Post # 1
I am a southern girl engaged to a southern guy. His dad’s family has been in NC for 400ish years, but my family is much more recently settled (late 1800s). Anyway, his family suggested an engagement party, saying it’s a "southern tradition"; they actually got offended that people were congratulating us before we officially "came out" to the family. Both families are middle class, and as far as my parents and I can tell, people where we’re from (NC) and of our class don’t typically throw these parties. I am not about to require my parents to fund what his parents are essentially expecting to be a family reunion. My dilemma is this: I want to honour their desire for this "tradition" (out of respect to my parents I am going to fund it myself), but I don’t really understand what’s so "southern traditional" about it… any suggestions or revelations about what all I should include at this shindig?
Post # 3
It can be a breakfast, as can be your actual wedding reception. It is not customary to serve anything beyond cake and some beverage My friend’s future Mother-In-Law was disgusted that she has a whole dinner! (she said leave it to a yankee) This party neednt be long. Get any cake and mind you that it is usually "taken up with the fingers" (No forks) and can even be served on napkins and serve punch or tea. Traditionally VERY extravagant engagement parties also serve ice cream in dishes with both a spoon and a fork. You dont have to go that far though! The entire ordeal need not last more than 2 hours. You can have croquet or horseshoes if you have a yard and it isnt raining. It can be hosted at your parent’s house or ANY close family friend’s.It would not be proper to use any rented hall or room. Seating for 10-20% of the guests is sufficient. Just put a few extra chairs out. Traditionally your FATHER should make a toast announcing your engagement with your mom at his side, beyond that you spend the rest of the time meeting and introducing people till they leave. Tell your Future Mother-In-Law you are "so happy" she suggested or encouraged it!