Planning Your Engagement Party

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ou’re engaged, and you want everyone to know. What better way is there to say it than a party? An engagement party is not only a great way to announce your engagement to your friends and family, but it’s also a wonderful time to celebrate before the strenuous wedding planning begins. When planning any party, you want to make sure your guests have a fun and memorable time.

To liven up your engagement festivities and involve your friends and family in the celebration, there are many unique activities and ideas you can incorporate.

If you and your fiancé are known for your fun and crazy parties, why not showcase your personalities with a themed party? An ’80s dance party or country cookout can set the stage for lots of themed activities, dancing, food and cocktails, all archived in fun photos of you and your costume-sporting friends. 

An engagement party can be more than just a dinner or gathering at someone’s home. Think outside the box, and plan a day trip for you and your friends and family to celebrate while doing something fun like visiting a winery, attending a sporting event, or exploring a theme park. Nothing is off limits.

If you decide to stay local, there are lots of fun party games and other activities that can make your party more personal than any average dinner party or cocktail gathering. Enlist your friends and family to help you with planning these to get them involved in the fun.

A “newlyweds” type trivia game can be played in which guests split into teams corresponding to the bride or groom to see which side knows more trivia about the other. Hiring a local psychic or tarot card reader to read the fortunes of guests and make predictions about the couple could be a fun and mysterious activity in which everyone can get involved. Present a prize to the couples who have been married the longest and the shortest amounts of time, and allow them to give advice on how to make marriage last during their acceptance speeches.

Aside from fun and games, an engagement party is also an excellent occasion to create meaningful memories and keepsakes with your closest friends and family. Ask each guest to write down potential wedding vows and place them in a box for you to read after the party, or provide a blank journal out for guests to write down their well wishes, advice, or favorite memories of the couple.

Start a scrapbook for the wedding by taking Polaroids of each guest, and have each of them write a message on the bottom of the picture. You could also take videos of your friends and family giving congratulations and advice and play them during the rehearsal dinner or wedding reception.

Any celebration of a wedding wouldn’t be complete without a toast, or perhaps several of them. Update this tradition by planning a roast of the couple where each guest gets up and playfully pokes fun at the couple by sharing funny or embarrassing stories. Have lots of champagne on hand to keep the fun flowing. Home movies or a slideshow of pictures of the bride and groom as children are also great options.

A small take-home favor or token for guests is a nice gesture to thank them for celebrating with you, and you can tie the gift into the theme of your wedding. How about a cookie with the wedding date written in icing, or a gift in the colors you have chosen? If you can afford it, hand out bottles of the wine that will be served at the wedding. Any personal touches will make your already-excited guests even that more grateful to attend your wedding.

You will (hopefully!) be engaged only once during your life, so take your time to plan a one-of-a-kind celebration that you and your guests will remember. Whether you and your fiancé play it low-key or have a huge blowout, do something that will exemplify your personality and provide hints as to what guests can expect at your big day. There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate an engagement—so go with your gut, and just have fun!