Everything You Need to Know About Engagement Party Planning


Everything You Need to Know About Engagement Party Planning


An engagement party is all about celebrating the exciting news and happy couple! It’s a chance

for family and close friends to gather and both sides of the family to get to know each other. Think

of the engagement party as a formal kickoff to wedding planning.


While an engagement party can be lots of fun, planning one out takes significant, time, effort, and

coordination. Party planning has a lot of puzzle pieces involved, so if you want to fill out the whole

puzzle without missing a piece, make sure to read the tips below on how to plan the perfect

engagement party.



Decide Who is Hosting


Traditionally the bride’s parents host the engagement party, but the groom’s family or friends can

also choose to host the party or contribute to the event.


Pick a Date for the Party


Three to four months after you get engaged is a good time to host your engagement party. Keep in

mind any holidays that may land on the day you choose to host. You may want to avoid hosting during

a holiday, or on the other hand, take advantage of the day off and have two celebrations at once.


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Create the Guest List


Usually immediate family members from both sides are invited, including your siblings and grandparents.

Some couples choose to invite their bridal party and other friends and relatives who are close to them.

Invite only guests you plan to invite to the wedding as well. It is recommended to keep the guest list small;

this should be more of an intimate party where both sides of the family get to know each other.


Choose a Venue


Popular venue options for an engagement party range from elegant, private dining at a restaurant to a

laid-back engagement party at home or in the backyard. For a formal party, you can choose your favorite

restaurant for brunch or a fancy dinner. If you want a laid-back engagement party, a backyard barbeque,

a party on the beach, or hosting the party at home are all great options. Once you decide on the venue

and date, don’t forget to make reservations and any additional accommodations as needed.


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Send Invitations


If you’re having a formal engagement party, paper invitations are appropriate, although they are not

required. If you want a budget-friendly option, send out e-vites with a formal design or a design you love.

A few recommended websites for designing your invitation include: Minted, a great website with beautiful

designs for both online and paper invitations; Paperless Post, a website that offers unique, modern designs

in both paper and evite options, and Vistaprint, a website with budget-friendly options for paper invites.


Plan the Menu


Typically, whoever hosts the party helps with the menu planning. You’ll need to think about what appetizers,

drinks, entrees, main course dishes, and desserts to include. Choose your favorite drinks to include in the

menu as well. Your venue will help determine what types of appetizers and dishes to include.


If it’s a causal party at home, a cheese or charcuterie board is a both a delicious and presentable appetizer.

If it’s a causal party and you choose to have a potluck, have guests write down what they will bring to avoid

two types of the same salad or not having enough entrees.


For dessert, you can have something simple such as cake, donuts, or ice cream, or go more fancy with

macaroons, truffles, and you name it.


You may choose to add a cultural dish or request grandma’s homemade butter rolls. When planning the menu,

keep in mind any food allergies your guests may have and include some vegetarian options.


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Decide on Décor


Add some simple décor to create a festive mood. Candles, string lights, paper lanterns, confetti, balloons,

flowers, and fresh greenery always add to any celebratory occasion. You can also choose an engagement

party banner or sign with the wedding date, a countdown until the wedding, your favorite love quote, or simply

your (the couple’s) names. Another idea is incorporating faux engagement ring napkins or faux diamonds as

part of the décor. Other simple decorations include: a banner with photos of the couple and/or a fancy welcome

sign to greet the guests.


Choose the Soundtrack in Advance


Soft, background music not only sets the mood but also hides any awkward, silent moments guests may have.

After all, some of your guests may be meeting for the first time and it can take a while to get the conversation

going. Create a list of your favorite love songs or instrumental music and have it ready to play before the party

begins. Don’t forget the speakers as well!


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Decide What to Wear


A white or soft pastel dress or outfit lets everyone know that you’re the lady of the hour, but you can choose to

wear any color you like. If it’s a formal party, wear a cocktail dress and have the groom wear a suit. As the couple

of the hour, you don’t have to have matching outfits or complimentary colors, but it’ll look great in pictures. Make

sure your partner’s attire complements yours in formality, so both of you either wear a formal outfit or

causal/semi-formal outfit.


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Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help


Whoever chooses to host the party will probably appreciate some help in one way or another. If you are the host,

ask your friends, the bridal party, and/or family to bring their signature dish or something sweet. If you have a friend

who is creative and great with décor, don’t be afraid to ask about décor ideas or to ask for help arranging the décor.

Don’t take the burden of setting up and decorating for the party all by yourself.


Use a Checklist


If you like checklists and marking off to-do lists, an engagement party checklist will help you stay on track. There are

many online checklists offered for free, such as this Engagement Party Checklist. Don’t forget to have fun along the way!

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