Punchbowl Party Planning

How to Plan an Engagement Party

There are many details to consider when planning an engagement party. The date, guest list, venue, invitations and menu are all key aspects of any engagement party. Review the following tips for how to throw an engagement party before you get started to make sure you have everything covered!

  • Guest List: Ask the bride and groom for a guest list. If the engagement party planning will be kept a secret, generate a guest list which includes the wedding party and their significant others, parents, grandparents and siblings of the bride and groom. Ask two to three other people to review the guest list to ensure no one is missing.
  • Choose a Date: It is never too early to begin engagement party planning – as long as the couple is officially engaged. Pick the date based on the length of engagement. The engagement party is typically held one to three months after the engagement. Hold the engagement party closer to the three month mark if the wedding is over a year away. Plan the party within one to two months if the wedding is scheduled for 10 months, or sooner.
  • Venue: Each guest will have different preferences for how to plan an engagement party, such as selecting the venue. It is difficult to please all attendees. Send an e-mail to all members of the wedding party, and ask for suggestions. Make it clear that you will make the final decision (coming to consensus can be challenging), however it will be good to get help brainstorming ideas. Give three different possibilities for engagement party venues, and include a deadline for a response. For example, “Please help to respond with your choice for a venue by this coming Friday. I will move forward with booking the venue on Saturday."
  • Invitations: Include basic, but necessary information on the engagement party invitation such as the date, time, location, RSVP contact and who will be honored at the event. Incorporate invitation wording such as, “Lisa and Mike’s big day is only 235 days away. Join us for an engagement party in honor of the special couple.”
  • Cake: Visit your local bakery and choose a cake flavor that is a favorite of both the future bride and groom. Have the bakery decorate the cake with a picture of the bride and groom. Ask family and friends if there is a picture of the proposal. If so, this a perfect picture for the engagement party cake!
  • Decorations: Decorate the room with balloons and streamers. Tape balloons to the walls, purchase some with helium to float around the room and scatter some on the floor. Spread confetti on the cocktail and dinner tables. Purchase a sash that says “Bride-to-Be” for the bride.

Other things to consider in your engagement party planning include the food, entertainment, and favors. The food is somewhat dependent on your venue. Entertainment can be kept pretty simple. Background music is really all you need, however this can also vary based on the venue. And favors are optional. They're a nice touch. Do something simple like wrap candies or homemade cookies in cellophane and tie with the wedding colors.  

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