{Tips & Advice} How to Throw an Engagement Party!

Yesterday I gave you some creative, non-traditional ideas for throwing an engagement party. Today I’m going into the nitty gritty planning details and points of etiquette.

(Nashville Photography Group)

  1. Decide on a host and location. Traditionally, the bride’s family hosts the engagement party in their home; however, there are several non-traditional, creative alternatives. Nowadays, a close friend may ask to throw it for you.
  2. Draft your guest list. If you invite them to your engagement party, traditionally, you should also invite them to your wedding…however, as with most things wedding-related, anything goes.
  3. Choose food and drink. Depending on your location and theme, food and drinks can be light hors devours, a potluck, a family style meal, or a five-course meal. If you’re hosting it at a private home, you can handle the food yourself or make it a potluck. Anything else should be left up to the pros. And as far as beverages go, if you’re having the party at someone’s home, stick with wine and beer. You can always order this in bulk at discount or club stores.
  4. Order invitations. Choose invitations that best suit your needs. If it’s a casual affair, an evite might be your best option.
  5. Plan for entertainment. Either create a stellar playlist, or consider hiring entertainment. This could be a piano player, mariachi band, steel band, or anything else that fits your mood and theme.
  6. Designate someone to take photos. You’ll be doing quite a bit of mingling, so unless you’re hiring a photographer, ask a friend or family member to capture the party’s happenings on a camera. You can also create a personalized hashtag for guests to add to any Instagram photos they take during the party.
  7. Send the invitations. You should do this 2-3 weeks before the party.
{What to Wear} Just be comfortable and wear something appropriate for the theme, location, and time of day/season. Other than that, don’t let your engagement party attire outshine your wedding day attire. {Etiquette}
  • Guest List: If you’re going to have a smaller and/or destination wedding, your engagement party might be the time to invite those friends and family members that won’t attend the wedding. Just make your plans clear early on so no feelings are hurt.
  • Toasts: About 2/3 of the way through the party, the bride’s father should give the first toast, followed by the groom and anyone else who is interested in saying a few kind words.
  • Gifts: It’s uncommon for guests to bring gifts to engagement parties, but some will want to do so. Let your host know in advance where to place gifts as they arrive, and if you’d prefer your guests make a donation to a charity, have that information available. Just make sure you have an answer ready when the time comes.
  • For the hosts: Give them a thank you gift, such as tickets to a show or a copy of your favorite book. Something simple is perfect.

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