Engagement parties are a great way to celebrate what is a hugely significant occasion in one’s life. Different in character to a wedding, which is planned meticulously for months in advance and is in many ways a carefully orchestrated ritual, an engagement do is much more likely to have a party atmosphere, as all involved in the loves of the bride- and groom-to-be blow off steam and get excited by the idea of them married at last.
Naturally, this sort of excitement and this sort of occasion will at some point lead to speeches – hopefully prepared so as to avoid fumbling and embarrassment after a few glasses earlier. But who at the party should take the podium to speak? Unlike a wedding, there is a lot more room to move within tradition at this sort of party, so it is up to individual taste. The experts at Melbourne’s Best Functions break down the options for you:
Bride- or groom-to-be: This is the closest thing to a sure thing among the candidates; as this party is their first public commitment to each other as a couple, there will be an expectation for them to give forth on their reasons to tie the knot, their feelings on their relationship so far and their future together, their wedding plans (if any) and perhaps most of all, who proposed and how! There is some argument that this is a celebration of the couple and that others should speak of them; good if this was an early engagement or the couple aren’t the sort for speaking. However, we would recommend that either both the bride- and groom-to-be give a speech, or neither.
Parents of the couple: If the guests of honour themselves are not in a speaking mood, this makes for an acceptable substitute. The parents are likely to be more relaxed on the night, and will garner enough respect to make it through most of a speech without risking interruption, which gives the party more of an emotional range. It’s a chance to hear funny stories from throughout the life and early relationship of the couple, and even for a formal approval from the parents of the bride-to-be.
A mutual friend: Before the speech portion of the night drags too long – and as this is a less-formal party than a wedding, you cannot necessarily expect total decorum from the guests – a shared friend of the bride- and groom-to-be can take the podium for a more rousing and comedic take on the engagement. Having it be a mutual friend is important, as this person can be considered impartial and include details of both the bride and groom’s lives as well as their life together. If no good candidate can be found, a fun alternative is having each of the couples’ best friends plan a speech and take the podium together! This ensures they still cover all bases and represent the joining of two lives in a fun and party-appropriate speech.