What to Expect at an Engagement Party

A pair of pink heart balloons at an engagement party surrounded by tree leaves.

So you’ve just gotten engaged—the ring is on, you and your spouse-to-be are still buzzing with excitement, and you’re heading to your engagement party! But just what should you expect from this event? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you head into this joyous occasion.

You’re Going to Have a Lot of Introductions to Make

Be prepared to do a lot of introductions. One of the best parts of an engagement party is starting to introduce important people in your life to one another before the wedding festivities begin. This will set the stage for much closer companionship at the wedding itself, of course, but can also be fantastic for people who may be planning and interacting with each other quite a bit before the big day, like bridal party members or family from both sides. Just make sure that everybody you invite to the engagement party is someone you know you’ll want at the wedding as well; it’s in poor taste to invite someone to your party, but then not have them make the cut for the wedding itself, so plan accordingly.

Everyone Will Want to Know the Proposal Story

This is an engagement party, so don’t be surprised when people want to hear all about your engagement! You may have to share this story over and over again on this day, so be ready to tell it. If you’d rather, you can find a clever way to tell it to everyone at once, like in a display or as part of a speech. But don’t be surprised if guests still want to hear it told from your personal perspective. Soak in the fact that everyone is excited for you and find the joy in telling and re-telling the tale!

It Can Be a Totally Different Theme Than Other Wedding Events

A group of friends eating pizza together at an engagement party.

You can, of course, have an engagement party that is however fancy or casual as you wish. However, engagement parties are often more casual than other pre-wedding events like bridal showers, and can have a completely different theme than the wedding itself. The other great thing to remember is that the dress code for your event doesn’t have to match the wedding at all. Even if you’re having a black tie wedding, your engagement party can be more casual and will of course include food and drink, but this can be a BBQ, potluck, or even pizza rather than a super fancy affair. It’s totally up to you!

You Will Receive a Few Gifts

Gifts are by no means required for engagement party attendees, but you are likely to receive at least a few while at the event. It’s a good idea to be prepared for this and to have a suitable location where guests can place their gifts, but where it won’t make guests who didn’t bring anything feel like they were supposed to arrive with something. Since you won’t be opening these items at the event and won’t need to access any presents until later, this place can be out of the way of the action.

There Will Be Toasting

A group of people toasting with wine over dinner.

This is not a necessity for your event, but engagement party toasts do often happen. These tend to be more casual and off-the-cuff than a traditional wedding toast, but don’t be surprised if some of your favorite people want to stand up and offer a few words. If your guests do decide to toast you, don’t forget to get up yourself and properly thank the event hosts for throwing you such a lovely celebration. If no one chooses to lead in toast, you or your partner should still feel free to get up and say a few words of gratitude and thanks for your hosts as well as everyone who was able to attend the event. It’s pretty special for these important people in your life to get together and celebrate this new chapter in your life, and it’s always a good idea to thank them for it.

Everyone Will Want to Know Your Wedding Plans

And, of course, no engagement party would be complete without the couple being asked all about their plans for the big day, which can be anything from the date to your wedding colors. Don’t be at all surprised when people want to know as much as they can about your wedding day plans! Since engagement parties usually occur within just a few months of the proposal, it’s totally okay if you only have a few pieces of information, or even just some ideas you’re considering, but either way be ready to chat all about the event. Remember that your family and friends love you and are excited to celebrate your union, so don’t be annoyed when the fifth person in a row asks you about what flowers you will have in your bouquet—just smile and tell them what you know so far! Letting everyone be excited for and with you is one of the greatest parts of your engagement, so soak it in and try to appreciate it!

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