You’re engaged, and the first thing you want to do is celebrate with all your closest friends and family. Okay, the first thing you really want to do is get a killer mani and share photos of the ring to all your social channels—but then you want to celebrate. Whether you envision a timelessly classic engagement party, a funky theme party, or even a costume party (we love a swanky Gatsby-themed soiree), you can plan the engagement party of your dreams by following these eight pro tips.
1. Consider the Rules of Etiquette. Traditionally, the bride’s parents host the engagement party; however, modern couples aren’t necessarily sticking to tradition. Plus if you and your S.O. have family in different cities (or countries), multiple parties may be in order. Talk to your parents first to give them the first right of refusal. Once you know who to list on your engagement party invitations as the host, you can move on to step two.
2. Set a Date. Okay, select your wedding date first, because that’s kind of a big deal, and you’ll want to make sure you get your dream venue. Then, depending on the length of your engagement, you may want to host your engagement party anywhere from a few weeks to a few months post She said Yes.
3. Choose Your Venue. Backyard parties provide an intimate and personal feel while renting a venue can accommodate a specific theme (after all, it’s hard to execute a chic barn party sans barn). Choose the location that will help you achieve your party goals and that fits in your (or the host’s) budget.
4. Create Your Guest List. The only rule when it comes to your engagement party guest list is that if they are invited to your engagement party, you must also ask them to the wedding (otherwise, it would be totes awkward). Otherwise, if you want to keep your engagement party to friends and family, have a separate event just for co-workers, or host unique events for your and his family, go for it.
5. Choose a Theme. You may want to select a theme that will dictate your guests’ attire, your food, and favors, such as Hawaiian Luau. Or, you may want to establish a theme that will serve more to dictate the party’s style of décor and formality, such as rustic chic or formal romantic. Whatever you choose, ensure everything from your venue to your music selection, to your stationery aligns, which brings us to…
6. Send Formal Invitations. This is your engagement. A group text does not suffice for an invitation. Treat your engagement party with the formality and reverence it deserves by working with your wedding stationer to issue formal invitations that align with your theme.
7. Communicate Gift Preferences. Your guests will likely want to bring a gift, but keep in mind they will also be providing a wedding gift, so if you’d prefer they not bring a gift to your engagement party, note it on your invitation. Otherwise, include registry deets.
8. Don’t Forget Dessert.
We are partial to candy buffets and dessert tables. Choose a dessert that is theme and venue appropriate and that will wow your guests and cap off the perfect evening. Visit our sister company, Sweet by RSVP to me for confectionary inspiration.