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The engagement party is the kickoff event of all your pre-wedding bashes, so you’ll want to start things off on the right foot. This is where all of your friends and family will come to celebrate your impending union for the first time. You can expect drinks, you can expect embarrassing dating stories and you can expect plenty of celebratory cheersing, so get excited. We’ve crafted an etiquette guide complete with all the things you shouldn’t do before, after and during your party.

Here are a few engagement party don’ts.

Make assumptions about who will host
It’s tradition for the bride’s parents to handle hosting the engagement party - but this isn’t always the case. Some couples prefer to throw their own, others let their friends put theirs together and a few even have multiple engagement parties for different groups of friends and family. Don’t feel pressured to follow the status quo, just do what works for you.

Invite guests who aren’t invited to the wedding
Your engagement party’s guest list shouldn’t include anyone who isn’t being invited to the actual wedding. If your parents or friends are hosting the party, ask to see a copy of the list before they send out any invites (you don’t want to run into any awkward situations). Note: if you’re eloping, having a destination wedding or doing a very intimate ceremony, you can get away with ignoring this rule. Just make it clear that you won’t be hosting a big wedding so that people don’t feel left out later on.

Anticipate gifts
This is not a shower, so don’t assume that you’ll be receiving boatloads of presents. Sure, your sister might bring you flowers or your MOH may buy you a cute new piece of jewellery, but most of your guests will probably save splurging on a present for later.

Make it super formal
This is the first event in a long line of pre-wedding parties, so we suggest starting things off simple and working your way up. You don’t even need to spend copious amounts of cash on catering or a venue, a BBQ in your own backyard or homemade hors d’oeuvres at a friend’s place is fine.

Introduce your parents at the party
Have your parents and soon-to-be in-laws never met? You definitely don’t want to introduce them to each other in front of all your guests. They’ll be becoming family soon, so they probably have more than a million questions for each other and a party setting isn’t really the best place to get to know each other. We suggest taking them to dinner (or inviting them over) before any pre-wedding soirees to avoid awkwardness. Here are some tips to help you figure it all out.

Make your playlist too loud
Now’s not the time to put on your favourite ‘90s playlist and blare Destiny’s Child - save that for your bachelorette bash. We suggest going with some sweet, easy listening tracks - like these - that won’t take away from the mixing and mingling happening at the party, instead. You don’t want your guests to have to yell over the music, so keep the volume low and the vibes positive.

Be a wallflower
Even if you’re not huge on social gatherings, don’t spend your engagement party hanging out next to the snacks. You are one of the guests of honour, so embrace it. Also know that you’re the thread that ties this whole group together, so you will probably have to make some introductions. Sure, it can be a bit awkward, but it’s best to break the ice before the big day.

Not send thank-you notes
Once the party has wrapped there’s one thing left to do: send thank-you notes to all the guests who joined you. Yes, you’ll probably be tempted to do this via text, but a handwritten note on some pretty wedding-themed stationery is so much more meaningful.

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