Getting engaged is undoubtedly cause for celebration, but with all the planning ahead, you may wonder if throwing a fête to mark the occasion is worth it. Traditionally, the bride’s parents will host an initial gathering of close friends and family after the engagement, but more recently, couples have been hosting their own parties – often one or two – to commemorate this exciting milestone.
If you’re wondering whether or not you and your sweetheart should throw an engagement party of your own, we’ve complied a few pros and cons to help you decide.
- It’s a party in your honor. When all is said and done, an engagement party is a fun event with your loved ones to mark the beginning of your enchanting journey down the aisle. A few months from now, you may not feel like hosting a get together of any kind – more than likely, you won’t even have the time to – so why not party while you can?
- Bridal party bonding. Chances are, you and your sweetheart already have a few bridesmaids and groomsmen in mind. Of course, your siblings, college roommates, and high school friends may not know each other well (or at all) and an engagement party is a fun, comfortable way to introduce everyone and solidify new friendships.
- Family meeting family. In addition to the bridal party, it’s likely members of your extended families haven’t had the opportunity to be introduced yet, and bringing everyone together in the name of love and matrimony sets up an ideal “first meeting” atmosphere.
- Your first look at the crowd of your wedding/future gatherings. Everyone invited to the engagement party should be receiving an invitation to your big day, so this kind of event serves as an excellent window into the social dynamic you’ll be working with at your ceremony and reception. Be careful not to spend the night in the corner drafting your seating chart.
- The effort. You have to spend time and money on an event knowing full well you still have a wedding to plan, and that fact alone can cause preliminary stress and friction.
- The guest list. Your friends want to take you and your love out on the town, but your parents want an intimate evening that your grandparents will enjoy. Do you have multiple parties? Do you bring everyone together at your house and hope for the best?
- The timing. If you’re planning on having a relatively short engagement, the timing of this soirée could pose a problem. Etiquette says the date should be closer to the proposal than the vows, but with a full bridal party, busy family members, and strict time constraints, it could prove too complicated to work effectively.
- The pressure. Having a celebration soon after the proposal opens the door for loved ones to begin asking questions about your plans. Expect more than a few inquiries about the date, color scheme, or floral choices – maybe before you’re prepared to answer them.
Regardless of your decision, we encourage you to enjoy this magical time and bask in the glow of your engagement. It’ll only make the planning process that much more gratifying!
Opening photo by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography