The Engagement Party still holds traditional Etiquette Rules in high regard so whether you are attending a formal engagement party hosted by the parents of the bride-to-be, or a casual get together of friends, it is good to know what is expected of yourselves and others.
Most of the engagement parties that I have attended have been an informal gathering of close friends and relatives. However, knowing the etiquette for engagement parties meant I was confident with questions like:
Should I Take a Gift?
Can I assume I am Invited to the Wedding?
If the gathering is a formal celebration then normally the family hosting the party will send the invites. For a more casual affair the future bride and groom can issue the invites themselves.
Invitations can range from personalised formal cards to casual invites via phone or email.
Invitations are normally sent to close family and friends but note that you should not invite anyone to the celebration who you do not plan to invite to the wedding.
Traditionally, the engagement party is hosted by the bride-to-be’s parents and the announcement is often left as a surprise for the group of guests; the invite is sent under the pretence of a general get together.
At some point in the evening the parents will call for everyone’s attention and announce their great pleasure at their daughter’s intention to marry. They then propose a toast to their future happiness.
Traditionally, the reception is normally held at the bride’s parent’s house. However it can also be held in a restaurant or even a bar.
It is not good engagement party etiquette for the wedding couple to register for gifts before the get together nor expect gifts from the guests who are attending. They will, after all, be purchasing a gift for the wedding day.
Any engagement gifts from family or close friends should be accepted at another time so as not to cause your other guests any embarrassment.
As a guest, if you wish to take a small gift then that is a nice gesture. You should however take a card.
Other Special Event Etiquette to learn about on this site: