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How to: Planning an Engagement Party

Engagement party: the first pre-wedding event to celebrate your new relationship status. If you’ve yet to announce the wedding planning news to family and friends, it’s also the perfect place to tell everyone for the first time, at the same time. Whether you’re throwing the shindig on your own or leaving the work to someone else, here are suggestions for planning an engagement party.

Who to invite

Your engagement party invite list should include family, close friends and those you plan to include in the wedding party. Ideally, anyone invited to the wedding should also be invited to the engagement party. However, it’s OK keep the guest list small and intimate if you so choose.

When to have your engagement party

You should schedule your engagement party somewhat soon after the proposal—especially if you’re wedding planning for a short engagement. Whatever date you set, allow enough time for those who may be traveling in for the event.

How to invite (styles of invitations)

The style of invitations used for your engagement party should reflect the type of party you’re planning. For instance, a backyard bar-b-cue is less stuffy and formal, so sending an Evite is a perfectly acceptable option. But if you’ve got your heart set on a cocktail party in a hotel ballroom, elegant paper invitations are the way to go.

What to serve

No matter if it’s passed hors d’oeuvres or burgers and brats on the grill, your menu should reflect not only the tone of your party and your wedding planning, but also your personality as a couple. For a touch of originality, establish a theme with your dishes, like cuisine reflective of your ethnic background or fare with an indigenous flair. Top it all off by serving signature cocktails.

What to do

Eat, drink and be merry! And what celebration would be complete without music? Enlist the help of a DJ or band or make your own playlist to get everyone grooving out on the dance floor.

Lastly, remember to set aside time to thank everyone for coming and to allow loved ones to toast to the occasion. Your engagement party is a special time that you’ll want to remember forever. Follow these suggestions for a fun and stress-free event that everyone will enjoy.

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