Wedding planning season is in full swing. Many people find they are planning an engagement party and need help to do so. They have never thrown a party of this type before and have lots of questions. This ten-step guide provides everything a person needs to ensure the event is a huge success.
Pick a Host
The bride’s parents pay for the engagement party in most cases, but anyone can actually take on this task. The couple may want to host their own engagement party so they can show off the engagement rings and celebrate with those they love most. Today, some wedding planners choose to include this party as part of their overall package. Ask about this option when talking to wedding planners, as this may affect which one you choose to work with.
Choose a Date
Wedding planners suggest having this party soon after the engagement. Everyone is excited about the upcoming event, and the stress associated with planning a wedding has yet to kick in. However, if the engagement will be an extended one, or multiple people will need to travel to attend the party, set it for a later date to ensure everyone can attend.
Make the Guest List
Determine who will come to the engagement party. Anyone who attends the party will also need an invitation to the wedding. Many people choose to have a small engagement party and a larger wedding. When someone other than the engaged couple will be hosting this party, talk with them before any invitations are ordered.
Select a Location
The choice of venue depends on who will be invited. Venues come in all sizes and styles, which allows the couple to find a place where they feel comfortable. For some people, this will be a backyard at someone’s home. Another couple may want a formal event at the local country club. Either option works as long as the couple to be married is happy with it.
Establish a Gift Registry
Create a wish list for gifts, keeping the items on the list within reason. Save the big-ticket items for the wedding registry. However, don’t include the registry information in party invitations. While it is acceptable to ask that guests not bring gifts, leave the registry information for the wedding website or share this information verbally with others. Gift-giving remains optional for engagement parties.
Send invitations to the engagement party at least four weeks in advance and include an RSVP date. Couples may choose an e-vite for a casual event or formal invitations for a seated dinner. The engagement party invitations don’t need to match the wedding invitations, so pick something you love and go with it.
Choose the Menu
Most people expect to be fed at an engagement party, especially when alcohol will be served. Plated meals work well for formal engagement parties, while a cookout serves as the perfect option for a backyard party to celebrate the engagement. If the event will be a cocktail party, passed appetizers or a table with hors d’oeuvres is ample.
Select a Theme
Choose a theme and decor for the party. As with all other aspects of this event, the theme and decor can be simple or complicated. The purpose of the party is to have a good time with friends and family, so choose whatever items will help achieve that goal.
Pick an Outfit
Select an outfit appropriate for the venue. Women don’t need to wear white at the engagement party, so choose what makes you look and feel good. The future husband should choose an outfit that complements the bride-to-be’s clothing.
Enjoy the engagement party. If something goes wrong, nobody will care. Everyone has gathered to celebrate the engagement of two people they love. That’s all that is important at this event.
Don’t stress over planning an engagement party. There will be plenty to worry about when it comes to the actual wedding. View this party as a practice run for the big day so any kinks can be addressed before that time. Couples who view the party in this way have a great time and truly enjoy the gathering of their family and friends to celebrate their love.