Planning an engagement party will give you a small taste of what is to come when planning your wedding day. It took your fiancé months to plan the perfect proposal, and now it is time for your friends and family to celebrate the engagement.
Sure, a simple “congratulations” text, call or Facebook message is a nice gesture, but having everyone you care about at a party is a lot more intimate, not to mention fun!
The engagement party is also the time your family will most likely meet a good portion of his side of the family. Not to mention, it will allow your bridesmaids to meet key people in your family who they will be seeing a lot of when planning your festivities in the coming months!
If you are taking the traditional route, usually the bride’s parents plan the engagement party. They can ask your bridesmaids to help with making DIYs and helping set up the party. The groom’s family then can plan a party on their own. You can also have both sets of parents co-host the event.
In my case, my fiancé and I planned most of the party ourselves, with the exception of a few things (like our families pitching in and getting us an awesomely expensive cake!) We also made our party favors, created special DIYs that reflected our taste as a couple, and bought most of the decorations ourselves from places such as Amazon, Party City, and Michael’s.
When do you have it?
An engagement party is usually thrown within months of the engagement. It also depends on how long the engagement will take. Even with a two year engagement like ours, my fiancé and I had our engagement party five months after the initial proposal. It really is all about preference, but you should still have it while you and your future hubby are on cloud-nine about the proposal!
Make sure to give your guests a month or two notice before the party! We had to give my fiancé’s family two month’s notice, because most of them lived out of town. My family and friends fortunately all live in town. (Well, most of them live in Poland and couldn’t make it, but who’s complaining; that much more excitement for the wedding!)
Where to have it
Usually your engagement party is thrown in your hometown. It is an extra bonus if you and your fiancé are from the same area. If that’s not the case, throwing the party at your current locale can be an easy medium. Hey, you can always throw two parties!
Who do you invite?
If you are basing your planning on tradition, then you might as well invite 150+ guests to your engagement party. Meaning, invite everyone who you will be invited to the wedding! Nowadays, you can customize your engagement party to your wants and needs.
My fiancé and I invited our closets friends and family, and had 50 people at our party. With a lesser amount of people attending the engagement party, it cuts cost down by a lot. This will be important if you are having an engagement party at a venue and you need to pay per plate.
Make your invitations simple! You have the freedom of making your own invitations, emailing them or getting them printed. My fiancé and I went through a cheap online printing service on eBay, and we got them customized to our liking.
Your engagement party is not the time or place to have a five-course meal. This is the time when passing out appetizers, having your family bring homemade dishes, or having a cookout is 100% appropriate.
My fiancé and I had the luxury of having families who brought plates upon plates of food. We also got a great rate on a buffet-style menu from the managers at our venue.
At this point you don’t have to necessarily know your wedding theme and colors yet! Unless you’ve known since you were a little girl, then go for it and decorate your engagement party to match your wedding theme. This is the time to express your creativity, and allows your guests to get a taste of what they will be in for.
The possibilities are endless, and you two, as the bride and groom, will be able to decide what you want your guests to wear! If you are having your engagement party in your backyard, have your guests wear shorts and tees. If you are having it at a country club, encourage your guests to wear semi-formal attire. When in doubt, wear a sundress!
The few months to a year before your big day, make sure to appreciate and thank the people that make all your pre-wedding events special.
Pictures taken by: