The engagement party is the first of many milestones you’ll be celebrating before you walk down the aisle. Traditionally, the bride’s parents have been in charge of the engagement party, but in today’s world, it’s not uncommon for the parents of the bride or groom, or even the couple, to plan the festivities. Once you’ve determined who’s hosting, you’ll still need to…
Pick a Date
It’s an engagement party so usually the date should fall within two to three months of actually getting engaged. Be sure to compare calendars with family members you want to be able to attend.
Decide on the Guest List
An engagement party is a chance for those close to the bride and groom to get to know each other before all of the festivities begin. Often times it’s the first time some members of the bride’s and groom’s families will have a chance to meet. Don’t include anyone who won’t be invited to the ceremony or reception.
Book the Venue
The size and type of space you’ll need will depend on several factors.
How many guests do you expect?
What type of event are you having?
What time of year is it happening?
Send Out the Invites
Once you’ve decided on a host, a date and a venue, let people know! Depending on how formal or casual your party will be, invites can be as fancy as the wedding invitations or as simple as an email. Make sure you give guests plenty of notice. Sending invitations out at least three to four weeks before the date is key. Most people will bring a small gift to an engagement party. If you’d prefer no gifts, make sure it’s noted on the invitations.
Make a Plan for the Menu
Are you going to have food catered in or do it yourself? If your party is at a restaurant or event center, they might have rules regarding approved vendors. If you’re doing it yourselves, make a list of everything you’ll need and start a timeline for what can be done ahead of time and who you can count on to help.
Decide on Decorations
Check with the venue to see if there are any restrictions on decor. Some places have rules regarding decorations such as candles, confetti, balloons, glitter, and more. You can make the decorations as intricate or simple as you’d like. This is a chance to personalize the event to the couple as well. Consider using pictures or items that have been important to them in the decor.
Prep Ahead of Time
Plan ahead and try to get as much as you can done ahead of time. If you’re making decorations or food, put together a list of everything you can do in the weeks or days ahead. Things will come up at the last minute and you’ll be grateful you’ve got a head start. If you need to bring in linens or extra seating, make arrangements well in advance.
Will you have a band? A DJ? A playlist of the couple’s favorite songs? Depending on the type of event you’ve put together, it might be fun to have some games planned to celebrate the couple or a photo booth set up to capture snapshots of the event.
Once all the details are taken care of it’s time to relax and have fun! Hopefully this is the first of many events that will take place to celebrate the happy couple!