engagement portrait on Rachel's Knoll in Sedona
happy embrace showing off a square-cut engagement ring
Chances are, shortly after you got engaged you shared the news with the world ... or at least the part of the world that's on social media. :) But many couples (and their families) enjoy marking the occasion of their engagement with a party. I love engagement parties! They're such a wonderful way to celebrate the change in your relationship and to share the excitement with your loved ones!

Here are a few things to consider as you start planning your engagement party:

The Host
There was a time when wedding duties had very clear lines drawn around them, indicating who did what. Back then, the engagement party was always hosted by the bride's parents. Nowadays, those lines are becoming more blurred every day! Both sets of parents may come together to share hosting duties, the couple might choose to hold the engagement party themselves, or a close friend might decide to throw it. Since the ones hosting the party are the ones who pay for it, this is an important decision to make before any other planning gets underway.

Guest List
It's important to remember that the guests who are invited to an engagement party hosted by the couple or their parents will probably expect an invitation to the wedding. This doesn't mean you have to hash out your entire wedding guest list before you can have an engagement party, though! But it DOES mean that you should talk with your fiancé as you decide whom to invite to the engagement party, to be sure that both of you will be happy to invite these people to the wedding, as well. If the party is being hosted by someone else (like a friend or another family member) the etiquette on whom to invite is much more relaxed!

Formality & Theme
An engagement party can be a black-tie soirée or a boots-and-jeans hoedown -- it's really up to you! But since the level of formality and general theme will influence everything from the venue to the décor to the dress code, it does deserve careful thought. Don't feel pressured to match the style of the engagement party to the wedding! After all, many couples haven't even started nailing down their wedding style at this point! Instead, think about what kind of party will help you celebrate the connection between you and your fiancé. Once you decide on a theme and level of formality, make sure you let you guests know! You don't want any of your guests to feel like Bridget Jones in her bunny costume.
outdoor celebration of long, wooden farm tables set with flowers
outdoor celebration of long, wooden farm tables set with flowers
While I'm still a stickler for physical, put-them-in-the-mail invitations for the wedding itself, it's not a faux pas to use digital invitations for the engagement party if you like. This is especially true if the party is happening very soon after the proposal! But if you choose to have invitations printed, remember that they don't have to coordinate with your future wedding invitations. Whichever you choose, the invitation is the perfect opportunity to convey the theme and level of formality of the event, and to share the link to your wedding website!

Being engaged is such a special time in a couple's relationship, and an engagement party is a great way to share that joy with your friends and family ... and to show off the ring in person. haha! I hope this post is helpful as you plan your engagement celebration.
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4 things to consider before you start planning your engagement party!
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