Tis the season for many couples to become engaged, and congratulations to all of you who have or will be taking your relationship to the next level in the coming weeks. The holiday season is a time for merriment and the perfect time to add an engagement party to the calendar. It also happens to be a time of year when people travel home again, so there’s no better time to ensure that all family members can join in on all of the festivities.
As is true with so many aspects of weddings today, what were once hard and fast rules, don’t necessarily apply any longer in today’s world. Still with that said, for those of you who are sticklers for tradition, here are a few guidelines to follow.
- Traditionally, the bride’s parents host the engagement party.
- You only want to invite guests who will also be invited to the wedding.
- An engagement party should be held at least six months before the wedding.
- Gifts are not necessary, but if someone wants to bring a gift, something small like a cookbook or a bottle of wine make for a thoughtful, yet inexpensive gift.
An engagement party can be a formal affair with invitations sent or it can be a casual come-as-you-are event. In either case, think about the kind of wedding you’ll be having and let it be your guide for other parties in your honor. Like your invitation, an engagement party is the first glimpse your guests will have of what your big day will be like. With that in mind, if you’re having a formal wedding, a cocktail party at an upscale restaurant might be perfect. If you’re getting married on a lake and the feel of your wedding will be more rustic, a toboggan or ice skating party could be a great way to celebrate.
However you and your family choose to celebrate, make sure to make it a comfortable event for all concerned. In many cases, this may be the first opportunity for the bride and groom’s family to meet and spend time together. Investing some time thinking about who yours guests are as people before the party, is always a good idea. Do both families share the same core values? If one family tends to be teetotalers, and the other family can’t envision a party without alcohol for example, consider having a non-alcoholic cocktail available so that no guest feels out of place. Are both families at similar socioeconomic levels? The best hosts go out of their way to make their guests feel comfortable in their surroundings and in some cases, it may mean selecting a neutral location where all can feel at ease.
The bottom line is that you want your families to have a great first impression of each other so that both sides can be as excited about your upcoming wedding as you are. A little extra planning will go a long way to making that a reality for all concerned.
Until next time, wishing you all a beautiful and peaceful holiday season.
Terri Altergott, PBC
Something Borrowed, Something New Events
Extraordinary Destination Weddings
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