Tips for Planning an Engagement Party

Just got engaged? Congratulations! Now, prepare yourself for a whirlwind of celebrating, romance and never-ending “To Do” lists. The first thing you should tackle? Throwing your engagement party! Often, a friend or family member will plan the couple’s engagement party, but it’s not unheard of to plan one for yourself, either. No matter who’s soiree it is, yours or someone else’s, follow these tips to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

Photo courtesy of London Jewelers.

Photo courtesy of London Jewelers.

Do We Need An Engagement Party?

No, of course not - engagement parties are expected, but not mandatory, so you may be considering skipping it altogether. However, consider these three perks to having an engagement party:

1. You can share your starry eyed excitement with all of the people you love.

2. Family members from your side and your groom’s side can meet for the first time, which is a much better way to break the ice than trying to make introductions on your actual wedding day.

3. You can use the affair as a platform to ask your potential bridesmaids and groomsmen to be in your bridal party.

Who Should I Invite?

There’s really no set size for an engagement party - it can be as large or small as you want it to be. You don’t have to invite all of the people who will be invited to the wedding, but whoever’s invited to the engagement party should also be invited to the wedding - got it? Aside from that, there are really no rules - host an intimate dinner for ten, throw a backyard barbecue with every one of your friends and family members…whatever feels right!

Do I Need To Send Formal Invitations?

How you invite guests can be a reflection of the party’s formality. For a casual party, an e-vite is completely fine. For a more formal affair, mail out invitations at least three weeks in advance. You can also include on the invitation the type of attire that’s expected - some guests won’t be able to tell how formal of an event it is from the style of the invitation alone.

Photo courtesy of eclatevents.blogspot.com.

Photo courtesy of eclatevents.blogspot.com.

What Exactly Occurs At An Engagement Party?

Engagement parties are about mixing and mingling, catching up with people you haven’t seen in a while and sharing your engagement story. There’s no need to plan games or set aside time for any specific event, unless you want to. For example, some couples like to have a “Bride and Groom Trivia” game to break the ice. Also, it’s traditional for one or two guests to make a toast, including the father of the bride. Whatever you plan for the engagement party, just make sure that drinks and food are available! You can either have a cocktail party with appetizers only or a full sit-down dinner. 

Photo courtesy of Etsy.

Photo courtesy of Etsy.

Does the Engagement Party Theme Have To Match the Wedding Theme?

Nope, and actually, it shouldn’t! You don’t necessarily need an engagement party theme, but if you have one, have fun with it - don’t opt for the same style that your wedding’s going to be (if you even know what style that is yet). If you don’t want a themed party, you can just choose a color scheme to stick with. A lot of couples like to do the opposite of what they’re planning for their wedding day. For example, if you know you’re going to have a casual garden party wedding, the engagement party can be super sophisticated and chic.