All engagement parties great and small

Today we have guest blogger Rebecca Paddick talking about engagement parties. Whether you want to use an engagement party as a trial run of your wedding day, or just as an excuse to make some punch, it’s a great way to get the celebrations started. Over to you Rebecca…


You don’t have to dent your wedding fund to celebrate your engagement. The occasion can be as grand or as intimate as you like. You can have a lavish formal affair with a booked venue; decorations, caterers and entertainment, or you could have a small gathering at the family home, with finger food and a simple toast to you, the happy couple. 

Traditionally, the parents of the bride host the party, but in today’s modern times there are no rules, and the bride and groom-to-be often arrange their own event.

Whatever you decide, it’s important to remember that the engagement party is a great opportunity for a number of important things.

Editor Helen and her now-husband celebrating their engagement

Family ties
Have your families been introduced to each other? If not, what better way for both sets of parents to get acquainted than at a gathering celebrating the beginning of the rest of your lives together? OK, obviously the wedding is the official day you begin the rest of your lives together, but this can be a very busy day, and it is also very formal. Engagement gatherings are much more relaxed, and create the perfect opportunity for your guests to get to know each other. 

Tradition has it that you do not invite anyone to the engagement party who you will not be inviting to your wedding, but now, as with so many other aspects of the modern wedding, this is no longer the case and engagement parties often include people who will not be at the main event.

Trial run
You may be a little dubious about inviting small children to your big day. As the engagement party is a much more informal affair, young nieces, nephews, godchildren and friends’ children could be invited along to the engagement celebrations instead.

A party is also an opportunity to test out which kinds of food and drink guests like and the different types of entertainment on offer. 

The event will also give you the opportunity to unveil official roles, such as the best man, maid of honour, ushers, and bridesmaid. Some of your key guests could even practise making a speech.

But most importantly…
…an engagement party is a great opportunity to simply celebrate with your family and friends the fact that you are getting hitched. It’s by no means essential, but a great excuse for a celebratory gathering with your nearest and dearest before the big day preparations begin. Let’s get this party started!