What It’s For

A party’s a lot more fun than a phone call! It’s also a great time to introduce family and friends to each other. So here’s the rule for an engagement party it isn’t in any sense of the word, necessary. But like many things in life that aren’t necessary but do serve a greater purpose, an engagement party can be a ton of fun—whether or not you even like parties in the first place.

Local vs. Not Local

The location really depends on who throws the party. If your hosts are local, you will likely be celebrating in your city, but if they live out of state, you may want to have it in their city. It comes down to discussing it with the hosts and figuring out the logistics to make it easier on everyone involved. Say you live in Orlando, but most of your family and friends out of state: You may decide to have your party in your hometown (and enlist someone local to help you plan), host it in your current locale or even throw two parties. Just beware of tiring out your guests and bridal party with too many invitations before the wedding day is even close. Also, when picking the party location, consider where you plan to have your wedding—you may not want to ask guests to travel twice.

Who Hosts

Tradition states, parents host the engagement party. But hey, who said you have to stick to tradition? There’s no reason someone else—including the two of you—can’t host instead.

A less traditional, but perhaps more appealing option, is to have both sets of parents come together to co-host an event. However, these days, more couples are tossing tradition aside altogether and throwing the engagement party themselves (just keep in mind that if you’re doing the inviting, it’s your responsibility to foot the bill too). Friends of the couple can also host (and may even volunteer to), but before you ask, be conscious of the financial implications.

When to Have It

The engagement party should fall within a few months of the proposal. You’ll want to give guests about a month’s notice, so we suggest getting those invites out a couple months after the proposal.

Where to Have It

Depending on the amount of individuals you intend to invite, you can make an engagement event work practically anywhere– it’s really up to the hosts. When picking the location, consider the ambiance you wish to create: If you like the concept of having a more sophisticated event, you might want to lease an exclusive area at a restaurant, nation club or white wine bar. If you want something a lot more subtle, a house, yard or preferred neighborhood could be a much better option.

Whom to Invite

The rule was you weren’t to invite anyone to the engagement party whom you weren’t inviting to the wedding, case closed. however today things are diffrent, freinds may not be able to make it to the big day so If your friends want to plan an informal party at a neighborhood bar and email the invites a few weeks before, it’s totally fine to include people you aren’t sure will end up making the wedding guest list (coworkers, newer friends). And if your parents’ good friends want to host a cocktail party at their home in your honor, let your parents invite mutual friends and business associates you might not have room for at your wedding.

How to Invite

keep the invitations simple and easy. this is supposed to be an easy party dont overwhelm yourself and take away from the big day You can even make them yourselves or send out a digital invite.

What to Serve

There’s no need to plan a five-course meal with a four-hour open bar. Anything from passed appetizers or tasting menu stations to a family-style buffet or casual cookout will work.

How to Set the Scene

You might consider picking a style and theme that are completely different from your wedding day to mix things up. If you’re planning a formal ballroom wedding, go for a laid-back backyard party with vibrant colors and an outdoor setting to celebrate your engagement. Just a few small arrangements from your local florist can dress up any space (and it’s a great way to try out a potential florist for the wedding). However, the real trick is not to upstage the wedding.

What to Wear

Your wardrobe will depend on the setting of the party. For brides-to-be, aside from the obvious (don’t wear an evening gown to a backyard barbecue), keep it simple enough that you don’t outdo your wedding look, but special enough that you still stand out. As for the grooms, while you don’t have to wear a suit and tie or a tux, you should match your partner in formality. And if you have a specific dress code for guests, make a note of it on the invitation.

Choosing your engagement party style is one thing, but finding your wedding style is a whole different story.