Your engagement party is a fun way to celebrate your commitment to the one you love most, but with the wedding looming in the near future, it can be tricky to figure out where the necessary time (and money) is going to come from! So we’ve broken it down for you so that you can have a fun, stress free engagement. Read on for help, or browse our blog for more unique engagement party ideas.
First thing’s first
Sometimes we have questions, and that’s okay. Let’s start by answering some of these preliminary questions about an engagement party so that we’re all on the same page.
What is an engagement party?
An engagement party is a gathering of yours and your fiancé’s loved ones to celebrate your engagement and intention to marry (you don’t have to have set a wedding date to be able to throw an engagement party).
Who hosts an engagement party?
Traditionally it is the bride’s parents who host an engagement party, but today it is quite common for both parents, friends, or the couple themselves to host. Some couples may even end up having more than one engagement party if friends choose to throw one for a special group of friends, or if the parents would prefer to host an intimate gathering with just family.
Who do you invite to an engagement party?
You may want your engagement party to be a small, intimate gathering where you can relax and save money before a big wedding. Conversely, you could use the engagement party (which is cheaper per head) to invite all your distant relatives, work colleagues and acquaintances for a big bash and let everyone know that your wedding will be a small affair (be sure to advertise this detail though, or some people may be offended when they don’t receive a wedding invitation). If parents are paying they may want some say in the guest list so make sure you sit down with all relevant parties and agree on a plan to avoid confusion and offence.
What to take to an engagement party?
Let the engagement invitation be your guide but if the invitation is vague, it is okay to seek clarification from the bridal party. Most people will bring a gift (refer to invitation for any requests) but you don’t have to. The invitation will usually also include a dress code and anything else you should bring. Specific themes or locations may dictate bringing/avoiding certain items (i.e. a garden party may recommend flat shoes or wedges as opposed to high heels, or you may be asked to bring a picnic rug).
What is an engagement party for/what is the purpose of an engagement party?
The purpose of an engagement party is to celebrate the upcoming marriage of an engaged couple, and for both families and sets of friends to get familiar before the wedding day (especially if people are travelling from a distance).
You may want special engagement announcement cards instead of just engagement party invitations to announce your upcoming marriage. That’s totally okay and whether you’re looking for cute engagement announcements, unique engagement announcements, creative engagement announcements or photo engagement announcements, Paperlust have the perfect design for you. The best engagement announcements are short and simple. Browse Pinterest or even ask friends for some creative inspiration on how to create an engagement announcement that is truly you. If you’re super organised you could even combine your engagement announcements with save the dates.
A theme will determine your entire engagement, so if you are looking for elegant engagement party ideas, consider:
- Engagement cocktail party ideas
- Fall engagement party ideas
- Retro theme engagement party ideas
- Rustic engagement party ideas
- All white engagement party ideas
- Christmas engagement party ideas
- Casino theme engagement party ideas
A Christmas engagement party with themed holiday engagement party invitations, or a retro party invitation may seem tacky but, done right, it can be magical. You could create a Christmas winter wonderland or if you’re going for retro, you could select elegant vintage engagement party decorations to complement your venue. Inexpensive engagement party ideas can still be classy and a great idea is a fall themed engagement party. Engagement party ideas for fall can range from simple leaf designs gathered from friends’ gardens, to hiring a decorator to transform a venue into a autumn paradise (similar decorations would work for rustic engagement parties). Another affordable theme is black and white, and there’s nothing stopping you from having your engagement party in your parents’ backyard!
Whether you’re after simple engagement postcards, funny party invitations, very elegant party invitations or party invitations with pictures, an engagement party invitation should reflect the personalities of you and your partner. A party invite card can say a lot about you and engagement photo cards are worth a thousand words. Speaking of words, do you have your invitation wording just right?
Remember to include all the essential information:
- Where (directions at bottom if necessary)
- Dress code
- RSVP details
- Gift preferences (optional)
- Extra info/special instructions
The formality of your event (or lack of) determines the invitation wording. Wording like, “Alex and Sally request the pleasure of your presence on the twenty-sixth of October 2018 at Mount Duneed Estate…” would be out of place for a engagement barbecue in your backyard. Instead try something more like, “Come celebrate our engagement with a BBQ dinner on 26 October 2017…” If you are going to state gift preferences on the invitation, make sure that it is worded tactfully.
Paperlust also offers designs for engagement shower invitations, cheap bachelorette party invitations, cheap moving announcements, cheap retirement invitations and funny party invites.
Time and place
Engagement celebrations don’t have to be overly fancy affairs. If you and your partner are planning a less formal wedding (perhaps a morning or afternoon tea wedding), consider having a brunch engagement party or hosting your engagement party at home. If you are planning an engagement brunch, the party is most likely going to be pretty casual, so your engagement brunch invitations should match. Stick to Digital Printing on Paperlust Matte to save money and keep your event a low key affair. Engagement parties at home can end up being the most intimate, warm events to celebrate your love.
On the other hand, engagement is a big deal, so why not go all out? Pinterest has some beautiful engagement dinner ideas and once you are inspired you can browse the Paperlust website for luxury engagement dinner invitations to really wow your guests. If you are wanting to make a splash, you may be considering an engagement ceremony. Different cultures have various engagement ceremony ideas but if you are traditional and plan to have an engagement ceremony, consider something short and sincere that will add to your day (and not take away from the wedding ceremony itself). For an upscale engagement party venue, you could consider a restaurant, function room, hotel ballroom, winery or rooftop bar – whichever feels right.
Once you have a theme, you are able to plan your decorations accordingly. There is nothing wrong with simple engagement party ideas, so don’t feel pressure to go overboard. Plenty of engagement decoration images are available on the web and in magazines so the first step is collecting some to create a mood board, then finding decorations. Some decorations can be made and sourced from friends and family, like vintage and rustic engagement party decorations, or black and white decorations. Either way, when planning your engagement party, ensure that you have divided the budget accurately between decorations, food and drinks, invitations and venue hire, depending on your priorities. Time to hit the engagement party supply store!
Indicating preferences for engagement celebration gifts can be awkward, let’s be honest. You don’t want to sound rude, but you also don’t want people to spend their hard earned money on an engagement party gift that you aren’t going to use. You may have been searching ‘gifts engagement party’ but we’re here to tell you that etiquette states that it’s okay to share preferences for engagement announcement gifts with your guests. Using phrasing such as, “All we require is your presence, but if you would like to bless us with a gift, we would appreciate…” is a great way to communicate that there is no pressure, while indicating the kind of gift that would be helpful, including requests for donations to a wishing well, or gifts along a theme (like ‘books for our library’).
If you are looking for an engagement gift that is truly personal, why not consider monogrammed engagement gifts, such as towels or mugs? The internet is a wonderful place for customized engagement gifts, so take a look at online stores to get the ideas flowing for engagement gifts.
Saying thank you
As the engaged couple, you will most likely feel overwhelmed by the love, attention and gifts you receive at your engagement party, so decide beforehand on a way to thank your guests. A few ways to say thank you are:
- Polaroids of you with each guest – ‘thank you’ on the top and the date on the bottom
- Simple and elegant thank you notes or thank you cards
- Individually wrapped chocolates (e.g. Ferrero Rocher) with ribbon and gift tags saying ‘thank you’
- Satin/mesh drawstring bag of old fashioned boiled lollies
As a guest, you may want to write a thank you note for engagement party host. The best time for this is the week following the engagement party so that the bride and groom can read it in peace and really appreciate it.
Now you are all set to celebrate your engagement in style!