Tips for Hosting an Engagement Party

Whether you are hosting a party for a newly engaged couple or planning your own soiree, here are some tips that will help get your planning underway.

The purpose of an engagement party is to gather the couple’s friends and family to simply raise a glass to their new engagement. It can also help break the ice between families who have not had a chance to connect.  If the wedding party has already been established, this is also time for each bridesmaid and groomsman to become acquainted. After all, they will be walking down the aisle together eventually!

Who to invite and how?
Along with family and close friends, it is wise to include people who are sure to make the guest list. Imagine the awkward silence after a co-worker shows up to celebrate only to find out they will not be receiving an invitation to the actual wedding! First, decide how intimate you want the gathering to be. If you are hosting something small in your own home, perhaps you need to stick with close family, the family, along with the wedding party. If you have more space and funds you can start expanding your list from there.

If you are hosting a formal event, invitations are the way to go. If you are keeping things casual, emails and phone calls may be all you need. Be sure you include an RSVP request for planning food, space, and activities. RSVP’s can also help you rest assured that your potential guest received your invitation.

How formal should the party be?
Since the purpose of an engagement party is to simply celebrate the couple, keep the emphasis on FUN. A shower is focused on loading the couple with pre-wedding gifts, so the engagement party can stick with a more casual feel. Keep in mind that your guest should not feel pressure to shop the wedding registry prior to your party.

If you have a theme in mind, let your creativity shine! If the couple shares a common interest, bring it to light. For example, if they met on the running trail, theme your party around sports and fitness. The possibilities are endless and the formality of your party depends on the particular mood you want to set.

What should we do?
The answer to this question is… have fun! If you want to play silly games now is your chance. Otherwise, just toast and mingle. Let the couple be in the spotlight and know how excited you are about their upcoming nuptials!

Rehearsal Dinner Guide

Traditionally, a rehearsal dinner takes place the night before your wedding. This is a perfect time to gather with your wedding party, close friends, and family to intimately celebrate your upcoming nuptials. If you are planning to have a rehearsal dinner party, here are a few tips to get the preparation underway.

Who is the host?
It is customary for the groom’s family is plan, organize, and pay for the rehearsal dinner. Today, some couples choose to share the responsibility and host this event on their own. Whichever route you choose, the person that oversees the event will send invitations, book the venue, plan the food, and pay.

Where should it take place?
Some rehearsal dinners are formal and take place in a ballroom with a seated dinner included, while others take place in the backyard with barbeque. The possibilities are endless. First consider if you want a formal or informal event and recognize that the price will vary depending on the location and size of your party. If your wedding is formal, you may choose to keep the festivities in line with a proper setting.  If your wedding has a more causal and laid-back atmosphere, stick with a relaxed and warm party.

Who should be invited?
When organizing your rehearsal dinner guest list, begin with parents of the bride and groom along with immediate family members, the wedding party, and the officiant. Then it is time to branch out to spouses and potentially their children (depending on how large your event will be). Ring bearers, flower girls, and junior bride’s maids should be included and, depending on their age, possibly their parents. Once this list is finalized, reach out to close friends or out of town guests that you want to be a part of this intimate gathering too.

For unique rehearsal dinner ideas, click here.

Exciting Ways to Announce your Engagement

Congratulations on your engagement!  Now it is time to share your excitement with the rest of the world.  If you are wondering how to get your news to the masses, here are a few options.

Face to Face

Parents and close friends will want to hear the great news directly from you. If you live close by, or can travel a short distance, your news is worthy of a special visit.  Before post anything online, this concise list of folks will want to hear first. You may confront hurt feelings if they find out your news along with the rest of the world.

Throw and Engagement Party

We can’t think of a better reason to pop the champagne, and your friends and family will feel the same.  Time to celebrate!  Gather everyone together for an intimate party and allow yourself the opportunity to let your loved ones lavish you with joy.  You can let the announcement be a surprise at your party, or just host a soiree to rejoice.

Creative Photos

Many engagement announcements are now shared online.  Get creative with your new fiancé and take some photos to express a post-worthy message.  Use props and backdrops for enhancement and have fun with it. No need to be serious here!  Here are a few Pinterest worthy examples:

Engagement Announcement
Photo Credit: Pinterest.com
Video Message

Maybe you can’t share your good news with everyone face to face, but you may still want an individualized touch. If so, video messages are a great option.  You can say exactly what you want with as much dramatic effect as you like.  Here you can make a special shout out to those closest to you or even add that extra personal message that you wouldn’t be able to include on a handwritten or printed announcement.

Snail Mail

It may take a little extra time, but printing an engagement announcement to mail is not just a thing of the past.  People will love to hang on to your card as a special keepsake.  Some brides choose to tie in their engagement announcements and Save-the-Date cards.  Both options will let your loved ones know a wedding is happening soon.

Newspaper Announcements

Grandmothers everywhere will be please to know that newspapers still publish engagement announcements.  This is a traditional way to get the word out to your community, including those not included in your mailing list.  Old teachers, neighbors, and family friends of long ago of will be able to hear of your future nuptials.

Getting the word out is one of the first and most exciting things you will get to do when planning for your wedding. Get creative and enjoy the extra attention!

 

 

Unique and Fun Bridal Shower Ideas

Hosting a bridal shower is such a fantastic way to honor the bride before her special day.  It is the perfect opportunity for wedding gifts, extra girl time, and celebration! Here are a few ideas to make this festivity fun.

Be sure to feast

Do ladies ever need an excuse for extra treats?  Jazz up your shower with plenty of snacks and fruity drinks.  Finger sandwiches, cheese trays, fondue, fruits, vegetables, and pastas are easy to prepare and always please the crowd.  Don’t forget to include a few simple desserts too.  Offer your guests a little bubbly to share; after all, this is a celebration.  When everyone has had their fill of treats, make sure you add in time to toast the bride.  Think of a way to honor her engagement and share in her excitement.

Play some games

Yes, let the games begin!  Some guests may groan a little, but here are a few ideas that everyone can enjoy.

Say “Yes” to the Dress
Divide the guests into teams of 2 or more and use toilet paper to create the perfect wedding dress!  Each team will wrap the paper around one willing participant in a way that fashions their best gown.  The bride gets to choose which one she favors at the end!

How well do you really know the groom?
Allow each guest to ask the groom a question of their choosing prior to the shower.  Write down his answers and ask the bride the collection of questions in front of the group.  The bride must answer them all to find out how well she really knows her husband-to-be.

Date Idea Mason Jar
This idea is good for guests who are not so interested in interactive games.  Decorate a mason jar for the couple that can hold popsicle sticks. Ask each guest to fill out one or two sticks with a date idea that the couple might enjoy once they have tied the knot.  Send the final product home with the bride as a bonus gift!

Open gifts!

Give the bride plenty of time to open her gifts and get excited over the latest items her and the groom will share. Be sure to keep a list of what she receives to help her thank everyone when the party is over.  Don’t place too much attention on one item, be sure to move the gifts along so every gift is appreciated equally.

Most importantly, make the shower a celebration!  This is a special event that will bring so much joy to the bride while she is in the midst of planning for her wedding.