The Engagement Party
Etiquette states that the bride's family has the option of hosting the first engagement party.
The Host with the Most
However, if you decide you
Formal invitations are usually not necessary for an engagement party (the exception is a
Once the guest list is settled, you'll move on to the theme you're shooting for — and keep in mind, what you're really thinking about is the overall feel of the event. Do you want a very casual evening, or a very formal afternoon party (or a casual afternoon or a formal evening affair)? Obviously, this decision will affect the final cost of the party, possibly even more than the guest list will, as you could conceivably invite ninety-five friends and relatives to your home and feed them pizza and wings, which will cost you much less than hosting thirty chums at a fancy restaurant.
You have complete discretion in choosing the location of the engagement party. You can choose a very formal setting, or you can string up some Japanese lanterns and make it a down-home affair.
As the host, your duties are to be very charming and sociable (no fair pulling your trademark disappearing act), and to make sure all your guests are enjoying themselves. Mingle 'til it hurts. And remember: This is a party to
If one of your guests asks about bringing a gift for the engaged couple, do your best to discourage it. Presents aren't expected at this get-together. Friends and relatives will have plenty of other opportunities to shower the bride and groom with presents.
Giving the Toast
The host of any formal party is usually tasked with offering up the first toast. If you're having a sit-down dinner, be prepared to speak in the moments prior to everyone digging in; if you're having a less formal affair, wait until the party gets going and most of the guests have arrived. You'll ask for everyone's attention and then offer up your kind words. Tips for giving a successful toast at any wedding-related event are included at the end of this chapter.
Not the Host
So you're not actually sponsoring the engagement party — but you are, of course, still waving your father of the bride flag. What are your duties if you're not the one officially honoring the happy couple?
One of your most important duties is not to overstep your boundaries. Everyone knows that you're very important in the whole scheme of this wedding — but this isn't your party. If the host
What you shouldn't be doing is giving orders — to anyone. You should be chitchatting, wearing a happy face, and telling everyone how happy you are about this engagement and upcoming wedding.
Just because you're not the official host of the party doesn't mean that you're off the speech-giving hook. You may be expected to speak, to let everyone know that you really do approve of this union, or you might really want to toast the engaged couple. Be prepared, and feel free to offer up your own toast at the appropriate moment.
Don't forget that you should dress appropriately for this party, no matter who's hosting it. As the father of the bride, you're on display. A casual party doesn't mean that you can wear your grungy cutoff shorts and arrive unshaven. For a formal affair, wear a suit; for a less formal event, think khakis and a shirt with a collar, and bring your sports coat along — just in case.