Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How to Plan the Perfect Engagement Party

Congratulations! You're engaged.  Here are 6 steps on how to plan the perfect engagement party! 

1. Pick a Date 
You’ve just gotten engaged to the love of your life and of course, you want to celebrate! The first step in planning an engagement party is to pick a date. There is no right or wrong time to have an engagement party; however, from my personal experience, I suggest 4-6 weeks after your engagement. This allows enough time for planning, as well as time for you and your fiancé to enjoy being newly engaged! 

2. Make your Guest List 
Your guest list will help determine the type of venue or location to host your party. It will also give you a good sense of the size of your celebration. Engagement parties can be an intimate gathering of close family members or a huge celebration of extended family and friends. A rule of thumb, DO NOT invite anyone to your engagement party that you do not plan on inviting to the wedding! 

3. Decide on a Budget 
Every party needs a budget! Work with your fiancé and any other parties involved to develop a budget that fits your needs. You’ll also want to decide what is included in the budget (i.e. venue, food, décor, entertainment, rental items, etc.) and allocate how much you’d like to spend on each category. Not sure how much to budget? I would suggest estimating $20-$25 per person. As with any party or celebration, your guest list will drive your budget. More guests equals more food, bigger venue, etc. 

4. Choose a Venue 
Now that you have your guest list and budget, you can determine the best location to host your party. My fiancé and I wanted a casual gathering, so his parents offered to host the party in their backyard. If that’s not your style, there are many other options for hosting your party. Every city has venues of various sizes and styles, so do your research to find one that best suits your needs. If you’re on a tight budget, many restaurants offer private dinning spaces for rent or you can head to a local sports bar or pizzeria at no charge. 

5. Select your Menu 
Based on your budget and venue, you can now select a menu for your party. Since our engagement party was a casual backyard soirée, we decided to order in BBQ from Eli’s BBQ and assorted wraps from TAG’s Café. I then worked with our moms to create a variety of appetizers and side dishes. If DIY food isn’t your thing, there are many catering services to choose from that will allow you to create a customized menu to fit your needs. Depending on your venue, you may even have access to on-site catering giving you a full-service, one-stop shop!

6. Décor and Rentals

Décor and rental items can be as little or as much as you’d like. For our party, we wanted to utilize the backyard space, so we rented a tent, tables, chairs and linens through FourSeasons Tent Rental. To add some personal touches, I created centerpieces using flowers from a local grocery and used frames to creatively display our wedding date. Another décor element I added to the party was a popcorn bar with a sign that read, “All because he Popped the Question!” I even made a specialty drink and called it “Love Punch!” Since our party was in the fall, I carved a pumpkin to display at the party for guests to “Save the Date.” Lastly, we had a bonfire at our party, so I made individual s’more bags with a tag that read, “Love is Sweet” and had our wedding date on it. 

The possibilities are endless for décor and personal touches for your party. Get creative by searching the web and utilizing Pinterest. Another fun idea is to give your engagement party a theme, such as Mardi Gras or a Luau.

If planning an engagement party seems too difficult or you just simply don’t have the time, contact SimplyEvents and we’ll ensure your party goes off without a hitch!


Happy Planning!

Laura & Jon 

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1 comment:

  1. The beautiful setting pretty much took care of the corporate events. Not to mention the fact that these guys were flexible in allowing us to really make the experience our own.


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