Engagement Party 101 – Etiquette and More!


It’s January, and that means we’ve surpassed the height of engagement season! Did you know that 16% of 2012 engagements happened in December? (The Knot and Wedding Channel websites conducted a survey of 17,500 2012 brides - see more results here.) 

Before getting down to the slightly more tedious details – creating a budget! hiring vendors! – it’s important to bask in the simple joy and delight of your new engagement. For many couples, this means celebrating the exciting news with close friends and family. 

 If it's in your budget, why not throw your own party? Get the details just the way you like them.

 If it's in your budget, why not throw your own party? Get the details just the way you like them.

Who Should Host the Engagement Party?

Engagement party etiquette says that a couple should not host or plan their own party (the same rule is generally applied to bridal showers, baby showers, and bachelor and bachelorette parties). Traditionally, the bride’s parents organize this event.

However, with more couples opting to pay for most of their own wedding expenses, it’s not uncommon to see them also throwing their own engagement soirees. If you go this route, though, be sure to foot the bill – these are your guests.

Can We Have More Than One Party?

There is no etiquette rule that limits the amount of engagement festivities a couple should have. So, if you have willing hosts, celebrate to your heart’s content! You should, however, generally avoid hosting multiple parties in the same city. Also, be wary of your guest lists – you don’t want guests to be worn out from parties, showers and other events before they make it to the wedding day

When to Throw an Engagement Party

Timing is essential for the bash, and will depend on the length of your engagement. For longer engagements, aim for up to month four. For shorter engagements, try for the first month or two. The key is to celebrate before save the dates or invites to other wedding events (showers) are sent out.

 Register if you'd like – some guests will appreciate engagement party gift ideas!

 Register if you'd like – some guests will appreciate engagement party gift ideas!

Other Factors to Consider

Gift Registries  Engagement party gifts are not required for engagement parties, and registry locations should never be listed on invitations, per etiquette. However, some guests will want to buy a present for the couple, and will likely appreciate the help. If you choose to register early in your engagement, let your party host know so that they can spread the word to guests if they inquire.  

Guest List – Any guests who are invited to wedding-related events should also be invited to the wedding. If starting the wedding guest list is farther down on your to-do list, keep the party small to only close family and friends who you’re guaranteed to invite. 

Time to Celebrate!

Will you and your fiancé have an engagement party – or did you already? Why or why not? Drop us a comment below, and share your best advice. 

If you’re in the wedding planning process and have any questions or need advice for locations to menu planning, please feel free contact us directly