Just Engaged and Proposals

To have an engagement party or not??

My fiance and I got engaged last week. (YAY!) We have been together for over 6 years BUT because we are both in the Army we have spent most of that time apart from each other and family. We are currently living in Texas while both of our families are in Illinois and friends are scattered literally all over the world. We are debating having an engagement party! I would like to have one for family and close friends in Illinois around Christmas or New Year's.... but need some unbiased opinions.

My concerns:
Family will think we are just trying to get presents
Family feeling like they "have" to come since they would be around for the holiday
Family thinking we are stealing attention from the holidays
Going through the effort of planning a celebration from states away and then family not showing up because its a 3 hour drive

My Reasons for having a party:
My extended family hasn't met my fiance
My immediate family hasn't met his immediate family
I would consider it practice planning for the big day :)

Another thing to consider is that we have no idea when or where we will get married. Since we know we aren't getting married in Texas we will have to have some sort of destination wedding. We are leaning towards packing up the parents and grandparents and going somewhere abroad to tie the knot and holding a reception in Illinois. Any advice would be awesome! Thanks!

Re: To have an engagement party or not??

  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Generally, one should not host a party for themselves such as an engagement party.  However, I think it would be fine to have a party/get together for his family to meet you and your family and vice versa.
  • doeydo said:
    Generally, one should not host a party for themselves such as an engagement party.  However, I think it would be fine to have a party/get together for his family to meet you and your family and vice versa.
     Ditto! It would be *way* more appropriate to host a get together for your fams to meet, vs throwing your own engagement party! You definitely don't host this type of party for yourselves. By just hosting a 'party', you will eliminate the event coming off as a gift grab #1, nor will it seem mandatory, & no one will feel obligated, as you were concerned they may, #2. The pros would be all of what you listed. Your fams can meet, & it can still be practice for the big day!

     Congrats on your engagement!



  • My personal opinion, I think you can do whatever you want. Some people throw engagement parties so that both families can meet if they don't already know each other. You don't have to label it an engagement party though. I think people are far too concerned with what other people are doing and judging it on if they would've done that or not. I think if you want one, do it!

    My parents are throwing my fiance and I an engagement party, but I am not expecting any gifts. I mean, what gifts does one get at an engagement party? I thought gifts were for the shower....

  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Engagement party gifts are usually small and include picture frames, bottles of wine, etc. I mean, obviously no one is obliged to bring gifts, but a lot of people choose to.
  • It's tacky to host a party that celebrates yourself. Nothing changes that. 

    It's not tacky to host a party because you'd like to have a get-together with family and friends. 
  • I did not know it was wrong to throw yourself an engagement party. Bummer. 
    Well, you could always have a get together party, call it what you like, and at least the families will have a chance to mingle. 
    Thank you for serving our country. 
  • Party, Party, Party.  I say go for it if that is what you want.  The two of you just spent years in service to your country, and thank you for that.  Life is serious and stressful enough.  I don't care who hosts or throws the party. In this life, if you get a reason to celebrate some joy, grab it with both hands and let the "Nay Sayers" stay home and be miserable by themselves.
  • We had an engagement party so our immediate families could meet. We hosted it ourselves because I didn't want to put pressure on anyone else to do it and I don't see anything wrong with doing that. We also made a note on the invitations that said "no gifts please" so people would know we were not expecting anything from them. It was a casual get together just immediate family and a few close friends. 
  • We skipped the "engagement party" as I was four hours away and it was in the middle of the holidays... then waiting got into my last semester of college so I had a graduation party..We thought about having one after that but told family we wanted to wait and have a "house warming party" once we close on our house that he built for us.
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