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Your best friend has just become engaged to the love of her life and you want to give the happy couple an engagement party. This time is when family and friends from both the future bride and groom can come together, ooh and ah over the engagement ring, talk about wedding plans, and celebrate in the new engagement.

When throwing an engagement party, keep in mind that some etiquette applies. For example, it is usually the brides parents that host this party although todays couples are often requesting both families share the expense. In fact, if the parents live in another city, it is perfectly fine for a close friend to host the party. However, if a friend wants to host the party and the parents live nearby, it would be appropriate for the parents to have the first option of doing the hosting.

If you are interested in throwing your friend an engagement party, set time aside to talk to both the bride and groom to make sure you understand the things important to hem. It might be that the parents have already planned something so if for some reason your offer is declined, do not take it personal. Instead, offer to assist wherever you can.

Work with the bride and groom to determine a date that will work best for everyone. The worst thing to happen would be establishing a date on your own and then advising the couple. They should be involved in choosing the date, as they know best their schedule and the schedule of their family. Once the date has been set, you need to choose where the party will be held.

Typically, an engagement party is held in a private home. If you have a home large enough, you should offer your home. If not, then you might consider renting a room at a local restaurant, clubhouse, or even community center. If you want to be a bit more creative, you could have the party on the beach with bon fire and all, on a boat where you could enjoy a dinner cruise, a vineyard, art museum, or any other public place that has space available.

A budget will need to be set. Once you know the type of party, when, and where, you can start figuring out a rough number of people, and all the other factors involved. This would include any food, beverages, decoration, and entertainment. Keeping within the budget constraints, if you can hire a live band, great, but if not, you could always go with a DJ. If you want food and drinks but catering is too costly, gather family and friends and create a potluck. Instead of a full sit-down dinner, choose to have appetizers and wine.

You will then need to come up with exact names. Again, you will need to work closely with both the bride and groom to gain approval on the names beforeyou send out invitations. Be sure to ask about family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. You want to make sure there are no surprises that could upset someone.

Choose invitations that are appropriate for the engagement party you are throwing. You can find great options at bridal shops, stationary shops, hobby and craft shops, or you can even make your own. You want the invitation to set the tone for the party so if the party will be a pool party, let people know to bring a swimsuit and towel, if on the beach, tell everyone to bring a bag of marshmallows, beer, and a beach blanket, or if elegant, let people know the party will be held at a high-end restaurant. In other words, you want the guests to feel comfortable and be dressed properly.

Make sure that guests know gifts are not required. While they can bring one if they want, the purpose of an engagement party is for friends and family to gather in honor of the couple and their impending wedding. The gifts will be left for the bachelor and bridal parties. Most of all have a great time and act as a good host!

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