After getting engaged, many couples choose to celebrate by having a party. An engagement party is a fun way to spread the news while offering the perfect opportunity for friends and family members to meet for the first time. However, there are a few things you should know about planning one.

Choose a Host

One of the first steps in planning an engagement party is to select a host. Traditional wedding etiquette states that the bride’s parents should host the couple’s first engagement party. If the couple desires, however, the groom’s parents can throw a second party. Of course, this “traditional” has evolved over the years, with many couples choosing to host their own engagement party. A friend of either the bride or groom could also host the party.

The Location

The great thing about engagement parties is that you can have them just about anywhere. Some couples choose the host’s house, simply because it’s convenient and easily accessible, while others choose areas like the park, a restaurant or country club.

Select a Date

When do you want to have your engagement party? Being that engagement parties are more casual and laid back, the date is entirely up to you. However, most couples prefer to have it within a few weeks of the proposal.

Send Invitations

You should also send invitations to everyone whom you want to attend to this event. The invitations should match the formality of the event. So if you plan on having a formal engagement party, you should create (and send) formal invitations. But if you want to keep things casual, email invitations should suffice. Send the invitations at least two weeks in advance so guests can make the necessary arrangements to attend.

Gift Giving

It’s important to note that gifts aren’t necessary during an engagement party. This is typically done during the bridal shower and wedding. With that said, some guests may bring you or your fiance a gift anyway, which is why it’s a good idea to create your wedding gift registry beforehand. Make a note of who gave you what gift so you can create a “thank you” card later.

Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations

Of course, an engagement party should not be used as a substitute for save the dates and wedding invitations. You should still send save the dates (6-8 months before the wedding, or 8-10 months for destination weddings), as well as invitations (6-8 weeks before the wedding).