Engagement Party Etiquette

An engagement party is to announce the engagement to family and friends. Engagement party etiquette provides some helpful guidelines as to suitablity of the event and what is expected. It is not necessarily mandatory, but has gained in popularity more recently. The parents of the bride usually host this event. It is the first time the bride and groom are formally announced as such, and should be treated with the respect this is afforded. In addition, the engagement party is more of an intimate gathering.

Here are some engagement party etiquette guidelines:

  • The engagement party is usually a cocktail party or a dinner. It can take place at the house of the bride’s parents or at a restaurant in a private room. This reinforces the intimate nature of the affair.

  • The engagement announcement is made by the father of the bride, proposing a toast to the happiness of the couple.

  • The guests are family members and very close friends of both families, in other words, your top wedding guests. This event is supposed to be intimate in nature and not the "all-inclusive" events that are represented by the bridal shower and the wedding.

  • Gifts are not required or expected. Gifts are usually received at the bridal shower and wedding. However, if your guests bring gifts, place them on a special table and do not open them during the engagement party.

  • Send a "thank you" note to all guests who gave you gifts, whether during the party or days after the party. For more details on what is proper with regard to the thank you note, see our Thank You Note page.

Not all families host an engagement party, especially if family members and close friends live in different cities. The decision as to the appropriateness of having an engagement party should be viewed in light of the unique situation of that particular bride and groom and their families. If the families feel strongly about having an engagement party, it is at their discretion.

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Engagement Party Invitations & Thank You Notes

Below you will find a selection of engagement party invitations and thank you notes. If you do not see a particular design you find appealing, click on the "Store" hyperlink, which will take you to the website where you can search for more selection.

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