Select a venue.
Classic venues include a restaurant or a home, but less traditional places work well, too. Also consider someplace non-traditional, such as an art gallery, a botanical garden, or even a skating rink. Just make sure that it matches the level of formality you want to have with the event. It should also complement the wedding well, being a good opening act to the main event. If your wedding is extremely formal or a destination wedding, consider a less formal at-home celebration or quirky celebration to add a little variety.
Decide what your menu will look like.
For a simple menu, a few ideas include buffet items, hors d’oeuvres, or a cookout. Of course, you can always decide on if you’d like something more elaborate—who is anyone to stop you? Just make sure that you’ve got, at the very least, small bites and drinks. If you don’t plan on serving a full course meal, note this on the invitation, too. It’s none too fun to expect to have food served at an event only to realize that it wasn’t a part of the event or celebration. A couple of ideas include an afternoon party with chips, dip, and margaritas. Another idea is desserts and champagne, which is simple, classy, and to the point.
Add a personal touch.
See if you can add a special touch to the event, such as a song that the bride and groom love, or food items that have special meaning (i.e., a certain cuisine that the couple had on an important date). It will add a personal touch and make the event more memorable for the bride and groom.
Decorate if possible.
You can always work with a florist to create an arrangement that complements the venue well, or you can consider making a few items yourself. If the wedding theme is already set, for example, why not include a DIY element that gives a nod to the wedding theme? If the wedding will be a destination wedding on the beach, why not add a few seashells on the tables, courtesy of a local arts and crafts store?
Assign duties for the day of the event.
While most engagement parties don’t utilize the efforts of a videographer or professional photographer, some do. If yours does, then add “finding a videographer and/or photographer” to your list of duties and your budget . You might also need assistance with collecting gifts or setting up, so find the people you feel would do the best with these tasks and ask them during the planning process, allowing for enough time to let them know about their duties. Don’t be afraid to delegate, darling.
This will be the first official event at which the bride and groom will make an appearance, so the “pressure” is on to look the part. Just as the venue should match how formal the event will be, the dress of the bride and groom should as well. If it is an outdoor summer gathering, casual works well, and, for formal, dressier fare will do. Just make sure that the bride and the groom stand out from the rest of the guests, because it is their show.
The engagement party is the ready, set, go to the start of wedding planning. With that being said, don’t be afraid to plan a fun and free gathering of people who are as happy as you are to celebrate the love of your son, daughter, friend, or, if it’s you, dear bride and groom who are planning to wed (you!). Relax and take in the festivities, because this really is just the beginning of a time period that will be filled with so many emotions that eventually settle to the tune of relief, happiness, calm, passion, and devotion.
We offer a wide array of engagement party invitations that will suit your wishes. Feel free to take a look at the selection here.
For more tips on how to plan an engagement party, check out this Martha Stewart article.