Do’s and Dont’s of an Engagement Party

Engagement parties are a commonly accepted way for the immediate friends and family of the new couple to be officially introduced for the first time and become formally acquainted before merging into one big (hopefully, happy!) family. Here are some valuable Dos and Don’ts to make it the most enjoyable and memorable experience for everyone.

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1. Don’t feel pressured to throw an engagement party.

It’s an optional event.  So, if you just don’t want one or your wedding is going to be soon (within the next year), it’s just not necessary.  No one is going to talk about you behind your back.  And if they do?  Feel free to un-invite them!  Nobody needs that.  It’s YOUR wedding, after all – not theirs.

2. Don’t use social media as a way to invite your friends.

Nothing makes a guest feel special quite like a personalized invitation.  Facebook is great for keeping open discussions and communicating quickly with all of your guests (“Hey Everyone! There’s accident traffic on the I-9! Be careful!” or sharing hors d’oeuvre suggestions), But think about it, how many Facebook events do you actually pay attention too?  Send a handwritten card instead. Bonus! It’s not as tacky…

3. Don’t expect gifts.

You will get gifts at your wedding.  It’s rude to ask for them twice…. Don’t be that girl.

4. Do have the party at a place that is convenient for you.

Don’t stress over whom it may or may not work for.  Remember this is about you, not everyone else.. If Aunt Jane doesn’t live nearby, (or seems to work every possible day that you pick)… that is ok. There will be a wedding, after all. Aunt Jane can see you at the wedding.

5. Do pick a theme.

Have fun with this! If you are an outdoorsy couple, have an outdoor theme. If you two have a hobby in common, you can make that the theme. Whatever it is, pick something that already represents the two of you or your imminent lifetime partnership. Although, you DON’T have to have a theme, either!  

6. Do have buffet style eating.

Allowing people to serve themselves lets them walk around, mingle, really be able to talk and get to know those people that they do not already know.

7. Do play ice breaker games!

Sure, to some this may seem corny or unnecessary – and that’s just fine!  However, there are some cute ones… and everyone can loosen up.

8. Do use this time to help plan your big day!

Bounce around some ideas. Take notes.  Start making your lists of catering, venue, and entertainment suggestions! You could even combine the ice breaker game with a stealthy “brain picking” exercise by asking all of your guests to write on a piece of paper what music they would like the DJ to play at the wedding. (And pull a winner from the hat, but keep track of all the responses!)

9. Do provide guests with favors.  

These are nice little mementos for your family and friends. They can be homemade or purchased. A picture of you, the happy couple, with your engagement date is a good idea! You don’t want it to be too elaborate (you will be ordering invitations soon enough), but it should be something that Aunt Sally can stick on her fridge in the meantime! She’ll want something to show off and brag about to all of her guests.

10. Do have fun!

Keep it simple. Remember that the end goal is to introduce the new families to each other while also keep the evening enjoyable and memorable for all!     (But mainly YOU!)

Friends toasting at dinner party and smiling