An engagement party is like any other get together but you could also use it as a clever way of testing out certain themes, décor, or food you are considering having on your wedding day. So here’s a quick guide on how to plan and organise the ultimate engagement party:
The timing of your engagement party is important. Have your party at least a year before the wedding so it isn’t too close to the big day or as soon as possible if you want to surprise guests with the news.
Traditionally, engagement parties are held at the home of the bride-to-be’s parents but you could go all out and hire a venue. Your local pub, restaurant or even the hall where you are considering the reception are all good options.
Or why not be really adventurous and hire something unusual such as a party bus, where you are driven around as music plays, disco lights flash and you and your guests can have a dance and get to know each other?
It might not necessarily be the older generation’s idea of a party venue, but we’re sure your Aunt can postpone her trip to Mecca Bingo for one evening (you and your bridesmaids can take her for a more subdued hen party at a later date) and let her hair down.
The logistics of planning a party can get on top of you so don’t over do it with the guest list.
In fact, as a general rule, only invite people to your engagement party, hen and stag parties and any other wedding related event if they are coming to the whole day. It will save any awkwardness later when you send out invitations.
Serve up mini cakes with flavours you are considering for the big day dessert.
Put together a playlist of you and your partner’s favourite songs; they don’t have to be love songs just ones that you both enjoy and that bring back memories.
Get guests to play the Proposal Game. Hand out cards featuring a story of how he proposed but with words missing for guests to fill in, you’ll both have fun reading their responses later. Find the instructions here.
Have plenty of champagne ready. Guests will probably bring some too but look into buying a case so the bubbly doesn’t run out half way through the night – you are celebrating after all!
Don’t forget to take pictures. If you know someone with a good camera get them to take some nice shots of you and your partner and of all your family and friends, or you could even hire a photographer for an hour when the party is in full swing.
Make sure you take a moment while partying to have a cuddle with your partner and remind yourselves that you are at your engagement party. You’re getting married! Congratulations!
An engagement party is probably the first time your families and some friendship groups will meet each other so be ready to introduce people repeatedly and cringe when your Dad breaks out his signature moves after a few drinks.
Have some essential things on hand: tissues, aspirin, taxi numbers and bottles of water. It wouldn’t hurt to have some sleeping arrangements set up too, just in case people want to crash at your house if you are holding the party at home.
Finally, remember to have fun. Your engagement party is almost a test run for the big day, so see what works, who gets on (and who doesn’t) and let it guide you when it comes to planning the actual wedding.