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How to Host an Engagement Party

Announcing a couple's engagement is a momentous occasion as it marks a new chapter in the couple's life. Though traditional etiquette dictates the bride's family should host the function, today it is perfectly appropriate for anyone to throw the party -- including the couple themselves.

If you are hosting an engagement party for a friend or family member, use this helpful guide and learn everything you'll need to know about throwing a memorable engagement party with our easy-to-follow guide. You do not have to be a seasoned event coordinator to throw a fabulous party, but you will need some guidance to help you keep track of your efforts and help you plan a spectacular soiree!

Who To Invite

An invite to the engagement party is an invite to the wedding. Therefore make sure the wedding guest list is complete before inviting guests to the engagement party.

You needn't invite everyone. People who live far away or aren't close to the couple don't have to receive an invite. It's best to keep the crowd intimate with family and close friends.

Weddings can be expensive; therefore, if you are on a budget consider hosting a small party. Include the wedding party, their significant others and you and your fiance's family. This way, other friends who are not apart of either group will not feel left out.

Choosing a Location : At Home vs Venue

Take your budget and size of party into consideration when deciding which is the best choice for your engagement party. Keep in mind that having it at home requires more time and effort, so if you've got a super busy schedule you may not have enough time and energy to throw the bash at home. We've weighed out the pros and cons - it's up to you to choose the perfect fit for your event!

Having your party at home:


Time and space for as many decorations as you'd like
Keeps costs low
Complete control over logistics
You can make or cater the food you'd like


If your home is small, limited space could be a concern
All the responsibility of planning and execution falls on your shoulders
You have to deal with both set-up and clean-up

Tips for Throwing the Party at home:

Go all out with personal touches. Use photos, and scrapbooks with

Fill your home with beautiful flowers.

Serve signature drinks named after something the couple loves, such as a favorite song, pet, restaurant or destination.

Pick food that everyone will enjoy and serve it creatively. Often times, you do not need an elaborate menu to satisfy your guests. Making or ordering simple foods and arranging your table or presenting the food in a creative way can be even more impressive.

Send guests home with a ring pop with a note card attached that reads "Thank you" on one side and the wedding's web address, the date of the wedding, or a cute quote on the other. It's a sweet way to end the evening.

Having Your Party at a Venue:


You can pick the perfect venue size to fit the guest list
Trust professionals to take care of all the details
Enjoy the party with the rest of the guests instead of fretting about serving food and drinks
No clean-up required. When the party ends, you get to go home!


You're at the mercy of the venue, including its staff, food and drinks
You likely won't be able to bring in outside catering
Greater expense, depending on the venue

Tips for Throwing the Party at a Venue:

Spend time choosing the right place for the party. Do some research and ask for recommendations.

Go out to lunch or dinner at the venue and try a variety of food and drinks.

Choose a place that has beautiful or unique architecture, or that already looks furnished for an event.

That way, you won't have to add your own decorations.

Meet with the catering or event manager to discuss all the complete details and costs.

To cut costs, ask if you can bring your own champagne bottles and simply pay a corkage fee. You can save quite a bit by buying a box of quality champagne from a whole sale club Costco or Sam's Club.

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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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