The Ultimate Guide to Planning An Engagement Party

July 7, 2022 | kailey

Image by Brandi Potter. See more of this real wedding here.

After saying “Yes!” you’re probably ready to jump into planning your dream wedding. But first, we celebrate. Think champagne, loved ones, and a whole lot of congratulating. That’s right– we’re talking about your engagement party. Being the first of many pre-wedding parties, it’s the perfect way to kick off your wedding planning season

If you’re ready to get to planning, here’s everything you need to know about pulling off an engagement party worthy of celebrating your love. 

Who Should Plan Your Engagement Party?

You’re not bound to strict rules when planning an engagement party. And modern-day couples are bending traditions, making their wedding—and everything leading up to their wedding—unique to their love. When deciding who will plan this important celebration, there is no “right” answer. 

While it’s traditionally standard for parents to plan the engagement celebration, that doesn’t have to be the case. You can recruit your parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends, or plan the celebration yourself. No matter who plans your engagement party, make sure you’re on the same page about all details, including budget, theming, and even your guest list. 

When Should You Plan Your Engagement Party?

The purpose of an engagement party is to actually announce your engagement, which means it should take place within the first few months of saying “yes!” Planning your celebration between two and four months after the proposal is a good rule of thumb. The wedding planning stress hasn’t kicked in yet, and you can celebrate the news in real-time. 

Determining A Guest List 

When determining a guest list for your engagement party, think small. Engagement parties are typically more intimate, casual affairs. A smaller guest list allows for you to soak up time with close friends and family while also allowing them to get acquainted with each other—that is, if they haven’t met already. 

When finalizing the guest list, keep in mind that it’s standard practice for those invited to your engagement party to be extended a wedding invitation. 

Secure A Venue 

There’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to your venue. If you’re of a more casual couple, throw a backyard soiree. Wanting a more formal celebration? Rent out a private dining space at a local restaurant. Your budget, guest list, and desired theme will play a big role in narrowing down your venue options. 

Engagement Party Decor 

Like any pre-wedding party, there are a variety of directions you can take your theme. Whether you’re planning a laid back, at-home party or a more elegant celebration, there are decorations fit for every style and budget. Think balloons, banners, and even photo backdrops! 

Here are a few of our favorite decor items: 

Sending Out Invitations 

If you want to send invitations through the mail, send them out three to six weeks before your party. This will give guests proper notice and will also give you time to sort out the small details in advance. After receiving the finalized RSVP list, you’ll be able to better estimate the amount of food and drinks you’ll need to provide. 

Engagements Gifts 

Not sure about the etiquette regarding gifts? You’re not alone. It can be confusing. But, gifts are not typically given during an engagement party, and this is something you should note on your invitations. 

Junebug tip: 

Though it’s not required, some guests may still choose to bring “congratulations” gifts. If you or the hosts receive a gift, thank them quietly and tuck them away. This will prevent those who arrive empty-handed from being embarrassed.

Image by Nikki Nikki Daskalakis. See more of this styled shoot here.

Engagement Party Outfits 

Want to rock an all-white ensemble? You should. Dreaming of a pop of color moment? Do it. No matter what you wear, make sure it’s equally stylish and comfortable. It’s also important to keep in mind the season—spring, summer, fall, and winter—and the chosen venue. 

Casual Engagement Party Outfit Ideas 

Formal Engagement Party Outfit Ideas 

Now that you’ve properly celebrated your engagement, it’s time to find a wedding photographer and schedule those engagement photos. Start by checking out our directory or top wedding photographers from around the world, pick out a location, and hunt down the perfect engagement outfit

Image by Brandi Potter. See more of this real wedding here.

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