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Congratulations on getting engaged! This special time and huge life step deserves a little bit of celebrating. An engagement party is a great opportunity to mark this momentous occasion, relive your epic proposal moment with your closest family and friends, and kick off the wedding planning process with a bang! Here are 7 Steps to Plan Your Engagement Party.

Step 1: Set a date

Since the engagement party is meant to celebrate your actual engagement, you should try to plan it as close to the proposal as you can. But of course with many factors involved (like a surprise proposal, timing around the holidays, and scheduling conflicts of important guests), you really just want to aim for no later than 8 months before the wedding.

Step 2: Decide on the party type

Is this going to be an ultra-casual backyard BBQ? Or an intimate dinner party? Maybe a big celebration with everyone you love since you’re considering an elopement or courthouse wedding? Whatever you want the vibe to be, nail down what you’re looking for and work out any details like theme, type of location you prefer, and a ballpark number of guests.

Step 3: Create a guest list

Start working on a guest list based on the type of party you chose. Try to make sure you are only adding people who will be invited to the wedding later. Unless of course you are planning for your engagement party to be bigger than your elopement or courthouse wedding, then go ahead and add whoever you want to see there!

Step 4: Select a venue

After you’ve selected the party style, date, and number of guests, you can start checking out venues. During this process you might find yourself making adjustments to all the details you’ve already worked out, and that’s fine! There’s a reason you haven’t sent out the invitations just yet. It’s also a great taste of what it might be like venue hunting for your wedding! Consider it a practice run and enjoy the process.

Step 5: Send out invitations

Once everything is booked and finalized, send out those invitations! Depending on the vibe you are going for, you can mail printed invitations, send out email invites, call up all of your guests personally, or make a Facebook event. No matter how you spread the word, your invitation should convey the type of party your guests should be expecting in addition to the basic information like time, date, location, and dress code if applicable. And if you have the beginnings of your wedding registry started, go ahead and include that information as well, just in case any of your guests are feeling extra generous.

Step 6: Prep the venue

Prepping the venue could potentially involve a multitude of things to consider, like décor, food, drinks, activities, seating, etc. And much of what you will or won’t need will depend on your venue, your style, your budget, and more. But just remember, this is meant to be a celebration of you, your fiancé, and your love for each other. Focus on that and the rest will come easy!

Step 7: Enjoy yourself!

The last thing anyone wants is the guest(s) of honor getting wrapped up in playing host and forgetting to enjoy their own party. If it helps, ask a friend to play host. Have him or her check on the food and drinks, make sure the guests have everything they need, and keep a list of what gifts you might open so you can be sure to send out thank you cards later.

 

Photo 1: Luna Ottoman, 13″ x 13″ Galvanized Tray, Wooden Bread Board. Photo by Gagan Dhiman Photography, Catering by Gesche’s Gourmet.
Photo 2: Gold Chiavari Chairs.
Photo 3: Carson Bar Back, Traditional Champagne Glass.
Photo 4: Draper Sofa, Luna Ottoman, Element Side Table, Harper Coffee Table, Lighted Bar Sign, Wire Spheres. Photo by Gagan Dhiman Photography, Mobile Bar by Belle Aventure Mobile Bar Co.
Photo 5: Gatsby Bar, Oxford Bar Back.