Engagement Party

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Once he’s asked and you’ve said yes, it’s time to announce your engagement. Many couples make that announcement at the first party of the bridal season – the engagement party. Traditionally, the bride’s parents would host an intimate gathering of family and friends to celebrate the upcoming nuptials. More recently, grooms parents, relatives, friends or even the couple themselves have begun to throw this congratulatory gala. So where do you start?

Guest List

If you or your parents are hosting, anyone receiving an invitation to your engagement party should receive an invitation to the wedding. For this reason, the engagement party is typically a gathering of your closest friends and family.If your friends are throwing the party for you, the rules on who to invite are less strict. While it can be more casual, you should remain aware of the number of guests you request attend as not to over burden your hosts.

The Tone

Your engagement party will typically be more casual than your wedding regardless of the level of formality you will have for your wedding day. Many engaged couples will celebrate by gathering for cocktails or dinner at a favorite restaurant or backyard BBQ.


Engagement party gifts should not be expected from guests, although you will likely receive some. As with all wedding related gifts, a thank you note should be written to the gifter. If someone is hosting the party for you, you should give them a gift of thanks at the end of the event.


Your attire for the day will be dictated by the location and tone of the event. If your engagement session is built around a particular theme, such as a luau, you will likely dress to compliment your party theme. Many brides to be opt for a white dress for their engagement party.

What to expect

This is your chance to show off your engagement ring, so you’ll want to get a manicure! Expect to do a lot of talking as guests will won’t to know if you’ve chosen a date, location and more. Also expect to receive unsolicited advice of what you should do. This is a great way to practice the grace you’ll need throughout the wedding planning process.


The host of the engagement party will likely toast the newly engaged couple. Your guests will also want to hear from one, or both, of you, as well. Be sure to thank your guests for attending and your host and hostess.


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