It’s no secret… Engagement Season is almost upon us! Each year, the majority of proposals happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. We suspect you’re already starting to see your newsfeed fill up with proposal photos and pretty rings—or maybe you’re the lucky new fiancée yourself!
Along with Engagement Season comes a flurry of celebratory festivities. Perhaps you’ve already been invited to attend an engagement party or two! But what is the etiquette surrounding these occasions? Who hosts? Should you bring a gift? How formal is the party? We’re here to help answer all your engagement party questions, and we’ve even included the perfect gift guide of presents the happy couple will actually want. Read on!
Engagement parties are traditional (especially here in Texas and across the South) within the first month or so of engagement. The party is an opportunity to introduce the bride’s and groom’s families to each other so they can get better acquainted before the big day. Plus, it’s a great excuse to pop that celebratory champagne! Traditionally, the parents of the bride would offer to host the occasion… but these days, it’s not uncommon for close friends or family members to throw the party.
How formal is the event? It depends on the host! They may host a formal dinner, an at-home soiree, or a casual backyard barbecue. Let the invitation be your cue for attire: if the invitation is formal, you should dress accordingly. When in doubt, feel free to ask the host/hostess when you RSVP.
Gifts are actually not required at an engagement party, according to traditional etiquette. However, we have to admit we’d feel a little awkward showing up empty-handed. Most guests do bring something for the happy couple—and we’d hate to be the odd one out. That being said, you don’t have to go overboard on an engagement gift. Something small but thoughtful is a great way to share your excitement!
Selecting an engagement gift can be tricky, especially since the newly engaged couple has probably not had a chance to build a wedding registry yet. Skip the kitchen appliances for now—it’s better to wait and see if those items land on the couple’s registry (they may already have that mixing bowl set at home!). And, if possible, avoid too much of the “Mr. & Mrs.” paraphernalia… while these can be super cute, they rarely serve a practical purpose after the wedding day.
We recommend taking a more practical approach, with gifts the couple will actually love—and will definitely use! Take a peek at our engagement gift guide:
Which one is right for your favorite engaged couple? We’d love to hear all about it! You can’t go wrong with any of these gift ideas… and really, the most important gift is your support. Any engaged couple feels lucky to be surrounded by encouraging friends and family. Your shared excitement is truly the best gift of all!
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