Heyyy friends! If you are new here, welcome! My name is Jenna, one of the two ladies who started Behind the Party Podcast. We work at a wedding venue and are obsessed with all things relating to planning a marriage.
We are still in the midst of engagement season! (Our favorite time of the year!!) If you are newly engaged, congrats! We can’t wait to have you along for the wedding planning journey. Let’s kick off this engagement with some tips for planning an engagement party. So, if you are a newly engaged couple wanting to celebrate this joyous occasion or a friend helping plan the celebration, we’ve got some tips for you!
Where Do I Start: Planning an Engagement Party
Determine the hostess(es) that will help: The larger the guest lists and more extensive the planning, the more hostesses you will want.
Guest Lists: Whether it is large or small, figure out who you want to attend.
Date & Location
Menu: Food & Beverage menus!
Activities: Do you want to have any fun activities/icebreakers? Or will it be less structured like a mix-and-mingle type event?
Did you just get engaged and want to plan your own party?
You can simply start by determining your guest list with your new fiance, the setting of the event, deciding if you want something more casual or formal, etc. Reach out to your closest family and friends if you need additional support when planning!
Are you proposing and wanting to plan a party without your significant other’s knowledge??
Ask for help. You already have a very big job. Planning the proposal and party can be a lot to do alone! So reach out to the family and friends that you trust the most to keep it on the DL and has your and your soon-to-be fiance’s interests at heart. From there, determine how small/large, formal/informal you would like it to be. Then find a space that will work for the size and vibe of the event. You will most likely be in charge of the guest list, so if you are worried about missing anyone, be sure to ask someone who knows your significant other very well for help with the guest list.
Are you wanting to plan a party for a friend?
Just be upfront, talk with the couple and determine exactly what would make them happy in the moment. Some couples might want something small with only family while others might want a huge celebration. Make sure you keep their best interests in mind. Ask for a guest list, determine what size space you will need, then get to planning! Be sure to keep their unique personalities/relationship in mind when planning the theme, and style, picking decor, and planning activities. If they are into more casual settings, you don’t have to pick out elegant, over-the-top decor. If they enjoy games, plan some fun games for the party! Have fun, get creative and ask for help!!
Who should I ask to help plan the engagement party?
If you are planning an engagement party for a couple, I will assume that you know them pretty well. First, ask yourself who the couple is closest to/who they would trust in their tastes, style, ideas, etc. Here are who we see help out most commonly:
Parents of the couple
Additional family members
Friends of the couples
The couple (for specific wants/requests)
How quickly after getting engaged would you recommend having a party?
Some people like to plan a party on the DAY that they are engaged. This is awesome! Some people want to wait and be a part of the planning. That is great, too. The individual proposing will most likely have a good idea of what their significant other would prefer.
An article at Brides.com says it is most common to have an engagement party within two months of getting engaged.
Formal vs. Casual Engagement Party
Formal: Located at a venue, country club, or private area at a nice restaurant. Using nice decor, having somewhat of an agenda, sending formal invitations, etc.
Casual: Located at a house or park. Think: pool party, cookout, game night, etc. Often, you can simply send texts or create a facebook invite to ask people to attend.
Get started on that guest list quickly! It takes the most amount of time, and you will want plenty of time to give people
Make sure you know who the point of contact is. Let everyone know who they need to reach out to in the case of needing assistance (especially if this is a surprise). If you are planning a party on the same day as the proposal, be sure to find a location that is close enough to the site where the proposal is happening!
Questions to help you get started:
What time of day are you planning to have the party? If you are thinking of having it at a time that people normally eat, you will need to have a meal or heavy hor devours, or give the guests a heads up if you are only planning to have snacks on the invite.
What type of beverages will you have? Thinking more family friendly or are you wanting alcohol. If so, who will supply it, how will you get it there, how will you keep it cold, does someone need to serve it?
Tips for planning a same-day, surprise engagement party
It is probably no surprise that the trickiest type of engagement party to pull off is a surprise party on the day of the proposal. There are so many legistics that go into the day, especially if you are trying to do the party at the same location as the proposal. How will you hide people and cars? How will you sneak in food and drinks? Sometimes it can end up being a lot. Be sure to reach out to professionals to help, whether that is a planner, caterer, servers, etc.
This Episode hosted by JENNA