Your partner likes it and has put a ring on it, so now it’s time to celebrate your engagement! Here’s our engagement party checklist to ensure you’ve got everything covered:
This is the party before the main event and your chance to share your amazing news with your friends and family. The beauty of the engagement party is that it can be as laid-back or as formal as you want it to be.
Although traditionally, one of your parents will host an engagement party, there’s no reason why you can’t take the reins and host an affair that is uniquely you. Here’s the ultimate engagement party checklist to ensure nothing is left forgotten.
Once you know who is hosting the affair, a venue might come naturally. It could be yours or your parents’ back yard or a nearby park or beach. Alternatively, you could look to nearby venues that hire out function rooms or simply book a section of your favourite restaurant or bar. It can be as formal or informal as you choose – it’s all about celebrations so keep it light and fun.
This can trip up a lot of couples as there are some etiquette concerns around whether your engagement party guest list should mirror your wedding one. Your engagement party is traditionally for immediate family and close friends to celebrate, so you seriously don’t have to invite dozens (or hundreds) or people. However, you should ensure that those family and friends you do invite to the engagement party will ultimately make it onto your wedding invitations list and join you on the big day as well.
This is a fun affair, but if you want to stand out and feel vibrant, absolutely hit the shops to find a little something that is special for the occasion. There is no need for a ball gown (unless you are having a formal engagement party), so look for something elegant and chic!
If you’d like to add an extra air of festivity to the night, consider introducing a theme that everyone can embrace by dressing up, or just choose something fun to use for décor and centrepieces. There are absolutely no rules. Anything from superheroes or tropical, to black tie or an era like the 70s or 80s goes!
Jumping into a small space with a group of people is not usually something that appeals to a lot of people, but when there are memories to be made and photos to keep forever, everyone will give a photo booth a go. The beauty with photo booths is that they can be installed anywhere. So even if you are having a smallish backyard event, this will add a bit of extra spice to the party.
Unless your partner master planned your engagement and had someone on hand to take photos of the proposal, chances are you haven’t had a professional photographer capture your newly-engaged glow, so when your nearest and dearest are gathering to celebrate, now is the perfect time to get one on board to capture the fun and excitement of your engagement party.
(You might also be able to get a few great shots of the two of you on the day that you can incorporate into your wedding invitations…)
Food and drinks
Unless your host is a MasterChef who loves cooking for the masses, you may want to look at outsourcing the menu. If you are celebrating at home, there are a host of caterers who can do it all for you. Check out the offerings in your area and look at your budget to see whether it can stretch to having drinks provided, or if you need to stock up from the nearest bottle shop.
To gift? Or not to gift?
If nothing is said about gifts, guests will generally bring a little something for you. So, if you and your partner decide that you wouldn’t like to have gifts, make a small note on the invitations to say as much.
Meet the parents
You may know your partner’s parents well, in which case scheduling in a special visit with them prior to the engagement party will be something you won’t have to worry about. But if your partner’s parents are still strangers to you, make the effort to meet them for a lunch or dinner before the engagement party so you can begin to get to know them.