How to plan your engagement party in 5 easy steps!Image credits: Fields of Love Engagement Shoot by Carolien and Ben
You’re engaged! Yipee! Congratulations on your new status as fiance and welcome to one of the most exciting phases of your life! Planning your engagement party and then getting started with the fun of wedding planning!
Ok, now what? Getting caught up in the excitement of how to plan an engagement party can be pretty overwhelming. When your feet finally hit the ground as you return from cloud 9, and your heart begins to beat at it’s normal pace again, you’re likely to begin thinking “What next?”.
Unlike the agony that can arise from picking your dream engagement ring, what to do once you’re engaged needn’t be the same. For your first stop on the wedding train, to send you on your merry way, we have gathered some guidance on what to do before, during, and after you plan your engagement party! Beneath lies a few of the key steps to follow once you have said yes!
HOW TO PLAN YOUR ENGAGEMENT PARTY:
STEP 1: Go crazy!
The first, most compulsory, absolutely essential task that a newly engaged woman has to perform is: go crazy! Be in the moment – feel the happiness, cry your tears, let your heart sing, marvel at your ring, do cartwheels, take pictures of you as a newly betrothed couple, do what you may before spreading the news.
STEP 2: Announce your engagement
Before you rush to spread the good news, stop and spare a thought of how you are going to announce your engagement.
There are countless ways of making the big announcement for both those nearest and dearest to you and for the rest of the people in your lives. From in person or over the phone, or saving the news as a surprise at your surprise engagement party, to killing two blue birds with one stone at a family gathering, figuring out which way is best for you to share your news with your closest loved ones is essential.
Although the tradition of placing it in print remains; more than ever before, the choice to share your engagement online with an epic engagement selfie is fast becoming an easy and creative way of announcing your impending nuptials to the rest of the world.
STEP 3: Plan your engagement party
Image Credit: 1930s Retro Themed Engagement Shoot by Elevate Photography
Not only is your engagement party an opportunity for your closest loved ones to congratulate you, but an engagement party is also a chance for everyone to meet in one place, get to know one another and of course to revel in your impending nuptials!
Traditionally hosted by the bride-to-be’s parents, the engagement party can also be hosted by both sets of in-laws either separately or together, family friends or even by the couple themselves.
♥ Set a date
Set a date. It’s as easy as that! When deciding on a date, consider how long it will take to plan your engagement party, when it will be financially affordable for you or your hosts to throw the party, and when the majority of the invited guests will be available to attend. Consult with your loved ones about date conflicts so that you can plan accordingly.
Generally, the engagement party is held two to four months after the proposal, which gives the engaged couple enough time to envision what they would like their wedding day to be like, as it is necessary to consider this when deciding on the type of engagement party to throw.
♥ Draw up a guest list
As an engagement party is generally a more intimate affair than that of a wedding, you would normally only invite your immediate loved ones.
Traditionally, all those guests invited to the engagement party were automatically invited to the wedding. Therefore, guests invited to your engagement party will almost certainly expect to be invited to your wedding ceremony and reception. With that said, it is important to give your guest list due consideration in terms of the size of wedding that you would like to have.
However, if the couple decides to host a small wedding, throwing a grand engagement party is perfectly acceptable, too. A tip to avoid unpleasantness later – the sooner you start working on your wedding guest list, the better. Using your draft wedding guest list and then trimming it down to only your immediate family, friends and bridal party will provide you with a good idea of what your engagement party guest list should look like.
♥ Confirm your venue and the type of party that you want to throw
When planning your engagement party, attempting to find middle ground – to throw a party that both future sides of the family and friends will be comfortable with, is not so much about pleasing others, but more about considering what both you as a couple and your guests would enjoy to ensure that your engagement party runs smoothly.
Remember that your engagement party should never upstage your wedding, which is the main event. Depending on the type of wedding you intend to have, a good way to mix it up would be to combine a more casual engagement party like drinks and snacks at a favourite restaurant with a formal wedding or a black tie engagement affair with a semi-formal daytime wedding.
♥ Gift list registry or not?
Next up in the process of how to plan your engagement party, consider whether or not you would like to register for an engagement party gift list.
Traditionally, guests have not brought gifts to an engagement party; however, providing your guests with some guidance will ease the “should we bring a gift or not?” question. If you do opt for a gift registry, then be sure to register for gifts in the low to middle price range, nothing over the top! And if not, then include a note in the invitation kindly requesting no gifts.
On the other hand, requests for unusual gifts such as money or favours can either be communicated informally or as part of your invitation where you can politely let your invited guests know what form of gift it is that you would like to receive.
Although hard to resist for some, unwrapping your gifts during the party is a definite no-no! Best to leave it until after the party, when the chance of making those guests who arrived sans gifts feel uncomfortable, is slim to none.
♥ Send out your engagement party invitations
Creating your engagement party invitations can either be left up to a professional or you can get creative and rope in a few friends to make them yourselves as you plan your engagement party. If you haven’t figured out what theme your wedding will be or even when your wedding will take place, don’t fret that the colour theme or style of your invitations may clash with your wedding invitations. There’s no rule that your engagement party invitations have to match with the rest of your wedding stationery.
Next, you need to consider sending out your invitations in the best way that will be received by your invited guests. Sending out your engagement party invitations can be done in a variety of different ways. Perhaps your parents and older relatives would prefer an invitation posted or hand delivered to them or your friends and colleagues may appreciate an online invitation via email, Facebook, or even a link to your very own wedding website or wedding blog; knowing the countless number of ways of sending out your engagement party invitations is essential. Check out these 22 engagement party invites – including digital DIY home printable options!
DURING YOUR ENGAGEMENT PARTY
STEP 4: Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
Most importantly, as part of the engaged couple whom all the fuss is being made about, you have to remember to not get caught up in all of the engagement party planning and stress that can rear its’ ugly head. Remember, you are a blushing bride-to-be! So rather resolve to get caught up in the romance of being engaged, and the reality of the intentions that you as a couple have made to become husband and wife. This is a time of celebration, a time of hope for the life that you as a couple plan to share together. And not forgetting…be sure to celebrate whilst looking the part – dress up special enough to stand out, but not so that you will outdo your wedding day look.
AFTER YOUR ENGAGEMENT PARTY
STEP 5: Breathe
Yay, you planned your engagement party, it rocked and now, time for a breather. Think back and reflect on your party, what worked, what didn’t, what you’d like to bring into your wedding. And while on the topic of reflection, don’t forget to remember all those that helped you thus far along the way.
♥ Thank your guests
If you feel you would like to extend your thanks over and above the thanks said at your engagement party, then it would be useful to keep a spread sheet of all of your guests in order to keep track of who gave what or who helped where. This will allow you to happily send out thank-you notes straight away and as more gifts come along. You needn’t go all out – a hand-written thank-you note here, a phone call or message sent there, should be thoughtful enough. And, if you didn’t host the party yourself, a small gift to thank your hosts or to those who helped out more than others, is a great idea.
Before your engagement euphoria turns to wedding worries and you start pondering the limitless options for your Save-the-Date cards, take a deep breath and prepare yourself with the Brides Checklist that every bride-to-be needs to have before starting to plan the main event.
PS: Yay! You’re ENGAGED!!!!
Here are some more epic resources to help you through your engagement and wedding:
- How select and plan your wedding guest list
- How to select your bridesmaids
- Loads of gorgeous photo ideas for your engagement photoshoot
- 18 Tips for spectacular engagement photographs
- 5 Things to remember when planning your wedding day timeline
- 5 Tips for stress free wedding dress shopping