In between love, laughter and happily ever after comes the engagement party. While there are plenty of reasons to celebrate the sparkler on your ring finger, sharing your joy with family and friends tops the list. The engagement party is the perfect opportunity to dip your toe in wedding planning. The best is yet to come! Here is what you need to know about planning a prewedding soirée.
The engagement party is usually scheduled three months after the big announcement. This will be the first of many times to bring together your friends, family and loved ones with a lively celebration.
After the invites were sent, we were blown away from the response and were on our way to planning an intimate get together for 70 of our closest friends and family! It’s easy to get lost in the vast amount of options you have for venue, caterer and so on, which is why you must always go with your first instinct. I can remember celebrating almost every monumental moment at my parents house, and it was my first pick to hold the afternoon fête.
My mother told me to pick the very best one and you are it.”
Engagement Party Checklist
1. Choose a host
Traditionally, the bride’s parents throw an engagement party, but there’s no rule for who should host or how many engagement parties one can have. It’s entirely appropriate for anyone close to the couple to take on this role, or for several people to host jointly.
2. Pick a date
When celebrating your engagement, try to pick a date that’s reflective of your proposal glow. Two to three months is ideal, enough time to plan. You’ll want a date that definitely works for parents and close family.
3. Select a venue
The venue you choose should depend on the size and vibe of the party you’d like to have. We chose to have an open house to accommodate all the guests we looked forward to seeing – from small children to puppies and close friends! You also need to have a rain plan. The day before our shower, the weather report said 100% rain. We were prepared to have the soiree inside or out but it ended up being a glorious afternoon!
4. Make a list and send invitations
Engagement parties are an opportunity for both sides of the family and close friends to mix and mingle in a relaxed environment. Golden rule: you should only invite people you plan to invite to the wedding as well. Mail or email invites three weeks to a month before the event if you can.
5. Plan a menu
What’s a party without cake and champagne? We opted to cater in a mini buffet and serve sparkling rosé and the groom’s favorite beer. Sticking to these fan favorites kept everyone happy and cheers-ing into the early evening.
6. Prep the venue.
Make sure you have enough seating for everyone – you may need to order any extra tables and chairs. Decide the aesthetic of the party and choose decor to match!
There is something truly special to be said about being surrounded by all of the people you love all in one place. By the end of the night, my cheeks honestly hurt from all of the smiling and laughing.
All photos were taken by are fantastical, wonderful, brilliant, talented photographer Alexandra Gerard. Follow her on Instagram @itsyagrlgerry.