Whether a dear friend is hosting your engagement party or you are throwing it for yourself, it can be a lot to juggle on top of work, life, and wedding planning. From setting (and sticking to) a budget and finding the perfect venue to creating the guest list and deciding on a menu, planning an engagement party can take a fair amount of time if you don’t know what you need to do. So today, and in an effort to make sure celebrating your engagement is more party than pain, we’re sharing our top tips and tasks to help you plan a serious soiree! Read on for the ultimate checklist and use it to make planning your engagement party a breeze.
Photo by Wedding Reps Studios
The Ultimate Engagement Party Checklist
Don’t know where to start with planning an engagement party? We’ve broken it down into 9 important tasks.
1. Set a budget – Whether you are footing the bill for your engagement party or someone else is, the first thing to do is to set a budget. Have an honest conversation about what you envision the party looking like, estimate the costs, and figure out how (and who) to pay for it all.
2. Select a host – While it’s tradition for the bride’s parents to throw the engagement party, don’t be afraid to throw tradition out of the window! Nowadays, it is common for couples to host their own engagement parties or for close friends to do it as well. Regardless of who ends up hosting, make sure you discuss who is taking care of what during the planning process.
3. Pick a venue – Pick a venue that fits the vibe you want to set for your engagement party (and that fits the number of people you plan on inviting). If you want something more intimate, hosting your party at someone’s home or a private room at your favorite restaurant are great ideas. Or, you can find a venue that is larger or more unique, if your budget allows.
4. Create your guest list – Remember, anyone who is invited to your engagement party should also be invited to your wedding. So, if you haven’t had the time to put your wedding guest list together, keep the invite list for your engagement party to close family and friends.
5. Send invitations – People typically need 3-4 weeks to respond to an invitation, so be sure to have them ready to go a little more than a month before the date of your party.
6. Decide on décor – Engagement parties don’t require a lot of décor but who doesn’t love (or want) flowers every chance they get? We recommend finding a professional florist in your area, so you can have the beautiful flowers you want without having to add another task to your list.
7. Plan your menu – The most important detail to hosting a great engagement party? Great food and drink! Even if you are having a more intimate or casual engagement party, one of the smartest things you can do is hire a caterer and bartender. Working with a professional is the best way to plan a great menu for your guests, without needing to ask one of your family members to spend their entire day in the kitchen.
8. Book your entertainment – The second most important detail to hosting a great engagement party? Great music! Whether you want to book a strolling violinist to serenade your guests, find a singer guitarist to play your favorite songs, or book a band to get people dancing, you can set the tone (and the stage) for a good time with musical entertainment.
9. Hire a photographer – Having an engagement shoot with a photographer? We love the idea of planning your session for the hours before your engagement party and hiring the photographer to come photograph the party as well! Looking for something a little more interactive for your guests? Photo booths are always a crowd favorite!