Getting hitched? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ then the kickoff to your wedding festivities is an engagement party! We’ve got everything you need to know in our ‘Engagement Party Planning 101’ countdown! This is the first celebration to announce your engagement and is generally the most informal. Both your partner and yourself can each get involved without breaking any traditions, but there are several things to consider.
Traditionally, it’s the bride’s parents who host (and pay) for the engagement party, but in more modern times, this has been hosted by anyone including the couple themselves. One, or several parties can be celebrated as well! This just depends on family locations, customs, beliefs, etc…
The next step naturally, is to choose a date and location. Once you’ve decided on who will be throwing the party, then pick a day and place for the party to occur. Engagement parties are generally thrown right after the question has been popped, and sometimes couples will surprise their guests by not even telling anyone what the celebration is for until it’s announced at the party!
Whether you have someone hosting the party for you or not, make sure you are completely involved when deciding on the guest list. Remember that anyone you invite to the engagement party must be on the wedding list, too. This is the best time to also choose, ask, and announce the members of the wedding party, though this can also be done ahead of the celebration, and in private.
Gifts at the engagement party aren’t always expected, but some people insist on bringing one, plus it’s a great time to start the preliminary wedding registry. Focus on gifts that in the low to mid price range and leave the more expensive stuff for the wedding.
Your invitations should reflect the theme that you’ve chosen for the party. If you’re having a sit-down dinner, consider paper invites, otherwise, E-invites are also a great (eco-friendly and free) option.
Planning the menu should be fun and painless. This isn’t the wedding, so keep it light and simple. Backyard BBQs, appetizers and finger foods are great options. Or for a sit-down affair, do a ‘his and hers’ pairing foods and cocktails you each love and sharing them with your friends and family.
Every good party has a theme and the last thing to tackle is setting your scene. It can be as grandiose or as simple as you want to make it. Remember that the whole point is to be able to celebrate your engagement, so don’t stress over minor details just to impress your guests.