Wedding Planning Guide

engagement party ideas

heart shaped wreath

Photo: Ameris

Whether you’re hosting an engagement party for friends or family members, or planning your own, create an event that’s all about celebrating the happy news. Choose an engagement party theme or setting that suits the couple’s style and allows everyone to say congrats and have a good time. Keep in mind this may be the first time that both sides of the family have a chance to meet, so plan for a social atmosphere and activities to break the ice.

Start by consulting the couple on what style of engagement celebration they want—from a casual get-together with friends at their favorite bar to a formal brunch hosted at someone’s home. Set the tone with your engagement party invitation, whether printed or digital. Find inspiration on our list of creative engagement-party ideas and use our planning guide to stay organized.

  • Brunch buffet
    Sweet and savory brunch-based dishes, coffee, and mimosas create a celebratory mood, and can be as casual or formal as you like.
  • Bubbly bar
    Time to get the party started and pop the bubbly! Set up a DIY mimosa bar with a selection of fruits and juices.
  • Wine not?
    Arrange a wine tasting, stock the couple’s wine rack, and provide delicious food pairings. For a formal celebration, planning an al fresco dinner on the lawn of a winery is a great way to go.
  • “We do” brews & BBQ
    A backyard barbeque is casual and fun for the whole guest list. Take it up a notch with gourmet sliders and locally brewed craft beers to make the engagement party extra special.
  • Get cheesy
    Set up a fondue bar, a charcuterie potluck, or even a cheese tasting. Don’t forget the wine pairings!
  • Marry melodies
    Perfect for the couple who loves music, plan an event with a great soundtrack. Book a live band, have guests create custom playlists, or add to the couple’s record collection.
  • So sweet
    Set up a dessert table and provide champagne, coffee, or tea to pair. Get guests involved and make it a potluck, inviting everyone bring their favorite sweet treat.
  • Cocktail party
    Pick a signature cocktail for the occasion, arrange hors d'oeuvres, add guests, mix well, and enjoy. Find cocktail recipes, playlists, and other ideas on our blog, Julep.
  • Country club soiree
    For a more formal engagement party, book a swanky event space for dinner or cocktails.