Planning for an engagement party shouldn't be as time consuming and as expensive as a wedding reception - forbid it! But while it pales in comparison in importance to the wedding day, it does lead up to it and lends an air of expectation and regality to the main event.
Also it is the perfect time to celebrate the impending nuptials and a splendid opportunity to make the announcement to everyone regarding the marriage. Making the nuptials public is step one to make your wedding grand and totally anticipated.
Who Should Hold the Party
Traditionally, the bride's family - particularly the parents - holds the occasion. The groom's parents may choose to do the same or may even hold a separate engagement party. However, it is a better proposition if both parties instead joined forces to hold one special engagement party.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you prepare for the grand engagement party.
1. Give the couple some time to reflect and just enjoy each other - While there is no rule against scheduling an engagement right after the proposal, it still makes sense to give the couple some time on their own. This time should be spent just enjoying each other's company and sorting through their decisions and their feelings.
The proposal is a great stressor, and the couple may need some time to recuperate and celebrate on their own. A rest period is also required so that the couple may begin visualize what they would want their engagement to look like.
2. Find out what the couple expects of their wedding - In all truth, the wedding starts at the engagement party. If possible, try to get the motif early on so that the engagement party can follow suit. But that is not the only reason why you should know about the couple's wedding plans.
Another very important thing to bear in mind is the fact that the people you invite to your engagement party should be the same people you invite to the wedding, with a few more additions in particular. If you invite someone to the engagement and fail to invite them to the wedding, it could cause a good deal of heartache for the person, who will be wondering why he or she was left out of the wedding.
So make sure you know how large the couple wants their wedding. This will be a very good guide towards planning the size and scope of the engagement party.
3. Consider the feelings of the in-laws - Make sure you consult with the in-laws before laying out and executing the plans for the engagement party. Not only are the feelings of the couple important, so are the feelings of the in-laws. Try to make your plan as comfortable and convenient to the family as possible. Remember that while the couple is the stars of the show, the in-laws are the supporting cast.
Try not to make them feel alienated and out of place. Give them prime spots at the engagement party and have them participate in it somehow. They will surely appreciate the gesture and will definitely rise to the occasion.
4. The engagement is not the wedding - You may be enticed to make the engagement as grand and as spectacular as possible. While the engagement should really be something important, do not forget to make sure that the engagement does not make the wedding an afterthought.
The engagement should amplify and lead to the wedding and not the other way around. If you work too hard on the engagement and forget about the wedding then the wedding becomes anticlimactic as a result. That is not a very tasty thought.
5. Remember the budget - If you are on a budget, then don't forget to factor that into the equation. Just because you are on a budget does not mean that the engagement party will become a bust. It just means you have to make smart use of your resources to enhance what you have.
Just because one has more money to spend on an engagement party does not mean he or she will have a better party than one that has less to spend. Keep this in mind as you plan for the party itself.