Getting engaged is the first of many milestones on the path to your wedding, your marriage, and your happy life together. But before all the wedding planning commences, take the opportunity to enjoy being an engaged couple. For you this could mean scheduling an engagement shoot to capture the memory, deciding on the words you'll use to announce your newly engaged status to your friends and family online, or throwing an engagement party for everyone to celebrate the happy news with you. Read: 20+ Engagement Photo Poses to Try with Your Spouse-to-be
An engagement party is meant to bring your loved ones together to share in your commitment and to celebrate what they love about you as a couple. Plus, engagement party planning is like the dress rehearsal for wedding planning--a great way to work out your wedding theme or style, hone in on the wedding guest list, and experience your first event as the newly engaged, nearly wed, happy couple.
There is no hard and fast rule about engagement parties. You can make your engagement party as big or small, or as formal or chill as you like. Consider your personal tastes and styles as well as your vision for what the wedding will look like. This is the first pre-wedding party that will hopefully tie all of your future wedding events together. Get excited to jump in!
Here is a list of traditional and unique engagement party ideas to inspire your dream engagement party planning.
Delicious meals make excellent engagement parties. Hosting your close friends and family around a table (or tables) to share food and drinks is both classic and classy. Decide if you want a sit down dinner or buffet style, whether you want to go to a restaurant or be in your home or a family member's home.
A special touch for smaller invite lists: hire a private chef and customize a menu of your favorite foods. Bon appetit!
diamonte glimmer by Sweta Modi
Toast to your commitment with creative cocktails, perhaps even design a signature cocktail that speaks to your unique coupledom. You can reserve private space at a bar or lounge to sip and mingle, or invite a mixologist to teach you and your engagement party guests how to craft a favorite beverage.
Pro tip: commit to a build-your-own drink station with tons of options, and see what your guests come up with. Maybe even give a prize to your favorite or award it the position of signature cocktail at the wedding.
Engagement Cocktails and Music by Cecile Kotsch
Prefer breakfast over dinner? A brunch engagement party has all the delights of dinner but with mornings in mind. It can be a formal party or a casual affair, with sweet and savory brunch cuisine, coffee, mimosas, and bloody marys served. Take brunch inside or outside, and theme your engagement party brunch if you so choose.
Think: bagels and donuts are shaped just like your engagement ring!
Sip Sip Hooray by Kelly Schmidt
An engagement party splurge? Wine not? You may decide to take a wine tasting trip with your nearest and dearest to kick off the adventures to come. Or, spring for a sommelier (friend or hired) to come do a private wine tasting engagement party at home, complete with education on grapes and wine pairings. Don't forget the hors d'oeuvres! If you prefer bubbles, make it a champagne tasting or mimosa mixing engagement party.
There's nothing sweeter than a newly engaged couple, so how about serving up nothing but sweet treats? Set up a baked goods buffet, or ask your guests to bring their favorite confections for an engagement party potluck. Pair pastries with champagne or tea to really sweeten the deal. Want your guests to take home an engagement party gift for later? DIY dessert with a cookie or cake decorating party.
Grease up the grill, fill a cooler with craft beers, and set up backyard games for an engagement party barbecue bonanza. Serve up traditional burgers and hot dogs, or sweet and savory BBQ skewers, and challenge your friends and family to socialize over corn hole or bocce ball.
Tropical Celebration by Peggy Jackson
If you're a couple of movie buffs, a screening soiree is the picture perfect way to celebrate your engagement party. You can get pretty creative with a projector outside, unless, of course, you have access to a screening room for guests to cozy up in. Otherwise, set up blankets, floor cushions, and beach chairs, pop some popcorn, and fill gift bags with assorted movie candy. Screen a fun rom com or your favorite film.
Extra credit if you have cinematic footage of the actual engagement to show off!
Pack an engagement party picnic, and head for the park. There isn't an easier backdrop for hosting big life events, whether you set up on a grassy knoll or at the picnic tables near the grill. And a picnic is the perfect opportunity for a crowd-sourced celebration. Ask guests to contribute to an engagement party picnic potluck and to bring gifts to play with, like a frisbee or water balloons.
Invite your engagement party attendees to work together and solve a crime. You can find kits online that will give you roles to play and provide a story line. There's something irresistible about engagement party invitations that ask for your guests' playful participation.
It's a great way to get your close family and friends to interact and have fun together, especially if you're combining groups of people that don't yet know each other. You can think of it as team building for the best crew of outgoing problem solvers who will eventually be there to help you solve everything related to the wedding (and married life)!
If weather permits and you have access to a pool, throwing a pool party is joyful, inner-child, summer fun and the perfect way to celebrate your engagement. Send invitations with instructions to bring a bathing suit and wear sunscreen, and let the swimming and splashing in the name of love commence. Consider pool games, squirt guns, and boozy popsicles to go along with the pool party festivities.
Oh Happy Day by Melissa Egan
Cozy up for an engagement party bonfire. Think: s'mores, sing alongs, and sips of hot bevvies. A sweet bonfire bonding moment: have your guests join you in writing and burning intentions for a blessed marriage to come.
Extra credit for the guests who bring guitars or maracas for a smoky singalong around the fire.
Extend the bonfire vibes with a little overnight outing. Especially for a smaller group of outdoor explorers, an engagement party getaway to camp (or glamp, if that's more your thing) is an adventurous and ruggedly intimate way to honor your new commitment.
twinkling sky by Erin Deegan
Are you a DIY loving duo? Get artsy with an engagement party craft day or night. Consider having your guests paint pottery for your future home for wedding gifts with a personal touch. Or line tables with paints, brushes, and flower pots, and send them home with a personal painted planter and your favorite flower seeds to grow.
Pro tip: Invite a pro to guide a paint and sip, and have everyone paint the same picture, perhaps something related to your love or wedding theme.
Finally Engaged by Erin Deegan
Set sail with your loved ones for an engagement party on a boat. Picture sunset on the deck, sparkling waters, and bubbly to toast. Sounds pretty magical. Not to mention, cruising on the open waters with your friends and family is a great way to ensure no one leaves early! Take it up a notch with a nautical themed dress code on the engagement party invites.
Simple Celebration by Loree Mayer
For the couple who loves music, jam out for your engagement party. Set up a silent disco, and watch your guests' uninhibited dance moves. Book a live band, invite friends to add to the newly engaged couple's record collection, or cue up the karaoke machine.
Pro tip: use your engagement party as an opportunity to build the playlist for your wedding day, asking guests to contribute their favorite party songs to a master playlist.
Modern Brilliance by Kristie Kern
Engagement parties are typically less formal occasions than the wedding day itself, so feel free to be a little quirky and play dress up at yours. You may have a certain decade in mind--a 70s disco or a roaring 20s gala. You could have a Halloween themed engagement party, especially if you get engaged in the Fall. Require your guests all wear a certain color, or pass out colorful wigs at the door.
Heart and Vine by Kristy Kapturowski
For the gamers in love, get a little friendly competition going with an engagement party game night. Bust out the board games, charades, and Pictionary, and watch all the guests engage with one another, and probably laugh a lot together. Maybe you ask that they bring gifts in the form of their favorite board game to add to your collection. Perhaps you make it official with name tags and prizes.
Your engagement is super exciting news, and you can be sure you have a group of family and friends that would make an excellent engagement party guest list. If you decide to go that route, remember to focus on what your love means to you and how you want to celebrate it. Which engagement party theme feels like your vibe? Go with that! Enjoy life's biggest moments
Planning an engagement party is the kickoff to all of the planning and decision-making to come. Given there are a lot of things for you to take care of, consider getting a planner or use expert planning tools like Loverly. Working with experts early on from the engagement party planning will take a lot of stress out of you. They will guide you on everything from engagement party invitations to engagement gifts to engagement party etiquette. And for even more detailed, step by step walkthroughs on all things engagement parties and wedding planning, a membership to Loverly's I Do Crew masterclass series has you covered. Cheers to your epic engagement party!