As a newly engaged couple embarking on your wedding planning adventure, let me warn you that tacky wedding etiquette is easy to stumble into, and it can really upset or annoy your family and friends. Your engagement party is the first stop on this journey into marriage and will set the tone for all the wedding plans to come. Thankfully, mistakes in engagement party etiquette are easily avoidable, once you know what is expected of you. So, let’s get you up to speed about what is considered tacky of the bride and groom to be!
Is it tacky to throw ourselves an engagement party?
Traditional wedding etiquette states that it is the bride’s parents who plan and host the engagement party. If you come from a traditional family, then they probably have plans in mind, like hosting a garden party brunch, for example. Their wishes are important to respect. But what if you are not the traditional kind of bride and groom, and you want to celebrate your engagement your way, like among friends at the bar you two met in? You get the green light on this. It is not tacky to throw yourselves a party at all! What IS tacky, however, is stepping on the toes of the people who love you. I am personally a huge fan of parties and believe that happy life events, like an engagement, should not be limited to just one celebration. So let the mother of the bride show her pride with the Sunday brunch engagement party, and then you can host a casual affair with all your friends at the neighborhood pub-like you want. The important thing is that everybody is happy.
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Is it tacky to only invite my A-List?
Traditional wedding etiquette says that you should invite to your engagement party those who will be invited to your wedding. But what if you are among the 25% of engaged couples planning a destination wedding? Destination wedding guest lists tend to be much smaller, so the engagement party is a great time to invite a lot of people.When it comes to the engagement party, err on the side of caution and invite everyone so you don’t upset anybody! Invite both of your families, and your parents closest friends, and of course YOUR closest friends. Don’t leave anybody out who you think might have their feelings hurt by not getting an invite to celebrate with you, because yes, that’s tacky.
Is it tacky to expect a gift?
Traditional wedding etiquette does not require guests to bring an engagement party gift, so it is best not to expect them. However, these days people naturally feel compelled to bring gifts to celebrations, so it would be wise to offer a suggestion or theme, like contributions to your marital wine cellar, or beginning the collection of your wedding china pattern. All while tactfully reinforcing that gifts are not expected.
And speaking of gifts, if someone throws you an engagement party, it would be tacky not to buy them something thoughtful as a token of your appreciation. Hosting an engagement party is not an easy task, and a simple bottle of wine or bouquet of flowers just won’t do. Think hard about something unique for the person who extends him or herself in your honor.
There you go! Now get out there and enjoy your engagement party with confidence that you haven’t done anything tacky to upset people. And if a destination wedding in your future, there’s no time like the present to brush up on your destination wedding etiquette!
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