Wedding proposal and engagement party
A wedding proposal is always a great reason to celebrate and that is precisely where the engagement party comes in! There are many ways to announce the good news and all of them include gathering parents, family and friends together to let them know you’re getting married!
Who do you tell first?
Traditionally, a wedding proposal should be announced first to your parents – his and hers. However if the engagement ring is already shining bright on your finger and someone asks you about it, let them know. You could always not wear the engagement ring until you’ve told your parents but why hide something so beautiful and special? Right after the wedding proposal, share the news with your parents as soon as possible. If there are children from previous relationships, they should be the first to know – tell each of them separately, so that you can deal properly with individual reactions.
The first meeting between the parents of the bride and groom
Tradition says that the groom’s parents should call the bride’s parents and invite them to a small gathering where they can talk and get to know each other. However, there is no problem if the bride and groom set up this get-together. This is also a great moment to set the date for the engagement party, where both families can meet.
When to have the engagement party
A date for the engagement party must be set and ideally it shouldn’t occur too long after the wedding proposal or too close to the day of the wedding. Ideally, the engagement party should be closer to the wedding proposal than to the wedding date. If possible, have the engagement party one or two months after the wedding proposal. However, if the engagement is going to be a long one, than you can wait a few more months to celebrate that beautiful engagement ring.
Who to invite to the engagement party
The engagement party is not the wedding party, so ideally you should only invite close family and friends. More important than that is the fact that whoever is invited to the engagement party must also be invited to the wedding. If your idea is to celebrate a small and intimate wedding for family and friends only, than the engagement party should be even smaller. In order to create the guest list for the engagement party, start with your closest family members and then add your closest friends.
How to invite someone to an engagement party
An invitation to an engagement party or engagement dinner doesn’t have to be as formal as the wedding invitations. However, if you feel like creating a specific invitation for the engagement party, why not? It’ll add a whole new level of sophistication to the event. Other great ideas for engagement party invitations include: a fun e-mail, a cool postcard or a phone call – just make sure you don’t invite people too close to the date of the party. Ideally, the invitation for the engagement party should be sent out or communicated 3-4 weeks before the actual event, especially if you’re inviting people who will have to travel.
Where and what to serve
An engagement party can be so many things: a casual barbecue in your parents’ backyard or a sophisticated dinner in the private room of an elegant hotel. It all depends on what you have in mind. Traditionally, the engagement dinner is a gift from the groom’s parents, however, nowadays it doesn’t have to be that way – more importantly, celebrate your engagement in the most convenient and fun way possible. If you’d like, you can use the engagement party to give guests a glimpse of what to expect on the wedding day or simply organize a casual gathering of family and friends to celebrate the good news: your wedding! The menu should be created based on common sense and of course on the formality or informality of the engagement party. Just don’t forget: this is not the wedding day and a five-course meal is unnecessary!
Engagement party decoration and theme
When in doubt, go simple. Choosing a theme and style that is totally different from what you plan to do on the wedding day is always a good idea – that way, you won’t spoil the surprise for your guests. You certainly don’t want to outshine your wedding with your engagement party right? On the other hand, if you’re planning a simple wedding with casual décor, then maybe the engagement dinner is the perfect occasion for incorporating a more luxurious decoration.
Pay a tribute to your family
Traditionally, the father of the bride makes a small speech and gives his blessing to the wedding, as he toasts the newly engaged couple. However, anyone can make a toast, say a few words and celebrate your engagement – so why shouldn’t you? The bride and groom can prepare a little speech to talk about how they feel, their expectations for the wedding and how they feel about their guests. It’s always a great time to pay a tribute to your family, especially when an engagement party is ultimately a celebration of love.