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Ask Emilie: I Don’t Want An Engagement Party (But everyone else does)

Welcome to Ask Emilie, here you can ask any question to our wedding planner Emilie. Emilie will answer your question no matter the wedding topic. It can be about anything from styling, general wedding questions, cultural customs, planning, wedding budgets and more. This week we are talking with a bride who says “I don’t wan’t an engagement party… but everybody else does”.

Today’s question is from Yolanda T who asks:

Hi Emilie, I just got proposed to, and everyone is asking when the engagement party is. My fiance, his family and mine all want one, but I do not. I just don’t see the point and it’s more of an unnecessary cost and not the wedding. Everyone is telling me that I have to have one but do I really have to have one? Thanks Y

Hi Yolanda,

Most couples will have an engagement party, but some do not. You have already expressed your reasons why which is fair enough. So let’s take a look at either finding a way to express to your family why you don’t want one to have them back down or find some sort of compromise.

Don’t Want An Engagement Party – But Everyone Else Does

A time of celebration at the engagement party

What to do

As engagement parties are not compulsory, it is entirely up to the couple if they want to have one. While I understand you do not want an engagement party, does your fiance want one? You should take his opinion into account as it would be his engagement party as well. While the family will play an important role, you will have to find a balance. It will have to be a decision between both of you before anyone else.

Firstly sit down with your fiance (if you have not already done so) and ask why it is so important. It could be because in his family they have always had them so it could be a cultural/tradition reason. Another reason could be because he just wants one and it is as simple as that. Talking it out together and working through this will take a lot of pressure of if both sides explain/express themselves.

If you decide you do not want an engagement party

If you have both decided to not have an engagement party, you need to back each other up in front of both your families. You can not villainise each other as this will lead to arguments and conflicts all the way to the wedding (and potentially long after). If the engagement happens and one of you does not back the other, their feelings will be hurt. That is something you do not want to do to your partner for so many reasons.

What if you end up having an engagement party

While I understand that you do not want an engagement party, there could still be room for compromise to make it happen. You can still have it to your liking and not blow the budget. As you mentioned Yolanda,  you find it an unnecessary expense; however, what if you had a budget and stuck to it? In some cases, parents will contribute by having the party at their home, which can save a lot of money. Both parents can organise music, food and drinks. By everyone chipping in then it can still be a great party and a lot of the costs are massively reduced. There may even be enough money for a photo booth, white wedding thrones or even some engagement party styling.

An engagement party does not have to be a big affair. While many people will traditionally invite their potential (wedding guests and then some), you can limit the amount by however you see fit. You do not have to invite every cousin, long lost relative or friend that you have not seen in 20 years. We have a blog about the various reasons why a couple would have an engagement party if it helps give some perspective or ideas.

It’s your engagement party

If there is one thing you can take away from this is to at least talk about it with your partner. You are about to start planning your wedding and lives together. You do not want something like this to cause issues down the line. Whatever your decision, I am sure it will be the right one.


Check out the other Ask Emilie Blogs here; they may contain what you are looking for or give you ideas and inspirations for other wedding-related questions.

Are you looking to have an engagement party? Are you thinking of not having one at all? Let us know by leaving a comment below in the comments section:)

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