(Closed) Engagement Party

posted 10 years ago in Parties
Post # 3
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

We did not have one.  I don’t think its really done here, at least by most folks.  The only people I know who have had one are a couple who are both dentists – her dad has a ton of money and threw a huge e-party for them.  Her family is from the east coast though, so perhaps it is more usual out there.  We were all confused.  Were we supposed to bring a present?  If so, would we need to buy another present for the wedding?  Did it mean that we would be invited to the wedding?  What is up with throwing two events that require presents?  There was a lot of talk, talk, talk.  In the end, they actually got married on back east and none of us were invited, so we had done a lot of worrying for nothing. 

Interestingly enough (and something else we talked and talked about) they had actually been engaged something like nine months when they threw the party.  We thought that was odd.  In retrospect, maybe it was like an early reception for all their friends out here, although it would have been more usual (where I live) to actually throw a second reception, after the wedding, for those who couldn’t or wouldn’t travel for the wedding.

Post # 4
Member
212 posts
Helper bee

did not have an engagement party.

the ones i have been to have been small… usually a sit down dinner gathering of around 20 ppl.  i do know ppl host gatherings for different groups of ppl… one with family, one with friends, etc.

Post # 5
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

We didn’t have one either. And I’ve never actually been to one.  I’m on the west coast, I don’t think many people have them here.

Post # 6
Member
161 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

My parents are traditional, so they requested for an engagement and we had one two months into our engagement (vietnamese tradition).  We didn’t want our families to be deprived of the honor behind the engagement.  It was more ceremonial than a party that involved fiance and his family asking their permission for my hand in marriage (they brought gifts, drowry-like as part of the tradition).  The only guests were families (extending only to grandparents, aunts & uncles and first cousins…and no gifts other than the one the groom’s family bring to my parents).  The engagement acted as the introduction of the two families and the acceptance of the coming wedding.  Its very common practice in our culture..and my fiance’s family who are mexican really enjoyed the significance of our engagement ceremony…they were honored to have been involved.

Post # 7
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Actually what a nice thing to have some tradition to get the parents together.  Fiance and I are scheming now (after four months engaged with five months to the wedding) of how to get his mom and brother and my parents in the same room sometime before the Rehearsal Dinner.  Doesn’t seem like it should be that difficult.

Post # 8
Member
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2009

we had one but it was just an excuse to get together for drinks. We just wanted to celebrate with our friends about one month after we got engaged. It was really casual, we made reservations at a pool hall, everyone just ahd a few drinks a mingled but everyone had a great time and ask us throw another one!

Post # 9
Member
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

No one in my area (Midwest) does these.  I have heard they are rare now.  According to some research, traditionally, it was used as a opportunity to announce the engagement to the unsuspecting family.  The parents would hold a party and the couple would surprise everyone (except the parents, who already knew) with the news.  It then turned into an engagement party.  Obviously, no gifts were brought.

Post # 10
Member
217 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

The etiquette for engagement parties is: 1.) Do not invite anyone to the engagement party that isn’t invited to the wedding.  2.) Guests are not suppposed to bring gifts. 

I looked these things up when a friend and our parents asked to throw us an engagement party over the holidays.  We are in San Diego, and my parents flew in from the East and his parents from Seattle for the party.  Other than our parents, it was all our friends in San Diego.  It was a great opportunity for our parents to meet each other for the first time and for them to get to know our friends better.  Everyone had such a good time.

We were once invited to an e-party by a Southern couple, and it really seemed they expected presents (and people brought them).  Maybe it is different there.  Regardless, we did not want any of our guests to even consider bringing gifts; so though it may be a bit gauche, the invitations read "no gifts please" – and it worked – no one brought them!  We all drank way too much and had such a fabulous time.  

Post # 11
Member
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

My Fiance proposed on December 24, 2007 and our Engagement Party is set for April 12, 2008! (Wedding Day is May 23, 2009!)  We are getting married in Tucson but the Engagement Party is in Phoenix where a large chunk of my extended family lives.

We are having a fun, informal family gathering at one of my uncle’s BIG houses and my FI’s small family (mom, dad, sister & brother-in-law) is flying in from Cali to meet my HUGE family (like over 40 people). My parents are divorced so it will be the first time that either side of that family has mingled so things should be pretty interesting…

We came up with a neat cost-cutting idea though: Unity through food! So our party is going to be a pot-luck with individuals bringing his/her "signature" dish or drink (because, hello, this can’t be MY famiy w/o some kind of alcohol around). We are going to have placecards in front of eash dish so everyone knows this one is "Gramma’s Blue Willow Potato Salad" or "Aunt Patty’s Cheese Sticks" etc etc.  We are also asking everyone to bring copies of their signature dish recipe so we can set it up on a pretty table and everyone can share their food! It will be a generational recipe display or something like that. Everyone likes to show off their cooking and everyone likes to gain new recipes for their repetoire so everyone wins!

My Fiance, mom and dad are going to supply more substantial dishes like the meats, etc but everything else will take care of itself. I know Engagement Parties aren’t required but I think it is never too early to get our families mingling/blending/celebrating so we can enjoy the time leading up to our nuptials together!   

Post # 12
Member
51 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

We had one and it was SOOO fun. I liked the idea because we were going to have  a long engagement and also I really wanted our extended families to meet. It was at my parents’ house, last year on the Valentine’s weekend (like right after V-day) and my theme was black and white with red heart accents. I asked everyone to wear black and white and just threw a fabulous party and had such an amazing time. You really appreciate the amount of love and support of your family at an event like that, and unlike the wedding, you can really sit back and marvel at it. Some people brought gifts, but if they asked me or my mom we said "no they (we) are not registered and you do not need to bring anything." Most gifts were small and sentimental, like wedding advice books, picture frames, champagne etc.

Post # 13
Member
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

suzanno, you mentioned a "second reception for people who can’t and won’t come" to the wedding. is this done often where you’re from? i just ask bc my wedding is in philly and my FI’s family is all from pittsburgh, and my Future Mother-In-Law sees it as totally fine to have a "second reception" for people who can’t/won’t come to the wedding. i’ve tried to move past seeing it as a way to usurp the actual wedding (and to try to get guests to come to her party, not the wedding), but if this is a common practice, that wouldn’t be the case at all and she’s just trying to be inclusive of everyone (which is what my Fiance keeps telling me). let me know!

ps — i didn’t mean to hijack the original thread! i’m not having one bc my engagement was short and we don’t live near our families and friends. but i know people definitely do. the ones i’ve been to though have been small and low-key, with no gifts (ie, at the bride’s mom’s house, half catered food/half potluck).

Post # 14
Member
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

We had one – hosted by Future Mother-In-Law I think she probably invited about 100 people.  We probably had about 70 there – I don’t know it seemed like a lot of people but I didn’t count (the invitation # is pretty close).  My mom, his mom told people if they asked gifts weren’t expected.  We probably had about 15 people bring something – mostly smallish or giftcards.  My one BM/ best friend got us a wine cellar – she says when she goes to engagement parties (she’s from Massachussetts) gifts are expected. (I don’t think she meant that big – I think that was a personal decision and she got others to go in on it). 

I don’t know it was great – it did give me an idea of what it is to be the center of attention which is quite a crazy feel.  The whole thing just flew by talking to different people. 

I agree, if you invite someone to the engagement party they are supposed to be invited to the wedding.  In my experience people were uncertain about the gift aspect – so it was a mixed bag.  It did help motivate us to finish the wedding list.

Post # 15
Member
36 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - A garden wedding followed by a tented reception on Mr. Hummingbird's father's property.

We had one at my FI’s father’s house, which is the same location as where we are getting married. I think we had about half the people we are inviting to the wedding attend since a lot of our family and friends would need to be travelling long distance. The party was July 14, 2007 and we are getting married June 28, 2008. The only things that really stressed me out about it was the fact that it rained for the first half of the party and everyone was stuck inside the house (about 50 people) and that people, for whatever reason, didn’t take the engagement party invite as seriously as say a wedding invite (a lot just "assumed (we) would know" what they were doing) so the day before we were running around and calling people to see whether or not they were actually coming so that we had enough food. 😛

Post # 16
Member
17 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2008

The night we got engaged, we went to see FMIL/FFIL, and before we left, Future Mother-In-Law had the eparty planned and a guest list figured out, for two weeks later.

 It was mostly people in town, and relatively casual. My dad made a little toast, we had some food, and later about half the party escaped to play beer pong. (Somehow, it became a father/son tournament, but that’s a story for another post. :))

Re: gifts, if people did bring something (about half did, and we didn’t expect anything), it was something small like a card and a bottle of wine. Very sweet.

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