You’re engaged! Congratulations! With all the excitement bottled up from the big event, you are probably dying for ways to share the news and celebrate with all your closest family and friends. Your engagement party is probably the first chance for you to get family and friends from both sides together for a celebration. With that in mind, you will want to plan your engagement party as a meet-and-greet type event with lots of opportunities for socializing and mixing- and of course, celebrating! We know that planning this first element can be overwhelming as you want to set the stage for the main event and the wedding planning extravaganza that is soon approaching (or may have already begun.) So here’s a short list of engagement party dos and don’ts.
- Plan your party with hors d’oeuvre or buffet-style meals. We love the idea of having little stations of food throughout your space allowing for guests to sample multiple dishes while mingling and meeting new friends. Quick and ready-to-serve stations are ideal because they won’t take away from the social aspect of the event and they will stay fresh and edible throughout the entire party.
- Use small cocktail tables rather than a banquet setting. This encourages your guests to mix, mingle, eat and dance…sounds like the perfect celebration to us!
- Choose a color scheme. Not all engagement parties call for a theme because most likely your theme will simply be “celebration!” We do encourage you to think of a basic color scheme to guide your planning and create a put-together cohesive look for the event. For the engagement party, you don’t need to overdo it, but you can take it as an opportunity to test out some of your wedding color schemes in floral or décor. A simple and cost-effective boost to any event is candles, so don’t be afraid to light it up.
- Offer small desserts. A formal dessert plate with a nice slice of cake may sound delightful, but save that for the big day. You’ll want your engagement party dessert to be small and sweet. Think about cupcakes, cookies, macaroons, fresh fruit, or even a selection of your favorite candies in fun jars where guests can load up a bag of their favorite treats to take home.
- Enjoy yourself and celebrate!
- Don’t use a seating arrangement for this event, if you place guests in groups they are familiar with they will be less likely to branch out and meet your fiancé’s friends and family.
- Don’t overdo it — be careful not to overspend! Remember you still have a wedding to throw so save your best ideas for the real deal. Don’t waste valuable money and time on your engagement party. An intimate gathering with quality food, drinks, and loved ones will do!
- Don’t invite guests who won’t be invited to the wedding. Everyone who is invited to this celebration should be invited to the wedding as well.
- Don’t expect gifts. Traditionally, guests do not bring gifts to the engagement party, although some will. Don’t expect guests to check off your registry must-haves at the party. If guests decide to bring a small gift, open it in private to respect those who did not bring a gift to the event. You can also have the host include a “no gifts” memo on the invitation to clear up any confusion.
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