The question, who hosts the engagement party does come up sometimes, and there are several answers, depending on the situation. Traditionally, the parents of the bride are supposed to host the party after the couple makes their engagement official, however, this isn’t always the case. The situation or circumstances on the ground usually ends up dictating who plans the party. The couple might want to plan their own engagement party, or their friends and family might want to throw together something casual. 

It is an event that would however have to be planned into the budget for the wedding if the couple decides to host it themselves, as the costs could add up considerably. There is no hard and fast rule for who throws the engagement reception or if there should even be an engagement party gifts. So, in the end, if the parents of the bride do not want to, or won’t be hosting, then essentially, anyone else in the lives of the couple or the couple themselves, can host the party. Read on for more information on party traditions. 

When Should You Have an Engagement Party?

With normal engagement reception etiquette, the engagement celebration usually takes place a few months or weeks after the proposal. With this timing, the engagement would still be fresh, and serious wedding planning would be yet to begin, giving the couple sufficient time in between both to enjoy the party. Invitations should be received with about a month’s notice, so you would want to keep that in mind when fixing the date for the party. 

Should You Send Engagement Party Invitations?

No matter who throws a party, it is necessary to send out invitations to the guests, formal or informal. The type of party you would be having will determine the type of invitations. Sending digital or paper invites should be fine depending on the relationships you have with your guests and how casual or formal your engagement celebrations will be. Remember to include all basic information such as the location, date, time and RSVP, as well as a link to your wedding website if you already have one up. 

Who Should Attend Your Engagement Party?

Traditionally engagement celebrations are attended by guests who will also attend the wedding eventually. However, change is constant and sometimes several people who might not eventually make it to the wedding are included in the guest list of the party. Depending on who gives the engagement reception and where it holds, asides from close friends and family, other people such as colleagues, neighbors, and friends of friends could end up attending the engagement party. 

Attend Your Engagement Party

Where Should You Host an Engagement Party?

The venue and location for an engagement party are usually up to the hosts of the party. This event can hold in any number of places from your backyard, a formal venue in the city, a local country club, a bar, or even a restaurant outside the city. Holding the party locally will definitely make logistics easier, but there can be many reasons to hold it out of state. Be careful, however, that you do not tire your guests with moving from one long-distance location to another before the actual wedding celebration. 

Engagement Party Décor Ideas

When picking the style and décor for your engagement party, it is not at all necessary to match it with your wedding theme or colors. So, feel free to pick any style that speaks to you at that point in time and just have fun. The fact that you might be having a formal black tie wedding, doesn’t mean that you cannot have a casual backyard engagement reception or even a soiree by the beach. You could even have a picnic or a dinner party; dress up any space you decide on with the right florals and celebratory banners, perhaps twinkly lights or neon signage, and you have yourself a party. 

How Formal Should the Engagement Party Be?

Used to be, engagement parties were formal cocktail affairs arranged by the bride’s family. However, the times are changing, and many couples are going with the unconventional. Choose your vision for the party and go with it. While some parties might be as formal as ballroom parties at an upscale country club, others can be simple barbecue parties with family and friends or a dinner party at a favorite restaurant. 

Should You Expect Gifts?

While gifts are not a traditional party of the engagement party, some guests will no doubt show up with gifts for the couple. So, while you are not necessarily required to have your registry completed by the time of the engagement party, it would be helpful if you already have a few items on there that your guests could use to surprise you during the celebration. 

Ideas for an Engagement Party Menu

The menu for an engagement reception doesn’t need to be complicated, no matter who hosts the engagement party. Anything from a barbecue for a casual backyard affair to a cookout or family-style buffet will suffice for an intimate engagement party. Desserts could include a cake if you like, along with other baked goods and sweets. Drinks can include beer on tap, wines, and nonalcoholic beverages. 

Whether you are holding a traditional or nontraditional engagement reception, the question of who hosts the engagement party is usually an easy one to answer. From the parents of the brides to friends of the couple, to the couple themselves, any group hosting the wedding eventually determines the direction the party will take, no doubt, with the approval and involvement of the couple.