Every newly minted bride-to-be has experienced the flurry of questions that follow the “big” announcement. But before you become dizzy from all the pre-planning, take a breath and enjoy the fact that one of the most fun (and often overlooked) parties is just around the corner: the engagement party!
This is the fête where you’ll show off your ring, delight in what’s to come, and enjoy being seen as husband and wife-to-be for the very first time.
Bonus: it’s also a generally stress-free event (cheers to that!) so relax, enjoy, and follow these super-simple tips for making planning an engagement party much more fun!
First off, when should you have it?
The party should fall within a couple months of the engagement. This is not always possible with work, travel and other obligations but it’s a good general guideline if you can follow it.
This can be tricky as there are often a lot of moving parts, preferences, and personalities but a good rule of thumb is that the bride’s parents host the first celebration and the groom’s parents host the second.
The second celebration, you say?
Of course! Why not?
In addition to the engagement party some families throw a casual BBQ, cocktail party, or brunch. But again, this depends on the size of the family (and the eventual wedding invitees) as well as other factors like out-of-towners and familial obligations and finances.
Where should the party be hosted?
Finally, some breathing room! This one is really up to you. There are no rules surrounding engagement party locations so work within your timeframe, budget and host to create an event that is reflective of you and your hubby-to-be’s style.
It’s a good idea to start making your wedding invitation list early. Then, take that list and trim down until you’ve got your immediate family, wedding party, and closest friends—that will be your engagement party list. Remember though, everyone who is invited to the engagement party should be invited to the wedding.
What to Serve?
Here, even more than with your wedding menu, you’ve got the freedom to geta little funky so don’t be afraid to express yourself!
Do you love Mexican food? Hire a food truck! What about sweets? Make it a cupcake themed party! Are you and your fiancé wine aficionados? Have an expert come and lead a tasting.
Décor Do’s & Don’ts
Just as with your food and venue, you will want to keep decor in line with your personal style. Don’t go overboard; this is a gathering of your closest friends and family, those who know you two the best. So this is not the time to shock everyone with a Brazilian themed BBQ if you’re a vegetarian. Keep it simple, creative, and elegant, just like you!
Secret Stylist Tip: an engagement party is a great way to try out a florist, caterer or planner. Why not give it a go with someone you’re considering for your big day?
Now, go out there and get started planning an engagement party so you can relish on the entire wedding planning experience!
For more helpful information on planning your wedding, check out the Wedding Planning Resource.