Q: Is there a time frame when it’s appropriate to have an engagement party? My fiancé and I became engaged in February but our wedding is not until next May. His parents would like to host an outdoor party for us at their house in the late summer or early fall but we don’t want it to seem premature.
A: Engagement parties are held close to the time of the engagement, not the wedding. It’s a chance for the families to announce the happy news and for relatives and friends to meet and congratulate the couple. Traditionally, the hosts (typically the bride’s parents) would announce the engagement at the party, which would be a surprise to the assembled guests. Your future in-laws have made a kind gesture—offer thanks and encourage them to hold the party whenever they would like.
For more on wedding etiquette, check out Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, 5th Ed. by Peggy Post.