I was pleasantly surprised with an engagement party in my honor last Saturday. Right after he gave me the ring, he whisked me into the reserved backroom of a lovely wine and cheese bar where my parents (from out of state) and his family along with some friends were waiting. This was a wonderful affair, and I felt very lucky. However, I’ve since received some messages from a few friends of mine who were upset they were not invited to the engagement party, and want to know when the next one is. The next one? I didn’t realize I should have multiple parties, and I’m fairly certain I can’t throw one for myself without looking like I’m aiming for gifts (no gifts were given at the surprise one, and my fiance and I do not believe in registries). However, I’m sorry I inadvertently offended my friends by not including them, even though I didn’t know about it myself. Would you please guide me in the appropriate etiquette regarding engagement parties, or how to have a nice engagement party without sounding like the guests need to bring a gift?
In case this fact will play into your suggestion, because I’m new to the area, I don’t have any close female friends who will be throwing a bridal shower, so there will be no other parties commemorating our impending nuptials. I don’t mean to suggest that there should be more parties; only that there won’t be. 0607-10
You were the guest of honor at a surprise engagement party therefore lay to rest any thoughts that you offended anyone. It simply wasn’t in your sphere of responsibility to invite these friends. Your friends are being boorish in their presumptions that they deserve to be invited to a party and that you owe them an invitation to any future events. Rather, there is nothing that prevents them from hosting a party in you and your fiance’s honor if they feel some partying is in order. Why wouldn’t these “friends” host a bridal shower?
Engagement Party Etiquette:
1. It is mucho tacky to host a party in your own honor. Engagement parties should be hosted by parents, close friends, siblings, or relatives.
2. Invite only those guests you know will also be invited to the wedding.
3. Gifts are not to be given for engagement parties and if someone happens to bring one, it is discreetly put away and opened at a later time. It is appropriate for parents to give personal gifts such as jewelry, a watch, etc.