The question’s been popped, the answer was yes and now it’s time to celebrate! Kick-up your heels and roll-up your sleeves because we’ve got your quintessential guide to planning the Engagement Party of the year century…
Don the go-to white, the color you’ll ultimately ask your bridesmaids to wear, or something thematic if you’ve chosen a theme for your party. Again, anything goes, just make sure it’s something you’ll be comfortable in!
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The Guest List: If you hope to have a small or destination wedding, engagement parties are increasingly becoming a way to involve more of your friends and family. Just be sure to make your plans clear early on.
Toasts: Typically, toasts begin about two-thirds of the way through the party. The bride’s father gives the first toast, followed by the groom, and then the floor opens up to whoever is interested.
Gifts: Common opinion says bringing gifts to an engagement part is unnecessary, but some people just don’t like showing up to a party empty-handed. It’s also a good idea to provide hosts, if you won’t be hosting, with an answer to gift questions before your invitations go out. If you’d prefer no gifts, prefer to have guests contribute to a favorite charity, or happen to have a registry set up with a few smaller items, guests may ask, so it’s best to have an answer ready.
Location, Location, Location: Choose a location for your party that reflects your relationship. Find a drive-in movie theater and let guests mingle while the film from your first date plays in the background. Or, if you’re a couple who likes the great outdoors, secure a picnic pavilion at your favorite state park. Organize a scavenger hunt where guests find objects that when put together, tell a story about your romance.
Instagram Photo Album: Why not create a personal hashtag for your party so that you can easily capture all of the great snaps your friends take while they’re there? Simply scribble your unique hashtag, inviting instagramming friends to participate, on a sign near the entrance.
Friendly Entertainment: If you have some particularly funny groomsmen in your bunch have them act out a ‘silent movie’ skit of how the two of you met.
Set Up a Playlist Bank: Ask your guests to scribble down songs they’d like to hear at the wedding reception and catch their requests in a vintage tin, piggy bank, or envelope holder. No matter what song ends up being picked for the playlist, you’re of course going to want to have it at a volume where the music can be enjoyed. If you know of anyone who has possession of or can get their hands on specialist audio equipment such as Graham Slee HiFi components, that would be great. There’s nothing worse than having music on and not being able to hear one word. That’s not what you want at any party, especially not you engagement party.
Dessert Test Run: Your engagement party is a great place to try out dessert ideas for the big day. Invite your guests to partake in the sampling by setting up a table where they can try different options and fill you in on their favorites.
Unique Favors: Give your wedding party potted flowers along with drawstring bags to collect petals for the big day.
Decorations: Little touches here and there are a great last-minute way to personalize your event.
In Denmark, a gate of honor or an archway made from twigs and branches was set up in front of the bride’s family home to celebrate an engagement.
Flouncing was an event held in parts of England to officially announce the engagement of a new couple to their families. It also established a version of today’s prenup.
Scottish wedding announcements were traditionally made via the parish church in a ceremony called the banns of marriage.
In the 1900s, formal newspaper announcements taken out by the couple would break the news on the day of their party. Guests would find out the morning of what they were celebrating (if it hadn’t already been guessed!).