The love of your life popped the question. That sweet moment is one you will remember and reminisce on for years to come. Now that you’re engaged, there are plenty of things to plan, and the ensuing excitement can be thrilling.
Once you get engaged, it’s time to celebrate with your friends and family. Traditionally, this celebration takes place in the form of an engagement party. Here are Everyday Bride’s 10 ideas on how to plan the perfect engagement party:
- Choose a venue
- Make a guest list
- Pick a date
- Send invitations
- Set a menu
- Decorating the space
- Add personal touches
- Decide on a theme
- Get an outfit
- Pay attention to little details
These 10 tips are perfect for helping you get started with planning the first big event in your engagement journey.
Choose a Venue
Choosing the right venue for your engagement party depends on many factors. Consider how many people you plan to invite and the level of formality you want for the event. Here are a few options for venues:
- Your home
- A hotel
- A private room in a restaurant
- A pub
- An art gallery
- A local beach
- A local park
These options are all beautiful places to host your engagement party. There are indeed no limits to where you can host your party—it is your night to celebrate and share the love you and your fiancé hold for one another with your closest loved ones.
Everyday Bride Pro Tip: Consider choosing to host your engagement party at a place with special significance to your love story. For example, you could host the event at the restaurant where you got engaged or the park where you shared your first date.
Make a Guest List
Making a guest list can feel fun—and stressful. You don’t have to invite every person you want to invite to the wedding, but it is essential to identify early on who you believe will play a significant role in the wedding. Here are a few categories to think about.
- Your parents and your partner’s parents
- People who will likely be in your bridal party
- Close family members from both families
- Close friends
- Any local friends or family you plan to invite to the wedding
Pick a Date
Now that you know where you’re going and who you are inviting, it’s time to decide when the event will be. Choose a date as close to the engagement as you can. While the last thing you want to do is throw together a last-minute haphazard party, you also don’t want to wait too long. There will be many wedding-related events leading up to the big day, and this one is the kick-off.
Everyday Bride Pro Tip: It’s acceptable to announce your engagement before the party or even the invitations. Try to plan your party within two months of your engagement—if you’re planning a short engagement, try for the first six to eight weeks.
While a simple email or online invite sometimes works, sending real invitations is a must if you’re going for a more formal affair. Consider what kind of theme or color scheme you will want for your save-the-dates and wedding invitations. This may help you decipher the perfect invitations for your engagement party.
Everyday Bride Pro Tip: Consider adding in your favorite photo of you and your soon-to-be-spouse to really get people excited to celebrate your recent engagement.
Set a Menu
Whether you choose a sit-down dinner event, an intimate brunch, or a casual cocktail party, you’ll need to find the perfect food to accompany the event. It’s customary to serve food at an engagement party, but the menu is up to you.
Consider your venue and what type of food makes sense for it. For example, if you host at a restaurant, perhaps create a set menu or catering deal with that restaurant or another local eatery.
Decorating the Space
No engagement party is complete until the couple sets the ambiance with decorations. Regardless of the venue, adding a few personal touches through decorations can help set the tone and make your night extra special. Here are a few décor ideas.
- Centerpieces for tables
- Additional ambient lighting (light strings, candles, etc.)
- Elegant table runners
- A fun photo backdrop for you and your guests to use
Add Personal Touches
Your engagement party is a time to celebrate with your friends and family, but it is truly all about you and your betrothed’s shared love. Add some touches that make the night special not only for your guests but for you and your partner as well. Here are a few ideas.
- Add your favorite photos from your relationship
- Sprinkle in fun facts about the couple into the décor
- Serve your favorite foods or a drink you two bonded over
Decide on a Theme
While you do not need a theme to throw the perfect engagement party, it can help with direction. Here are a few popular themes you can consider.
- White-out (everybody wears white)
- Black-out (everybody wears black)
- Garden party
- Murder mystery party
- Beach party
- Afternoon tea
- A “decade” theme (everybody dresses as the same or different decades)
Get an Outfit
Whether you’re a bride or a groom, people expect you to dress to the nines and on-theme at all the wedding-related events you will attend. If you’re planning to wear a white dress to your wedding, consider wearing a white cocktail dress to your engagement party. If you’re planning to wear a suit to your wedding, consider wearing a more casual suit to your engagement party.
Everyday Bride Pro Tip: Have fun with your outfit! Make sure you feel comfortable and confident and wear what you want. It’s your day!
Pay Attention To Little Details
It truly is the little things that make an engagement party so special. Whether you’re planning your own party or a close friend or family member is handling it for you, remember that it is a night of love and celebration. Focus on you and your partner’s love and share the moments of your relationship that you think really encapsulates your love for one another with your dearest loved ones. This night is about you!
Congrats on your engagement, bride-to-be! Here at Everyday Bride, we strive to provide helpful tips and information from engagement to aisle. There is no one proper way to plan the perfect engagement party, but these 10 ideas are an exciting place to begin.