You’re engaged—and you should celebrate! Sharing the excitement with your family and friends is always a great idea. Engagement parties are a wonderful opportunity for your families to meet and spend some quality time together and celebrate your upcoming nuptials. So, when should you have the party? Who should host it? We’re answering these questions and more to help make planning your engagement party smooth and enjoyable.

When is the right time for the party?

There is no wrong way or time to celebrate. You could have an engagement party whenever it is most convenient for you as a couple. With that in mind, a good range to reference is approximately three months from the proposal. This ensures that the event isn’t too close to the wedding and that news of your engagement is still a fresh announcement!

Who should host the event?

Traditionally, the bride’s parents host the engagement party. However, this isn’t a must. You could choose to host the engagement party yourself as a couple, or have both parents come together to host the event. All options point towards celebration and a great time with the people you love. Don’t stress about “following the rules.” When it comes to parties, it’s all about embracing all the gray areas.

How should I invite my guests?

Unless you’re having a very casual engagement party, the favored way to invite your guests is by sending invitations through the mail. The invite sets the tone for your event and makes it that much more memorable.

Who should give a toast?

Toasts at an engagement party will welcome your guests and add sentiment to the evening. Typically, the parent’s of the bride (and groom, if they wish) can make a welcome toast. This is the perfect opportunity to express their excitement about the big day. The future bride and groom should also make a toast thanking the hosts (if they aren’t hosting the party) and express their gratitude towards their parents and guests.  If a friend or family member wants to speak, welcome their words! Since engagement party timelines are more flexible than weddings, there’s more room for impromptu toasts.

What’s the guideline for gifting?

An engagement party is not usually the forum for formal gifts. Many guests don’t bring gifts, but some might choose to. This is definitely not the right opportunity to register or mention gifts on the invitation. You may also want to skip out on designating a gift table, so that you’re guests who did not bring gifts do not feel uncomfortable.

Does it have to be a formal affair?

Absolutely not! You could celebrate your engagement with anything ranging from a casual outdoor party to a fancy cocktail party. Without all the formalities of a wedding, you can have an event that reflects your unique style as a couple. If you rather create a more relaxed, casual setting—go for it!

Most importantly, make sure to relax, enjoy, and have fun at your engagement party! Make the best of the planning process and try your best not to stress! You should savor every moment and celebration leading up to your big day.