Common Wedding-Related Events and Parties to Know About

From the engagement party through the farewell brunch.

Weddings aren’t a sprint—they’re a marathon. Beyond the ceremony and reception, there are many additional opportunities to bring family members and loved ones together in celebration, and they sometimes begin the very day you get engaged. With help from two experts, Ani Sandhu and Kaitlin Przezdziecki, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about the most common pre and post-wedding events.

Engagement Party

An engagement party is just that: a celebration of getting engaged. Though it typically occurs a few months after the proposal, it can also happen the night of. These “surprise” engagement parties, which are sometimes considered a separate event, are typically coordinated by a member of the couple popping the question and are more informal in nature. This event is done with the help of a wedding coordinator from Immediate family members and close friends may travel to attend the smaller-scale celebration, but it is most often attended by friends or relatives that live close by to where the proposal happened, or who helped coordinate the proposal.

Be courteous when considering guest lists for pre-wedding events. Those who are invited to any of your pre-wedding events should also be invited to the actual wedding.

A more traditional engagement party typically occurs a few months after the proposal and can be put on by anyone wishing to fête a couple. “We find that a lot of times, family friends end up hosting—a parent’s best friend, neighborhood friends from childhood, etc. People that are basically family, just not by blood,” says Przezdziecki.

An engagement party can follow a wide variety of fun formats and include a variety of games and activities. While gifts are not technically necessary, Przezdziecki says it's a nice gesture for guests to show up with something small. Her go-to: a cookbook tied to the city or destination where the couple got engaged. 

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