Before I share some engagement party ideas let's talk a bit about the engagement party; what it's about.
Traditionally the engagement party of the westerners is not the same as the marriage engagement party in Nigeria. Engagement party abroad happens at least 6 months to the wedding. And it's usually after the proposal; when the couple have both decided to get married and an engagement ring has been given.
And it's purpose in their marriage tradition is to formally announce the wedding to extended family members and friends. Though traditionally the parents of the bride to-be is in charge of organizing the party, anyone including the bride and groom to be and their friends can organize an engagement party but after the parents have done theirs.
In Nigeria however, except the elite class who decide to copy every marriage traditions of the westerners simply because they can afford to, there is no engagement party in the Nigerian marriage tradition or at least nothing known as engagement party.
There are 3 stages of marriage in Nigeria and it's the Introduction, where the bride and groom to-be immediate families gets to meet and as the name suggests introduce themselves or get to know each other. The purpose of the Introduction is the same as the official purpose of the western engagement party; except the Introduction isn't as much of a party. There is cooking, eating and a bit of drinking of course but not what you can really call a party. But if there's any pre-wedding activity in Nigeria that you can call engagement party it will be the Introduction.
However in some part of Nigeria, the Yorubas especially also refers to the traditional marriage as "Engagement"; which really doesn't make sense to me. I think it's just more of an ignorant thing for them than it is anything else.
Of course you can. After all the elite class do it all, engagement parties and bridal showers.
Actually when it comes to wedding, you can include your own traditions. It's all about celebrating love. And you can do that every day from the day you get engaged till the official wedding if you want to and no one will criticize you for it. Okay maybe some will gossip about it if you actually do that; but the point is it's your wedding so you're in charge of creating the memories exactly how you want to remember them.
And one thing you should know is that engagement party doesn't have to be expensive. Since it's not really part of Nigerian's wedding traditions you and your partner can organize one with friends. Something like a get-together with family and friends or just friends. You can do this anytime after your Wedding Introduction. I say after your Wedding Introduction because before you start announcing to friends that you're getting married, both families should have already been introduced and both should already be aware that you're getting married.
There's nothing traditional about the way engagement parties are organized whether abroad or in Nigeria. It's a party so make it one. The only difference is the announcement; that is if it was organized as a surprise party. And then the toast to the couple to be. However for a more meaningful engagement party here are some engagement party tips for you.
Venue: If possible use a place that has a significant meaning to the both of you such as where you both enjoy hanging out, where you met or where she agreed to be your girlfriend. If that's not possible you can use a friend's sitting room if it's big enough to accommodate your guests or if you can afford to you can rent any place you think is suitable for the kind of party you want.
Food and Drinks: In Nigeria I think friends will be impressed with some fried meats and drinks especially if most of them are male. Or you can survey a few of the people you want to invite of what they'll prefer; but no solid food.
Entertainment: To make the day not boring include as many of the guests in the event as possible. The secret to creating a not boring party is to understand the age group you're inviting and what will be fun for them. Where you're not sure don't hesitate to ask some of your friends. And then have some good music that your age group guests can dance well to.
The idea for an engagement party should be to share your love with friends in a way that pleases you and have fun without spending too much money. Remember there's still a lot to do with money before the actual wedding.
Is there any significance really to having an engagement party?
Yes there is. With engagement party people who can't attend the wedding can still share in your joy. There will be close friends who can't attend your wedding usually because of the distance or some engagement they can't get off from. You can invite such friends to your engagement party and have them share in your love too.
Also you can organize your engagement party in a way that it gives room for mingling. You're living the dream, about to marry the one you love. You can pay it forward. Give others who are searching for a mate the room to mingle and meet compatible singles. Know friends who are searching? Invite some males and then some females. Your engagement party might just turn into a special day to remember for such people.
Engagement party really shouldn't just be about letting loose and getting drunk, it should be more than that. And if you choose to have one, follow these engagement party ideas I've shared and you can make yours meaningful and yet fun.
Also read engagement photo poses ideas.
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