So your ring is feeling right at home on your finger and you want to host an engagement party to celebrate! Now come the questions – what should we do and how should we do it? This handy guide will help you sort out the details and make your engagement party planning a breeze.
When should we have our engagement party?
Even if you’ve already been engaged for a while, there’s no reason why you can’t still pop the champagne with your family and friends. As long as there’s a few months between the party and the wedding, you can plan it for whenever you’d like.
How long should it go for?
Between two and four hours works well, but if you want to party on, we won’t stop you!
Who should be invited?
You can keep this really intimate with just your immediate family, bridal party and their partners, or go all out with a larger guest list.
How do we invite everyone?
This can be as casual as a text, Facebook event or phone call, or as formal as a written invitation. The details can even be included on your ‘Save the Dates’ if you know your guest list is the same for both events.
How much notice should we give them?
Getting in touch with everyone four to six weeks before the event is ideal.
Where should we hold it?
You could arrange dinner at your favourite restaurant, a picnic at a local park, a relaxed backyard gathering or a function at a club, community hall or hotel.
What should we wear?
Smart casual or cocktail attire are both great options (this is the perfect excuse to get that cute white outfit you’ve been eyeing off!). For everyone else, you don’t need to note a dress code unless the style of your event calls for one.
What kind of food should we organise?
This can be anything from a potluck or “I Do BBQ” to grazing platters, roving canapes or a food truck! A cocktail style event with scattered tables and chairs is a great way to keep costs down and get everyone mingling.
Should we have a cake?
This is completely up to you! We’ve seen couples organise anything from a gelato cart to a dessert buffet, and some not worry about this detail at all.
What about drinks?
Setting up a bar tab, asking your guests to BYO or purchasing cases from the bottle shop are popular options. There’s no need to cover the full cost of drinks – just be clear on what’s happening so people know what they need to bring.
How should we decorate?
No one expects engagement parties to be styled to the nines, but if it’s something you’d love to do, then go for it! Just keep in mind that more details equals more budget and logistics.
Do we need to organise entertainment?
Music will always help create the party atmosphere you’re looking for, whether it’s a band, jukebox or playlist you’ve created. If you want to go big, have fun with it, but don’t feel pressured to turn it into Wedding 2.0. Your guests will be happy to eat, drink and catch up.
Should we have a wishing well or registry?
Giving an engagement gift is completely optional, so we recommend saving the wishing well or registry for the wedding.
Should we have a guest book?
If you’d like to, but messages may double up if you’re also having one on the big day.
Do we need to do speeches?
A brief thank you to everyone for coming to celebrate should do the trick! If you or a loved one would like to say more, that’s perfectly fine – just keep things short and sharp.
What about asking or announcing our bridal party at the event?
We recommend popping the question one-on-one – it’s a special moment to share with them privately and there’s less chance of any of your other guests feeling left out.
Should we send thank you cards?
A handwritten note or personal call for any gifts you receive would definitely be appreciated!
Still unsure if you should have an engagement party? Check out our reasons to party or pass.
Don’t know where to start with the wedding planning? Grab our Fiancée Q&A!