Congratulations! There’s going to be a wedding! Whether it’s your impending nuptials and you’re throwing your own bash, or one of your best friends is tying the knot, an engagement party is often the first celebration to plan after the question is popped. Before the big boom of the wedding, you’ll want a smaller explosion of fun to celebrate the happy couple. But how do you pull off the affair? We’ve got the tips you need to host a spectacular engagement party.
Step 1. Nail the basics.
Answer these few questions first: who will host, when will the party be, and who will be invited. Traditionally, the bride’s parents throw this party, but in modern times it’s not rare for a sibling, best friend, or other family member to step up and take over.
Step 2. Commit to a theme.
Once you know how many people will be present, search for a venue. Engagement parties can be held at home—as long as there is enough space to accommodate the guest list—or at a restaurant, event space, or community space. Choose a venue and theme that complement each other, and then drive that theme home in the décor and invitations. If there are dress code specifics, include that information in the invitation for guests.
Step 3. Plan a menu.
The food should complement the theme. For example, an elegant cocktail party deserves hors d’oeuvres, at a backyard luau barbecue will suffice, a brunch affair needs breakfast goods like pastries and a mimosa bar. You can plan the menu (and theme) around your budget, but make sure there is some food available to guests even if it is just snacks.
Step 4. Clue in the bride.
It’s okay to surprise the bride with details at the big event, but try to clue her into some of the bigger decisions. For example, she may have insight into her family that suggests a specific time of day will work best. Perhaps her grandmother can’t drive at night and her presence is necessary. Also keep in mind how particular your bride is. After all, the day is about her (and her groom). If she doesn’t do well with surprises, let her be more involved in the planning.
Step 5. Celebrate!
Pop the champagne and toast to the happy couple! This is the perfect way to send them off into a whirlwind year of wedding planning.