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Have an engagement party

Weddings are something to celebrate and from the very moment you say “I do,” it is time to start planning parties to celebrate your exciting news. An engagement party is a traditional way to tell all your friends and family members you are ready to take the leap into marriage and are essentially giving them a chance to give you their well wishes. This is also the time for you to introduce your family and friends to your future husband’s family friends. These people will be working together with you to help plan your wedding. What better way to get to know everybody than over a few cocktails and some great food!

Engagement parties can be hosted by the future bride and groom or given by a close friend or family member. If you are taking on this big job, you need these tips to help make it a roaring success.

1. Before settling on a date for the engagement party, check with key people i.e. brides’ parents, grooms’ parents, potential members of the bridal party and close friends to make sure they can all make it. Plan the date around their calendars to make it easier on them. There is no set timeframe for an engagement party. Nine months before the wedding is a good time to aim for.

2. Choose a place to hold the party. Your home or the home of a close friend or family member is adequate. You don’t want to get crazy with the expense of a major party at a large venue. You will want to save your dollars for the wedding.

3. Establish a budget for your engagement party. Your budget will need to include food, drinks, invitations and entertainment if you want a DJ. Engagement parties don’t have to be overly extravagant. You can serve cocktails and appetizers or make it a dessert party. If you are really into casual, consider having a potluck style party at your home. Ask guests to bring a dish. Barbecues are another casual, yet fun way to get everybody together in a non-formal setting. This is a great way to get everyone acquainted with another without all the formalities that can make some people feel a little out of sorts.

4. Choose a theme if you like. Just remember to budget decorations into your total budget allowance. Decorations do not have to be anything grand. A picture of the engaged couple with an arrangement of flowers is enough for a house party.

5. Let guests know whether or not you expect gifts at your engagement party. It is certainly not a requirement, but many people will not know what is expected of them when they accept an invitation. You don’t want to bleed your guests dry by asking for their presence at the string of parties to come in preparation for your wedding along with a gift for every party.

6. Establish a dress code for your party so guests will feel comfortable arriving in jeans for a barbecue or an evening gown for a formal party. This is important to making sure everyone is at ease and doesn’t feel out of place with their attire.

Keep your engagement party simple and fun. Save all the glamour and your expendable cash for your wedding. Your engagement party is a time to relax with those you love and you don’t want to worry about etiquette and hurt feelings. This is just the beginning and you want to get off on the right foot.