Congratulations! You’re engaged! The ring is on your finger and you’re on the way to your wedding. But hold on one moment, don’t rush past this amazing occassion too quickly in your excitement to start planning the big day. Oh no, getting engaged is something to savour and certainly something to celebrate and what could be a better way to share the moment with your friends and family than hosting a great engagement party? They needn’t be expensive (in fact, ‘backyard engagements’ are the big thing in the US right now) and they give you a chance to flex those planning muscles before you get started on your wedding. So, to help you out, here’s a little guide giving you all you need to know…
Set The Date Soon!
Don’t let the engagement moment pass without setting a date for your party while everyone’s still in the mood to celebrate. Get those invitations out quickly and, if you can, send ‘proper’ invitations to people. They needn’t be expensive – download some printable templates from Etsy or even handwrite your note on balloons, deflate them and send them in the post. Set the scene for the big event and remember that Pinterest is your new best friend!
et The Look!
Make your party a bit special and transform your house and garden with simple, cost effective decorations. Balloons are right on-trend and lots of fun. Splatter plain balloons with metallic paint, fill them with confetti or dip them in glitter for a glam, party-ready look. You’ll find loads of tutorials online for balloon backdrops, chandeliers, garlands and much more.
Ask & Introduce!
If you can invite your besties to be bridesmaids, best men and ushers before your engagement party, so much the better because then you can make sure that they’re introduced to each other and can start getting to know one another as soon as possible. The same is true with any family members that haven’t met – get them to say hello at the party so your wedding day is much more enjoyable for everyone.
If your party is in the evening, give yourself the day to get ready for it. Setting things up can often take longer than you expect so don’t stress yourself by trying to squeeze too much into a short space of time. If friends want to help you, so much the better but allow plenty of time to set-up and even indulge in a little pre-party pampering too.
It’s hard to know how much you’ll need in terms of drinks for guests so be sure to check out the sale-or-return policies of your local suppliers so you can buy plenty and return what’s not needed. Likewise, supermarkets often offer a free glass hire service – perfect if you don’t want to spend your party washing up or hunting for clean glasses. If you’re loving the balloon theme, frozen water balloons make great alternative ice cubes!
You want to enjoy your engagement party, not spend the evening running around like a waitress. Plan your menu so that you can prepare as much in advance as possible (or order party food from your local supermarket!) and then set up buffet tables (decorated beautifully of course!) so that guests can help themselves. Communal food is always fun and will certainly get everyone chatting.
Music & More!
Pick a playlist that will appeal to the majority of your guests and maybe consider keeping the volume down until older guests have left! Most people will want to talk and if you can set up some games, a fun photobooth or entertainments, so much the better – provide lots of bonding opportunities now and your wedding day will be even more wonderful.
There are no hard and fast rules for engagement parties – some people might send formal RSVPs, some might bring gifts, some might just turn up unannounced. Do send thank-you notes to anyone who brings a present (consider it practice for your wedding!) and don’t worry too much about the event – make up your own rules and set your own standards because your friends and family will just love the chance to all get together to celebrate with you. Whatever happens, enjoy your party and don’t forget to flash your stunning engagement ring all night long!