Engagement Rings

An engagement is a promise to marry, and also the period of time between proposal and marriage – which may be lengthy or trivial. During this period, a couple is said to be affianced, betrothed, engaged to be married, or simply engaged. Future brides and grooms are often referred to as fiancées or fiancés respectively (from the French word fiancé). The duration of the courtship varies vastly.

Long engagements were once common in formal arranged marriages and it was not uncommon for parents betrothing children to arrange such many years before the engaged couple were old enough to marry. In 2007, the average engagement time in the United States was 17 months, but the figure around the world varies greatly depending on culture and customs.

Some engagements are announced at an engagement party, traditionally hosted by the bride's parents. These parties are given in the family's usual style of entertainment. Traditionally, engagement parties were normal parties at which a surprise announcement of the engagement was made by the father of the bride to his guests. Therefore, it is not a traditional gift-giving occasion since no guests was supposed to be aware of the engagement until after their arrival.

In modern times, engagement parties often celebrate a previously publicized engagement. Whether presents are given at these engagement parties varies from culture to culture.
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