July 22 2014 Tuesday at 07:08 PM

We’re engaged, now it’s time to party

            Your engaged, congratulations, now it is time to let your friends and family know. The best way to do this and to signal the start of the count down to your eventual marriage is with an engagement party. Heck, everybody loves a party but this party needs to be special and not with the casualness of an epic keg party littered with red solo cups or the formalness of a black tie event, but a nice gathering with friends and family to celebrate this important time in your life. How can I do this, you ask? Well here are some of the questions you should start asking to help you organize this undertaking:


Who hosts and where should it take place?

Tradition dictates that the bride’s family hosts the first event for the new couple. After that the groom’s family has the next opportunity, and from that point on the flood gates are opened and it becomes anyone’s game. Where to host is pretty much open to the host, although I am sure they will want some input from you. The parties can very from an informal affair at home to a catered meal at a rented location.

When should we have it?

Whether your wedding plans are soon or if they are years off will help you to decide the question of when to have it. The engagement party usually signals to family and friends that you will be married within the year. Typically the engagement party is seven to ten months before the wedding, with six months to a year being an acceptable time frame.


Who will be coming? 

Tradition would tell you that only people who will be invited and most likely attending the wedding should be invited, but tradition is changing. The only people going to the wedding rule came from a time before families spread out around the country and people lived and married in relatively small geographic area. Now many couples are from different geographic regions and their parents want to invite friends they don’t expect to travel to attend the wedding. So don’t stress too much over etiquette rules and invite who ever you want to share in this special time.


How do I ask them to come?

Unlike the wedding the invitations the invitation to the engagement party don’t have to be super formal. They can be hand written on a preprinted card, or a post card with a picture of the couple. A trend now is to include a link to a tandem website with additional wedding information, wedding pictures, and wedding party bio’s, an internet version of a wedding announcement.


What should be served?

Here no tradition dictates but style does. Serving a duck liver pate at a backyard barbeque probably would be as odd as a cheeseburger at a formal French restaurant, so the food should match vibe of the party.

What should I wear?

Here again what you wear should match the formality of the event. A backyard barbeque will be more casual than a rented room at a fancy restaurant.