Etiquette Q&A: “Who Hosts the Engagement Party?"

Editor-in-chief Diane Forden answers one reader's biggest etiquette question.

Photo Credit: A Magic Moment

Q: My fiancé and I are not sure who is supposed to host the engagement party. My parents, who are paying for the wedding, claim it is up to his folks, but they insist that my parents are responsible. Can you please help? 

A: Traditionally, it is the bride's parents who host the engagement party. However, today just about any friend or relative can do the honors. Keep in mind that an engagement party is not a requirement; it's supposed to be a fun way for members of the bridal party and both families to get to know each other before the wedding. You two can even host the party yourselves, and if you plan a very casual and low-key celebration, like a cookout at home, your expenses will be minimal. 

But before this disagreement escalates into a major family feud, you should decide what type of affair to have and whether it's worth having a party at all. Your parents have plenty to pay for already, and they may be too stretched financially to take on any more costs.

—Diane Forden