How to throw an engagement party

Everything you need to know about planning the first (of many!) pre-wedding celebrations.

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After you’ve enjoyed the initial bliss of newly-engaged life, it’s time to start thinking about the engagement party. These days, the first of many pre-wedding celebrations is often an informal event attended by friends and family of the soon-to-be bride and groom. But that doesn’t mean that all sense of formality and etiquette go out the window. When it comes to planning an engagement party, you have a lot of choices. Do you want a casual backyard bash, or a more formal restaurant celebration? Do you need to invite all of your friends, or is it okay to keep this guest list small? If you’ve already started planning this pre-wedding party, these etiquette questions and more have likely already cropped up.

Not sure who throws this particular affair? Where it should be held? When? Have no fear—we’ve gathered your most pressing engagement party questions and answered them, so that you can continue planning with ease. While there are general guidelines to these pesky questions, it’s important to remember that each part of your wedding—from the pre-wedding to the post-wedding celebrations—is completely up to you. Each event should be personalized to your actual style, comfort level, and budget.

There are a few things, however, that you absolutely shouldn’t skip when preparing for this particular party. Be sure to host the event in a space where you and your new fiancé can greet guests personally—they’re there for you (and to hear that sweet proposal story!), after all. When it comes time for speeches, be sure to toast the host, whether that be your parents, a friend, or a soon-to-be-in-law. You want to thank them for kicking off your wedding whirlwind with gusto!