Whether you’re the hosts or guests of honour, we have put together the ultimate guide on how to throw a fabulous engagement party.
What It’s For
People will want to congratulate you, and, well, a party’s a lot more fun than a phone call. It’s also a great time to introduce key people from your lives who are going to be seeing a lot of each other (and possibly working together) over the next nine months or so.
Who hosts the party
Traditionally the bride’s parents host the engagement party, but nowadays it’s more common for the couple to organise it themselves or for friends of the bride and groom to volunteer and get involved.
Who to invite
The engagement party used to be a more intimate event for the couple’s nearest and dearest, but nowadays more couples are using it as an excuse to invite people that might not necessarily be included in the wedding, such as newer friends, colleagues, parents’ friends. For a traditional and more formal party, guests who are invited to the engagement party should also be invited to the wedding as a rule of thumb, so it’s best to organise your wedding guest list before you throw the engagement party.
When to have it
Ideally the engagement party will come soon after the proposal while the excitement is still fresh, and before the stress of serious wedding planning kicks in.
The theme of the engagement party will centre around the couple, but just make sure it matches the wedding theme. You could have a strict theme such as “vintage”, The Gallery offers a great Afternoon Tea Package starting at £17.95 per person.
Decoration can range from bunting saying “Soon to be” or “He put a ring on it” to Polaroid photos of the couple and their friends. Tea lights, bird cages, balloons, confetti and floral arrangements are always a nice touch. You could even have a “Love Story” board at the entrance with the dates of the milestones in your relationship and your actual wedding.
The most informal approach would be sending out an invite by email, but you may want to send paper invites in the post.
The food and drink
You don’t need to host a proper sit-down dinner like the wedding, but instead have canapés or a buffet where guests can mingle and help themselves. You could have burgers, fish and chips cones, vegetable skewers or mini shepherd’s pie. As for the drinks, you could keep beers in ice buckets or cold juice in jugs. Canapés in The Gallery start at £8.50 per person (based on 3 choices)
As the bride, you don’t want to outshine yourself before your wedding day, so pick a simpler outfit that will still make you stand out at the party. Guests should also stick to this rule and opt for more casual looks at the engagement party.
The Gallery hosts a large number of engagement parties each year. We have a great offers for Friday nights, enquire now!