If you are recently engaged, it’s time for the celebrations to begin! The first of many is often the engagement party, but what does that entail exactly? This party is a great way for friends and family to gather and get to know each other before the wedding while celebrating the newly-engaged couple. You can never go wrong with a classic party, but, personally, we love a themed engagement party that reflects the couple’s personalities.
Keep reading to discover a few general engagement party etiquette tips as well as how to host an unforgettable soiree.
When and where should the party take place?
There are many factors that come into play here including guest list, time of year, venue availability, and if you are throwing a themed engagement party or not. The party should take place within a few months of getting engaged while that feeling is fresh and isn’t too close to the other several wedding celebrations. Many times this celebration is held at the home of the group hosting, but can also be held at a restaurant or venue.
Who should host?
Anyone close to the couple can throw the party. Oftentimes it is parents, close friends, or sometimes the couple themselves.
Who is invited?
First, as an engagement party etiquette rule, make sure everyone you invite to this party is also invited to the actual wedding. The guest list can include parents, immediate family, other close family members, friends, members of the wedding party, and coworkers.
How to Host a Themed Engagement Party
Planning a party is a little easier — and a lot more fun — when you choose a theme and roll with it! Last year, our very own General Manager, Ellaina, said “yes” to her fiancé Brendon, so Matthew hosted an opulent and fabulous fête at his home. Because Ellaina and Brendon love to get all dressed up, we landed on a Great Gatsby/20s party. The theme was an ode to the current times reminiscent of the flamboyant celebrations happening now as they did in the 1920s.
When you host a themed engagement party, you can decide whether you want to go formal or casual. For Ellaina’s celebration, we went formal for invitations, decor, and attire, and casual for sips and bites. Guests received an invitation in the mail complete with sturdy navy cardstock, a modern scripted font, and a glimmering gold foil.
The mood was set as soon as guests made their way up the brick stairs. Ritzy chandeliers were draped along the walkway and in the trees for luxe mood lighting. Plush greenery and bright white hydrangeas carefully placed throughout the space added to the feeling of opulence. Dark velvet furniture lounges, gold accents, and a live piano player and soloist added to the true speakeasy feel.
When it comes to food and drink, you’ll want to consider bites that are accessible and filling. A display of heavy hors d’oeuvres is a great go-to and allows guests to mingle all night long and snack as they wish. Below, you’ll see delicious and easy appetizers that include goat cheese stuffed figs; skewers with cubed watermelon, feta, and cucumber; grilled pineapple with fresh mozzarella balls between rosemary stalks; deviled eggs, and an array of charcuterie.
For beverages, make the evening easy for you and for your friends and family by hiring a bartender and providing a hosted bar. Daniel from Hire a Host was the star bartender of the evening serving up a variety of wine and other libations. Two signature cocktails were served that were popular drinks during the Gatsby era: The French 75 and an Old Fashioned.
Guests indulged in a variety of tasty tartlets including chocolate pistachio, lemon meringue, and more. Ellaina and Brendon practiced their cake cutting skills with this art deco stunner from Hy-Vee that was just as decadent as it was glamorous.
Guests went all out on the costumes for the evening from head to toe. Many of the guests donned rhinestone headpieces that perfectly fit the 20s theme as well as fringed flapper dresses and dramatic pearl accessories. Several of the men wore button-up vests, cabbie hats, fedoras, and accessorised with pocket watches, suspenders, and pipes.
Between the grandiose decor, abundant drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and fabulous fashion, Ellaina and Brendon’s themed engagement party was one for the books! For more inspo, don’t miss Matthew’s top engagement party dos and don’ts here!
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