A good man friend of ours is giving a catered cocktail-buffet engagement party for our daughter and her fiancé at his house. The groom’s father is deceased and he doesn’t have a brother, step-father or grandfather to make a toast. Does my husband make the engagement toast? What is the protocol?
–L.S., Long Island
Traditionally, before the age of communication, the purpose of the engagement party was to announce a daughter’s upcoming marriage while introducing the two families and the wedding couple’s friends to one another.
More recently, the engagement party is hosted by whoever wishes to host a party celebrating the engagement. The groom’s family, both families jointly or a friend.
The two fathers would toast the merging of the two families and welcome guests to have a good time and thank them for coming. In return, guests sent engagement presents from the bridal registry.
Fast forward, protocol still sets the code of conduct that someone welcomes the guests and thanks them for coming before suggesting that everyone raises their glasses to toast the wedding couple.
In your case, your friend the host would be thanked at that time. Alternatively, your friend the host could make the first toast welcoming and thanking guests to such a special occasion in his home, or your husband could simply toast the wedding couple on their engagement, thank the host for hosting and the guests for attending.
A thoroughly modern solution would be to have the wedding couple make the first toast thanking the host and guests. For instance the groom with his bride by his side would say, “Vanessa joins me in welcoming you tonight and we would like you all to, please, raise your glasses to toast our amazing host ….”
Lastly, don’t forget to assign someone to make sure that awesome photographs are taken of your daughter’s engagement party.
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Accepting A Compliment