It’s been over a month since you got engaged and you’re simply not over it yet. You find yourself repeating that scene in your head and you relive all the excitement and emotions of the day he proposed to you. It’s also the perfect time to plan your engagement party, celebrate and help future guests on your wedding to get a chance to know each other.
Here’s a simple guide for all the things you need to know about your engagement party:
Understand what the goal is for holding your engagement party.
Your friends and loved ones would love to share the excitement and happiness you felt when you got engaged. They have pretty much expressed that through a phone call, an email or even via chat. However, there’s no better way to share all those exciting emotions than having to celebrate face to face. Get them together in one memorable event - your engagement party. This will be the perfect venue to get family and close friends to get acquainted as they will be seeing more of each other as some of them become part of your wedding party.
Pick the date of your engagement party.
A few months after the proposal would be the best time to hold your engagement party. Simply the perfect time to transition from the easy-going, just engaged life, to seriously get started on your wedding plans. Give your guests enough time, at least a month’s notice to be able to mark their calendars and prepare for your engagement party. This is why a few months after the proposal, your engagement party invites should be out already.
Determine who will host.
If you and your future spouse are the traditional types, as the bride, the host of the first official celebration of your engagement party would be your parents. After that, the groom’s parents can also hold an engagement party for both of you. If you’re not into tradition, then you can have your parents and the parents of your future spouse co-host an event. However, the trend now is to hold an engagement party hosted by you and your groom to be. Needless to say, both of you are in charge of paying for it too. Your friends may also want to host your engagement party or you may ask them but before you do, financial implications must be taken into consideration.
Decide on the venue.
There are two things you need to keep in mind when considering the venue for your engagement party. One is, whose turf would you have it on and two, where in particular are you going to hold it. As to whose turf is it going to be, know that the location is entirely dependent on who’s hosting the party. It will be more likely that you’d be celebrating in your city if our hosts are local. However, if they live out of state, it would be more practical to hold it in their city. You can freely discuss this with your host and decide on what would be best for everyone attending your engagement party. Keep in mind that you can also throw two engagement parties. Consider though that you are not asking your guests to travel twice. This is unavoidable at times especially when family and friends are spread all over the country. As for the specific location, you can hold your party just about anywhere depending on the number of people you plan to invite. The location will again depend on the host/s. Venue consideration should include the ambiance you want to have. Would you like to have an elegant ambiance? Then choose a private room at a country club, wine bar or restaurant. Do you prefer a low-key party? Then you can hold it in a favorite local dive, a house or a backyard.
Know who and how to invite.
It is better to come up with your wedding guest list before deciding on whom to invite on your engagement party. This way, you avoid a sticky situation wherein your engagement guests assume that they are invited to your wedding too. While this might be the case before, more and more couples are hosting their own weddings far from friends and family this goes with the evolving formality of engagement parties. It is more accepted nowadays, that people who are invited to the engagement party will not end up on your wedding guest list. However, it is still a must to narrow down guests to immediate family, closest friends, and your wedding party.
You need not to complicate your invitation. While some brides would want invitations for the engagement party to match the rest of their stationery, it really is not a requirement at this point. This is especially true if you have not chosen a color palette or have a specific wedding date in mind yet. Your invitation can be through a digital invite or a DIY invitation.
Don’t require a gift.
Engagement parties do not require guests to bring a gift. You can even have that information specified in your invitation. However, you cannot prevent some guests from giving gifts. When this happens, have an assigned discrete are where gifts can be placed so as not to make other guests feel awkward - the ones who came with no gifts. On the flip side, be ready to give away engagement favors which can double up as part of your table setting or accentuate your venue decors. Think of favors like picture frames, hand fans,glass containers, and even wine bottle openers and stoppers.
Picture how you will set the scene and what to serve.
The theme and style chosen for your engagement party need not match the ones chosen for your wedding. Don’t be in a rush to make things match, specifically on decors and details that would reflect your wedding colors and theme. Your engagement party style and theme can be the exact opposite of how you plan your wedding to be. If the plan is a formal wedding in a hotel ballroom, then go for a simple and laid back theme for your engagement party and hold it in an outdoor setting or a backyard. The idea is not to upstage the wedding.
Once you have determined the theme and style for your engagement party, the food to be served gets easier to choose. For example, a family style buffet, a casual cookout or even passed appetizers will do. You can even get creative with your dessert and serve seasonal treats, assorted baked goods, ice cream sandwiches, and even cotton candy or candy apples. It definitely needs to be an expensive cake.
Stand out with your attire.
You and your soon to be spouse need to wear the appropriate wardrobe depending on the setting and theme of your party. As the bride, keep it simple and special that you still stand out from the rest of your guests. Keep in mind that this is your first party as a to-be-wed couple so be prepared to dress the part. Don’t outdo your wedding look though. Think sundress for a venue outdoors or even a cocktail dress for a more formal look. As for the groom, match the simplicity or formality of your bride. Needless to say, you don’t have to wear a tux or a suit and tie.