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Golden Rules of Engagement Party Etiquette

While most brides and grooms are familiar with proper etiquette when it comes to the wedding, engagement party decorum might prove less clear. Here, we've broken down the top 5 must-knows to keep in mind when planning an engagement party.

Rule 1: Who Can Host

Engagement parties can be hosted by virtually anyone close to the bride and groom. Traditionally the engagement party was hosted by the parents of the bride, although friends, relatives and parents of the groom often host the engagement party as well.

Rule 2: Who To Invite

Engagement party guest lists usually include close family and friends, and are rarely over 50 people in size. However, this also depends on the individual family dynamics; very large families might easily make up the 50 person guest list count with more to spare.

Only people who already know the bride or groom well should be invited to an engagement party so it retains the feeling of a warm, intimate celebration with those the couple already know and love. The most important rule to remember is to only invite those who will also receive an invitation to the wedding.

Rule 3: What To Give

It is not required to bring a gift to an engagement party, although many guests choose to. If the couple has already created a registry, it is thoughtful to bring a small gift from their registry to help them kick-off their life together.

Another popular gift is a bottle of champagne, the official drink of congratulatory celebrations. For guests who also know the host of the engagement party, bringing a small host's gift is a thoughtful gesture. A bottle of wine, small houseplant or bouquet of flowers are classic choices.

Rule 4: What To Do

Mingling, though not governed by official etiquette, should be done in the right way. Instead of sticking next to the people they arrived with for the duration of the engagement party, guests should try to branch out and introduce themselves to new friends and relatives they might not already know. When talking to the future bride and groom, remember that they have to make the rounds and spend time with each and every guest, and try not to take up all their time.

Rule 5: What To Say

Family and close friends of the newly engaged couple can give a toast during the engagement party. If there is not an obvious time to give a toast, check in with the party host and ask if they plan to give a toast, or if they feel there is a specific time that would work well for giving a toast of your own. When the host plans to give a toast, give yours after to avoid stealing their thunder at their own event. For more guidance on what to say, check out our article on Engagement Party Speeches.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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