Engagement Party Etiquette
The purpose of an engagement party is to well, celebrate your engagement. It's also a chance to announce your engagement if you haven't done so, and for both families to meet. Tradition has it that the bride's family hosts the get together, but in today's society, the bride and groom can do so themselves.
An engagement party typically takes place within two to four months after the question is popped. You definitely don't want to schedule something the following weekend. Give yourself time to enjoy your engagement before you dive into planning anything.
In the past, guests have not brought gifts to functions such as this, but times are changing. If you choose to, create a registry to help guide your guests. Don't go overboard though. Register for gifts that are typical moderately priced. Since presents are not a requirement, if a guest shows up with a gift, thank them and stash them out of site. You don't want to make guests who didn't bring a gift feel uncomfortable.
Determine the size of your wedding. Those who are invited to your engagement party, should also be invited to your wedding. If you want a small and intimate wedding, you need to make sure your guest list for the engagement party matches. Don't invite a bunch of people you don't plan on inviting to your wedding.
Also, keep in mind there is a wedding to be planned. You don't want to overdo it on your party. Plan something different, but that is still your style. Determining the location of your party will help you chose a theme & style for the event.
Most importantly, ENJOY IT! Being engaged is a super important time in your relationship. Don't become too consumed with all the details. The important part is the journey you and your partner are taking together.