How exciting! Your partner popped the question and you said a big YES! Now it’s time to get started on planning your engagement party to celebrate the next step in your life with close family and friends.
But where to start? With so many ideas, locations and party styles out there, choosing one to suit both yourself and your partner, as well as your budget can be time consuming and just plain confusing.
If you’re trying to plan the perfect engagement party, the tips below should get you started.
Who is Hosting?
Traditionally the bride’s parents hosted an engagement party, but today, this role is taken on by anyone close to the couple or even the couple themselves. Have more than one person wanting to throw you an engagement party? Go for it! It’s quite common for each parent to want to put on a celebration for the family on their side or to have a family-based engagement party and then a celebration with friends.
Set a Date
Engagement parties are usually held not long after the engagement, but unless you’ve got plans to get married quite quickly, there is no rush to hold one straight away, especially if you need to travel home to celebrate. As with any celebration, picking a date can be quite difficult but trying to stay away from other big family events (such as Christmas) or long weekends, can certainly help people in attending.
What’s Your Budget?
The budget – your engagement party is a great time to test your budgeting skills, because they are certainly going to come in handy when planning your wedding. Never spend more than you are comfortable with and always leave yourself a little in the budget in case the location is more expensive than originally planned for or to cover those little things you may have forgotten.
Location, Location, and Menu
Choosing a location is one of the more important parts of planning your engagement party. The venue you choose should be suitable to the style of party you want to have – formal, casual, night event, mid-morning event etc. A private function room is a great way to celebrate and can suit a range of party styles, and allows you to let someone else run the night while you and your partner enjoy the celebration.
When it comes time to choose the menu, having a range of options is the best way to go. Whether you decide to have finger food at a private function or a BBQ in the backyard, make sure the food suits the style of event you are having and that there is enough for everyone. This is where catered options can be a better choice – you don’t need to worry about there not being enough food.
Guests and Invites
The guest list can be one of the hardest parts of engagement planning as traditionally, anyone who is invited to the engagement party should be invited to the wedding. This may be where those two separate celebrations come in to play – a “formal” engagement party that involves those who will be invited to the wedding and a more casual affair, celebrating with a wider group of friends.
Getting stuck into the guest list early is your best bet. If you are hosting the engagement party yourself, it is easy enough to stick to the guest list you decide on; if someone else is hosting for you, ask them to run the guest list past you allowing you and your partner to add some people or take some people off the list.
Once your guest list is set, you can then organise your invitations and get them out to your guests.
What to do with Gifts
While gifts shouldn’t be expected at an engagement party, some guests will want to bring one along anyway. Start to think about the types of items you could use, and pass on a small list to your parents who can let people know if asked. Alternatively, if you do not want gifts, make a note on your invitations kindly requesting guests not to bring gifts (perhaps you could ask them to make a donation on your behalf to your favourite charity instead).
Enlist Some Help
If you are organising your engagement party yourself, enlist some help from close friends to help everything run smoothly on the day or night including help decorating, setting up the food and drinks, and if needed, cleaning up at the end of the night.
Slow Down and Enjoy the Day
Celebration day! Make sure you take the time to sit back and take in the moment. Enjoy being surrounded by family and friends at such a special moment and look forward to the years of celebrations and memories to come.
If you’re looking for a great engagement party venue in Perth, The Bell Tower offers private and unique function spaces within walking distance from the CBD. With event specialists and a list of recommended catering suppliers, all you need to do is enjoy the night and the views over the Swan River with family and friends.