After you get engaged, the first thing you'll want to do is celebrate. But before you start planning an engagement party, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. To understand timing around this important pre-wedding event, we asked wedding planner Nora Sheils, founder of Bridal Bliss, for her advice on when to host the engagement party. Here, she breaks it down by outlining the questions you should ask yourself to determine the ideal timing.
What are our guests doing?
Before you start planning the details of your engagement party, you'll need to determine who you're inviting. Then, think about whether or not guests will likely be available to attend. Does your fiancé's family take a vacation every year in April? Then it may be hard for them to attend just before or after. Will all your friends be in town for Thanksgiving? You may want to plan an engagement celebration that coincides with a time when everyone you care about is already in town. You'll also need to consider who you're inviting to the wedding itself. "You don't want to invite a large group of people only to realize you won't have room at your wedding for all of those said people," advises Sheils. "It is typically a good idea to have a few of the big items checked off your list: date, location, and venue, which will eliminate the possibility of being put in an awkward situation down the road."
Are we throwing the party ourselves?
If you're planning your own engagement party, when you have the event is really up to you. Are you ready to start planning a party right now, or do you want to enjoy being engaged for a few weeks first? Once you answer that question, you'll be better equipped to choose the date. If a family member or friend has generously offered to host, you need to keep their schedule and preferences in mind.
When are we getting married?
You definitely want to make sure that the date of your engagement party and wedding are a good enough distance away from each other on the calendar. "You don't want to overwhelm your guests with too many events in a short amount of time. Plus, people are excited to celebrate when it is new," says Sheils. "All things considered, six to eight weeks out from the initial engagement feels just right to us!"