Engagement party: what is it and am I obliged to to have one?

posted 3 years ago in Parties
Post # 3
Member
2657 posts
Sugar bee

Engagement parties are typically held shortly after you become engaged, and they’re considered a way for wedding guests/both families to get to know each other before the wedding planning begins.  They are not required whatsoever.  Most brides I know did not have one, and I did not have one either.

Post # 4
Member
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@MadsTheGallifreyan:  Engagement parties are not required at all.  They are generally hosted by family, and they are a good way to get your families to meet if that hasn’t happened already.  I don’t find them particularly necessary, but if your MOH wants to throw you one, she can.  Sometimes people bring presents, but not as often as in bridal showers or weddings.  Unlike bridal showers, the guest list for an engagement party doesn’t have to be the same as the wedding, since it is presumed that the guest list isn’t written yet.

Post # 7
Member
3222 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@MadsTheGallifreyan:  I think they are supposed to be hosted by the bride’s parents. They’re very common in my circle, but it’s honestly just another big expense. My engagement party is costing what I thought my wedding would cost, but I haven’t been the one planning it.

It is just a way to officially announce your engagement, so whether you do that via a newspaper announcement, a STD, or an engagement party is up to you!

Post # 8
Member
3222 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@Polygon:  Unlike bridal showers, the guest list for an engagement party doesn’t have to be the same as the wedding, since it is presumed that the guest list isn’t written yet.

Is that from an Emily Post-like authority? I was under the impression that the guest list was supposed to be invited to the wedding and this has given me a lot of stress since there are about 10 people invited to my engagement party who I did not even consider inviting to my wedding until now (they’re my parents’ friends).

Post # 9
Member
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@MadsTheGallifreyan:  yeah, my fiance’s family wanted to host one but that fell through and I was fine with that – it seemed like more stress than it was worth.  You might benefit from having both sets of parents out for dinner if they ever end up in the same city – it will get your familes together without getting you quite so overstimulated.

Post # 10
Member
6525 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@MadsTheGallifreyan:  Engagement parties are like PP said, an event for both sides of the family to get to know eachother. You are by no means obligated or required to have one. Usually the parents of either the bride or groom throw the party for the couple, sometimes its a close relative

Where I live, engagement parties are held for different reasons. That reason is to help the bride and groom pay for their wedding. So therefore I did not have one because I think that is extremely tacky. A friend of mine who just got engaged asked me if I had one and me and my big mouth I said no, its a waste of money and unnecessary. She laughed and said “well aren’t the parents supposed to pay for it and then the couple uses the money from the party to pay for the wedding?” This is the part where I wanted to tell my friend no, its not a charity event, its an engagement party. Then on top of that she asked me how much $$ I made back from the wedding, I should have kept my mouth shut because its none of her business but I wasn’t thinking and I said we made back about 70% and she was like “thats it?” And I said thats more than some people get, you are lucky if you get about half. And she then said well you are supposed to get all of it back! And I said you are living in a dreamworld.

 

Post # 11
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@MadsTheGallifreyan:  What everyone has said is totally accurate!  I’ve been to one, it was a way for the families and bridal party to get together and meet ahead of time.  They’re usually geared more towards a couple that has family and their bridal party spread out alllllllllll over, as they most likely wouldn’t meet before the wedding or bachelor(ette) parties.  That being said, it’s an added expense for those guests to travel.  The one I went to was 100% attended by all invited and I was surprised, because it meant they all traveled for the most part.

We are actually having three “engagement parties” – one was an excuse to go out to our favorite bar with our local bridal party and guests hahaha.  The other two are for each of our families.  Since we’re having a DW, this is our way of being able to celebrate with the family that we can’t invite or can’t attend.  Our first of these was hosted by FI’s mom and dad in OH, the second will be hosted by my mom and dad in PA.  So ours aren’t really true engagement parties but it’s the best term we have for them.

Post # 12
Member
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

yeah they are not very big in our area… but I know they are in others. Regardless, no one will think less of you if you skip the engagement party! Put your money and time towards the wedding!

Either way, the bride and groom typically do not host the party; the parents do.

Post # 13
Member
1981 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

@letigre:  I was under the impression that if you invite someone to the engagement party, they will expect to be invited to the wedding- just like a bridal shower. But I don’t know what Emily post says about it. 

OP, if your sister and parents want to host an engagement party, then go for it. That said, most people I know don’t have one, including myself, and I think they are a waste of money. 

Post # 14
Member
3222 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@HeartsandSparkles:  that’s my impression as well, and it’s also what my mom has told me in terms of etiquette. I’m not having a shower or bachelorette, so I don’t mind having an engagement party. 

@Daizy914:  wow, your friend is…special. Engagement parties aren’t even supposed to be gifting parties. We’re not expecting anything, though I’m sure we’ll get some pretty cards. I can’t wrap my head around there being any realistic way for someone to make money on their wedding. Even with the “pay for your plate” mentality, there are so many other expenses (dress, decor, transportation, etc). That’s going to suck for your friend when she starts opening up cards after her wedding and doing the math!

Post # 16
Member
6525 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@letigre:  Let me tell you, its none of my business to count someones money, however, judging from the jobs (BF works at a pizzeria once a week, my friend works at a daycare) they won’t be able to afford the wedding they want. They are family people and want everyone to come, if they could, they would have easily over 200 people. And you are 100% correct, not everyone gives money to cover their plate, they give what they can afford.

But where I am from, the whole mentality of E-parties to help pay for the wedding is so rude and tacky. If you can’t afford a wedding, don’t have one, or do something you can afford but don’t expect me to give you a gift to help “fund” you wedding. You are the host, you are suppose to “host” the event. Then on top of that I am suppose to give you a bridal shower gift and pay for my plate at the wedding? Nope, sorry, its too much.

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