6 Engagement Party Ideas Sure to Keep Guests ‘Engaged’
For some folks, the idea of planning any party at all is a nightmare. All those mouths to feed, conversation after conversation, and expectations to meet. But for others, we want to celebrate anything and everything, including our impending nuptials to our forever person and the very sparkling engagement ring that recently found its way onto our left hand. While certainly not required, engagement parties can still be pretty fun if you stick to your personalities and make your fête about you instead of what you think is the “norm.” From backyard BBQs to champagne cocktails to costumes galore, here’s a few engagement party ideas to help your engagement party go from tired to timeless — with a twist.
How to Throw a Great Engagement Party
No matter your engagement celebration style, there are a few all-around good tips and tricks to keep in mind when you throw an engagement party. The first of which is to make it its own moment. Don’t have the party where your families are meeting for the first time. And don’t center the party around other holiday events when folks have plenty of their own plans.
It’s also good to go ahead and get your wedding website set up now. Trust us, as soon as you get engaged, folks are going to start asking questions like, “when’s the big day,” and “have you registered anywhere?“. And, frankly, darling, having one central place to keep all the info will save you so many headaches. On that note: You can definitely start a wedding registry whenever you like, but don’t expect gifts for your engagement party. And if you get some, consider them a bonus.
Costumes to Cocktails: Choosing an Engagement Party Theme
You can go all out with an engagement party idea or you can keep it chill, but having a general theme to guide your decision making will be helpful in the long run. Your party should be a reflection of you as a couple, so think about your passions and interests, or special moments in your story.
Popped the big question on a scenic hike? Maybe your party has a wild, nature-inspired theme. Or if you’re obsessed with rosé all day, you gotta go pink and bubbly all the way. Wine connoisseurs? Anime-obsessed? Hygge-hounds? Choose a theme that feels right and follow it through in your decor, food and drink, and day-of details. Oh, and let your guests know what the theme is and what dress code they should aspire to. If you’re going for wintertime Nordic, guide folks toward cozy sweaters and ski boots. If it’s being hosted in a barn, then clue people into wearing their best boots and bandanas.
Unique Engagement Party Ideas
Sure, you can just throw up a few party decorations and cheers to the newly engaged, but isn’t going for something a bit more unique also more fun? Here are some quickie ideas to kick around:
Ok, hear us out. While to some this might seem like skimping, we’re all about inclusion. And agreeing to spend the rest of your life with someone isn’t just about that one person. It’s about the community you’re creating together. So come up with a general theme, and then have everyone on the invite list bring a dish to share. Invite them to also contribute a recipe so you can build your own recipe book from all your family and friends’ faves. What better way to kick off a life together than one full of flavor?
Sure you could have a cocktail party. But that’s been done. Instead, don’t just have cocktails, make them! Hire a bartender to help guests along the journey of crafting custom cocktails (or mocktails) for the evening. Draw inspiration from the happy couple and design your cocktails to reflect them. Then you can taste everyone’s creations and vote on your favorites. The winning drink can make an appearance on the big day. Don’t forget to serve plenty of yummy bites and maybe a sweet treat or two.
Life’s a brunch
Engagement parties don’t have to be evening affairs at all. Especially if you’re the kind of couple to be found regularly brunching at your fave diner down the street. Why not rent the place out and go wild with a brunch-themed party? Include all your favorite bites from fresh cinnamon rolls and fluffy pancakes to eggs over easy. You can even have everyone don their favorite sweatpants and make it a super cozy, familial event that’s laid back and intimate. Want something a bit more formal? Make it a served brunch with eggs benny, mimosas in fancy flutes, and garden party tea-time treats.
Want a summery bash that’s the perfect setting for engagement party games and fun? Find a local swimming spot you can rent out and get out the floaties. Make umbrella drinks, get custom-branded sunglasses (because who doesn’t need a freebie?), and throw a pool party for the ages. You can even rent a hot dog cart and get some pool volleyball going if you’re a sporty crew. Or chill poolside under big striped cabanas if that’s more your vibe. Don’t forget the tunes though! Have a DJ pump up the jams or have your most musically-inclined friends collab on a summer-themed playlist. Great music keeps moods high!
If you’re less DIY and more “the finer things” in life, then make your engagement party all about high end fun. Maybe it’s at the finest restaurant in town or a venue with a spectacular view. Maybe you do a fancy wine tasting or a Gatsby-themed cocktail party. Or maybe you throw your engagement party on a boat, err, we mean yacht. Whatever a fancy, formal party means to you, go for it. And of course let everyone know that you’re picking up the tab.
Keeping it low-key
On the other hand, if you’re a couple who loves to keep things low key, you totally don’t have to pick a fancy party venue. Instead, play host at home with your close family and friends. If you love to cook, you can totally do that, just make sure you’re well prepared and have some assistants at the ready so you can actually enjoy your party and guests instead of sweating over a hot stove all night.
Or why not hire a private chef to come cook all your favorite dishes from the comfort of your home and take the night off entirely? You can bust out your favorite board games or play some new engagement party games to celebrate the happy couple.
Go Big or Watch Your Budget
No matter what theme you love or how you want to celebrate this moment, your engagement party doesn’t have to break the bank when it comes to expenses. There are plenty of fun and creative ways to throw an engagement party and still save cash. From venues (your house, your parent’s place, a friend’s cabin in the woods…) to DIY photo booths (you know, that little camera we all carry in our hands 24/7), some engagement party ideas are basically free.
Find a free venue, use Paperless Post or other free evite options for your engagement party invitations, and do as much as you can yourself, but don’t forget to delegate tasks. Getting your closest friends and family together to help throw a party in your home or backyard can be just as much fun as a more formal affair. Get everyone to contribute their favorite snacks, bring a blanket, and put on a movie-night spread with popcorn and a projector.
Or get crafty and make decorations yourself from the dollar store, including party favors like homemade candles or little bouquets foraged from the forest that guests can enjoy long after the party. You also don’t have to feed everyone a full meal. Throw your party at an off-hour, or indicate that it’s a hors d’oeuvres-only event so folks aren’t expecting a full spread.
Throw Your Best Engagement Party
Beach bonfire, costume party, picnic spread… no matter how you ball for your engagement party, make sure you do it in a fun way that speaks to your story. This moment should always be about a way to celebrate you as a couple. So forget engagement party etiquette books and let everyone toast to you in any way you choose. And don’t forget to show off that sparkly ring any chance you can, you know that’s kind of our thing.