Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)


Question: My bestie just got engaged and asked me to be her maid of honor. I’ve been a bridesmaid a couple of times, but never the maid of honor. Am I supposed to organize the engagement party or just the bridal shower? Who traditionally throws the engagement party?

Answer: Congrats on your first turn as a maid of honor. Clearly your friend values your judgment and trusts you as an advisor and helper. As her right hand gal, you’ll be there to assist with errands, tough decisions and talking her off the ledge on occasion. When it comes to the many parties surrounding the wedding, your primary obligation as maid of honor is to host one of the bridal showers. Generally you would do this with the other bridesmaids as your co-hostesses. Traditionally, the parents of the bride host the engagement party shortly after the couple gets engaged. That said, these days it’s not uncommon for there to be more than one engagement party or for the bridal party to take the reigns. Check in with the couple and the bride’s parents to see if there is something in the works and if not, and they are OK with it, get together with the bridesmaids and groomsmen to discuss a possible group party. This will alleviate some of the costs associated with the fête (especially since you are also in for a bridal shower) and the planning duties. It’s not uncommon to hold an engagement party at the home of a loved one or friend, so don’t feel obligated to rent out a restaurant or venue if it’s not in your budget. This party is about celebrating the good news and can be more casual than some of the other gatherings, even if the wedding itself will be formal. Good luck and have fun.


Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.