Immediately after getting engaged, it is normal to want to rush to the telephone and tell your closest friends and family about the good news. In fact some couples hold a dinner party and then announce their engagement as a total surprise for everyone present.
Now if you have totally decided on holding an engagement party you should probably hold a ‘things to do’ list. This article hopefully will make your task easier and give you some real pointers about what to do before planning to throw an engagement party.
Considering The Distance
Engagement parties are a bit problematic if the families of the couple live far apart from the couple. So before arranging for the engagement party, do factor in the price of the travel. If your family is willing to pay for the travel themselves then it’s great. Otherwise plan the cost of the travel along with all the costs for the engagement party.
Limited Guest List
The guests who are invited to the wedding should be the only people who are invited to the engagement party. That does not however mean that you need to invite everyone who is attending the wedding because otherwise the logistics, costs and everything else is just going to be a nightmare. Engagements are usually intimate affairs so keep it that way if you can.
Invitations For Engagement Party
The best way to invite guests to your invitation party is by post though you can make a follow up by e-mail. It would be a nice move to include an RSVP card with a deadline for replying back.
This small piece of planning will help you a long way in getting the party organized as you will then know the guest list well in advance. So don’t mess up on the invitations and you are halfway through towards hosting an amazing engagement party.
Location For Engagement Party
A very important thing to remember while choosing the venue for the engagement party is that you would not want to upstage the actual wedding itself. Rather you would want to choose a venue that will compliment the venue for the marriage reception. Thus if you are planning to have a beach wedding then you would be wise not to try a beach engagement party as well. You can rather arrange the party in a cruise or at a nice cocktail restaurant.
Decoration For Engagement Party
For an engagement party the decoration should be simple yet elegant in taste. Though some flowers and other decorative stuff are expected but it should be kept in mind that you should not go overboard with the decorations.
For your engagement party it is highly recommended that you hire a professional photographer to take all the snaps if you can afford it. You might be surprised to know that many photographers give you a handsome discount if you get both the engagement and wedding party done by him. So use the engagement party as a trial ground for your marriage party to see how well the pictures turn out.
Music For Engagement Party
If you are planning to hire a dj for the event then you won’t have any problem with the music department in all likeliness. However if for some reason, like constraints in budget, you have decided against hiring a dj for the occasion then you have to either make up iPod playlists or some CD’s and play them throughout.
This responsibility usually falls on the best friends of the couple. Discuss with your friend about what he\she will say during the toasting period so that you are not lacking preparation in any field.
It is usually a good idea if the toasting speech is about how they met the bride and groom, what their ‘story’ is and lastly asking the guests to raise their glasses in support of the newly engaged couple. A great toast forms the rugged backbone of all successful engagement parties.
Eat And Drink
If you are planning to use a caterer for the event then consider asking them for an overall package for both the engagement party and the actual wedding party. By doing this you may end up saving a ton of money as a discount. Another advantage of letting a professional handle the food is that they can estimate exactly how much food you will need for your guest list. Now for drinks you should consider serving only wine and beer as champagne would be too expensive. Buy the drinks in bulk at a discount store and don’t forget the ice either.
Although not mandatory, but providing entertainment will definitely enhance your engagement party. You can consider from bands, lounge singers to comedians and then decide what goes best with your theme. Compare costs of the different entertainments and then decide on whatever suits you best.
It is definitely proper to bring gifts for an engagement party. However it is not mandatory at all and it is best if you don’t expect gifts at all. If anybody asks about what they should bring you can either say ‘nothing’ or else you can say ‘flowers’. However inspite of your not wanting gifts you will end up with quite a number of engagement gifts. Be happy that you have received the gifts and put it to good use.
These are the basic elements required for the planning of an engagement parties. Apart from these you can try out theme parties. They are also quite fun and definitely innovative to say the least. However remember one thing- it is your engagement at the end of the day and you can plan to have the engagement party any way you and your partner sees fit.
So don’t fret over the details too much and just follow the basic guidelines of this article and you should do just fine. There will be some nervousness and tension behind your mind regarding the planning but if you take time to plan things in advance, you might just be lucky in having the engagement that people will praise years later.