Long ago, the engagement party was hosted by the bride's parents in order to reveal the upcoming nuptials to family and friends -- at the party. Up until a few years ago, I had never encountered any such party, but I feel like they've become more common as of late. And the etiquette is not as solidly established anymore. It raises the question, can you throw the party, yourselves?
Of course you are excited -- you're getting married -- but it's not gracious to throw a party at which you are the guest of honor ("come celebrate us!"); it makes you look like you're demanding attention. And it's flat-out grabby to throw a party at which people will give you gifts -- so if engagement parties have become gift-giving occasions in your circle, you'll have to wait until someone else hosts.
And that's the safest choice -- if a friend or relative offers, wonderful. If not, don't fret. Engagement parties aren't that important in the pre-wedding lineup.
However, if the guest list is very small -- closest friends or family only -- and the gathering not so elaborate, the faux pas of hosting it yourself will probably be overlooked. The more formal it is, and the more wide-ranging your guest list, the more self-indulgent it looks.
A way around it? Throw a party to introduce the two sides of the family. Other people may refer to it as your "engagement party," but you don't have to let that deter you.
Did you have an engagement party, and if so, who hosted?
Do you think engagement parties are on the rise?
And . . . will you be offering to host an engagement party in someone else's honor?