Planning an Engagement Party

by calmyourbeans

Here is some advice on how to plan the perfect engagement party to celebrate with your family and friends.

Getting engaged is incredibly exciting and it is a time to celebrate it with all your friends and family. But there is lots to think about; the theme, the venue, the food, the music and who to invite!
Don't panic though as we have compiled a list of all the things you need to think about and how to plan the perfect engagement party.

Formal vs. Informal

The first thing you need to decide when organising your engagement party is how formal you want it to be. You want to think about what kind of couple you are and who you will be inviting. If you are quite a shy couple then a family picnic might be a good idea or if you have lots of people you want to invite, you might need to book out a venue to fit them all in!



For a formal event, there are a number of expectations which you should be aware of. You should book a venue and then send out invitations to all your guests who will be attending. Then you need to consider catering for your guests whether it is an evening event and you just need canapés or if it is a sit down meal. 

You should also consider providing some form of entertaining and decorating the venue to your taste and style.



With an informal party everything can be much more relaxed and needs much less organising. As long as you have a venue and invited all the relevant people the only other thing you need to consider is food and drink. Even better make it a picnic date and just invite people to bring their own.


So there are a number of things to consider whether you are doing a formal or informal engagement party, but it needs to be right for you.


When planning your party, you might want to consider a theme to your party. It is not complusary but would be nice to either give and indication of your wedding ideas or just for a bit of fun. Here are some ideas for you:


  • Chocolate and Champagne 
  • Wine Tasting
  • Cooking Class
  • Vintage Tea Party
  • Movie-Themed


  • Picnic in the Park
  • Family BBQ
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Cocktail Night
  • Mexican Fiesta


Whatever theme you decide on, it will help you pull the rest of your planning together and help you decide on colour schemes, decoration and outfits!

Engagement ideas


Of course at these events it is tradition to get gifts either for you as a couple or for your house. You can often ask for certain items or on a certain theme so here are some ideas on the things you could ask for:

House Gifts

These make up the majority of presents received when you get engaged. They can range from ornaments to cooking equipment. so if there is something you are needing for the kitchen or if your needing a new bedroom ornament, this could be the prime time to ask for one!


Wedding Planning

This is a really good idea for an engagement present as it will come in very useful in the near future. Such gifts could include wedding advice books or a wedding planner book for you to keep track of your appointments as you plan your perfect day.

Another idea would be to get something for your actual wedding day. This could be a wedding garter, some favours for the tables or a family heirloom you want to have included in the wedding like a necklace or a bracelet which you can get a matching wedding necklace for.


Personalised Gifts

These gifts are often the ones that mean the most as someone has put in the time to create something for you two specifically and it is something you will treasure for a long time. Such gifts might include a personalised photo frame, a personalised canvas or engraved champagne glasses.


Although you can't dictate what you receive , these are potential things you could buy yourselves with the vouchers you will undoubtedly receive!

Will you organise your own party or are you having one organised for you?

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Additional Sources

Engagement Gifts
Some potential engagement gifts

Engagement Party Ideas
Potential Engagement Ideas

Planning your Engagement Party
Additional advice on planning your party

Engagement Party Themes
Party Theme ideas

Updated: 09/10/2012, calmyourbeans
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Rose on 11/11/2014

Informal parties are the best way to go - you want to save your money for the wedding!

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