The Ultimate Guide to throwing an Engagement Party

Sep 12, 2016 | Proposal

They’re not a necessity, but an engagement party can be a great way to announce and celebrate this big milestone with your friends and family. If you’ve recently become engaged, the following questions should help you figure out if an engagement party is something that interests you. And if you’re researching ways to throw an engagement party, our advice will help you start planning the celebration.

engagement party

Do we have to throw an engagement party?

Short answer: no. Engagement parties are on the increase these days, but no one expects you to fork out for a party when you have a wedding bill to think of.

There are plus sides to it though. One is that you may get a few gifts and who doesn’t love presents? Another is that it’s a relaxed way for your family to meet her family and get to know each other before the wedding planning madness begins.

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If you’re planning on having a very small wedding or getting married abroad, an engagement party is a nice, informal way for extended family and social circles to celebrate the good news with you, since they won’t be there on the big day.

Another reason couples throw engagement parties is if they’re planning on a long engagement. With the wedding celebrations a couple of years away, it’s nice to throw a party to celebrate the proposal and honour this great news.

engagement party

Who’s responsible for organising the engagement party?

Again there’s no specific rule for this. Either sets of parents may decide to throw a family party to celebrate the engagement or a bigger one to include the soon-to-be in-law’s family as well. Another scenario is for the couple’s friends to offer to throw a party for friends and close family.

If the bride’s family is traditional and planning on paying for the bulk of the wedding, it’s usually a sign of good will for the groom’s family to throw an engagement party.

In reality, there are often a number of small engagement celebrations, with both sets of parents hosting a gathering for their respective families and a friend throwing one for the couple’s friends.

But if you want to keep things simple or take control of the party yourself, you and your fiancée can beat everyone to it and throw your own bash.

See? No rules.

engagement party

When should we throw it?

Newly engaged couples will usually wait about a month to throw their engagement party to give people enough notice to be free to attend. Leaving it longer than three months means the shine has worn off the occasion and it doesn’t feel like a proposal celebration, so try to throw it before then.

If you’re having a short engagement, the earlier the better, as having it too close to the wedding will put a strain on your finances if you’re hosting it and it will feel more like a wedding shower than an engagement party.

engagement party

What kind of event is it?

Again, no rules. Your engagement party can be whatever you want it to be, whether that’s an informal gathering in your local pub or a rooftop party at a city centre hotel. It can be just for close family and friends or for everyone you’ve ever known – just do what suits you.

Similarly, it doesn’t have to be a ‘party’; it can be a big dinner at a restaurant or a fancy brunch one Saturday afternoon. You can even have a pot luck barbeque if the weather is good. Engagement parties are just like birthday parties – they should reflect you and what makes you comfortable.

engagement party

Should it be themed?

See above. Like birthdays, themes can be fun at an engagement party. It can be a general décor-and-food theme or you can go all out with costumes. Do keep in mind that while your engagement party should be what you want, if your family and social groups generally hate costume parties, you might want to take audience preference into account.

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Where should we hold it?

We’re getting repetitive now, but there are no rules. If your parents are throwing it, they may want to host it at home or in a local pub or restaurant. If it is a smaller, more casual gathering, the couple or their family will usually just hold the party in their house, especially if they have a garden people can spill out into.

But again, the location will reflect whatever type of party you want to throw.

So basically, just do whatever you want.