The Who, What, Where, and When of Planning your Engagement Party
Now that you’ve said yes to the ring, it’s time to plan your engagement party. Before you can even think about buying one of those sparkly, spiral-bound planners, you’ll have to decide who’s doing the planning. Traditionally – like back in the olden days – the bride’s parents hosted the couple’s engagement party. But this is the 21st century. Anyone close to the couple, be she a BFF, sister, or even the couple themselves can host an engagement party. However, for politeness sake, you may want to give your parents dibs. If they pass the bouquet, let the planning begin!
No matter who’s planning your wedding, it’s a good bet you’ll have some say in it. So whether you’re the party planning extraordinaire – that’s soon-to-be-Mrs. Party planning extraordinaire – or you’re the voice in your favorite lady’s ear, we have some things you’ll want to consider so you can say, “I do” to the engagement party of your dreams.
Who… should be invited?
We just covered who’s planning your party. Now it’s time to talk about who’s gonna be there. Since an engagement party is a more intimate occasion than a wedding, the guest count will be less. Be sure to invite only people to your engagement party who will also be invited to your wedding.
Although gifts are definitely not a requirement, some guests will simply insist on bringing one. Make it easy on them by completing your registry. Registry etiquette for engagement parties is to register for low-mid priced items, since you’ll likely be receiving higher-ticket items at your wedding. You might also want to take this opportunity to set up your virtual honeymoon fund.
What...is the theme?
Honor the wedding couple by choosing a theme that suits them. Are they travelers? If so, perhaps create an “Around the World” party with global appetizers, passport-themed invitations, and use a world map as a guest book – instant keepsake!
Or, if the couple enjoys a glass of wine, wine swap parties are fun and interactive. Just ask each guest to bring their favorite bottle of wine and play a game so everyone goes home with a new blend to try! You could even go the extra mile and hire a sommelier for tastings or even host it in a wine bar.
Other themes to think about are a tiki theme with fun, fruity cocktails; a fiesta with a taco bar; and heck, who doesn’t love a good brunch party?
Where...is this happening?
Where you’re hosting this engagement party will depend on two main variables: guest count and budget.
The good news is that engagement parties can take place just about anywhere. If you plan to host in your home – or someone’s home – you may want to recruit the help of a decorator. But, if you’re DIY’ing this thing, fresh florals can add an extra special touch, as well as a pop of color! A word to the wise: if your engagement party falls on or around a holiday, try to resist the temptation of decorating with festive colors.
Table, chair, and linen rentals may be just what you need to comfortably seat everyone in your home, and matching tableware will set a sophisticated tone.
However, if you and your guests will gather at a venue, embrace the ambiance that already exists. You may still want to bring in flowers for centerpieces, and although many venues do not allow open flames, battery-operated tea lights or floating candles can be an option to create a warm romantic glow.
When… should I send out invitations?
Once you have some pretty good ideas of who you’re inviting, what kind of party you’re planning, and where it’s all happening, you can send out invitations. Keep in mind, your engagement party stationery doesn’t have to match your wedding theme, so have fun with it!
Your engagement party should happen within a few months of the proposal. It’s this sweet spot between the “mooney-eyed-just-engaged” couple and “sleep-deprived-serious-wedding-planning-mode” couple. Be courteous and give your guests about a month’s notice, so don’t wait too long after the proposal to get on those invitations.
Congratulations on your engagement! What are you doing still sitting here? You better get a move on, girl, and figure out who’s planning your party! Having read through the important who, what, where, and when of planning your engagement party, you should be primped for success! Of course, if you need any advice, get in touch with us!