(Closed) Engagement party – I know nothing about these!

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I think its too late for an engagement party. An engagement party is usually thrown by someone else other than the couple and it is to announce the engagement. Since so much time has passed, I’m assuming your friends/family are aware of your engagement and anothing this late might be seen as gift grabby. 

Post # 7
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I don’t think they are very common in the US, even though you’ll read about them. My IMPRESSION (and this could be wrong) is that they tend to be more common among the very socialite types or those who do a lot of entertaining anyway.

I didn’t have one.

I also agree if you’ve been engaged for a year and a half, it’s too late.

Since they aren’t common in Greece, they aren’t especially common here, and it sounds like they aren’t that common in your social circle (otherwise you’d know what was the norm), I’d honestly skip it. Just make it a fun holiday party!!


Post # 9
2104 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

It is not necessary to have an engagment party, but if you want to have one, I don’t think it’s too late. It should be hosted by somebody else, though. I’ve only been to ONE in my entire life. They are not common here. I don’t think a gift is required, but I gave a bottle of wine. If you don’t want gifts, make sure the invites say as much.

Post # 10
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Chrysoberyl:  Ahhhh!! I’m thinking it is 2013 (we’re in fiscal year 2013 at work). Sorry about my suck math skills.

I’d still just make it an AWESOME holiday party though.

Post # 11
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Sounds like Greece / Greek Culture have their own “Engagement” traditions.  As you’ve already done that, it might be awkward to have an American Engagement Party this far along in the game.

Traditionally, they can be used for the Couple (or more precisely a family member) to annouce that the Couple are NOW Engaged (often the Bride-2-B’s Father or Parents do the announcing at the party)

The Engagement Annoucement could be a surprise to the Guests (Couple has already told Mom & Dad… just that this is a way to tell everyone else at once in person) OR… folks can know in advance, and just be getting together to celebrate with the couple… in which case such parties are usually held SOONER than later.  But it is possible to be a “gap” if people are away at school, out of town, gathering for the holidays etc.

Engagement Parties are ALWAYS hosted by someone other than the couple (BAD Etiquette to throw one for yourself)

They tend to be family only kind of things… although depending on one’s social circle as NAvery: alluded to, they can be more elaborate (sort of like a “coming out” party*) with perhaps a rented space, catered food (Cocktail Party, Backyard BBQ, Buffet or Sitdown Dinner)

Hope this helps,

*Coming Out Party here refers to the custom of annoucing one’s presence to society… be it something as formal as a Debutant Ball or as informal as a Dinner thrown in one’s honour when they first come to a new town (and have friends, relatives, colleagues who wish to introduce them around) 

Post # 14
3766 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

My future Mother-In-Law hosted an engagement party for us. We got engaged in mid December, the party was the first weekend of February.

Gifts were not expected, but we did get about 8. Wine, gift cards, and little household things like candle sticks and an ice bucket.

Post # 15
2385 posts
Buzzing bee

We’re having an engagement party around Christmas and aren’t planning on marrying until October 2014. I think 6 months is a perfectly acceptable time to have one, especially since you’re having a long engagement. One thing to be aware of, though is that everyone you invite to the engagement party has to be invited to the wedding, so we’re sticking to inviting only the people we would be obligated to invite even if we have a bit of a falling out (ie family)

Post # 16
206 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

Depends on the culture I guess. The engagement ceremony is a religious ritual in my and my SO’s cultures. They are not typically a huge deal and in my SO’s culture the engagement ceremony is typically 2 days before the wedding. My parents are throwing a slightly bigger one for us (I think 40 to 50 people will be in attendance) because we are doing our religious wedding overseas and they are not having a separate reception afterwards for their friends in the US, so they decided to do a nicer engagement party. It’s going to be at a restaurant. 

I got engaged in late July and my engagement party is next week. The wedding is in February. Oh and to complicate matters my SO and I went ahead and got legally married because of healthcare/administrative stuff. We have told some of our friends but most people don’t care and understand the administrative stuff because they are dealing with it too. We have not even announced our registry and don’t care about gifts as we are a bit older (33) so no one is accusing us of gift-grabbing…I think people get that we have certain religious obligations to fulfill for our parents which is why our timelines are complicated. 

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