the bride’s parents take precedence.
- Make a guest list. Who will you invite? Who do you want to invite? Who would you like to also see at the wedding? In short, anyone that is invited to the engagement party should also be invited to the wedding. To make sure that the right people are invited, draft the list with the bride and groom, so that you know who they’d like to see at both events. An engagement party will take place before the serious planning of the wedding, so, at the very least, invite only the people who you’d like to see at the wedding, in order that you don’t have too many people to include on the wedding guest list.
- Define your budget. How much will you spend on this event? Create a budget detailing how much the venue will cost, what the cost will be per attendee, and additional planning costs. Don’t let reality stare you in the face without recognizing it. While the financial planning might not be the responsibility of the bride or groom for this one, wedding-related events, including the wedding itself, should still work within a set budget. The engagement party is just one of many costs during this exciting time, and should be budgeted for as well.
- Plan in a timely manner. Hold the party within three months of the proposal, and give one month’s notice. A good timeframe is about one year (nine to eleven months) before the date of the wedding. Since you will have a little lead time, be sure to take a breather, because this party will be just the first of many celebrations to come. It will also give you the time to get an idea of your guest list and the place where you’d like to hold the party.
- Decide on a venue. Think about the type of party atmosphere you want: If you like the idea of having everyone in the same room, you might want to rent out a private room at a local restaurant. For something more low-key, a family member’s house, backyard, or clubhouse might be a better choice.
- Will you register for gifts? This is a good question, because people will certainly be spending money on wedding gifts for the bride and groom. If there will be a gift registry, be sure to select items that are in the lower price range, to allow people to also budget for the more important wedding gift. If you don’t want gifts, then note that in the invitation. People will certainly appreciate the candidness.
So concludes the first portion of planning for an engagement party. From deciding who will host to who will attend, there are many questions to start asking. After all, this is the first of many celebrations to come during the wedding planning process.