Got engaged? Congratulations!
Now that you are on your way to the married life, your commitment to each other is something that calls for a celebration. Many couples today hold an engagement party which is either arranged by themselves or by their friends and family. In the past, traditions have deemed that the bride’s parents host the celebration and if they are not available, the duty falls to the groom’s parents. Nowadays, these rules do not really apply anymore. Today, a friend or relative can offer to host the engagement party, especially if the couple’s families live far away.
Who’s throwing the party?
If you are a friend who wishes to organise the party for the couple, make sure you speak to them first to confirm that they are not planning something already. You should also speak to their parents to make sure they were not hoping to host the engagement bash themselves.
Set the date
Whether it is your party or one that you will be hosting for a friend, it is essential to check your calendar and coordinate with the guests (especially the VIPs!) to make sure they can all make it to the occasion.
Pick a venue
Engagement parties are most commonly held at home or at a restaurant, but as a host, you can be creative and pick a location that will suit your theme. There are no absolute rules when it comes to themes,hence, depending on your preferences, you can have a casual or a formal party. You can have a party on a boat, at a vineyard or at the beach – it all depends on what kind of mood you’d like to set.
Budgeting is important
Set a budget for the party and stick to it. Make a list of all the things needed for the party – invitations, food, drinks, entertainment and décor and come up with an estimation. Remember, the most wonderful engagement parties can be at home affairs that are more laid-back and dont have to cost a fortune. You can also choose to have a “just desserts” party or serve canapes and cocktails. Mention this on the invites so guests will know what to expect.
Prepare the guest list and the invites
In coming up with the list of guests to the party, keep in mind that whoever you invite should also be invited to the wedding. If you are still unsure how large you want your wedding to be, keep the engagement party small in order to avoid hurting any one’s feelings in the future. Invites should match the theme of the party. Do not forget to check and proofread before sending them out.
Eating and drinking
If you will have your engagement party at home, you could have a potluck and invite each of your guests to bring their favorite dish. Otherwise, you may let a caterer handle the food items. Caterers would know how much food is needed based on the number of guests you have and could even come up with something that suits the party theme. For drinks, wine and beer will be best for at-home parties. Buy drinks in bulk at club or discount stores and do not forget the ice!
A toast is often given at an engagement. The bride’s father is usually the first to toast and then followed by the groom and whoever wishes to say a few words. You can keep this informal and let any of your guests speak or you can ask your families formally and lock in your speakers before hand.
Gift registry and gift giving
While gift giving is not mandatory at engagement parties, some of your guests may want to give one or would like to know what they can get for you. Have an engagement gift registry with Thankyou (which you can also use in the near future for your wedding) so your guests have an idea of what gifts you’d appreciate.
Enjoy and have a great time!
Stressing over the last minute details is something that you may just find inevitable however, whether it is your own party or one that you have organised for a friend, make sure everything is under control by having a few more friends to help you out in setting up the party. Delegating some simple tasks will help you get everything set more smoothly. Designate someone to take photos if you are not hiring a photographer. As a host, focus on making introductions, so no one will feel left out and everybody will have a good time.