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How to Plan the Perfect Engagement Party
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How to Plan the Perfect Engagement Party

So, you’ve just gotten engaged! This is an exciting time for you both, but be aware, things are about to get crazy. You are about to head into the whirlwind that is ‘wedding planning’. But before you even get to that stage, you have an engagement party to plan first! Good news is, planning an engagement party is nowhere near as hectic as planning a wedding.

An engagement party is all about celebrating a newly engaged couple and the bond they both have for each other. Compared to your wedding, this is supposed to be a much more casual and low-key occasion, so there’s no need to go all out and blow the budget when planning this special day.

So, to help you out with the planning process, we’ve listed all the steps you need to plan the perfect engagement party.


1. Who Will Host and Plan the Party

You’re probably thinking ‘well me of course’ however traditionally, the bride’s parents are the ones who host the party. So, before you rush off and start planning it yourself, you might want to double check with your parents first, just in case they were hoping to host it.

But if you’re really keen to plan out the day, you’re actually in the majority here. These days, it is far more common for the couple themselves to plan and host the special event.


2. Decide on a Budget

Set aside a realistic budget before locking in everything for your engagement party. By having a budget in place first, you can make sure you don’t end up spending more than you need too. Remember, you still have a wedding to pay for!

If you end up being under budget, even better – that means more money to put towards your wedding. You could even see this as a great first budgeting experience before planning the wedding day itself.


3. Choose a Date and Time

There’s no need to rush into your engagement party right after popping the question. Take some time to yourselves first and enjoy being engaged before picking your date.

There are no specific rules here, as the date of your engagement party can depend on how long you expect your engagement to be. The shorter your engagement period is, the sooner your engagement party will be held.

We recommend leaving a 6-month buffer at least between your engagement party and your wedding, so you have more than enough time to plan your wedding day.


4. Come Up With a Guest List

Make sure you and your soon-to-be hubby sit down together to plan this one. The biggest rule to keep in mind of here is that on most occasions, any guest you invite to your engagement party should also be invited to your wedding. So essentially, you’re planning your wedding invitation list right here, right now.

At least that part of your wedding day plans will be over and done with early!

However, if you do wish to invite a much larger group to your engagement party than your wedding, that’s totally fine too. In fact, this may be the best opportunity to celebrate your relationship with all the important people in your life, particularly if you can’t afford to invite that amount of people on your wedding day.

As long as guests are made aware of this first, either in the invitation or in person, this will avoid any disappointment once your wedding invitations are sent out.


5. Pick a Location

The location and venue you decide on will largely come down to the budget you came up with in earlier steps. It will also depend on how formal or casual you want your event to be. Here are a few options we thought up for you:

  • Lunch or dinner at your home or a family member’s home
  • Hire a room with drinks and canapes at a nice bar
  • Book a large table at a restaurant or café
  • Barbeque and picnic in a park
  • Hire a space at a unique venue – rooftop bar, art gallery etc
  • Hold your engagement party on a boat
  • Hire a public hall or space through the city council

6. Send out Invitations

There are so many options you can go with these days when it comes to sending out invitations. Many still opt for the traditional mailed invites, because the novelty of it is too much to resist. However, if this sounds like too much work for you, you can also consider sending out an e-invite via email.

If you want to go down an even easier route, you could create a Facebook invite instead (as long as everyone is on Facebook of course) or send a text message with the details included.


7. Engagement Party Formalities

An engagement party is not meant to be a formal affair, and there is no set schedule for the day. All you need to do is eat, drink and mingle with your friends and family. If you do want to add a bit more structure to the celebration, the couple may like to do a speech. You could even purchase and cut into an engagement cake too.


8. Food and Drinks

This is what a big chunk of your budget will go towards. Here are the primary things to consider when it comes to food and drinks:

  • Breakfast, lunch or dinner
  • Bar tab, buy your own or BYO
  • Canapes, sit down meal or buffet
  • Provided by the venue, caterer, cook yourself or ask guests to bring a plate


9. Gifts and Wishing Well

This is a tricky one, and it’s something that will come down to what is best for you and how you’ve planned out the day. Unlike a wedding, gifts are not necessarily expected on this occasion.

If you will be paying for the drinks and food for all the guests, you’re perfectly obliged to request a gift or a wishing well donation for the event. However, if you’re hosting a BYO event, there should be no expectation for guests to bring a gift.

Even if you ask for no gifts on your invitations, there’s a chance some guests may bring some anyway, so make sure there will be a space to put them if needed.


10. Decide on The Theme

Deciding on a theme and styling can be a highlight for many brides to be. You can take your liberty with colours and patterns here because the look doesn’t need to be as formal and polished as your wedding day.

You are completely at liberty to style your engagement party any way you wish. Our big piece of advice here is to check with your venue first before buying decorations as they may have rules for the type of decorations you can set up. Here are a few decorations you can consider:

  • Balloons
  • Streamers
  • Table centrepieces
  • Paper lanterns
  • Signs and banners
  • Table confetti


11. What to Wear

Most soon to be brides opt for an elegant and feminine dress. Pastel colours and florals are very popular; however, this will also depend on the theme of your day. If your event is outdoors, the dress you pick can be more light, casual and flowing. A beautiful jumpsuit with some heels is another wonderful option to consider too.

If you can get your other half on board, you could both wear matching colours that also compliment the colour theme of your event.


We hope you have a wonderful engagement party filled with happy memories! Remember to show off the beautiful new bling on your finger, and once it’s time to match it up with a stunning wedding ring, don’t forget to pop into a Diamonds International store.

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