How to Plan an Engagement Party
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How to Plan an Engagement Party

Engagement Party Overview

An engagement party happens when a couple finally decides to make their relationship into a lifetime commitment. The party is their way of sharing the good news with their friends and families, and it is also the time to let the future in-laws meet. This usually happens 6 months before the wedding.

Traditionally, it is the future bride's parents who host the party, and it is usually held at their home. Today, it can be anyone: friends, siblings, other relatives, and even the future groom. It can be celebrated at a home, in a restaurant, a hotel's function room, or the couple's favorite place.

The Event Coordinator's To-Do List

Pre-planning: One to two months before the party

Coordinating a party is never an easy task. There are many things to take care of, and as the host, you want to make this as perfect as possible for the couple. Here are the things you need to remember when planning the engagement party:

  1. Choose the date. Consult with the couple on the date they want the party to happen. After all, this is all about them.
  2. Make a guest list. Choose a venue that can accommodate all your guests as well as the other couple. You also need to consider that there is ample room on the ceremony platform for the entourage. You can avoid processional issues by finding a venue where you can set up 2 aisles where both parties can walk on.
  3. Send your invitations. It is always a good idea to send your invites early and then confirm the guest's attendance a week or two before the party.
  4. Set a budget. It is a good idea to set a budget right at the outset. Think about all the things you need to work on for an engagement party and make sure you stick to your budget.

Planning the Details: Three to four weeks before the party

As they say, "It's all in the details". Parties turn out great because of detailed planning. Don't just leave anything to chance, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for the couple, so everything should be perfect.

  • Food – if you're hosting the party at the couple's favorite restaurant or in a hotel function room, you could go over the menu list with the couple. If you're hosting it at home, you can ask friends to help you cook, or make it a potluck party.
  • Decorations – keep things simple and romantic. You want the guests to mingle, and the couple's parents to get to know each other. Add flowers, a banner with the couples name on it, and candles as part of your table decorations. If you're having some sort of theme, like the couples color motif, then decorate according to that color. It's a great preview to the wedding, which is what an engagement party is.
  • Entertainment – to enhance the mood of the party, some form of entertainment is needed. It is not that important, though, because as we said before you want the guests to be able to talk. Play some soft music in the background. Get a good pianist, violinist, or a string quartet.
  • Favors – to thank the guests for coming over, and as a reminder of this intimate affair, engagement party favors are essential. Some popular engagement party favor ideas include wine stoppers, mint tins, photo coasters and much more.

Engagement Party Etiquette FAQs

It's not easy to host an engagement party that is why you need all the help you can get. Here are some of the questions you might be asking right now:

I'm not a relative of the couple. Can I host the party?

Before, it was customary for the bride's parents to host the party. But today, there's no hard and fast rule as to who should host the party. Just make sure that the couple's parents aren't planning one and that the couple knows about it.

Are gifts necessary at the party?

Save the registry for the wedding. Engagement parties are meant to be a social gathering of the couple's close friends and family. Gifts are not mandatory at the party. Some couples are even uncomfortable about receiving one at their engagement party.

Does it have to be a formal occasion?

It doesn't have to be a formal occasion because you want the guests to be comfortable. You may want to keep the engagement party casual and save the formal event for the wedding, which is the ultimate event anyway.

What are the appropriate party favors to give?

One great idea for a party favor is a save-the-date magnet where the wedding date of the couple is featured. You can also give out edible favors such as candies and chocolates.

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