Essential tips to planning your ideal engagement party
So your partner has finally popped the question – you are officially engaged! Once the immediate whirlwind of emotions you’re experiencing dies down you might be overwhelmed with thoughts of what comes next and where do I start? To make your life easier we’ve compiled a list of the basics to planning your engagement party.
First things first, decide with your fiancé what kind of engagement party you wish to hold. There are many options that cater to the style and needs of every couple whether you wish to have a sit-down dinner at a restaurant, a chic cocktail party or an informal gathering at your house there are no rules. Your engagement party is a time for your two families to come together and get to know one another so choose a setting that suits both your families and will create a comfortable atmosphere for them to bond.
Creating a Guest List
Once you have decided the style of your engagement party and if need be sourced a venue, it’s time to put together a guest list. This can be extremely tricky and might be bound by your venues restrictions. Bear in mind when creating your guest list you need to invite only guests who you intend on inviting to your wedding. It’s not a good look if someone gets an invite to your engagement and is then later excluded from your wedding. Carefully think through the reactions you are going to encounter before finalising your list, while it is your engagement and future wedding every decision has repercussions.
Announcing Your Celebration
Your engagement invitations should represent the tone of your celebration. The formality of your invitations really depends on the style of your engagement party.
Simple, unique or elaborate it’s all the same as long as you are happy with your selection and it fits the vibe you wish to create for your engagement party. Also, before you get sending allow your guests at least one month’s notice.
Selecting a Menu
Whether you’re hiring caters, preparing food yourself or choosing a menu at your chosen venue consider your guests dietary requirements first. If you’re hosting an engagement party at home the options are endless. You can serve a family style buffet, a non-fuss barbecue or have finger food circulating for the whole evening. You can even theme your food to match the style of the engagement party, your heritage or just your favourite cuisine.
Image Courtesy of Patricia Figueira http://www.flickr.com/photos/20770235@N04
Decorating Your Party
Choose a style that fits your engagement party location and have fun with it. You don’t want your engagement party to act as a dress rehearsal for your wedding so if you already have visions for your big day why not go the opposite for your engagement! Understated or over the top, pick a theme and run with it. You’ll also be surprised at how easy and great budget friendly DIY decorations can be.
Picking the Tunes
Music might not be necessary at your engagement party but if it is you don’t have to just hire a DJ. You can put a few play lists together on your iPod with the help of some friends or even pay a local DJ an agreed price to put some music together for you on a disc. If you’re hosting a casual celebration in the comfort of your own home and really not fussed you can even just have the radio on in the background.
Entertaining Your Guests
If your families or friends are meeting for the first time or still getting better acquainted offering your guest some entertainment will help break the ice. Photo booths are a huge engagement and wedding trend in Australia right now and are a great way for your guests to loosen up and have some fun at your wedding. If you don’t want the costs associated with hiring a booth you can easily put one together yourself by providing some props and using a sheet of fabric as a backdrop. Another clever idea is to provide guests with disposable cameras that they can capture their own images throughout the course of your party. If you’re hosting a party in your back yard you can also set up some games to keep your guests amused, like a putting competition or darts.
Capturing the Moment
Hiring a photographer for your engagement party is purely an individual choice. You may not view it as a necessary expense and rather request friends or relatives to take pictures throughout the party themselves. However if you really want a photographer but your budget is holding you back, you can find more and more local photographers online who are willing to capture your occasion for relatively low prices as they are starting out in the industry and looking to build up their portfolios. It’s a win-win for both you and the photographer. You might even be able to negotiate a reasonable fee with a photographer to capture your engagement party based on a limited time period, for instance a mere two hours will be enough time for a photographer to get some great photos of your event. Either way be sure someone has a camera in their hand to catch all the excitement of your engagement party!