A mutual promise to get married to one another – that is the very essence of an engagement. Likewise, the term fiancé comes from the French verb se fier, which is the equivalent of the Latin word fidere (to trust). This is how the concept of engagement evolved.
Prior to the wedding ceremony, a guy drops on one knee to ask for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage. Though it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will get married right after their engagement. In fact, there are a lot of couples who prolong their engagement until the time is right to get married. It all depends on the couple, as they need plenty of time to think about pre- and post-wedding preparations.
But, as the girlfriend agrees to marry her boyfriend, an engagement party is thrown in honor of the couple.
But how exactly did engagement parties come about?
Dating back to Greek practices, a couple’s engagement was not even welcomed with merrymaking. Rather, it was treated like a business transaction, which required both families to enter an oral or a written agreement. This means that the father intends to betroth his daughter to the groom. And, the bride-to-be doesn’t even have to know about it.
But modern times changed the approach. Engagement parties are real special occasions and announced as such so that whoever is invited may bring gifts for the couple. At the same time, select members of the couples’ families or closest circle of friends take turn in giving speeches, wishing them well for a life of true love and togetherness. Lastly, a toast is given in honor of the newly engaged couple.
Of course, in today’s setup, engagement parties are often decided by the couple themselves. Some even go as far as hosting their own.
On the other hand, there are couples who choose not to have, much less host, engagement parties, as these are not mandatory to getting married. And, of course, by reason of economics, some couples choose to save money for the wedding itself and the future.
Traditionally, the mothers of the soon to be married couple would meet before the ceremony to discuss and set the wedding date.
As a common practice, it is the bride’s parents who need to host the ceremony. The husband-to-be would send beautiful flowers to his fiancee in the morning of the engagement day; and, of course send a more classical bunch of flowers to the mother of the bride.
Generally, as far as spending for the ceremony is concerned, the bride’s family would offer to host the celebrations while the groom’s family or the groom himself would offer to give bride-to-be the most show-stopping engagement ring.
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