Congratulations on Your Engagement!! Should You Have a Party to Tell Everyone?

We have had a lot of experience with this seemingly unimportant question, or is it? How often do you get engaged and are there a group of incredible friends and family that would like to share in your happiness? Of course there is and something should be done to include them in this special moment, but not until after a couple of things have been confirmed—some of which you may have been thinking about for years. Please consider these few items in your planning process:

1. If you are going to agree to have an engagement party, make certain it is about 2-4 weeks after you received your ring. When you receive your ring you are really walking around in a beautiful puffy cloud… but when you finally come down to earth and think about the entire wedding, you will find a way to determine whether this particular event fits into the scope of the overall wedding experience for certain family and friends.

2. Not everyone elects to host an engagement party! However, your engagement is a serious celebration. A lot of people choose to host pre-wedding festivities such as showers, bachelor or bachelorette parties, and rehearsal dinners… but trust me, you can do what you and your friends and/or family elect to do! Let’s start with who should actually host this party? It could be your parents or his or the family… Also, you can host your own party—although I would not recommend the latter!

3. Should you and your soon to be spouse determine that you would like to host a destination wedding… this might be a good time to invite those who may not be able to attend or if you two recently bought a new home together, you could host an engagement/housewarming party.

4. Should you accept gifts? Not necessarily, but today many brides are registering at certain places for certain things—wedding and engagement; do inform your guests. However, if the invite says gifts are not being accepted and you would like to present the couple with something to congratulate them, perhaps a nice or vintage bottle of wine or champagne.

5. So, there are many places to hold a party; what works for you? For intimacy, your family’s home, yours or an intimate room in a restaurant or club. Ultimately, the right place for the celebration depends on the guest list; appropriate venues include a person’s home, backyard, a restaurant, or a country club. Note to self: If older family members are attending, please don’t take them to the nearest nightclub.

6. Lastly, for the bride and groom or anyone that’s planning the party, enjoy your time and most importantly the people you love and don’t have an engagement party so fabulous that it might upstage the “main attraction”: Your Wedding!

Marsha Reeves-Jews
Marsha Reeves Jews is the Editor-At-Large for World Bride Magazine and is a wedding planner at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum in Baltimore, MD and for private clients.

Ms. Jews is the host and Executive Producer of Keep It Moving w/Marsha Jews, a weekly radio show on WEAA 88.9 FM, a national public radio station on the campus of Morgan State University.

Ms. Jews was the President/COO/Associate Publisher for Career Communications Group, Inc. (CCG), a ten million dollar multimedia company. As Associate Publisher, Ms. Jews managed the day-to-day operations for all aspects of two publications: the Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine and Hispanic Engineer and Information Technology magazine; co-produced and designed the conference workshops, panel discussions, awards ceremonies and plenary sessions for The Black Engineer of the Year Awards Ceremony and Conference; and was co-founder and co-producer of Women of Color Technology Awards and Conference.

As former Executive Director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre Foundation of Maryland, Inc., Ms. Jews was responsible for the overall management of the statewide organization and for presenting the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre’s annual Baltimore performances, community outreach, fundraisers and the year-round AILEY/Camp for at-risk middle school children.

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