If you have recently gotten engaged, you are most likely thinking about how you will celebrate your recent engagement with family and friends. Your engagement party is the perfect opportunity to bring those who you love together to share in your excitement. There are many ways you can throw an engagement party, and you should consider all of your options. Will you go the traditional route, or decide on something more out of the box? Are you on a budget? Should it be casual or fancier? These questions are important to keep in mind, and we have some helpful ideas for all kinds of engagement parties. No matter what theme or idea you choose, throwing an engagement party to fit your personality will create a memorable experience for both you and your guests.
TRADITIONAL OR NONTRADITIONAL?
No one says that you have to do everything by the book, and many people choose to go the nontraditional route for both their engagement party and their weddings. On the other hand, you don’t have to come up with the most original engagement party, either, if you don’t want to. Traditional and nontraditional engagement parties can both be huge successes.
There is nothing wrong with throwing an engagement party that has its roots in tradition. While having a backyard barbeque or reserving space in a restaurant are not unique engagement party ideas, they are excellent choices none the less.
UPSCALE COCKTAIL RECEPTION:
Having a more formal engagement party that is still simple is a
popular choice for engaged couples. Cocktail parties can be easy to throw together and create an environment that encourages mingling among friends and family.
A backyard barbeque is the perfect setup for couples that want something low key and casual. What better way to celebrate your recent engagement than with friends and family in a relaxed environment? The nice thing about backyard barbeques is that you can save money on food while still impressing your friends with your savory grill recipes.
Reserving space at a nice restaurant is another common choice
for engagement parties, and some couples even choose the restaurant where they actually got engaged. The best part about booking space at a restaurant is that you don’t have to worry about décor, furnishing, or food once you’re booked. However, you can always add your own touch by bringing your own fun decorations and party favors for guests.
Country clubs are not only for the rich, and they can be surprisingly affordable. Whether you choose a high end country club, or a more laid back venue, they are popular for throwing parties because of their space and easy to serve style. Country club engagement parties tend to be more formal than other options, so make sure that you state on the
invitation what the dress code is for the event.
ON A BOAT:
Have a nautical inspired engagement party by inviting guests to step aboard a fancy boat for the night. The pictures will be stunning, the venue is intimate, and many boat rentals have inclusive packages that provide you with food, music, and decorations.
ON A ROOFTOP:
This is a romantic setting, and one that will surely impress
your friends because it isn’t as common for engagement parties. A benefit of rooftop parties is that they can be both casual and swanky. You can hire waiters to serve the guests and request that it be a black tie event, or you can have a simple gathering of friends under some cute string lights. The important thing to keep in mind with rooftop a backup plan for inclement weather.
If your idea of a good time is to hit up all the local bars for a fun night out with pals, an engagement party bar crawl might be for you. This option is great for engagement parties with a smaller guest list and those on the younger side. Make sure to have a plan for cabs at the end of the night to ensure that your guests get home safe.
ON A BUDGET?
Engagement parties can be expensive or inexpensive, and it is
up to you to decide how much you want to spend on your party. Some newly engaged couples want to save more for the big day and spend little on the engagement party, while others want to throw a party without worrying about the cost. Here are some budget friendly options for those who don’t want to go all out, but who still want a great engagement party.
BUDGET FRIENDLY ENGAGEMENT PARTIES
POTLUCK STYLE ENGAGEMENT PARTY:
Have guests bring a recipe and celebrate your engagement potluck style. This will cut down on food expenses, which are usually the biggest expense when it comes to engagement parties. It is also fun to see what everyone decides to bring to your party. Have your guests RSVP and say what they are bringing so that there isn’t any overlap.
CAMP OUT ENGAGEMENT PARTY:
Provide all the ingredients for s’mores, hotdogs, chips,
and other campout food while celebrating in the outdoors. This is a low budget option and also enjoyable for those who love the outdoors.
BRUNCH ENGAGEMENT PARTY:
Breakfast foods are relatively inexpensive meals compared to dinner and lunch options. Choose a restaurant known for delicious brunch food, or host brunch in your home for an even cheaper option. Don’t forget to serve mimosas!
Engagement parties can get expensive even when you’re trying to keep a budget in mind. Here are some other helpful tips for throwing an inexpensive engagement party:
KEEP THE ENGAGEMENT PARTY SMALL:
This will cut down costs on catering, which can be the most expensive part of any event. It can also increase the intimacy of the group.
CHOOSE A VENUE THAT’S ALREADY DECORATED:
Minimize rental costs by choosing venues that are already
furnished and decorated. If you want, you can always personalize the venue with your own unique touches.
SERVE APPETIZERS RATHER THAN MEALS:
Many people opt to serve hors d’oeuvres and appetizers rather than hire caterers to serve meals to guests. This is perfectly normal and helps reduce the cost of the engagement party. Schedule your party in between meals and state that hors d’oeuvres will be served on the invitation so that guests know in advance.
A PARTY TO FIT YOUR PERSONALITY
POTLUCK STYLE ENGAGEMENT PARTY:
Your engagement party should fit your personality and be memorable to you. Here are some fun themes and party ideas for you to consider for your engagement party:
GO BACK IN TIME
Pick any decade and have a great time finding decorations and music that fit the theme. The 1920s were a particularly stylish decade, and this themed party is a fun idea for anyone who enjoys dressing up. Make sure to give your guests plenty of time to put together a costume for the bash.
A hula bash or luau party is a great choice for those who are considering Hawaii as a honeymoon destination. Even if you haven’t thought about your honeymoon yet, this is a fun theme that you can do a lot with. You can serve Pina Coladas and eat roasted pig for a taste of Hawaii. Invite your guests to your engagement party with these beach themed invitations from TheAmericanWedding.com to give them a hint of what’s to come.
Bust out the cotton candy and popcorn with this fun engagement theme idea. Carnival themes are fun because there are so many cute ideas for you to come up with, and the pictures are sure to be Instagram worthy. These carnival themed candy apples would make great party favors or desserts for your guests. Set up some carnival games for your guests to enjoy as they celebrate your engagement.
If you know someone with a barn in great condition that has plenty of space for hosting people, consider decorating it to create a rustic chic engagement theme. This is a wonderful option for people living in a more rural setting, or for those who simply want to get away from the city.
This option is also fantastic if you have a large guest list or suspect your party might get loud. Check out this blog for some great ideas for a rustic-themed engagement party.
GET THE GUESTS INVOLVED
WINE TASTING PARTY:
This is a fun way to educate guests about wine and get them involved in your party. Not only will you and your guests have a great time tasting different wines, but it is also an unforgettable experience that will have them talking about your party long after it’s finished.
COOKING CLASS PARTY:
Learn a new cooking skill and eat what you’ve made afterwards with a cooking class engagement party. This can be an entertaining event for everyone involved and you can hire private chefs to come teach you how to make delicious food.
ICE CREAM PARLOR PARTY:
Set up a create your own ice cream station that allows your guests to come up with different versions of this romantic treat. Ice cream stations are fairly easy to set up and are a hit with guests of any age. If you’d rather not go to the trouble of setting up a station, plenty of local ice cream parlors offer to set up a
station for you and your guests.
IDEAS FOR THE SEASON
Engagement parties can be thrown during any time of the year, and it can be fun to take advantage of the season for theme ideas. You should plan your engagement party no later than three months after you have been proposed to, but there are a variety of ways to throw engagement parties based on the season. Whether it’s a cozy winter engagement party, or a lively spring soiree, you can tailor your engagement party to blend in beautifully with the season.
Spring is the perfect time for flowers, and you should take advantage of this if you’re planning an engagement party for the spring. Pretty pastel colors look great during this time, and your party will be most enjoyable during the daytime rather than at night. People tend to get tired of the dark days of winter and want to breathe in that fresh, spring air. Consider hosting your engagement party outside (with a backup plan in case of rain) with fun games to play such as ring toss or a three legged race. If you decide to have the party inside, look into incorporating earthy elements into your décor to bring the spring feeling inside.
Summer is the best time to take advantage of outdoor events. Hosting an engagement party on the rooftop isn’t practical during other times of the year because it will surely get too cold. Take advantage of the summer weather and host your party at night when temperatures are just right. This season is also the perfect time for barbeques, so keep that in mind when it comes to thinking about what food to serve your guests.
The beginning of fall is a wonderful time to host an engagement party, simply because of how beautiful everything is this time of year. The changing colors bring a cozy feel to the air as we get ready to bundle up with our loved ones. You can take advantage of this season by pairing the darker colors of fall (dark reds, greens, oranges, etc.) with a rustic chic style engagement party or a simple arrangement in your house serving a home cooked meal to guests.
The holidays that celebrate family are on our minds during winter, and this is a great time to host an engagement party, because family members that live far away might be more likely to attend. There are a variety of ways you can make your engagement party winter themed, such as serving chocolate peppermint martinis to your guests, or decorating the venue in gorgeous silver and gold colors. Winter also makes a beautiful backdrop for engagement photos for those who want to capture these moments.
THROWING AN AWESOME
Whether you choose a traditional restaurant setting or a jaunt on a cruise ship for your engagement party, it should be an enjoyable experience for everyone to celebrate your upcoming nuptials. There might be a lot that goes into planning an engagement party (invitations, catering, venue, etc.), but a lot of this is good practice for your wedding day. At the end of the day, you are with the person you love, and your party should reflect the love between the two of you.