The Engagement Party

Earlier in the month, I went to my friend’s engagement party.

I wasn’t entirely sure what the night would entail as engagement parties seem more freestyle than other celebratory events. A wedding reception has a definite structure to it. “Big” birthdays tend to involve choruses of happy returns and candle-festooned cakes. And the likes of graduation parties symbolise celebrating an achievement in the graduate’s life.

But the engagement party . . . Is it simply a declaration of love and commitment?

When I asked my friend when he hoped to be married, he said roughly in a few years’ time. A few years! That sounds like a contract agreement, where there’s an automatic cooling-off period. However, I quite like the romantic vagueness of the long-term plan – we’re living in the here and now, and that’s all that matters.

It made me think, though – what makes a good party.

Food – check.

Drinks – check.

Music – check.

Family & Friends – double check.

When I had asked my friend what he would like as an engagement gift he said nothing in particular, as having his friends present was enough for him. Well, that movie line answer had enough emotional punch to make this grown man wobble under its impact.

So on the night, family and friends were certainly out in force for the happy couple, and, of course, cards and gifts were exchanged to smiling, grateful betrotheds.

I came to the conclusion that the engagement party, like any celebratory event, is all about simply enjoying the “moment” – enjoying it with those you care most about. A declaration of love doesn’t need special ingredients to make it work. All it needs is two happy hearts. And for me, to be asked to be part of someone else’s happiness is a blessing indeed.

The other conclusion I came to is middle-aged men such as myself should never get involved in dance-off competitions. Never ever . . .

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Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.