He popped the question and you said “Yes!” This calls for a celebration!

An engagement party is the perfect opportunity to share the excitement of your pending marriage with friends and family in a relaxed setting before you sprint into wedding-planning mode.

Engagement parties are relatively uncharted territory compared to other wedding-related events. Questions of where to have it, who should be invited — and whether to even have one at all — may confuse many newly engaged couples.

Many couples, faced with the concerns over guest lists & wedding budgets, are opting to have larger more informal engagement parties. Keeping the wedding day intimate, for close friends and family only. This can relieve a huge amount of pressure on your wedding planning.

Who should you invite?

As the engagement party is often less expensive per head – this is a great opportunity to celebrate with friends who may not be invited to your wedding. The engagement party is a great opportunity for the bride and groom’s respective families & friends to meet and get to know each other. Tip: To avoid hurt feelings – Make it clear to your guests that you wish to celebrate with them now and your wedding day will be more intimate.

What sort of event should it be?

There are no rules or norms for engagement parties- this will depend solely on your personal style and budget. It can be as formal or informal as you choose, and at any time of the day. A cocktail party with canapes and flowing drinks is always a safe and cost effective bet.

Hiring an experienced caterer to cover the food & beverages and the clean up, will ensure you can relax and enjoy the party. A good caterer should be able to offer you a few different options and styles of catering that fit within your budget.

How should you send out invitations?

Obviously the guests will need to be invited one way or another. Many modern brides are opting to use email invitations as a cost effective way to manage their guest list. Usually, there is at least 6 months between the engagement party and the wedding day.

Should you expect gifts?

If you are not planning on inviting everyone to your wedding – make it clear to guests that you are not expecting gifts. If people do happen to bring presents, put them aside and open them after the party – they shouldn’t be a central focus of the event. And remember to send out pointed ‘thank you’ notes to those who have been so kind as to buy you a little something special!

The New Wedding?

While weddings are sometimes dictated by family commitments & formal etiquette, engagement parties are characterised by their sense of excitement, informality and guaranteed fun.

It’s official … Engagement parties are the new wedding!!