Engagement Party Ideas

Once the initial excitement of your engagement begins to settle down, the next item on the agenda (if you decide you’ll be having a party to celebrate) is deciding on exactly how you will be celebrating, and working out the engagement party theme.

Engagement party flag in multi coloured theme

This includes figuring out the time of day, formality, guest list and your budget among other decisions. Most importantly however the event should represent your personal style as a couple and be something that you both will enjoy. This will involve going through the range of engagement party themes and identifying one that encapsulates you and your fiancés personalities. It also helps to plan something that you know most or all of your family and friends will also enjoy.

To help you with the engagement party planning we’ve detailed below some of the most popular types of celebrations you can hold to spark your engagement party ideas.


The Garden Party

Couples with a relaxed and casual vibe will love the idea of hosting a celebration within the comfort of their own home – or their parents. Depending on the time of year, garden engagement parties can be held during the day and involve a sizzling barbecue lunch or delectable sandwiches and picnic food.

Garden party theme, with table setting.

A garden party can also be more formal especially if you opt to hire caterers. In this instance champagne and appetisers can circulate while guests mingle on the lawn. However your catering doesn’t have to be anything too fancy, hiring food vans for functions is now a current event trend and is sure to please your guests.

The formality of your garden party really depends on your budget and what you wish to achieve. For some casual attire and humble food complete with an impromptu game of backyard cricket is ideal. While for others stunning marquees paired with luscious hors d’oeuvres are perfect.

The Formal Dinner Party

A formal dinner party is perfect for the couple who loves to eat out. Hosting a dinner at a reception venue or restaurant will allow your guests to mingle over a beautifully set menu. Less ‘rowdy’ than a party your guests will be able to enjoy each other’s company and get familiar with one another. Acting as a pre cursor to your wedding reception your family in particular will love an opportunity to catch up.

Table set for an event party or wedding reception

Having a formal dinner at a reception venue or restaurant will take the guessing work out of coming up with engagement party food ideas. Aside from enjoying a fabulously cooked meal, a formal dinner also gives all of your guests an excuse to dress up which they’re bound to love.

Your guests are likely to also appreciate the thought that goes into holding and planning a formal dinner as well.

The Cocktail Party

The classic cocktail party held in common engagement party venues such as a function room at a reception venue or restaurant is perfect for fun loving couples. Appetisers accompanied by flowing drinks and good music make a cocktail party entertaining for all in attendance. Cocktail parties allow guests to drink, mingle and dance if the setting is right.

Cocktail party theme with outdoor table setting

While some cocktail parties can be just as successful minus the music we think there’s no better excuse to dance the night away then to be celebrating your impending nuptials. A cocktail party can be held on most budgets it just requires careful selection of your venue and accounting for the alcohol and food costs.

Opting for a package rather than a full bar is a great way to work around a budget. It is important when organising a cocktail engagement party to ensure there is adequate seating available as not everyone will want to stand for the entirety of the party, especially elder family members. The allure of holding a cocktail party is also that it allows couples to really enhance and play around with their engagement party decorations.

An Informal Gathering

Hosting an engagement party need not be anything grand. The true reason behind holding an engagement get together is to share in the joy of your future wedding and the commitment you will be making with your nearest and dearest.

Generally etiquette suggests that you only invite people to your engagement party that will be invited to the wedding however this has become more flexible in recent years. One great way to avoid a guest list dilemma is to have a small engagement celebration with only family and close friends and if you’re really narrowing it down just immediate family. Modest couples will enjoy basking in their bliss with those who matter most in a less structured setting.

Hosting an informal gathering could be lunch at a winery, a group dinner at a restaurant or even a picnic in a park. Something that truly represents you as a couple and suits your family and close friends is best.

Picnic party setting, popcorn on table outdoors.

There are a range of ways you can choose to celebrate your engagement, from informal to formal and everything in between what matters most is that you and you’re partner celebrate in a way befitting your relationship, personality, financial situation and values.

If a lavish engagement party isn’t your style than a casual meal shared with friends and family might be all you need.

You may also view our essential tips to planning your ideal engagement party.

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