The MoBster Diaries

Friday, November 9, 2007

Engagement Party Protocol

Out with the old rules, and in with the new, er, no rules. In the old days an engagement party was hosted by the bride's family to announce the engagement, with the father of the bride making the big announcement. But news travels too fast nowadays, and, anyway, the couple can announce its own good news without parental help.

So we're having an engagement party just to celebrate the good news, hosted by me (MoB) and the matron of honor (MoH) at the engaged couple's new digs. My responsibilities included acquiring, printing, addressing, and mailing the party invitations, plus being the RSVP person. I've been assured that others are taking care of edible food and imbibable liquids, though I suspect I may be called in for house-fluffing duties. I'm thinking that won't entail too much, since the party's the day after Thanksgiving and Kate and Greg are hosting that as well. Once the dishes are clean, the house should still be in good enough order for company, right?

Other than that, I have no idea what the general party plans are. Speeches? Toasts? Embarrassing party games, like Pin the Tail on the Groomsman?

Also, there's the gift question.

I feel that an engagement party is not a gift-giving occasion. It's a time to get together with family and close friends for an evening of congratulations and back-slapping. Come. Eat. Drink. Talk. Laugh. No cover charge gift required. I mean, if folks want to bring a bottle of wine or plate of cookies along to the party, why, that's just good guest manners. But requiring them to shell out bucks for a gift, when another one or two presents will be required along the way, seems kinda "grabby" to me.

Other folks disagree. I understand that in some parts of the country, an engagement party is a big gift-giving event. The engagement party is seen as the kickoff to the year-long wedding festivities, and a gift is surely appropriate.

Well. In any case, I didn't put "No gifts, please" or " Registered at . . . " so party-goers can decide for themselves whether or not to bring something. I kind of hope they don't. Won't that make the people who don't bring a gift feel like they got it wrong?

Ah, me. All these new rules of engagement are confusing!

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posted by MaryB at


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