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You Asked: Do you Have to Attend Every Engagement Party?

Dear Sugar--

My boyfriend's close buddy is getting married this summer and the engagement parties are already in full swing. Neither one of us have been to many weddings so we are quite naive when it comes to shower, engagement party, and bachelor party etiquette.

With so many parties, are we obligated to attend everyone? While we both enjoy seeing all our friends and attending fun parties, I'm worried that my pocketbook will suffer. If we do decide to attend multiple parties, are we expected to bring a gift each time? My boyfriend is turning to me to answer all these questions and I am just as clueless as he is so I am hoping turning to you, Dear, will help put us on the right track. --Stumped Sammy

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Dear Stumped Sammy--
Well Sammy, you have come to the right place! Engagement parties can be extremely overwhelming and time consuming, so while you are sure to be invited to multiple festivities, you are not obligated to attend everyone. If you and your boyfriend are party goers, this is a great way to mingle with close friends and get to know everyone who will be attending the wedding, but by no means is your attendance mandatory.

Whether you decide to attend or decline an event, make sure to RSVP ASAP. Many people struggle with excuses when they decline an invite, but simply saying you have conflicting plans is sufficient. If you do decide to attend more than one, if not all parties, don't worry about your pocketbook. Gifts are not expected for engagement parties, although bringing a small token, a bottle of wine for example, is always a nice gesture. When couples first announce their engagement, it is customary to send a gift, but bridal and couples showers are the time to give gifts off of the couple's registry.

Engagement party attire is also worth mentioning. While it seems like every occasion has a dress code, I would stick to cocktail attire. Keep in mind that family members, young and old, will be at most pre wedding festivities, so make sure you are dressed appropriately. Wedding season can be really fun, so enjoy yourself!

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