Whether it’s your engagement party or a friend’s engagement party, there are a few essential steps you need to take to make sure everything goes to plan. Making a checklist will help to ensure you don’t miss out any vital components for this special occasion.
What is an engagement party?
After a couple announces their engagement, it’s common to host an engagement party. This is a time for friends and family to gather and celebrate together. It can also be the time when the couple determines who will be part of their wedding party.
In some cultures, the engagement party is a very important part of the wedding planning and festivities can go on for days. Everyone will have a part to play in making this a special occasion for the happy couple.
How do you plan an engagement party?
In Western culture, the engagement party is traditionally hosted by the Bride’s family, but this task can also be undertaken by the couple or the couple’s friends. If you’re thinking about planning an engagement party for a friend or family member, check with them first to make sure there isn’t already one in the works.
When you’re ready to start planning the party, make sure you follow this checklist…
Finalise the guestlist
Yes, the guestlist is the first thing to consider as this will influence other factors such as the venue and the required budget for catering. If you’re working with a strict budget, work backwards and determine how many people you can afford to invite and then build the guest list from there.
Leave room in the guestlist planning for last minute drop outs and unexpected attendees. If you’re too strict with the numbers, you risk upsetting people or wasting money.
Pick your location
Now you know how many people you’ll be inviting, it’s time to start looking for a location. For a smaller gathering, you could book a table at a favourite restaurant. For larger groups, you’ll want to choose a private function room. And for very large events, you might host it in your own home.
Hosting the party in a home is an excellent choice as you’ll have complete control and it can save you a lot of money for other things like decorations and food.
Decide on the format
Will you be hosting a buffet? Cocktails and nibbles? A summer BBQ with fun party games? Decide on the format of your event so you can start to think about hiring a catering company or managing the cooking yourself.
If you’re hosting the party in a bar, decide how much money you will put behind the bar for the guests to get drinks. Or you could ask the venue for a deal on champagne and beer and serve guests a drink when they arrive. You might always want to ask the venue about nibbles to go with the food.
Plan the decorations
If you are hosting the event somewhere that allows decorations, think about who will be responsible for this, and who will be responsible for dressing the venue. It’s time to start asking your most creative friends for their input and support.
You can find inexpensive decorations from Amazon such as balloon arches and glitter backdrops. Remember, if you’re hosting the party at a bar or restaurant, you’ll also have to think about who will be in charge of the cleanup. Don’t assume that the venue will include this as it could ruin the end of the night if there is a miscommunication.
Send the invitations
Some people like to announce their engagement at the same time as they send out the party invites. This is a fun way to combine two announcements and save money on printing and postage. Having an engagement photoshoot in advance of your party announcement will allow you to include these photos on your party invitations.
While lots of people will have seen your announcement on social media, they will also love to receive an official invitation with a photo of the happy couple. Remember to include all of the relevant information, including whether gifts are welcome. While you can’t demand gifts, you can let people know if they aren’t necessary, so if this isn’t mentioned on the invite they can assume that gifts are welcome.
Delegate tasks on the day
When it comes to hosting the event, make sure everyone knows what they are responsible for to help take the stress of one individual. If the whole party falls on one person’s shoulders, they will be the only person that doesn’t get a chance to enjoy it. Delegate tasks so that everyone can enjoy the party.
Capture the memories
You might have a photobooth, a guestbook or some other creative way to capture memories of the special occasion. The engagement party is a trial run for the wedding day, so you could start a tradition at this event that carries through to the wedding day.