Planning an Engagement Party

So someone has gotten engaged, and it’s your turn to host the party. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a handy guide for planning an engagement party.

  1. Pick a Date. The first step in planning an engagement party is to make sure the engaged couple can be there. Next, make sure to pick a date for the engagement party that is convenient for your guests, and be sure to give no less than two weeks notice. Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sunday afternoons are the most convenient times to plan an engagement party. If you choose a weeknight for your engagement party, make sure it’s a short affair and close enough to the guests that everyone can get there after work.
  2. Pick a Theme. When you’re planning an engagement party, whether it’s a casual afternoon brunch, or a sophisticated after hours cocktail party, pick a theme that suits the bride and groom-to-be. Make sure to think of food, entertainment, games and decorates that mesh well with your theme. Don’t hesitate to use creative planning here – the engagement party is the party of the wedding cycle with the fewest rules!
  3. Send Invitations. Get a list of guests, and their contact information, from the happily engaged couple. You can call everyone and invite them, you can send out formal invitations, or you could even go modern and use evite to set up a party site and keep track of everyone’s RSVPs by email. Whichever you choose, when planning an engagement party, try to make sure that the invitations go out at least two weeks in advance.
  4. Make Nametags. If it’s a large party and people don’t know each other well, ask your guests to wear nametags, and put the relationship of each guest to the happy couple. This will help people get to know one another better.
  5. Ready your Music Player. When planning an engagement party, be sure to have music on the agenda. Music fills in the spaces and lags between conversations, and it helps set the mood. Maybe you have to assemble your DVDS. Or maybe you need to go download a bunch of songs. Maybe you need to haul an old boom-box up from the basement, or repair your speakers. Whatever you need to do, planning an engagement party requires that you make sure the music is ready when it’s party time.
  6. Plan the Entertainment. If you’re going to have gift-giving at your engagement party, opening the gifts will often be the main event. Even so, you may wish to plan some additional activities. You could plan a mini-roast of the couple, or have someone make a special wedding toast. A poem would not be out of place.
  7. Make the Menu. Engagement parties are the kick-off of the wedding season, and people don’t expect a full meal the way they might at a wedding. You can serve snacks and appetizers only, you can plan to serve only cake and champagne. You can serve deserts only. Or you can serve a sit down dinner.
  8. Decorate. While planning an engagement party, creative ideas flow. If you have a theme in mind, you can decorate your home or the party location to reflect it. When all else fails, balloons, streamers, candles, and twinkling lights are your best bets. Also, don’t forget the fresh flowers.

All that remains is to buy the supplies and do the work. But one final note: try to get as much done as possible in advance, when planning an engagement party so that you can enjoy the big day!

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