Engagement parties are more than a simple celebration. These events symbolise the love two people have for each other and celebrate the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in their lives. For this reason, celebrating with friends and loved ones is an important part of getting engaged! But how do you even begin planning an engagement party? Organising engagement banners, food, drinks, music, entertainment, and decor might seem daunting if you’ve never planned a big celebration before. But try not to fret because we’ve put together an ultimate guide to planning an unforgettable engagement party to guide you through the process.
Step 1: Establish a Budget
Before diving headfirst into planning your engagement party, you should first establish a budget. Sit down with your fiancée and agree on a budget before you do anything else because the budget will influence the rest of the planning process. Whether you’re planning a no-expenses-spared celebration or a low-key gathering, having a set budget will help keep you firmly on track.
Step 2: Choose a Theme
Once you’ve established your budget, you should pick an engagement party theme. There are plenty of themes to choose from, including:
● Candlelit dinner
● Garden party
● Beach bonfire
● Roaring 20s
● Winter Wonderland
● Masquerade ball
● Wine and cheese night
● Afternoon tea party
● Parisian soirée
Step 3: Select a Venue
Once the engagement party theme is established, it’s time to pick a venue. There is no shortage of places to host your party, including but not limited to:
● At home
● Formal gardens
● Historic buildings
● Art galleries
● Rooftop venue
● Local pubs
● Community centres
● Restaurants and cafes
● Banquet halls
The venue options available to you will depend on your budget. For example, if you’re taking the no-expenses-spared route, you might consider hiring a formal garden or private event restaurants for the evening. Alternatively, if you’re on a tighter budget, you may decide to host the party at home.
You’ve booked the venue of your choice. The next step is to create a guest list and send your guests their invitations! The number of guests you invite will depend on your chosen venue, as some venues, such as banquet halls and function rooms, offer more space. Once you’ve finalised the guest list with your fiancée, you’ll need to send your invitations. You can have them printed out and posted or send them digitally; it’s up to you. Just make sure to give guests a quick and easy way to RSVP so you have a clear picture of who is able to make it.
Step 5: Purchase Decor
Decorations will bring your engagement party venue to life and get your guests into the celebratory spirit. From personalised engagement banners and balloons to table settings and floral arrangements, every tiny detail counts. Finding custom engagement banners online has never been easier, and you can have them delivered to your door within a matter of days. Alternatively, if you’re on a tight budget, consider purchasing secondhand decor from online marketplaces or local markets; you’ll be surprised at how much money you’ll save!
You will also need to sort drinks and catering for your engagement party. The catering option you choose will depend on the venue type. For example, if you’ve opted for a celebration at home, you can put a buffet spread on yourself or hire a private caterer to feed your guests and set up a make-your-own cocktail station. Alternatively, if you’ve hired a private dining room in a restaurant, your guests will have food prepared by their chefs and drinks from the bar. Here are some other drink and catering options to consider:
● Rent a mobile cocktail bar with an experienced mixologist
● Tea and coffee bar
● Food stations (sushi, pasta, hog roast… you name it!)
● Make-your-own pizza
● Food truck (Mexican, Indian, American, Italian… there are so many cuisine options to choose from)
● Picnic baskets
● Bottomless brunch
Keep your engagement party lively by organising entertainment and activities for your guests. Again, the entertainment you put on will depend on your chosen venue. If you’re hosting the party at home, you could play games and quizzes with your guests. Alternatively, if you’ve hired a community hall or a function room in a hotel, you might consider hiring a DJ or a live band to get guests on the dancefloor.
A key aspect of an engagement party is the speeches and toasts. First, decide who you want to make a speech at your celebration. You and your fiancée could both make a speech, or perhaps a relative or close friend could take the lead—it’s your choice. If you and your fiancée decide to make speeches, we’ve got some speech-writing advice for you. Draw attention to key details, such as when you met and your first impressions of each other, relate to everybody in the room to get an emotional response, and, most importantly, speak from the heart. Finally, remember that it’s okay to be nervous or emotional. After all, you’re professing your love to someone in front of all your friends and relatives!
Your guests may travel quite some distance to come and celebrate your engagement with you. It’s a nice touch to express gratitude to all your guests, regardless of how far they’ve travelled, with thank you notes. Match your thank you notes to your theme, and add a personal touch to each (beyond the person’s name). Perhaps you could write down a pleasant memory you have of them or something funny they once said to you.
Planning an engagement party should be a joyful process rather than a stressful one. By establishing a clear budget, picking a theme, selecting a venue, sending printed or digital invitations, purchasing decor such as engagement party banners, sorting catering, providing entertainment, writing heartfelt speeches and preparing thank you notes for your guests, you’re sure to pull off a magical and memorable engagement party. We wish you the best of luck with the planning process!