For couples who want to savour this amazing point in their lives, an engagement party is the perfect way to share your special milestone with loved ones. We’ve put together our top ten engagement party must-haves to keep your guests buzzing with excitement until the main event – your wedding!
1. A Memorable Theme
This is one of the most essential aspects of your engagement party but definitely one of the most fun parts to plan! Choosing a theme can, but doesn’t have to mean something specific like ‘places we’ve traveled together’. A simple colour scheme or mix of patterns could suffice as a theme to base your engagement party planning around. Thin stripes and on-trend marble can look very elegant in metallic shades whereas colour combinations like mint and peach or citrus hues can work really well for a bright and cheerful Summer engagement.
If it is a specific theme you’re going for, these are just a few popular ideas you could try:
Great Gatsby / Glittering Gold
For chilled, summer vibes give a tropical theme a go. Tropical doesn’t have to mean garish Hawaiian shirts and coconut bras; opt for more subtle symbols of the tropics like golden pineapples and coral pink flamingos!
In recent years we’ve definitely seen the rise of the ‘industrial’ trend. Incorporate industrial chic into your engagement party with classic party lights and rustic, up-cycled props. To make this theme a little more party friendly try softening with pastel decorations like honeycombs, pom poms and hanging decorations.
2. A Signature Cocktail
Image Source: Design Love Fest
A simple bubbly on arrival is all well and good but why not mix things up a little and serve your very own signature cocktail using your favourite ingredients that symbolises you as a couple! You can then bring it back to life on your wedding day which will be a nice little reminder of your engagement party.
3. Social Treats
It’s quite nice to keep things a bit more informal with your engagement party menu. Opt for a buffet style arrangement, walking menu or canapés so your guests aren’t limited to their table for the evening, this moves us nicely onto our next must-have.
4. Mingling Guests
Get your guests chatting and mingling. This may well be the first time lots of them have met and will most likely be the last time before your big day! An engagement party is the perfect opportunity to get your wedding guests familiar with eachother before the main event, this will make your wedding day much more relaxed as a lot of your guests won’t need to break the ice! Here’s a few ideas to get your guests talking…
- Save the seating plan for the wedding; having a seating plan can limit your guests freedom of chat!
- Sharing menu – you can have so much fun with a sharing menu and guests really love to get involved.
- Small/Tall tables – if you’re opting for a larger venue it might be nice to have some tall cocktail tables near the bar so your guests can stop and have a chat without having to find a seat.
5. Personal Touches
You want to keep your guests happy but ultimately, this day is all about the happy couple. If you’re hosting the engagement party, not the bride and groom to be, make the day extra special with some personal touches like personalised banners, cakes and gifts. These extra efforts are the things that’ll be remembered when the celebrations are over, not the colour of your tableware or your engagement party playlist!
Photo booths are a great way of making sure you get photos from your engagement party without the hassle. The alternatives are hiring a photographer or having a family friend dedicated to being that annoying person walking around interrupting conversations to get a ‘quick snap’. A photo booth is a much more relaxed option, guests can have fun with colourful props and can get their photos taken in their own time! There are different options for different budgets; you can hire a passport photo style booth or you could simply make your own booth with a selection of fancy dress, photo booth props and a polaroid camera!
7. Words of Wisdom
An engagement party is the perfect opportunity for family and friends to share their words of advice before the big day. A guestbook is for the wedding so why not do something a little different and ask all the guests to share one piece of advice for the wedding or tips for a happy marriage! This could be in the form of a wishing tree where guests hang their notes on the branches or a personalised keepsake box that guests can fill with their messages.
8. Old Photos
Whilst you’re making new photos of new memories, it’s always nice to look back on old memories the couple have shared together. Why not create a little timeline of photos going through all the special times the couple have shared together.
9. The Right Lighting!
Lighting may seem like a very minor detail for any celebration but this really isn’t the case. Lighting sets the mood and ambience of your event so you really do need to think about the vibe your going for and how your lighting is going to reflect this. Festoon lights are very popular at the moment and offer so many different options for styling for a more relaxed environment. Fairy lights are another very popular choice, especially for weddings; yellow light is more relaxed whereas white lighting is a little brighter and doesn’t give such a cosy, calm atmosphere.
10. Useful Favours/Gifts
Some of your guests may have travelled a fair distance and have taken time to celebrate this important moment of your lives. It’s always nice to give something back, even if it is something small. Small should never be confused with useless and often, in my opinion, favours can be pretty useless. Couples are getting more and more creative with favours, getting them personalised or engraved etc but this sometimes means you’re spending more on the personalisation than the actual favour itself! Don’t get me wrong, I do really love personal touches but when you have a budget to consider or you’re looking for something your guests will actually use, then a lot of the on-trend favours we see today might be a waste of your precious money. A personalised matchbox for example – does it look really cute? Yes, will your guests use it? Possibly, but at the end of the day it’s a match box so you’re most likely paying for the personalisation not the matches.
Here are a few practical ideas for favours and gifts:
- Bottle openers/bottle stoppers
- Edible gifts (always appreciated) such as home made jams and chutneys
- Classy hangover kit
- Disposable Cameras
There you have our top ten must-haves for your engagement party. If you have any other ideas or words of wisdom then please share with us!