(Closed) Engagement etiquette for Australian and UK brides question

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 16
595 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I’m an Aussie – I’ve only ever been to engagement parties that were hosted by the couple themselves. Some are gift giving type events but not all.

As PP have mentioned, the only massive faux pas that I see with engagement parties is if you invite me to that but not the wedding. It’s the height of rudeness. 

Post # 17
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

I am Australian as well – mostly the engagement parties are hosted by the couple, although I have been to one where the parents hosted the party. For me – my partner and I are organising our engagement but having it at my mother in-laws house as her backyard is more suitable.

I would never attend an engagement party without a gift – usually money or something for the home if they are about to move into a house together.

I find it interesting that people are saying that its rude to be invited to an engagement party but not the wedding. I always thought that you invite more people to your engagement and only closer family & friends to the wedding – this is what I have experienced anyway! Would love to hear more about this

Post # 18
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

I’m Aussie too- we didn’t have an engagement party, but if we did it would be us hosting not our parents. Most seem to be far more casual than a wedding, and more of a quick celebration (within a month of announcing the engagement- I’ve only ever been to BBQs or dinners out with EVERYONE they seemed to have ever met lol)… different circles of friends/ different subcultures will have different ways of doing things, but this is what we are used to ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been invited to engagement parties and not weddings before, and I don’t mind as long as it is clear up front- like ‘we are inviting literally everyone we can think of to come and celebrate our engagement!!’ and in the speech they have mentioned having a smaller wedding. Sounds weird but it worked ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 19
2627 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Hogarths, Solihull

socalgirl1689 :  UK Bee ๐Ÿ™‚ this is my experience:

1) Traditionally, the Brides parents host. If they don’t want to/can’t then it is offered to the grooms parents. Only after that can the couple look at organising it themselves. 

2) Of course they can, providing neither set of parents mind. 

3) Yes, it’s usually a gift giving event. We didn’t expect any but we got them anyway (mostly gift cards) and we always give people something to celebrate their engagement. 

Post # 20
227 posts
Helper bee

UK Bee here. The only person I know who actually had an engagement party was my cousin just recently, and I have no idea who hosted it. It didn’t look like a super formal affair though!

I never really thought about it, but I would guess it depends on the age of the couple maybe? Length of time together? To me, if you are an established couple who have been living together for a while, having your parents throw you a party is a little weird.

Post # 21
6290 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

socalgirl1689 :  UK bee. I would say that if we’re being strictly traditional you wouldn’t host an engagement party for yourself, and yes I’m sure that in some (very traditional, likely upper middle class) circles in would be frowned upon. In my social circle (working class) however, it is common for couples to host their own party, and no-one thinka anything of it. 

As far as them being gift-giving events goes, I personally don’t regard them in that way; for me ‘gift giving event’ brings to mind something like a shower where the main purpose is to bring a gift. Do people bring gifts to engagement parties here? Yes. But a)  said gift is usually small (my typical gift is a bottle of champagne and maybe some chocolates) b) I would never turn up to any hosted event empty handed (I always bring at least a bottle of wine for the host) so I don’t really see it as much different to going to any other event and c) I would also say that in my circle at least gifts are absolutely not expected,and many people just bring a card. 

Post # 22
93 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

Hello, UK Bee here, I’m no expert but I have experience. 

1. Who hosts an engagement party? In my friendship circle it’s always the couple. 

2. If the couple hosts their own, is it appropriate and acceptable to do so or not? I think so, we just think of it as a small party to get together and celebrate. I think it’s nice for people who haven’t met to meet before the wedding too. 

3. Are they generally, a gift giving event or not? We recieved cards/wine however you are in noway expected to bring gifts. My friends who recently got engaged I bought them a wedding planner and a congratulations card. 




Post # 23
206 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

British here. I’ve been to engagement parties hosted both by the couple and by the grooms parents. 

I wouldn’t say they are necessarily all gift giving events. 

We are having a low key celebration of our engagement at our house with our friends on Friday. I don’t expect anyone to bring gifts, but it’s likely most people will give us a card and a bottle of something. Bringing a bottle of wine however is pretty normal here when visiting someone’s house for a party/dinner etc. 

Post # 24
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I’m from the UK and the Fiance and I hosted ours, we paid for all of our guests to have dinner too & we receieved gifts ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 25
1184 posts
Bumble bee

UK bee

The couple can host their engagement party. In my circle it’s usually a fairly casual thing Eg hire a hall and have drinks and a buffet. I reckon less than 50% of people I know had engagement parties.

Generally it’s not a gift giving event. A card is always good and you might buy the couple a drink or bring a bottle of wine for them.

Post # 26
2146 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

north England/UK

the couple host sometimes parents may offer to help with things but usually just because they are excited and it is completely acceptable to host, I mean who else is suppose to?

it is a party for the offical introduction of parents, family members and wedding party, its is NOT to ‘honor’ the couple as americans seem to wrongly assume (but then americans seem obsessed with everything being a honor and thats simply not true) although the couple as hosts will be a focal point as the move through introducing people

its NOT a gift giving event (gift giving events like ‘showers’ dont really exist in the UK, asking for gifts is always uncouth and often compaired to ‘begging’ so a gift is always optional and given freely at the disgression of the giver) although like any party some guest may choose to bring a gift for the host or a token celebration gift for the engagement… at mine about half the couples brought a bottle of wine and/or card and 1 couple bought us a drink at the party which is pretty standard for any party


just to mention as someone else did we hired a fuction room with a buffet… this is pretty common and every engagement party I attended have had this format – not everyone has parties, some whose families/friends are from the same social circle and know each other already often choose to skip it


also an engagement party invite does not garantee a wedding invite, engagement parties are held within 3 months of the proposal before planning begins and usually more than a year before the wedding so things change, its perfectly normal to have a large engagement or han do and small wedding

Post # 27
1553 posts
Bumble bee

I have been to a few engagement parties here in Aus and they were all hosted by the couple and yes we bought gifts. 

Post # 28
37 posts
  • Wedding: March 2018

tillymac :  Ah this is news to me! I’m getting worried now haha

I’m a Kiwi living in Australia. (FI is Australian) but our wedding is going to be in New Zealand because my family is much bigger and his don’t mind coming over for the wedding.

We are having a small wedding (50 guests at most – which is small considering I have 50ish cousins on my mother’s side hahaha) 

Therefore our Australian engagement party is going to be very very casual (gifts probably only from family in Aus) I actually had no idea that enagagement gifts were a thing. If we were to only invite people who we are inviting to the wedding, it would be like a 10 person affair. Fiance organised this BBQ style party and we are providing all food and drink but he’s invited a lot of people who wont be able to come or be invited to the actual wedding. Some of these people I havent even met.

I’m hoping they understand why they’re not invited to the wedding?? or am I totally rude?

Also having an NZ engagement party hosted by my parents. From memory there are a few people invited to that, that won’t be invited to our wedding. Having said that I’m not invited to a few of theirs either?

Post # 29
3169 posts
Sugar bee

Australian based. Here are my answers. I’m typical marriage age and all my friends are getting engaged ATM.

1. Who hosts an engagement party? It’s usually vague. Often it is actually an informal affair and appears to be hosted by the couple. 

2. If the couple hosts their own, is it appropriate and acceptable to do so or not? Yes, it’s fine to host your own. We don’t make such a big song and dance about pretending it’s not us organising it. I mean, I’d bet many parties hosted by parents on paper are actually organised by the couple or they have a big hand in it. 

3. Are they generally, a gift giving event or not? I’m going to say… kind of. Gifts are typically smaller token gifts, like a nice bottle of champagne or something small for the house, and are not given by all attendees. People don’t ask for gifts. I’ve been invited to one formal engagement party with parents hosting and a registry and found it very odd. 

Food and drinks are always provided UNLESS it’s more of a casual “meet us at this pub for drinks if you want to” sort of thing. I wouldn’t even really consider that a party. If someone organised a party and didn’t feed and water guests they’re just rude, plain and simple. This isn’t an Aussie thing, it’s an Asshat thing. 

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