You’re engaged – congratulations! Now is the time to celebrate, and if you want to plan an engagement party, here we’ve rounded up the very best engagement party ideas and how to throw the best engagement party!
Organising your own engagement party can be a challenge, especially when you're already making a start on wedding planning. But we've curated the ultimate guide on how to throw an engagement party to help you get started…
How to Throw an Engagement Party
Engagement Party Etiquette: Everything you Need to Know
An engagement party is the perfect chance to share and celebrate your good news with your loved ones, not to mention practise your event-planning skills before the big day!
Not sure where to start, or who to invite? Whether you want to stick to tradition or throw out the rulebook, here’s a few tips and ideas to get your engagement party-planning started…
Who should host an engagement party?
It’s traditional for the bride’s family to host an engagement party for the bride-and-groom-to-be, which means they should have an input on the date of the party and location – be it your home
town or current home. It’s also a good move for the host to make a speech at the event.
Of course, if you’d rather have control of your engagement party, there’s nothing wrong with hosting it yourselves.
Who should you invite to an engagement party?
Think carefully about who you want to include, as anyone invited to the engagement party will expect an invite to the wedding!
If someone besides you is hosting, you should also expect them to have a say in who to include. There’s also no harm in inviting friends or colleagues who may not make the ‘cut’ for your wedding day to celebrate you separately on a more informal scale.
Work out your engagement party budget
The budget is a key factor in determining the type of party you can have, as well as where you can host it. So, it’s best to establish how much you have to spend early on – you’ll need to cover catering, invitations and possibly venue hire. Just because you have a smaller budget, that doesn’t mean you have to have a budget engagement party. Simply craft your guest list and catering requirements around your event, for example, switch a formal sit-down meal with canapés and champagne cocktails to an upstairs bar/room in a nice pub.
Set a date
Choose a time and date that works best for you and your closest friends and family, and decide how long you’d like to wait between the engagement and the celebration.
Wait a few weeks before announcing a date to give you a chance to reveal the engagement first and let everyone know the great news. You want everyone to know you are planning on tying the knot, then give them something else to get excited about!
Pick your party style
Would you prefer a low-key and laid back barbecue in the garden (weather permitting!), or a house party at a country manor/pub? When it comes to engagement party ideas, the choice is entirely yours.
Prioritise choosing a venue to suit the style of your celebration. You could even consider a venue totally off the scale, like an art gallery or the top of the Shard. Think about where you’d like your wedding to take place, too and keep your engagement party distinctively different. As much as you want this party to be the party of the year, you don’t want to upstage the main event! Or wipe out your big day budget!
Send out the invitations, and don’t forget to clarify the dress code!
Give your guests plenty of time to reply, as this may be a determining factor for your entertainment and food. You may even want to wait until you know the numbers to reveal the location, so you can plan the venue more appropriately.
If you’re having a luxury engagement party, ensure your guests know it and don’t be afraid to tell them. You don’t want them to turn up casual, when you have put so much effort into planning such a lavish event! This can be obvious by your invitations, but it’s worth stating. And don’t you forget to dress to impress – select something that will wow, but won’t upstage your wedding gown. Equally, let them know what to expect food wise. If you’re having drinks and canapés, tell them, or if it’s a luxury afternoon tea and cake in the garden make that clear too.
Designate roles and responsibilities
Assign roles and responsibilities ahead of the event. Who will make formal introductions between guests that don’t know each other? Who will make the first (and subsequent) toast? Guests may bring you engagement gifts, so ask someone to take responsibility for them. If you’re not having a formal photographer, think about asking a couple of trusted guests to capture the evening on film for you.
Decide on entertainment
Nothing says ‘party’ like good music! Choose the entertainment to match the theme – if you’re after elegance, perhaps choose classic, acoustic sounds, but if it’s dancing you want, opt for a band to get everyone on the dance floor.
Engagement party time!
Finally, it’s party time. The venue is decorated, your guests have arrived and the Prosecco corks have been popped. It’s time to toast to your engagement and have the best night ever with your nearest and dearest – what better way to get everyone excited for your big day than by partying the night away?