While engagement parties aren't a required part of the wedding process, they can be a great way to announce and celebrate your engagement with your friends and family. If you’ve recently become engaged, the following questions should help you figure out if an engagement party is something that interests you. And if you’re researching ways to throw an engagement party, these questions should help you start planning the celebration.

WHO throws the engagement party?
Traditionally, the bride’s family has been responsible for throwing an engagement party. But today, it’s very common for the party to be thrown by the groom’s family or a combination of both families. It’s also quite common for a friend of the couple to host the party or hold a small get together. There really are no set rules for this type of event - even the groom can plan the celebration.

WHAT type of party?
The term “party” can sometimes be confusing. An engagement party doesn’t have to be an all-out bash. It certainly can be a fancy affair, but it’s often a more casual gathering of family and close friends. It can even be as simple as dinner at a favorite restaurant or an afternoon BBQ in the backyard. Gifts should be optional. The most important thing to remember is that the party should reflect the interests and style of the couple.

WHEN is the party?
Engagement parties are typically held one to three months after the engagement, giving those hosting the party plenty of time to prepare. If you’re planning on a short engagement, it’s best to have the engagement party sooner rather than later. You want to be sure that the engagement party doesn’t feel like an early wedding shower.

WHERE is the party?
The most common location for the engagement party is the home of the person or people throwing the party. However, other locations can offer an equally enjoyable celebration. Some popular alternative venues are to consider are a favorite restaurant or bar, a rented suite at a sporting event, or even a park. Again, the decision should always come down to the style of the couple and the type of setting that fits them best.

WHY have an engagement party?
An engagement party is a couple’s first chance to celebrate their decision to get married with their friends and family. Oftentimes, it can also give the bride’s and groom’s families a chance to formally meet each other, if they haven’t done so already. Recommendation: If you really want to impress your bride-to-be, plan a surprise party the night of your engagement. Nobody said you can’t throw this party yourself!