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You’re wearing a new rock on that finger, and you and your fiancé want to celebrate the occasion with friends and family.
Everyone loves a lover, and the people close to you will obviously want to congratulate you and share your joy. An engagement party is also the perfect opportunity for “his” side to meet “her” side and create a new “our” friends and family group. It’s a nice time for people to get to know each other before the wedding.
Anyone can host an engagement party for the happy couple. Traditionally, either one or both sets of parents host the event, but these days, families may live too far apart. The couple themselves or one of their friends can also throw an engagement party. The only rule is, the host pays for the event. (Please, no BYOB.)
Optimally, the engagement party should happen equidistance between the proposal and the wedding, while the couple is still basking in the glow of amour and before the start of wedding-planning frenzy. Send out the invitations a month before the event. It’s nice when the invitation reflects the general theme of the party. With regard to invitations, whoever gets invited should also be invited to the wedding. That means you should have a well-developed wedding guest list before the engagement party.
For the best engagement party, keep it simple, fun, and casual!
When discussing creative engagement party ideas, there is one rule: don’t let the engagement party upstage the wedding. Think of it as wedding party lite. For the best engagement party, keep it simple, fun, and casual. Of course, if the wedding itself will be on a grand scale, you can always tune it up a notch. And remember, no gifts. If a guest should arrive with a present, discreetly take it aside to be opened at some other time. This will keep other guests from feeling uncomfortable.
Incidentally, if you are hiring wedding vendors for the engagement party, they can serve as a “test run” for any needed wedding vendors. If they do an excellent job, keep them in mind for the big day itself.
Be sure to have a photographer capture every magical moment.
An engagement party can be thrown anywhere. Here are some unique and creative ideas:
Wine tastings are a fun way to socialize, and they are informative, as well. Hosting an engagement party at a wine club keeps it simple, since the venue will do all the work for you.
You can also host your own wine tasting party. Half a dozen different types of wine are enough, going from light to dark. It’s nice to have all the wine from the same region. Each tasting will require a fresh glass, so you’ll probably want to rent enough stemware.
Allow enough time between tastings for palate-cleansing snacks and discussion. Cheese, crackers, and fruits make the perfect food accompaniment.
For a really creative engagement party, rent a suite at your favorite ballpark. You can enjoy a lovely dinner, toast the new couple, then cheer on your favorite team.
It’s upscale and the perfect opportunity to mingle. Rooting for the hometown team equals instant bonding, where in-laws turn into family in a nanosecond.
Restaurants and museums frequently rent out rooftops for special events. Enjoy a meal of light and varied hors d’oeuvres as the sun sets. If possible, allow for an open bar. This is a very elegant-type venue, so make sure it doesn’t upstage the wedding venue itself. If possible, hire a DJ for entertainment and dancing under the stars.
You can string up rows of twinkling lights, but these may compete with the lights of the city. Definitely a memorable way for family and friends to come together.
If you live near water, a sunset ocean or river dinner cruise is pure enchantment. It’s intimate enough so that people will mingle and get to know one another. And a cruise, even for a few hours, just takes you out of the real world.
If the wedding venue is also a cruise, this can pave the way. As long as the wedding cruise is fancier. This is easily done by keeping the menu simple, perhaps appetizers or desserts only. You can then indulge in a full-menu dining experience during the actual wedding cruise.
Nothing says celebration like champagne. Gather up the family and close friends and toast in style. The nice thing about a brunch buffet is the incredibly wide selection of great food. Just keep the bubbly flowing. Check with the restaurant and see if you can arrange for some decorative centerpieces for your tables.
This is a fun party you can easily put together in your own home.
Provide your guests with sombreros and arrange for a taco bar with all the trimmings. Taco chips and dips can be arranged around the house. And supply unlimited tequila and margaritas. Ole!
Decorate the room with dessert cacti and maracas. Toward the end of the party, arrange for the happy couple to break open a piñata. The piñata can be filled with wishes and relationship advice from the guests. For a bit of extra fun, sneak a saucy piece of underwear into the piñata.
If word of your engagement hasn’t flooded social media, invite friends and family members for a simple backyard BBQ. Then, actually prepare a BBQ feast with all the fixings. When everyone is gathered, have the father of bride stand and make a special announcement. His little girl is getting married. Imagine the surprise!
Surprises are always fun. Combine them with some BBQ ribs, and you have an instant party. After the feast, set up a dance floor and arrange for a DJ to spin some fun dance tunes.
Who doesn’t love a beach party? For an engagement party, keep the decorations nautical, with seashells and hurricane lamps. The food should come from the briny deep, whether it is lobster or tuna fish sandwiches.
Arrange for tables to pick up the ocean colors with tablecloths in hues of aqua and pale green. All you really need is the sound of the waves and the sand beneath your feet. Champagne would be nice, as well.
There’s nothing like a black and white engagement party as a precursor to a black and white wedding. It’s like previews of coming attractions. Just keep it more casual. Instead of black tie, make it black jeans and white top.
Incorporate the theme by keeping the decorations all black and white, such as black and white balloons and streamers. The food should follow the color scheme, as well. This would work great for a dark chocolate dessert bar. Oreo cake, anyone?
Paul McCartney knew no one ever gets tired of silly love songs. Invite your guests to a karaoke bar or set up a karaoke machine in your home and start singing about love. Everyone participates, and everyone will have a blast. Love songs are a must.
Keep the food simple. Pizza and beer should be perfect. Pretzels and peanuts as snacks.
Sometimes, the familiar is best. You want to be where everyone knows your name. Celebrate with friends and family at your local bar, where people can mingle, indulge in a game of darts or pool, and the beer on tap never runs out. The fare should be simple but delicious burgers.
Dancing on top of the bar is fun but optional.