Don’t tell anyone but the best thing about having an engagement party is being able to show your sparkling ring, while reliving old memories with your nearest and dearest and drinking lots of the bubbly stuff!
There is though a practical reason to hold an engagement bash, and that’s to allow the friends and relatives of one family to introduce themselves to the other, thereby avoiding any awkwardness on your big day.
The following seven engagement party tips will help you make the most of your engagement party, have fun with your family and friends, and prepare for your wedding day.
Involve the bridal party
It is the job of your best man and maid of honour to sweep the room, making sure everyone is talking to each other and has been introduced to family members they may not have already met. Having them see photographs of your most important family members prior to your event means they will instantly know who they are talking to, and it is always good to let them about any family feuds!
Plenty of forward-thinking brides use their wedding days as opportunities to get their single friends together, arranging their seating plans around a pair of unsuspecting, though compatible guests. Cupids should always have any potential couples meet at their engagement party, which is a less formal setting, if it goes well, use the wedding day as a second date!
Hand out disposable cameras
Don’t just leave disposable cameras for your wedding day, incorporate them in your engagement celebration too. Pass around the cameras once the party is in full swing, and not only will you get some memorable keepsakes, you will give your guests an excuse to chat and interact with each other.
Arrange a competition
Get everyone involved in a contest or sports event to ensure all your loved ones are bonding, communicating and generally having a fun time. You could have races, party games, or a creative contest. Just don’t forget to mix the teams so it isn’t the bride’s family and friends against the groom’s.
Plan the music
Not only does music create the all-important atmosphere at a party, it also helps your invitees to communicate with each other. It’s so much easier to start a conversation if there’s appropriate music playing. Hiring a jazz or swing band is perhaps the ideal way to create a laid-back atmosphere, a point of interest, and to get everyone in the mood for party. If this is beyond your budget, however, simply create a playlist of upbeat tracks onto your iPod or MP3 player. Do make sure you are in control of the volume though!
Use personalised decorations
Your engagement party decorations should be both personal and fun. Perhaps dedicate a wall to creating two family trees including labelled photographs of relatives from each family, joined together in the middle by a photograph of the two of you. This idea works best if you are holding a more intimate, family only bash, so you can incorporate photos of all of your guests.
Set up a photo display
If you have taken the time to have a formal engagement photo taken, make sure you take the opportunity to show it off at your event. For those of you that haven’t, why not make a display of old photographs? These can remind you of the happy memories you have had as a couple and with all your guests. Maybe you could even sort them into a timeline. This approach can help your friends decipher where it was that you first met and it helps them see where they all fit into your life. This method is best suited to a larger party where the majority of your guests will be friends and acquaintances rather than family.
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