• Bridal Fantasy

Enchanting Engagement Parties

You're not the only one who wants to celebrate your engagement and upcoming wedding! Your family and close friends are all eager to give their congratulations and meet your partner; the engagement party brings everyone together to celebrate and meet some of the other key people who they will likely be seeing more of in the time coming up to your wedding day. The engagement party is traditionally held by the bride's parents, with subsequent parties being hosted by the groom's parents or other close friends and family or both sets of parents co-hosting. However, these days more couples are hosting the party themselves or allowing close friends or family members to host.

Time the party to fall within a few months of the engagement, it’s best to fall shortly after the engagement so you’ve had enough time to enjoy the whole process and you’ve now started thinking about your wedding plans but close enough to the engagement for it to still be fresh news. This party is a good example of why it's smart to start thinking about your wedding guest list earlier rather than later; the engagement party is typically only attended by guests who will also attend the wedding, so it's a good idea to start with your wedding guest list and cut it down to your bridal party, close family, dearest friends, and any other significant people. While the engagement party isn't a gifting event, some guests may wish to bring something anyway so you might want to put together a small list of items for your registry. 

It's a very flexible event, anything from a backyard barbeque or formal cocktails are appropriate! Keep in mind what you have planned for you wedding; you'll want to complement your wedding. Ensure your engagement party doesn't outshine your wedding by not planning formal parties when you intend to have a casual wedding or to host an engagement party with a distinctly different theme from your wedding. Whether you choose to have passed hors d'oeuvres, tasting stations, barbeque cookout, or plated dinner is totally up to you and the formality of your event, there are no rules! 

Be sure to leave time--and prepare--for the toasts, these are an important part of the celebration. Depending on the formality of the event and who is hosting the event, the etiquette regarding the toasts and their timing is important! If the bride’s parents are hosting the party, the bride's father should make the first toast to the bride and her fiancé, followed by a toast from the fiancé to the bride-to-be and her parents, and then he toasts his own parents. After this point, toasts are welcome from any of the attendees. If you are hosting, or it's an informal event hosted by friends, anyone can toast at any time. The bride and groom should ensure that they toast the host of the party!

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