Plan Your Own Engagement Party

Edited by Shalom, Robbi, Lynn, Eng and 2 others

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You're engaged and you just want the whole world to know about your new status - betrothed to someone who intends to marry you. As you settle back from cloud 9 after saying "yes" to that one big question

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Will You Marry Me?

Your mind is in a flight of fancy figuring out how to plan the perfect engagement party.

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Traditions and Etiquette Surrounding Engagement Parties

Originally engagement parties were hosted by the bride's parents to celebrate their daughter's upcoming wedding, and to allow the guests to socialize with each other and introduce both parties' extended families to each other, prior to the nuptial. The party was supposed to be an occasion to share the news by surprising the guests with the announcement. It was completely forgivable if the surprised guests had no gifts to offer.

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In modern times, engagement parties are thrown to celebrate an engagement that has already been announced. Guests are, more or less, prepared with a fancy gift and a short speech to accompany the toasts for the couple. While it is not obligatory, engagement parties are commonly held before the wedding planning process commences, and are usually attended by the couple's family and close friends.

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Throwing your own engagement party raises the question of propriety. It can make you look like you're using the event to call attention to yourself and a way to get a bunch of gifts. It's looks better, and a lot easier on you if a friend or relative offers to host your engagement party, but, in the absence of one, throw caution to the wind and host your own engagement party. In today's standards, there are no hard and fast rules about how a future husband and wife want the world to know they are soon getting married. If you are worried about people thinking you are only doing it for the gifts - ask that people don't bring gifts.

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Planning Your Own Engagement Party=

Like any event that requires careful planning, an engagement party involves deliberate steps in three episodes: before, during and after.

Before the Engagement Party

  1. 1
    Savor the Moment
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    Feel the happiness that every newly engaged woman feels, cry if you must. Sing joyful songs, take pictures of yourself and your ring, do what comes into your mind.
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  2. 2
    Announce the Engagement
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    Before you rush out to announce the good news to the world, make sure you've told everyone in both your families that should be told. Now you can think of the most efficient way to do it. There are countless ways: call each of your friends to relate the news over and over again, posting the announcement on your social network account, creating a blog about it, or saving the news as a big surprise at your own surprise engagement party.
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  3. 3
    Plan the Engagement Party
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    The party becomes an opportunity to gather all the people important to both of you to meet, get to know each other, and to share the happiness for your approaching marriage. Whether your parents, a generous friend, or you are hosting the engagement party, there are essential things to take into consideration.
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Date and Venue

As simple as it looks, you need to consider the time frame that will allow you to organize the party without being stressed out. It will be ideal to set the date two to four months after accepting the proposal. Within that time period, you have envisioned the theme for the wedding, an important consideration on the type of party to throw.

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Common Types of Engagement Party

  1. 1
    Formal Lunch
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    If your wedding is going to be formal, it has to be matched by an upscale lunch or brunch engagement party.
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    You may reserve a special function room at a hotel or classy restaurant, or hold the party at the host's house, with lots of champagne and food specially catered for the occasion. Formal written invitations are sent out to the guests a few weeks before the party.
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  2. 2
    Cocktail Party
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    A less formal yet can still be elegant, a cocktail party to celebrate your engagement may be held at a private room of a cocktail bar rented exclusively for your group. If you opt to have the party at home, hire a bartender to prepare all the swanky drinks and garnishes for your guests to enjoy.
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  3. 3
    Cosy Afternoon Tea
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    One way to celebrate the engagement is to huddle over pretty display of sandwiches, cakes, and quiches, and different selection of flavoured teas and brewed coffee served in delicate China on exquisite linens. The simple gathering may be held in a quaint restaurant, garden, or on the veranda.
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  4. 4
    Themed Party
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    The theme of the engagement party is a sneak preview of what guests can expect for the wedding. However, you may choose to deviate from the main theme if you want to retain an element of secrecy to it.
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  5. 5
    Casual Barbeque
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    A laid-back setting for a barbeque party in the garden puts your guests in relaxed mode. Prop up the unpretentious surrounding with fairy lights, votive candles, and scent of essential oils. Let your guests make a toast to you as you bid farewell to single life.
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  6. 6
    Summer Picnic
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    If you're an outdoor person, take your friends to the beach or travel to the countryside to spend a night of revelry in a campsite. Bring along comfy blankets and lots of home-cooked goodies to treat your travel companions.
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Guest List

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An engagement party is typically a more intimate affair than the wedding itself so you'll definitely want to limit the guest list to the dearest and closest to you. Not to be omitted are members of both your immediate families so they can meet before the wedding. Don't invite people who live a plane trip away. It's too much to expect them to spend all that money for an engagement party...unless of course they are very wealthy. It's bad etiquette to include anyone who will not be invited to the wedding.

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Gift Registry

Registering for an engagement party gift list can answer the guests' question whether or not to bring a gift. It also guides them on what you prefer to receive. But, because the engagement party is just a prelude to the wedding, be sure to create a gift line-up in the low to middle price range. If you insist on a no gift affair, indicate your preference in the invitation.

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Invitation

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You may personalize the engagement party invitations by creating them with your own hands with the help of family or some friends. Or you may opt to send out well-chosen designed card purchased from the local store. The invitation doesn't necessarily have to match the theme or style of your wedding invites. The means to send them out is as countless as in announcing the engagement.

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During the Engagement Party

  • Have Fun!
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    Look the part of a blushing bride-to-be. Remember, the engagement party celebrates everything about your impending nuptial so don't be caught up in all the stressful planning before it takes its toll on you.
    • Enjoy every moment of the party as you accept all the well wishes of family and friends you've managed to bring together in one happy occasion.
    • Dress up to the nines so you'll stand out, but not in a way that will outshine yourself on your wedding day.
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After the Engagement Party

Be relieved.

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Heave a sigh of relief for having successfully hosted your own engagement party. Reflect on the party's strengths and weaknesses, what you'll want to carry over onto your wedding. And while you're at it, remember all the people who helped you bring the party to a happy ending.

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Thank You Cards

Still it's etiquette that dictates to send out thank-you cards or notes to people whom you would like to extend thanks for gracing the party, for the gifts, and for helping out. 
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Identifying these people will allow you to scribble some personal notes to thank them for their special participation.

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Now the whole world knows you're engaged. It's time to plan for your wedding party.

Tips, Tricks and Warnings

  • Be prepared to tell the story of how the marriage proposal was executed because everyone in the party will want to know about it.
  • Use the engagement party guest list as basis to drawing up the wedding guest list.
  • Requests for unusual or special gifts such as money or favors can be personally communicated to the concerned guest.
  • Avoid unwrapping gifts during the party so as not to put guests without gifts in uncomfortable situation, and it take a lot of time.
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Marriage

Recent edits by: Nerissa Avisado, Eng, Lynn

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