These days Engagement parties can be informal affairs, however there are some traditional rules that many still follow to this day.
While it has long been customary for the groom to ask permission of the bride’s parents before “popping the question,” it’s very common these days for the arrangements and decision to be made by the couple alone.
Announcing the Engagement:
Traditionally, the Engagement Party is hosted by the bride’s parents, however many couples prefer to plan and pay for this themselves these days. It is also traditional for the engagement party to be held only after the parents of the bride and groom have been informed, in that order. It is also the custom to inform all other immediate family before making a public announcement at a gathering.
When announcing an engagement, either in a newspaper or invitations, it is customary that the parents of the bride make the announcement, stating the bride’s name before that of the groom. It is also customary to state the location of the couple when announcing the engagement publicly.
Mr & Mrs Smith of Northcote take the greatest pleasure in announcing the engagement of their daughter, Josephine to Peter, son of Mr & Mrs Jones of Westgarth.
Although it is not an obligation for guests to bring gifts to an engagement party, many choose to do so. Following the party it’s always a nice gesture to send thankyou notes to those who attend as well as those who have offered gifts.
The Bridesmaid & Best Man:
Many couples also choose their engagement party as the time to announce whom they have chosen as Best Man and Bridesmaids for the wedding. Whether or not this is discussed prior to the engagement party will depend on the couple and their friends.
An important thing to remember is that it is an honoured position for anyone, so it might be an idea to let friends know beforehand in case anyone else pictured himself or herself in such a role.
The Engagement Ring:
While in the past it was normal for only the bride to receive an engagement ring, many couples now bestow one another with an engagement ring these days.
Ideally, an engagement party is held after the Bride has received her engagement ring. The engagement party is the perfect chance for her to proudly show off her new ring.
Many jewellers will often provide engagement rings that are set pairs, designed for both men and women to wear and also similar in style, symbolising the union held between husband and wife.
Diamonds are the most popular of stones for both wedding and engagement rings, but some couples choose to also celebrate the person themselves by presenting an engagement ring that holds the birth stone of their beloved.
Listed below are the stones that correspond to each month of the year.
January – Garnet
February – Amethyst
March – Aquamarine
April – Diamond
May – Emerald
June – Pearl
July – Ruby
August – Peridot
September – Sapphire
October – Opal
November – Topaz
December – Turquoise
Did You Know…?
The engagement ring and the wedding ring are traditionally worn on the fourth finger of the left hand - the finger beside the smallest finger.
This custom dates back centuries to when the ancient Egyptians began the tradition, believing that this finger held the “Vena Amoris” – the vein of love that runs to the heart.